The Great British Sewing Bee Live

Last weekend (well, technically from Thursday until Sunday) was the Great British Sewing Bee Live – a new event that featured contestants and judges from series past, a catwalk of Vogue patterns, workshops and a snazzy array of shopping opportunities!

I went on the Sunday with mum, and arrived just as the doors opened – pretty eager! We bought the show guide which turned out to be a very worthwhile investment and saved wandering around for ages when I thought of specific vendors I wanted to visit, and also came with a free tote bag! I took quite a while choosing which bag  I wanted, but am very happy with my decision and it’s now housing my crochet blanket.

GBSB haul


After a quick consultation of the show guide, we headed into the wonderful world of sewing, and came across the wonderful ladies of the Fold Line who were hosting a pattern and fabric swap. It was so lovely to catch up with them, and I managed to snag myself three great patterns – Vogue V9000 (a vintage shirt dress pattern that I’ve wanted ever since I saw Lisa Comfort review it on the Sew Over It YouTube channel), Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 1371 (a similar situation but this time with Rosabella from Sewn) and the Tilly and the Buttons Francoise dress – which I do have already, but was cut a little bit too small. I won’t go into everything I bought from the show – you can see what I got in the photo above after all – I just thought I’d chat about those patterns because I was so chuffed! In the top right corner of the photo you can see some little embroidery patterns; mum and I got one each and are planning to do them together whenever we get a chance to sit in front of the telly (which hasn’t happened yet). Okay, I’ll stop talking about what I got and let you just look at the photo, which is probably much easier and more interesting for you!

After we pootled about and I spent quite an obscene amount of money on all of those things, it was time for my workshop. I’d signed up for the ‘Perfect Piping’ workshop  taught by Celia Banks and was expecting to cry my way through it, but it turned out to be so much easier than I thought it would be! It was only an hour long and a lot was IMG_8913crammed in, but having such an experienced teacher was so helpful and I really enjoyed myself! There was a little bag of fabrics, bias binding and cord so that we could make our own bias binding, sew it onto a straight seam, sew it around a corner, around an inside curve and an outside curve – I told you it was a lot! I only managed to get up to going around the corner, but I was so pleased to have actually figured out how to make and use piping that I was super duper happy with that much. And becuase she’s just so lovely and organised, Celia included written instructions in the bag of magic to refer to at home.


After the wonderful (but quite jam-packed) workshop, mum and I met Alex from Sew Happy (now @sewhappy_alex on Instagram) and her pal for a coffee in Costa, which was really very exciting! It was so lovely to meet her in real life after having followed her on Instagram and YouTube, and we spent so long comparing what we bought that my tea went cold – of course I still drank it though, I’m not going to waste tea!


And that’s what hip hop happened on my day at the Great British Sewing Bee Live. The visiting exhibition of vintage Liberty dresses was another incredible highlight (and where I spent a lot of the day, which meant I missed the Vogue catwalk show by accident), but I was so entranced by all of the beautiful dresses that I ended up totally forgetting about my camera so didn’t take any photos to remember them by! Just believe me when I saw they were incredible.