I applied for The Great British Sewing Bee (sort of)

It's back! The sewing world was treated to great news this week when it was announced that The Great British Sewing Bee will return to TV. With new host Joe Lycett (That's the way a-ha a-ha Joe Lycett) and a whole host of new challenges, fabrics and inspiration, we can't wait for its return.

The thought of sewing under pressure, in front of the camera, and in front of millions watching on TV is absolutely terrifying. I know so many people before me have been on the show and survived, even created amazing businesses and new lives from their experience. However, this isn't really for me.

But I was very tempted to see what the application form included, and just how well I might fare with filling it in?

The only rules for application are that you can't have sewing qualifications, run a sewing related business or have your main income from a sewing related job. I tick all these boxes, being self taught and working full time in marketing.

Firstly, your personal details include your website and social media accounts. That bit is easy. Follow me on Instagram if you don't do already.

You then need to say how you found out about applications (if you don't know, then you've been living under a rock) and if you've applied for the show before. I'm a no for that, although I did attend the Sewing Bee Live and awkwardly walked past Patrick Grant whilst many women were taking selfies with his royal highness.

The following questions are as taken directly from the application form. I'll respond to them here so you can read about my sewing background, and make your own judgement as to whether or not I'll make a great candidate!

How long have you been sewing for and how/why did you first start sewing?

I started sewing as a child. My Barbies needed more clothes! Growing older I decided that the high street clothes weren't items I wanted to wear, so using my Mum's sewing machine and making things up as I went along, I started making my own clothing. Whilst at university, I got my own sewing machine and started getting serious with learning new techniques, following patterns and creating my wardrobe. The rest is history.

Who taught you to sew?

Mostly my Mum who helped me use her sewing machine for basic stitching and introduced me to the local fabric shop where I later worked at during school work experience. There was a textiles teacher at school but her lessons weren't too engaging. My grandma was trained professionally and always gives me help and advice when needed. My late grandma was part of the make-do and mend generation who always inspired me to rework old clothing into something wearable.

How often do you sew? 

The answer here is as much as I can, and dependent on my mental health. I wrote a piece for Sew For Victory about sewing for self-care and my battle with it. If my head space is good, I'll sew for whole weekends. If I'm thinking about other parts of my life, I can leave it weeks without plugging the machine in.

Who do you sew for?

I'm sorry but the answer is me and solely me. My friends always ask me to make them things and the intention is there, but it's too much pressure. I've sewn for my sister before as a trial and would love to sew for other people more, but I love playing dress-up and making things that fit my awkward size, so that's the main reason I sew for myself. 

Why do you sew?

Throughout my life I've found that I have ideas for clothes in my head but can't find them on the high street. Fashions can be unflattering on me (I'm really short), too young for me (late 20s and curvy) and just not my style. I sew to make clothes fit me properly. 

I also love making things with my hands and turning ideas into reality. If I have an idea for a cool outfit, I'll make it. It's so inspiring to see amazing makes from the lovely people of Instagram and they help get my creative juices flowing. I also sew for my mental health. The feeling of achievement and time spent doing something as me, for just me is really helpful for my head space. 

What time of day do you sew? How does sewing fit into your lifestyle?

I work 9-5 and usually by the time I get home I'm far too tired to do much. If I have a large project and nothing to do on a weekend I'll normally smash through it. Other times, I'll get some motivation to get my sewing machine out and work on something in an evening. 

How would you describe your style of sewing?

Bright, happy, preppy. I usually have a style of clothing that I think suits me - shift dresses or empire waist skater dresses. I love mini skirts and collared blouses. Jeans and a casual tee. Most of my fabrics are stripe, polka dots or a loud floral pattern. You'll never find me in plain tailored clothing or floor-length dresses.

How do you improve/develop your techniques?

Working on different patterns is a great way for me to develop my skills. From wovens to jerseys, simple dresses, to shirts with button plackets. Each new project gives me something new to learn. I head to YouTube or blogs to find step-by-step tutorials or picture guides for anything I find particularly tricky. It's great to have such a vast online resource to improve my skills and I am always on the look out for new patterns where I can learn more each time.

Do you think I'll make a good candidate for The Great British Sewing Bee? Maybe you'll see me on TV in the not too distant future 😉*

*I can neither confirm, nor deny this. 

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