Meet the Great British Sewing Bee 2022 winner
The winner of the Great British Sewing Bee was revealed in a tense party-themed final. Read on to find out who won the Sewing Bee in 2022…
In the final episode of The Great British Sewing Bee, Annie, 32, a junior buyer from Surrey emerged triumphant as the winner of this year’s series.
Annie made it through ten weeks of tough sewing challenges and became Britain’s Best Amateur Sewer of 2023. Throughout the series 12 talented home sewers created beautiful garments under the scrutiny of judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant, but it was Annie who won the coveted title. As the series went on, she became a more confident sewer and won Garment of the Week in episodes 6, 8 and 9.
Over the course of the series, the sewers made a Capsule Wardrobe in the first episode and then went on to make High Top Trainers in Sportswear Week; a Shirred Midi Dress in Summer Week; a dress from old duvet covers in Reduce Reuse Recycle Week; a Sailor Suit in Children’s Week; a mod parka and an outfit inspired by Bowie in Music Week; Hollywood Sirens in 1930s Week; an Origami outfit in Japan Week, and finally a Swanky Modes amorphous dress in Party Week [inspired by Esme].
In the final on The Great British Sewing Bee there were 4 finalists for the very first time: Annie, Brogan, Debra and Man Yee, in an incredibly close and nail-biting episode. Read our interviews with the Sewing Bee 2023 finalists.
Annie said: "Literally it could have been any of us, honestly I am so shocked I can’t believe that I have won that. I don’t know how that happened. I have learned so much in the last 10 weeks. I am so privileged to have won."
Patrick said: "Well done. The made to measure jumpsuit crowned Annie champion. It was such a stunning sew – it was knockout."
And Esme added: "It was so dramatic, and of course a great big bow!"
So how does it feel to be a winner? "I just wasn’t prepared for it at all, it was definitely a shock, but a nice one, absolutely," Annie said. "I think we were all so focused on the challenges week by week, the final came so quickly!! It was a surreal feeling to get to the final for all of us. I really didn’t expect to win."
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Annie went on to answer some questions about her time on the Great British Sewing Bee 2022…
Where do you keep the trophy?
It will absolutely take centre stage in my front room, I haven’t won anything before! It’s amazing I can now have it out for everyone to see. I have been hiding it in my sewing cupboard, so it has been safe and out of sight.
This was the first time that not one Bee was eliminated in the semi final, how did that feel?
We became so close as Bees in the competition that we didn’t want anyone to leave the semi final when we all had got so far. So we were so excited to find out that we were all going through to the Final together.
We became so close as Bees in the competition that we didn’t want anyone to leave the semi final when we all had got so far
What about your fellow Finalists – Brogan, Man Yee, Debra?
It was an amazing experience to be alongside those 3 Bees in the Final. Debra and I always said that the Made to Measure challenges were where we could enjoy the designing and creative aspect and Debra was so so talented in that way!
Brogan and Man Yee were incredible sewers, very meticulous and thorough which I have tried to take on board instead of winging it! In terms of sewing I learned so much from everyone the whole way through – their advice has been invaluable.
Did you ever imagine you could get to this stage?
No, definitely not, especially on the first episode. I said to myself I would have been happy to get quarter way through, and then I got half way through. So I couldn’t believe it when I got to the final. I can be my own worst critic, but I found the series gave me a new found confidence in my ability.
Was the final scary at times for you and what were your best bits?
The Pattern Challenge and the Transformation Challenge – I came around middle in the judging – so I didn’t think I would win, but to be honest I was really happy to be there. Whatever the outcomes of the challenges, I was going to try and enjoy the final.
My favourite bit was seeing my model Marina and my family – I was literally so overwhelmed as we had been away from them for so long. Marina is one of my best friends so seeing her on the catwalk was insane, and having her there while sewing made it feel a bit more normal having a good friend next to me to chat to. It was a surreal, but zen calming moment.
How tense was the atmosphere at the final?
I felt the semi-final was more tense for us, and as all four of us made it through to the final we just felt so lucky to be there, and also to see our friends and family. We were all buzzing the whole way through, the adrenaline was pretty high in the sewing room that day.
What did you learn from this series of Sewing Bee?
I have learned so much it’s so difficult to put into words. I literally feel like it’s been the most intense workshop and I got the most amazing prize at the end of it! It’s been a very fulfilling experience.
What will you take away from your experience of being on The Great British Sewing Bee?
I have made lots of new friends and learned new skills and also learned not to be afraid of a new challenge, take it on and make it your own. I would say to anyone who wants to apply for a future series, to just go for it, put yourself outside of your sewing comfort zone, trust the process and you won’t regret it.
Best and worst moment for you during the whole series?
My best moment was when everyone came back for the final episode, being reunited with all the Bees was a really special moment and we were all so excited. In episode 6, I won my first Garment of the Week in Music Week and I really didn’t expect to win that. The worst moment was probably in Sports Week, when I came last when I had to transform the netball outfit into a dress. It was a bit of sewing disaster to say the least!
Favourite challenge overall and why?
My favourite week was the Origami Made to Measure in Japan week in episode 9. It really tested me, trying materials I had never used before and to really think outside the box it took so long to get it right but it ended up being my favourite piece in the whole series. I am really glad I got to make that.
What has it been like at work and getting recognised?
I have been recognised and everyone so far has been lovely! It was strange at first but it has been really nice meeting new people and seeing how much they love the show. It’s been a really positive experience.
Anyone you want to thank?
I would like to thank my partner Dan because I was pregnant while filming and he dealt with my emotional ups and down so well. My mum is a massive Sewing Bee fan and she made me apply, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have got on.
What was it like sharing the experience of winning with the other Bees?
There were tears and hugs and I was completely in shock. I had just been reunited with my family and all the other Bees, it was very emotional and heartwarming at the same time. It was so lovely to have them all there alongside me when I heard I had won!
How did you watch the series and the final?
I have been watching with my friends and family. A few of us watch every Wednesday, and it has become our new Takeaway night. For the Final we watched on a big screen with family and friends, but this time with a prosecco to celebrate!
And your new addition to the family?
Caleb has changed my life so dramatically, he is the like the 13th Little Bee as he was there all the way through the filming. And watching it back on TV it’s wonderful to know he was there. I didn’t have much time to sew when he was born at the end of March this year, but I am starting to find a little bit of sewing time for me. I have just made him a little romper suit, and he looks adorable in it – a purple and blue African wax print.
Next for you?
I am SO excited to see what happens from here….
Has the Sewing Bee inspired you to start sewing? Check out our sewing for beginners guide and our how to use a sewing machine guide to get started. You can also stock up on supplies with our best sewing machines for beginners and sewing kits for beginners guides.
Sarah Orme is a UK-based linocut printmaker, digital editor, feature writer and award-winning podcaster. She's been editing the sewing and art sections of Gathered.how – and before that our sister website calmmoment.com – for over 3 years. She’s the host of Gathered’s We’ve Made It podcast and A Calmer Life podcast. She’s a keen crafter and artist and loves creating DIY tutorials for Gathered. Sarah has previously written features for The Guardian, In The Moment Magazine, Project Calm Magazine, countryfile.com, radiotimes.com and yourhomestyle.uk. She enjoys designing her own unique lino prints and dreams of opening her own online shop. She shares her work @sarahormeprints
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