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Great British Sewing Bee 2021 — air dates, presenters, judges and everything you need to know

Esme Young, Patrick Grant and Joe Lycett on the Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7
Joe Lycett is back as the presenter of The Great British Sewing Bee along with judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant. (Image credit: BBC1)

The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 has thrown open its doors for a seventh series with twelve new sewers all hoping to impress judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant with their super stitching skills and fabulous creativity.

Comedian and presenter, Joe Lycett, is keeping a watchful eye on the contestants who range in age from 21 to 62 and include a beauty therapist, an ex dinner lady and an IT installation engineer.

Here's everything you need to know about The Great British Sewing Bee 2021, including episode summaries and who's left!

Judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant on the Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant will be casting their expert eyes over the sewers creations in the Great British Sewing Bee 2021. (Image credit: BBC1)

The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 release date

The show began on Wednesday 14 April 2021 at 9pm on BBC1. Episode two airs on Wednesday 21 April at 9pm on BBC1.

How many episodes will there be of The Great British Sewing Bee 2021?

Series seven of The Great British Sewing Bee is ten episodes long. Episodes will be broadcast weekly. 

What happened in the first episode of The Great British Sewing Bee 2021?

Joe Lycett returned for the first episode of The Great British Sewing Bee, welcoming twelve of Britain's most talented sewers to take on some tough creative challenges. Patrick Grant and Esme Young also returned as judges, which saw them overseeing three new challenges; the Pattern Challenge, Transformation Challenge, and Made to Measure. 

Raph won Garment of the Week in the first episode, while Julie was the first person to be eliminated from the show. Feedback from the judges revealed that she was “very good at sewing, but not fast enough” to stay in the competition, as she hadn't finished one of her pieces in time.

Who are the contestants in The Great British Sewing Bee 2021? Who's left?

There are 12 new amateur sewers all vying for the prestigious crown of Great British Sewing Bee champion. 

Joe Lycett says: "They’re a really fun, mad bunch of eggs. There are some really cool, unusual characters. There were more tears this year, straight out of the gate, episode one, everyone’s going!"

Meet the twelve contestants for this year’s Great British Sewing Bee 2021 

Adam on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Adam. (Image credit: BBC1)

Adam, 31

LEICESTER

CRUISE SHIP ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR

Taught to sew by his Nan, aged 6, often drawn to nautical styles and fabrics, and the glamour of classic films and iconic entertainers.

 

Adeena on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Adeena. (Image credit: BBC1)

Adeena, 40

BIRMINGHAM

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT OFFICER

Fusing her Pakistani heritage with British style in her clothes, Adeena loves to sew for herself and her sisters who have often been "guinea pigs" for her creations.

 

Andrew on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Andrew. (Image credit: BBC1)

Andrew, 54

HULL

MATHS TEACHER

Inspired to sew as a small boy from watching his mum and grandmother. Enjoys  making vestments for his partner who is a priest.

Cathryn on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Cathryn. (Image credit: BBC1)

Cathryn, 57

YORKSHIRE

POST OFFICE WORKER

Passionate music lover and big David Bowie fan, she’s has been known to sew the lyrics of her favourite grime artist, Stormzy into her garments.

 

Damien on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Damien.. (Image credit: BBC1)

Damien, 39

BOLTON

IT INTSTALLATION ENGINEER

Taught himself to sew three years ago when a pair of his work trousers needed altering. Describes his style as "practical".

Farie on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Farie.. (Image credit: BBC1)

Farie, 34

DUNSTABLE  

ACCOUNTANT

Her talent for sewing was nurtured at school. Enjoys making colourful outfits for her two young daughters and the creative outlet that sewing provides.

 

Jean on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Jean. (Image credit: BBC1)

Jean   

COUNTY DOWN

ART PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Uses art to help children, teenagers and adults through difficult life experiences. One of seven siblings with an identical twin, she learnt to sew as a child.

 

Julie on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Julie has already left the show. (Image credit: BBC1)

Julie, 62

ROTHERHAM

BEAUTY THERAPIST

A former dancer who worked across Europe, Julie’s style is bright and bold. Makes her own clothes and has won prizes for her dresses but has yet to try menswear.

OUT OF SHOW IN WEEK ONE!

Lawratu on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Lawratu. (Image credit: BBC1)

Lawratu, 37

SURREY

LOCAL AUTHORITY OFFICER

Likes vivid prints often inspired by her West African heritage. An active member of her local Women’s Institute, she began making her own clothes six years ago.

 

Raph on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Raph. (Image credit: BBC1)

Raphael, 34

LONDON

TEXTILE ARTIST

Has dyed cloth for high-profile movies but only got into sewing during lockdown. Still developing his own sewing style, likes to make stylish menswear for himself.

Rebecca on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Rebecca.. (Image credit: BBC1)

Rebecca, 23

SCUNTHORPE

RETAIL ASSISTANT

Studied textiles at A-Level. Likes fast projects she can make and wear quickly, admits she has "a habit for not reading the instructions and just ploughing through".

Serena on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Serena. (Image credit: BBC1)

Serena, 21

EDINBURGH

MEDICAL STUDENT

Taught herself sewing from YouTube, a big fan of sustainable style, she loves "refreshing" charity shop garments and creating her own unique garments.

What are some of challenges the sewers of The Great British Sewing Bee face?

Just like previous seasons, each week sees the sewers tackling three challenges: the Pattern Challenge, the Transformation Challenge and the Made To Measure round. One contestant will be eliminated each week.

For the very first challenge, the sewers must create a versatile classic sleeveless blouse known as a "shell" top. For the Transformation Challenge, they have just 90 minutes to turn old t-shirts into completely new garments for men, women or children.

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What are some of the other themes in this year's Great British Sewing Bee 2021?

Themes this year include 1940s week and International week, and items for the transformation challenges include include wetsuits, scarves, army surplus, curtains and even parachutes.

Judge Esme Young says: “I loved 40s week and I really liked the Transformation Challenge of making a parachute into a garment. In International Week, in the Made to Measure, I loved the Frida Kahlo inspired outfit as I have been to Frida Kahlo's house.  And I really loved the 8-piece Baker Boy cap in the Pattern Challenge in Classic Clothing week, it was a really difficult challenge.”

Joe Lycett on The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 series 7

Joe Lycett will be keeping spirits high in the sewing room.  (Image credit: BBC1)

Where was series seven of The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 filmed?

This year, the show's being filmed in a new location! The Great British Sewing Bee has moved to Trinity Buoy Wharf in London’s Docklands. 

Judge Patrick Grant says: "It was a real joy to spend time there. We’d come onto the set just before 7am every day and the sunrises and sunsets were amazing. Having that wonderful vista across the River Thames from the sewing room, can’t help but inspire the sewers. It was a spectacular place to shoot."