The Great British Sewing Bee 2022 has arrived on BBC One with a brand new location and comedian Sara Pascoe taking over from The Great British Sewing Bee 2021 host and funnyman, Joe Lycett. Just don’t ask how she’s feeling about it!
"Joe is absolutely beloved and a huge part of the show, so of course, I feel nerves and anxiety!’ says Sara, who nonetheless did an admirable job hosting The Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Special 2021. "Luckily, Joe and I are friends – if we were terrible enemies this would have been harder! But bless him, Joe was really encouraging and supportive when we spoke about it. He loved the job so much he made me want it more! I’m so excited."
There’s another change for the popular BBC One series that searches for Britain’s Best Amateur Sewer... it’s swapped its usual London HQ for a stunning historic woollen mill on the outskirts of Leeds.
"Leeds is at the heart of the wool and textile industry so it feels appropriate to film in a great big spinning mill," says the show’s impeccably-dressed judge, Patrick Grant, who alongside co-judge Esme Young will again be tasking 12 home sewers with a series of fiendishly-difficult pattern, transformation and made-to-measure challenges.
So here's everything you need to know about the 2022 series of The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC One...
The Great British Sewing Bee 2022 release date
The first episode of The Great British Sewing Bee 2022 began on Wednesday, April 27 at 9 pm on BBC One.
New episodes have continued to air on Wednesdays at 9 pm on BBC One. The Great British Sewing Bee 2022 is next on tonight (Wednesday, June 1) at the same time, in the same place. This time, it's Music Week, and the sewers will be tackling a parka pattern beloved by Mods, and they'll be taking inspiration from David Bowie.
Episodes are all made available to stream on BBC iPlayer after they have aired.
Is there a trailer for The Great British Sewing Bee 2022?
Yes the BBC did release a trailer for The Great British Sewing Bee 2022. which gave us a buzz of excitement before the series began. Take a look below...
Episode guide — what happens in The Great British Sewing Bee 2022?
Here's our episode guide to The Great British Sewing Bee 2022, which we'll add to every week...
Episode 1: Wednesday April 27
In the first episode, the sewers must design a capsule wardrobe which involves making a wool mini skirt, transforming a lockdown loungewear garment into a ‘going-out’ top, and creating and fitting a wrap dress to a model. "Everybody absolutely smashes it," says Patrick. "Esme and I kept looking at each other, thinking, We’ve not made this hard enough!"
Episode 2: Wednesday May 4
Sport and fashion can often make an awkward mix, but a glamorous gym kit is what will impress Patrick and Esme here. The first task is to make a pair of trainers from scratch. It’s unchartered territory and the results are mixed… Patrick says: "We give them one of the most difficult challenges we’ve ever set – to make a pair of trainers! None of them have made shoes before. It’s a bamboozled!" Esme adds: "But they learn from and help each other and become a gang that just gets better."
The transformation challenge involves turning a netball kit into an outfit you’d wear on the town and the made-to-measure demands a perfectly constructed sports jacket inspired by their sporting heroes, from Serena Williams to Jessica Ennis-Hill.
Episode 3: Wednesday May 11
As the weather improves and we head into sunnier days, the 10 remaining contestants are challenged to make summer outfits this week, including one that uses material from a hammock! Doesn't sound easy! Should be intriguing...
Episode 4: Wednesday May 18
The theme of the week is 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle'. You'll hear some worrying eco-facts, as the nine remaining sewers get creative with all sorts of scrap materials. Patrick and Esme then get to judge on old coats; maxi dresses from duvet covers; and quilted patchwork jackets made from leftovers from Sewing Bees past.
Episode 5: Wednesday May 25
In Children’s Week there are mini-models to help the sewers make their Halloween costumes. But first, it's sailor suits for a toddler, with complicated elasticated waists and square collars.
Episode 6: Wednesday June 1
There's a huge treat for fans of David Bowie when the music legend becomes the inspiration in music week. First sewers being given a pattern for a Parka coat adopted by 1960s Mod culture. Old denim gets the Country music treatment, but the Made-to-Measure challenge sees the sewers paying tribute to the late David Bowie, choosing one of his many iconic looks to create outlandish outfits.
Episode 7: Wednesday June 8
Lingerie and Sleepwear Week for the six remaining stitchers, but will they get their knickers in a twist? The Pattern challenge is to craft a matching lace bra and knickers set, with no baggy gussets or wonky cups of course. Then it's the Transformation Task — to turn a set of thermal pajamas into a going-out outfit, or ‘from Nana to Rihanna’ as Patrick says. Finally, the Made to Measure is to create a pair of luxury male pyjamas.
Episode 8: Wednesday June 15
The sewing room is abuzz with excitement this week, as the competition reaches the quarter final and the sewers are taken back to the Hollywood glamour of the 1930s. Judges Esme and Patrick start by setting the remaining sewers a Pattern Challenge to make a pair of women’s sailor-inspired trousers before being given men’s shirts to turn into 1930’s women’s blouses. But the highlight is when they’re tasked with creating stunning bias cut evening gowns reminiscent of the outfits worn by Hollywood icons Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis. But will they be dazzling or disastrous?
Episode 9: Wednesday June 22
As the semi-final of The Great British Sewing Bee arrives, the pressure is on! This week’s tasks are inspired by Japanese design and sewing and firstly the semi-finalists must follow the pattern of a Kimono-inspired dress. But they soon find out it’s not as easy as it looks! Next, the transformation task involves mending areas of wear and tear by enhancing them with applique and embroidery and, lastly, for the made-to-measure challenge, the contestants must create an outfit which contains elements of origami folds and pleats. Who will make it to the final?
Episode 10: Wednesday June 29
Twelve contestants started the competition nine weeks ago, but only three have survived to reach this week’s final! However, hopes of winning dangle by a thread for the finalists, thanks to three tricky Party Week challenges set by judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant. First up the sewers are tasked with making a dress out of a single piece of lycra connected by D-rings, before turning their scraps from the past nine weeks into an outfit they’d wear for a party. But it’s the final challenge where things literally come apart at the seams, as the finalists must fiddle with sequins and glitter to create a sparkly jumpsuit worthy of the red carpet. With host Sara Pascoe supporting from the sidelines, who will stitch their way to winning this year’s coveted sewing trophy?
Patrick Grant and Esme Young on what to expect in The Great British Sewing Bee in 2022
Find out what Patrick Grant and Esme Young told us about The Great British Sewing Bee 2022...
Are you enjoying your new home in Yorkshire?
Patrick says: "Leeds is at the heart of the wool and textile industry, so it feels appropriate to film in a big spinning mill. The people of Leeds are delighted we’re doing a sewing show in a textile town. People don’t stop me in London but up north they keep asking me for a picture!"
Esme says: "I love Leeds too. I hadn’t been since the 1980s and it’s been amazing exploring its rich architecture on my walks with Patrick".
How did Sara Pascoe settle in?
Esme says: "Sara learned a lot from being a contestant [on a 2020 celebrity special] and understands how the sewers feel, which is brilliant."
Patrick says: "I love Sara and am delighted she got the job. Because she’d been a contestant, she brings something different. I have sore cheeks as she makes me laugh all the time. And she has an amazing memory – it’s like having Google next to you!"
What are this year’s stitchers like?
Patrick says: "There’s an actuary, a baker, a vet, a teacher, a running coach – a good old mix. They turn up looking jolly, often wearing things they’d made themselves. There aren’t many shows where you wear stuff you’ve knocked up in your front room!"
Esme says: "But we’re the best dressed, Patrick…"
Patrick says: "Obviously! But as we filmed last September, while slowly emerging from the worst of COVID-19, people were expressing their exuberance through clothes."
Sara Pascoe on hosting the Great British Sewing Bee 2022
Comedian Sara Pascoe revealed to us how she felt on taking over hosting duties…
"It’s exciting because it’s such a creative, heart-warming show, but Joe Lycett is beloved so I feel nerves!"
Being a previous contestant in the celebrity version didn't really make her feel like a sewing pro! "Sadly not! While I know how it feels to sit behind a sewing machine and be critiqued by experts, it’s also undermined my authority. I can’t say anything about sewing as people will go, ‘We’ve seen the pyjamas you made!’
On bonding with Patrick and Esme Sara says: "I don’t often agree with them about who’s sewn well. I’ll say, ‘That’s the prettiest,’ and they’ll be like, ‘It’s falling apart!’ But we’d sit in deckchairs and gossip. It was brilliant.
"I’m embarrassingly emotional when it comes to losing contestants. I became too attached and I had pregnancy hormones! I used to make fun of people crying on elimination shows. But it’s about the journey people go on and stopping is sad.
Has Sara sewn her new baby boy any outfits?! "I intended to! I thought it’d be an opportunity to make sailor suits, but I bought a sewing machine in lockdown and it’s still in its box!"
Meet the stitchers in The Great British Sewing Bee 2022
Here's our brief rundown of the 12 contestants in The Great British Sewing Bee 2022...
Lancashire, health visitor
With 50 years sewing experience, grandma Angela hopes to get out of her comfort zone.
Surrey, fashion buyer
In honour of her granny’s Ghanaian heritage, Annie loves using African prints.
Brogan watched Sewing Bee growing up and makes clothes for her dog, Roger.
Surrey, research analyst
Chichi, who hails from Zimbabwe, enjoys transforming vintage clothes.
London, store manager
Romanian-born Christian learnt to sew by watching his mother and YouTube tutorials.
North Wales, PA
A self-confessed ‘messy’ stitcher, Debra prefers freestyling to following patterns.
Audrey Hepburn-inspired style became Gill’s passion after starting sewing three years ago.
Man Yee’s sewing journey began when she made Japanese anime costumes.
Inheriting her mum’s sewing talents, Marni adores creating couture-style clothes.
Cumbria, theatre manager
Mitch’s fiancée sparked his love of sewing and he favours a ‘lairy’ fabric.
Richy enjoys making historical outfits and has over 50 homemade bow ties.
Newcastle, running coach
Ultramarathon-runner Steve took up sewing as a hobby during lockdown.
Who's gone out so far?
Sadly, theatre manager Mitch was the first contestant to leave the competition after making a blunder in the Pattern Challenge.
Despite impressing the judges with his ABBA-inspired wrap dress in the Made-To-Measure challenge, it wasn't enough to save him from the elimination and he was unfortunately sent home.
Once the results were announced, he said: "Coming into the sewing room is such a magical experience. I'm going home, but there are 11 other sewing bees that are now my little surrogate family."
Mitch, all we can say is Thank You For The Music (and the sewing and the laughter). #SewingBee pic.twitter.com/XVItRrLPasApril 27, 2022
We also said goodbye to vintage lover Chichi, who was eliminated during Sports Week. Speaking about her departure she said: "I think I knew it was going to be me because of the finishing of my garment, it was the obvious choice and it wouldn't be fair if it was anyone else."
The judges added that Chichi had left herself with "quite a lot to do" and they'd noticed too many mistakes despite her well thought out plan.
Chichi, your imaginative designs and sunny personality will be so missed. #SewingBee pic.twitter.com/872WOKZGcaMay 4, 2022
The third contestant to leave the show was Richy, who left during Summer Week. When the results were revealed, he said: "I feel sad that I'm going home, but I deserved it. I've enjoyed it immensely and I've learned a lot of things from the other sewers; like it is quite special, isn't it?"
Esme was sad to see him leave the competition at this stage, adding: "it's a shame Richy is going home because Richy was beginning to show some promise."
Richy, you'll be so missed! Your passion for history was a joy to behold and we can't wait to see what you sew next. #SewingBee pic.twitter.com/IUBYIIkzgVMay 11, 2022
Next up was Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Week, which brought Steve's Sewing Bee to an end. He said: "I am really proud of what I've done and how far I got. The Sewing Bee was like ten ultra marathons, one after the other, and after the fifth one, you're set on fire... but in the best possible way!"
After Steve's departure was announced, Patrick praised his Made to Measure dress but said he'd used "the last of his sewing nine lives" to stay in the competition up to now.
We enjoyed every minute of having you in the sewing room, Steve! #SewingBee pic.twitter.com/fnfkJowT11May 18, 2022
Next up was Children's Week, which saw Marni leaving the competition. Esme stressed that the decision to send her home was "so, so difficult", but explained that it was down to her Made to Measure kids' costume not fitting the brief.
Talking about her exit, Marni said: "I'm really upset, and it's not so much that I'm going home, I think I deserve to go home, I haven't got a problem with the judgments or anything like that, but it's just a real shame not to see it through, but it has been an amazing experience."
Marni, you're such a gifted sewer and we're so sad to see you go. Best of luck with all your endeavours, sewing, animal and otherwise! #SewingBee pic.twitter.com/WGp3ejswu3May 25, 2022
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I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.