The Great British Sewing Bee

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The Great British Sewing Bee
The Great British Sewing Bee Title Card.jpg
Game show
Presented byClaudia Winkleman
Joe Lycett
Theme music composerIan Livingstone
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series5
No. of episodes26 (inc. 1 special)
Executive producer(s)Anna Beattie
  • Susanne Rock
  • Suzanne McGairl
Production location(s)
  • Other Cafe and Gallery (2013)
  • Metropolitan Wharf (2014–15)
  • Bermondsey (2016–)
Editor(s)Susanne Rock
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Love Productions
Original networkBBC Two
Picture format16:9
Audio formatStereo
Original release2 April 2013 (2013-04-02) –
Related showsThe Great British Bake Off
The Great Pottery Throw Down
External links
Production website

The Great British Sewing Bee is a BBC Two reality show that began airing on 2 April 2013. In the show, talented amateur sewers compete to be named "Britain's best home sewer".[1] A spin-off of the format of The Great British Bake Off, the programme was presented by Claudia Winkleman[2] for the first four series, with Joe Lycett taking over from the fifth series.

Series overview[edit]

Series 1 (2013)[edit]

The first series of The Great British Sewing Bee started on 2 April and aired for four episodes concluding on 23 April 2013. The series was hosted by Claudia Winkleman and the judges were WI tutor May Martin and Patrick Grant of Savile Row.
The all-female final was won by Ann, with Sandra and Lauren as runners up.

Series 2 (2014)[edit]

A second series The Great British Sewing Bee began airing on 18 February 2014 on BBC Two. The series was filmed at Metropolitan Wharf in London, with Claudia Winkleman as host alongside May Martin and Patrick Grant as the judges.
Once again it was an all-female final, which was won by Heather - with Chinelo and Tamara as the runners up.

Series 3 (2015)[edit]

The third series of The Great British Sewing Bee began airing over six weeks from 5 February 2015 on BBC Two. It was once again filmed at Metropolitan Wharf in London, with Claudia Winkleman returning as host alongside resident judges May Martin and Patrick Grant. This time, the final involveed of one female and two males. After six weeks of fierce competition, the ten sewers were reduced to the three finalists from which Matt was declared the winner - with Lorna and Neil as the runners up.

Series 4 (2016)[edit]

The fourth series of The Great British Sewing Bee began airing on 16 May 2016.[3][4] May Martin was replaced by new judge Esme Young.[5] The finalists were Jade, Charlotte, and Joyce, with Charlotte the winner.

Series 5 (2019)[edit]

The fifth series began on 12 February 2019 on BBC Two. Joe Lycett is the new presenter, taking over from Claudia Winkleman, and Esme Young and Patrick Grant return as judges. The series is shot at 47-49 Tanner Street.[6] Exterior shots are of 1, Tanner Street, Bermondsey.[7][8] The finalists were Juliet, Leah, and Riccardo, with Juliet winning.

The BBC Children in Need Sewing Bee[edit]

The BBC Children in Need Sewing Bee
Presented byJenny Eclair
Sara Cox
Anita Rani
JudgesMay Martin
Patrick Grant
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes3
Executive producer(s)Anna Beattie
Susanne Rock
Producer(s)Suzanne McGairl
Production location(s)Metropolitan Wharf
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Love Productions
Original networkBBC Two
Original release21 (21) –
24 October 2014 (2014-10-24)
External links

The Great British Sewing Bee returned for three special episodes as 12 celebrities took to the sewing machines in a bid to raise money for Children in Need.[9]


Episode 1[edit]

Sewer Pattern Challenge
(A Line Skirt)
Alteration Challenge
(Hawaiian Shirt)
(A Dress from their favourite era)
Presenter Originally Aired Viewers
Edith Bowman 2 Cape 2 1950s Flared Dress Jenny Eclair 21 October 2014 2.25
Dave Myers 4 Child's Dress 3 1960s A Line dress
Dawn Harper 1 Tunic Dress 4 1920s Flapper Dress
Wendi Peters 3 Sundress 1 1950s V-Neck Dress

Episode 2[edit]

Sewer Pattern Challenge
(Pyjama Bottoms)
Alteration Challenge
(Onesie-Animal Costume)
(Childhood Story Skirt)
Presenter Originally Aired Viewers
Gaby Roslin 3 Dinosaur 2 Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Sara Cox 23 October 2014 1.87
Louie Spence 2 Ladybird 3 Ra-ra Skirt
Mark Watson 4 Zebrafish The Emperor's New Clothes
Pam Ferris 1 Cockerel 1 London Skyline at Night

Episode 3[edit]

Sewer Pattern Challenge
(Jersey T-shirt)
Alteration Challenge
(Old Prom Dress)
(Child's Garment)
Presenter Originally Aired Viewers
Gemma Cairney 4 Covered Prom Dress 4 Silk Brocade Cape Anita Rani 24 October 2014 1.86
Helen Lederer 3 Camden Lock '84 3 Silk Party Dress
Kathryn Flett 2 Playsuit 2 Little Red Riding Hood Cloak
Timmy Matley 1 Gathered Skirt 1 Michael Jackson Pleather Jacket



Series Start date End date Episodes
1 2 April 2013 23 April 2013 4
2 18 February 2014 8 April 2014 8
3 5 February 2015 12 March 2015 6
4 16 May 2016 4 July 2016 8
5 12 February 2019 2 April 2019 8


Date Entitle
15 December 2013 Christmas Special

International broadcast[edit]

International versions[edit]

Country Local title Host(s) Judges Channel Premiere
 Denmark Klar, parat, sy[12][13]
(Ready, Set, Sew)
Lene Beier Jesper Høvring
Jette With[14]
TV 2 FRI 14 March 2015[15]
 France Cousu Main[16]
(Hand Sewn)
Cristina Córdula Amparo Lellouche
Julien Scavini
M6[17] 30 August 2014
 Germany Geschickt eingefädelt
(Skillfully Threaded)
Guido Maria Kretschmer Inge Szoltysik-Sparrer
Anke Müller
VOX 3 November 2015
 Netherlands Door Het Oog Van De Naald
(Through the Eye of the Needle)
Nicolette van Dam Nelleke Rimmelzwaan
Maik de Boer
RTL 4 28 January 2015
 Norway Det store symesterskapet[18]
(The Great Sewing Championship)
Christina Hope Tine Solheim
Andreas Feet[19]
NRK[17] 19 November 2014
 Portugal Cosido à mão[20]
(Hand Sewn)
Sónia Araújo Susana Agostinho
Paulo Battista
Mariama Barbosa
RTP1 4 November 2017
 Spain Maestros de la Costura[21]
(Masters of Sewing)
Raquel Sánchez Silva Lorenzo Caprile
María Escoté
Palomo Spain
La 1 12 February 2018
 Sweden Hela Sverige Syr[22]
(The Whole of Sweden Is Sewing)
Linda Lindorff Lisbeth Stålborg
Frederik Andersen
Sjuan[17] 14 October 2014[23]


Historically the word bee has been used to describe a get-together where a specific action is being carried out, such as a husking bee, a quilting bee, or an apple bee. In the USA, the Scripps National Spelling Bee champions have been held annually since 1925. Its etymology is unclear, but the word possibly derives from the Old English word bēn, meaning prayer.[24]


  1. ^ Great British Sewing Bee at BBC Programmes
  2. ^ Meltzer, Tom (10 April 2013). "Review: The Great British Sewing Bee". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "The Great British Sewing Bee 2016: Everything You Need to Know - Sewing Blog".
  4. ^ "Basic Construction, Series 4, The Great British Sewing Bee - BBC Two". BBC.
  5. ^ "New Judge for The Great British Sewing Bee". The Sewing Directory. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Ugly Duck - The Loft".
  7. ^ "BBC Two - The Great British Sewing Bee, Series 5, Episode 1". BBC.
  8. ^ "BBC Two - The Great British Sewing Bee, Series 5 Trailer: The Great British Sewing Bee". BBC. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  9. ^ Fletcher, Harry (13 October 2014). "Edith Bowman and Louie Spence for Children in Need Sewing Bee specials - TV News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  10. ^ a b c "Weekly Top 30". Broadcasters Audience Research Board. 20–26 October 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  11. ^ Higgins, D. (15 December 2014). "NEW THIS WEEK: The Newsroom finale, The Killing S3, Cordon, Test match cricket and Christmas programs". The Green Room. Foxtel. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  12. ^ White, Peter (18 July 2014). "Sewing Bee heads to Denmark's TV2". Broadcast. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  13. ^ Sørensen, Sola Kruchov (21 August 2014). "Topdesigner i nyt program på TV 2 FRI". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Sewing Bee". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Ups... Vi kan ikke finde siden! - TV 2 PLAY".
  16. ^ "Cousu main en replay sur 6play : Rediffusion gratuite en streaming". 6play.
  17. ^ a b c Krewen, Nick (18 July 2014). "BBCWW sends "Sewing Bee" to Denmark". realscreen. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  18. ^ "The Norwegian Sewing Bee - Willy Sews!".
  19. ^ "NRK TV - Se Det store symesterskapet".
  20. ^ "Cosido à Mão".
  21. ^ "Lorenzo Caprile, María Escoté y Palomo Spain serán el jurado de 'Maestros de la Costura', que presentará Raquel Sánchez Silva". 26 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Hela Sverige syr".
  23. ^ "De kämpar med nål och tråd i Hela Sverige syr (They compete with needle and thread in Whole Sweden Sews)". 11 September 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  24. ^ "noun] Merriam-Webster: bee [3".

External links[edit]