Win a copy of The Great British Sewing Bee

The Great British Sewing Bee - the official book of the BBC Two series, published by Quadrille

The Great British Sewing Bee – the official book of the BBC Two series, published by Quadrille

I’m officially hooked on The Great British Sewing Bee. The BBC Two show had me at episode 1, when 8 novice seamstresses rustled up an A-line skirt while I polished off my dinner. I had wondered how the show would compare to the Bake-Off, what with the lack of cakes and all. But 3 episodes in, my Tuesday nights wouldn’t be the same without Granny Ann’s perfect stitching, Scottish Lauren’s perfect everything, and Claudia Winkleman’s giant fringe. (Not only that, but sewing is much better for the waistline than baking – especially once you’ve mastered the elasticated waist.)

With the fourth and final episode in sight, I was chuffed to get my hands on a copy of the official book to accompany the show. It’s author – Tessa Evelegh – is well-known in crafting circles, and Quadrille have a hefty back-catalogue of great craft books to their name. So far, so good. But could the book really fill the post-Sew-Off void?

In a word, almost. It doesn’t draw on the contestants’ experiences much at all, despite the fact that it features lots of their projects from the show. It’s a shame, as they’re part and parcel of Sewing Bee’s charm. But it does mean the book stands up as a bona fide sewing guide, regardless of whether you’ve seen the series or not.

That – and the lack of patterns (there’s only one included with the book – the rest you have to download and print off) are the only two niggles I found. Those aside, it’s really rather fabulous. There are 28 projects to get stuck in to, from a simple floor cushion, to Lauren’s hacking jacket from episode 3. I’m a newcomer to the world of dressmaking (one ill-fitting GCSE tunic aside), so the latter is possibly a little ambitious just yet. That said, the first section of the book lays out the basics of sewing so well I’ve at least got the confidence to give it a try. Topics covered include choosing essential tools, deciphering pattern markings and picking the right fabrics. Plus, there are 32 pages dedicated to the sewing techniques you’ll need to master in order to get through the book.

To help you choose where to start, each project is given a difficulty rating and there’s a real mix. At one end of the spectrum there’s a simple pair of curtains, which basically require you to sew in a straight line. At the other end there’s that hacking jacket, which is where the likes of darts, facings and every other technique you can think of come in.

I guess the proof, Bake-Off style, will be in the pudding, and I’ll let you know when I complete my first project from the book. But whether you’re a fan of the show, or you’re just looking for some sewing inspiration, I’d say The Great British Sewing Bee is well worth the cover price.

Win A Copy!

I’ve got one copy of The Great British Sewing Bee to give away, courtesy of the lovely people at Quadrille. If you fancy being in with a chance of winning, just tell me which Sewing Bee finalist you’re rooting for in the reply field below. I’ll pick a winning entry at random at 10pm UK time on the night of the Great British Sewing Bee final – Tuesday 23rd April – and post the name of the winner on here. (And if you’d rather just buy a copy, you can snap one up for a tenner on Amazon.)

Tea dress

Tea dress

Hacking jacket

Hacking jacket


Pyjama trousers

Pyjama trousers



Filed under Craft on the telly, Crafts, Crafty reads, Sewing projects

33 responses to “Win a copy of The Great British Sewing Bee

  1. Great competition… I’m rooting for Lauren. Go Lauren!

  2. I have a feeling Laurens going to win… but I’m rooting for Ann:):)
    Could Patrick teach me some tailoring skills, it’s one of those things I’ve wanted to do for years..but alas time and money get in the way:/

  3. Claudia Calardo

    Ann gets my vote!

  4. I’m rooting for Granny Anny! I hope I’m such a wealth of experience, wisdom ( a little eccentric) when I’m her age.

    I love your blog by the way Katie, I’m in the process of making a pink blanket similar to the blue one you made for Zoe, thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Lizzi D

    I’m rooting for Lauren as she reminds me of me when I’m sewing (a bit of a clutz and a perfectionist!)

  6. Debbie Tooth

    it’s Ann for me!

  7. mrslake

    I hope Lauren to win as she’s daring and has an exceptional finish!

  8. Jo Simmonds

    I’d really love it if Sandra won, she’s inspired me to want to see for my girls 🙂

  9. I do love Ann, but I think Lauren might just do it!

  10. Aunty Linda

    I am torn between Ann and Lauren but at a push I am going for Lauren as I think she is more adventurous!

  11. Sarah Holmes


  12. Hannah Kadafa

    I love the fun and youth of Lauren but Ann’s years of experience are showing her a true and deserving winner!

  13. Mary

    I’m team Ann (but I love Lauren too)!

  14. Natalie

    I think Lauren! I loved her little girls dress!!

  15. I’m hoping Ann wins!

  16. Pam

    My vote also goes to Ann, she’s sew very smart with great care and attention to detail. PS. It’s genuinely my birthday on Tuesday 😀

  17. VB1981

    Definitely Ann to win – she has a wealth of experience and an eye for detail 🙂

  18. Emma Bridle

    I’m voting for Sandra!

    • I have to say I’m rooting for Lauren – and not for the right reason … I absolutely loooove looove looove her accent, and if there’s a spinoff series with her in it, I would turn in just to hear her talk. Ann is a joy as well. This is really a great show for people to aspire to sew, and with my limited skills, the book sounds (from your review) like a worthy investment. Thanks!

  19. Emma

    it has to be Lauren! xx

  20. Jennifer Hughes

    I think ann will win the sewing bee easily 🙂

  21. sophie Hughes

    I like sandra I’m rooting for her to win

  22. Karen Hughes

    Been watching since episode one and have liked Lauren all the way through. She has sparked my enthusiasm for sewing again and she deserves to win in my opinion xx

  23. Helen

    Loving this programme, I cant choose between Sandra and Anne!

  24. Amelia Hughes

    Im 14 and have been watching with my family every week, I would love ann to win because I’ve been routing for her! This programme has even made me beg my mum for sewing lessons bacause she used to do dressmaking!! Cant wait for the next series 😀 xxxxx

  25. I was rooting for Lauren but Ann won fairly, she has the technic

  26. Hazel Murray

    Ann is my hero, what a lovely inspirational woman. I hope to be like her when I’m in my 80s!

  27. Zoe McNamara

    Ann definitely deserved it, but I did love Sandra and Lauren too! Just need to get out my machine now

  28. Darren

    I like Sandra. I mean what I don’t think is fair is that Anne has the advantage as she’s from a generation which was forced to sew really.

  29. LAUREN!!!! her accent makes me smile 🙂

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