An itch to stitch and The Great British Sewing Bee

A long time ago BC* I used to sew a lot of clothes for myself and others.

Using the skills I had aquired making dolls’ clothes I would design and make my own garments.

Together my trusty little Bernette and I have sewn our way through numerous wedding dresses (my own included), bridesmaid’s dresses, wedding waistcoats, outfits and everyday garments.

Latterly though my sewing has been confined to curtains, blinds and cushions to furnish our home.

My itch to stitch has come about primarily because of the TV programme The Great British Sewing Bee.


The 2nd Series finished last Tuesday with Heather crowned as Britain’s best home sewer.

I’ve really enjoyed this series, probably more than the last, because of the challenges they’ve been tasked with…


Making children’s clothes,


Using a man’s suit to create something completely different,


And making sleeves for a ready made dress.

All things I’ve enjoyed doing in the past.

Claudia Winkleman as host is hilarious. I laughed out loud when she called an overlocker an ‘overlord’!

May Martin seems lovely and of course there is the eye candy that is Savile Row’s Patrick Grant….


But what I have especially enjoyed is the history of textiles and manufacturing bits that have been used to fill between challenges.



I have a Singer sewing machine almost identical to this one that belonged to my gran.


Mackintosh production.


Nice orange mac!

As with the first series, screened last year, I was inspired to sew again and went out and bought lots of fabric.

SewI planned to make lots of lovely tunic tops for the summer using the pattern you can see in this picture.

SkirtAnd lots of summer skirts using this pattern.

Needless to say I didn’t make anything!

Perhaps 2014 is the year it will happen?

My other stitching itch is to do some embroidery, again something I’ve not done for a long while.

I saw this image the other day of a Paul Smith shirt…


And I was reminded of a chambray denim dress I had as a child. It had a very full, circular skirt around the bottom of which were embroidered little people and scenes.

I’ve got as far as finding my embroidery hoop and threads, now all I need is some fabric…..


* Before Children!