The Great British Sewing Bee 2022: everything you need to know
The Great British Sewing Bee is back on the 27th April 2022! Discover the latest news about our favourite craft show
The return of The Great British Sewing Bee to our screens is something we look forward to every year! We love the Sewing Bee and the chance to enjoy the sewists' highs and lows. From outlandish made to measures to trickier-than-ever transformations, we expect the Great British Sewing Bee 2022 to offer up lashings of sewing room drama with the eagle-eyed judging we've grown to love from Patrick and Esme.
Joe Lycett's humour and supportive approach to hosting will be greatly missed, but we're looking forward to seeing what new host comedian Sara Pascoe brings to the show in 2022. We interviewed Sara about her new role on the show which you can read right here on Gathered! Meet Sara Pascoe from the Great British Sewing Bee.
We update this page each week while the show is on the air and reveal the latest news about the Great British Sewing Bee 2022 as soon as we get it, as well as updates about any festive specials!
If you've been admiring the sewing machines used on the show, check out our sister post, What sewing machines are used on sewing bee? And for a weekly review of our highs and lows, head over to our The Great British Sewing Bee Episode Guide for the latest highlights (contains spoilers), lowlights and challenges of each episode. The our episode guide also includes patterns inspired by each week's theme.
If the Sewing Bee 2022 has inspired you to take up sewing, the good news is that we have lots of great guides to help you get started. Our sewing for beginners guide will help you to learn the basics and our how to use a sewing machine guide will show you how to use this essential piece of sewing kit. When you're ready, you can start making your own garments with our collection of sewing patterns for beginners.
Read on to discover the latest Sewing Bee 2022 news…
Photos: BBC/Love Productions/James Stack
This article includes
- When is the Great British Sewing Bee on?
- Where is Sewing Bee filmed?
- Who won this year's Sewing Bee?
- Who won last year's Sewing Bee?
- The Great British Sewing Bee's 2022 themes
- Who left the Sewing Bee?
- Sewing Bee behind the scenes - what happens to the clothes?
- Meet the Sewing Bee 2022 contestants
- Who are the Sewing Bee's judges?
- Who is the Sewing Bee presenter?
- Inspired by the Sewing Bee?
When is the Great British Sewing Bee on?
The Great British Sewing Bee is shown on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One.
What channel is the Great British Sewing Bee on?
Where can I stream the Great British Sewing Bee?
Exciting news! The BBC has made all of the past seven series of the Great British Sewing Bee available on iPlayer, so you can catch up on any series that you've missed. Watch the Great British Sewing Bee. The new Sewing Bee 2022 episodes will be available on iPlayer after they've been aired each week. The show can also be streamed on the Sky Go app.
Where is the Great British Sewing Bee filmed in 2022?
The Great British Sewing Bee moved to a new venue for the 2021 Christmas specials – a former textile mill. Some eagle-eyed viewers identified it as Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley, Leeds. This is the filming location for the 2022 series too.
Sunny Bank Mills was founded in 1829 and was a working textile mill right up until 2008. It's now a business space and is home to a wide range of companies – there's even a sewing school!
The Great British Sewing Bee was previously filmed at The Chainstore on Trinity Buoy Wharf for series 7 in 2021, which is just across the Thames from the O2 Arena. The show's former warehouse setting for the 2020 series was located in London’s Bermondsey, in the heart of the capital's historical textiles quarter. For the truly geeky among you (we include ourselves in this category), the 2019 series was filmed at 47/49 Tanner Street (also the location of Dragon’s Den!), near Tower Bridge.
Who won this year's Sewing Bee?
We don't yet know who will win the Sewing Bee in 2022, but we'll keep you posted!
Is the Great British Sewing Bee coming back?
The Great British Sewing Bee is back in April 2022. We don't know yet if there will be any Christmas specials, but the show is very popular so it seems likely. It's a staple of the BBC's spring schedule, so we're sure it'll be back in 2023 too.
Which celebrities will be appearing in the Sewing Bee Christmas specials?
We don't know who will be appearing on the Christmas specials in 2022. In previous years, the line-up has been a mix of comedians, actors, singers and journalists. Past celebrity stitchers include comedian and writer Rose Matafeo, presenter Anneka Rice and Claire Richards from Steps.
We'll announce the next batch of Christmas celebrity sewers as soon as we have any updates for you.
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What can we expect from this year's Great British Sewing Bee?
According to Patrick Grant, the standard for the Sewing Bee 2022 is higher than ever. "This year, we had so many fantastically good sewers, we could have had two finals worth of finalists. People went out in early rounds who could have easily won in previous years," he says.
Esme agrees that the 2022 contestants are a very talented bunch: "They were very impressive. We’re really testing them with some of the challenges this year. Some of them are a nightmare. Trainers in Sportswear Week… that was a bit of a shock for them. It came out of left field. That was quite interesting because it was all flat sewing until you had to put the top into the sole – that was what made it really tricky."
As usual, twelve contestants will battle it out to find out who will be the Great British Sewing Bee winner for 2022. Each week the contestants will make a Pattern Challenge, Transformation Challenge and Made to Measure Challenge.
Their efforts will be judged by the formidable Patrick Grant and Esme Young. Each week, one of the sewers will win Garment of the Week and one contestant will be sent home.
Ever wondered who composed the music for the Sewing Bee? Find out more about the Sewing Bee soundtrack with classical-music.com.
Read on to discover what we know about this year's Sewing Bee themes…
The Great British Sewing Bee 2022 themes
Sustainability has become increasingly important, so it's not a surprise that Reduce Reuse Recycle week now appears in every series. "One of our three challenges has always been about upcycling before it became fashionable. The Reduce Reuse Recycle week was such a great innovation, and it consistently captures imagination and in a fun way transforms people’s behaviour towards sustainability. People are inspired to do things differently and creating change," Patrick Grant adds.
The theme of episode one was Capsule Wardrobes week, episode two was Sports week, episode three will be Summer week and episode four was Reduce, Reuse and Recycle week. Episode five was Children's week, episode six was Music week, episode seven focused on lingerie! Week eight will be 1930s week. We'll share any upcoming Sewing Bee 2022 themes as soon as we have more info to share.
Meet the Great British Sewing Bee 2022 contestants!
The Sewing Bee 2022 contestants have been announced and they're a very talented bunch. Here's a little biography for all 12 of this year's contestants so you can get to know them better.
- Health Visitor & School Nurse
Angela has 50 years of sewing experience and balances her demanding job as an NHS Health Visitor and School Nurse with her hobbies of gardening, walking and of course sewing. She hopes the Sewing Bee will take her out of her comfort zone and she will “be brought into the 21st Century”. She was taught to sew by her mother and is drawn to vintage patterns, 70’s styles and patterned fabrics. She has always sewn for her 3 children, but now she mainly sews for her 5 grandchildren and occasionally for herself!
- Fashion Buyer
Annie has always loved art and fashion and now works as a buyer for a high street fashion brand. She loves roller skating, camping, long walks and sewing! Her 92 year old Granny Monica taught her to sew and is her biggest inspiration. Her granny’s Ghanaian heritage is seen throughout Annies' work as she likes to incorporate bold and colourful African prints into her creations. The first thing she made was an apron when she was 8 years old for The Brownies.
- Leicestershire (Originally Edinburgh)
- Secondary School Teacher
Originally from Edinburgh, Brogan teaches Spanish and French at a secondary school in Derbyshire. She has just bought her first home in Leicestershire with her fiancé and their sausage dog Roger. Brogan's been a fan of the Sewing Bee since she was a child and it inspired her to start sewing. She loves making her own chic and ultra-feminine clothing, usually including a tier, a frill or a ruffle. Even on the supermarket run, you'll see Brogan wearing one of her handmade puff sleeve creations!
- Research Analyst
Chichi is originally from Zimbabwe and grew up in Somerset and Hampshire. She now lives and works in Greater London as a research analyst in a molecular biology lab where she has been working in PCR research. Music is her passion and she will listen to anything from Rock to Metalcore to Dance music. Chichi loves using recycled fabrics and enjoys transforming vintage clothing into something she would wear. She loves any animal print (cow and snake prints to be exact!) and sees them as a “neutral’.
- London (Originally from Romania)
- Retail Store Manager
Cristian grew up near Transylvania in the mountains of Romania as one of 6 children. Cristian has a diploma in music teaching. specialising in the oboe. He's loved fashion from a young age and learnt to sew by watching his mum make her clothes. He started with alterations on his own outfits and his sewing took off when his parents gave him a sewing machine when he turned 18. He spent hours watching YouTube tutorials, deconstructing his own garments to make patterns and experimenting with his sewing style.
- North Wales
- Communication Lead & Personal Assistant
Debra is an outdoorsy person who can be found sailing or snorkelling in the chilly waters off Anglesey! Debra started sewing at age 9 by making outfits for her dolls and then worked her way up to full sized garments for herself. Debra admits to being a bit of a messy sewer with lots of random fabric and assorted projects all over the place. She prefers to develop her own designs and collects vintage designer accessories. She's been inspired to sew by designers such as Erdem, Gucci and Chanel.
- Public Health Intelligence Analyst
Gill first tried sewing when her husband bought her a machine 3 years ago. It was love at first stitch and she’s never looked back! She taught herself to sew, starting with a headscarf from a 1970’s duvet cover – which she’s yet to wear out in public. She describes her style as “Audrey Hepburn-inspired, if you squint and don’t look too closely”. Gill makes clothes for herself, her two stepdaughters, her husband and work colleagues. She’s even branched out to making a dog coat for her greyhound rescue Maureen.
Man Yee was born in Hong Kong and moved to Portsmouth when she was little. Her sewing journey started over a decade ago when she and her friends wanted to dress up as Japanese anime characters for Comic Con, so she asked her aunt to teach her how to sew. Her style has developed from avant-garde and Japanese street style to one that balances playfulness and sophistication. Man Yee debated studying fashion at University but the problem solving aspect of mathematics won her over. She now works as an actuary and lives with her boyfriend in London.
- Veterinary Surgeon
Marni has been a vet for 26 years and she runs a busy veterinary surgery in Devon with her husband. She was born in Canada and both herself and her mum are Canadian First Nation members of the Maliseet tribe. They moved to the UK when Marni was 6 and her mum, who now lives with her, taught her the skills of beading, knitting and sewing onto her daughter. Marni has been sewing for 35 years and mainly makes clothes for herself or her mum. She describes her style as “inspired by and aspiring to the glamour and quality of couture clothing”, using unique embellishments such as discarded feathers combined with recycled clothing and charity shop finds.
- Theatre Manager
Mitch met his fiancé at University but they hit it off romantically when he joined her ABBA tribute band as Benny a few years later. Mitch now runs a university theatre in Cumbria but grew up in Leicester, watching his mum sew. He got into sewing but was never interested until his fiancée started sewing 2 years ago. Since then, he has studied books and videos to teach himself. Mitch mostly makes clothes for himself and his two children. He loves a loud and “lairy fabric” to help make his garments stand out.
Richy is a professional baker and runs an independent cafe with his partner of 15 years. He enjoys playing Dungeon and Dragons, going to his local pub and lots of different crafts like knitting, bobbin lace making and origami. One of the first things Richy made was a wool skirt and itt spurred him on to sew more. He will often bury himself in a history book or visit a museum in his pursuit of recreating an 18th or 19th-century garment. Richy has a collection of over 50 homemade bow ties and his style is bright yet traditional.
- Newcastle (originally from Essex)
- Personal Running Coach
Steve grew up in Essex but moved to Newcastle with his girlfriend of 16 years. He's a full time running coach and music enthusiast, curating playlists to listen to whilst sewing. He decided to take up sewing as a hobby during lockdown and never stopped! He sews for at least 2 hours a day and makes bright bold garments that feature pop and film references.
Who left the Sewing Bee? Spoilers!
If you don't want to know who has left the show, skip this bit! We'll be talking about who has left the Sewing Bee each week while it's on the air here.
Sadly Mitch was the first contestant to leave the Sewing Bee in 2022, while Debra scooped the first garment of the week. In week two, Chichi left and Marni won garment of the week. In week three, Debra won garment of the week for a second time, while sadly Richy left the competition. In week four, Gill won garment of the week and Steve left. In week five, Debra won garment of the week and it was Marni who left the competition. In week six, Annie won garment of the week and Angela was sent home. In week seven, Man Yee won garment of the week and it was Gill who went home. In week eight, Annie won garment of the week for the second week in a row and Cristian left the competition.
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Who won the Great British Sewing Bee in 2021?
Last year's winner was 21-year-old Serena Baker, who was a trainee doctor from Edinburgh. She was the youngest sewer of the series and produced some impressive makes during her time on the show.
Who won the Great British Sewing Bee in 2020?
The Great British Sewing Bee's 2020 was a brilliant series and included 12 incredibly talented sewists. The winner was Clare, a hospital doctor from Winchester with an amazing eye for accuracy and all things vintage! Read our interview with Clare to get all the behind the scenes gossip.
What Sewing Bee is really like behind the scenes?
It’s always heart-warming to see the contestants form friendships and mentor and support each other as the show goes on. Never is the kind community spirit of crafters more evident than when contestants who are racing around the clock gather around their competitor to help them with a new technique or calm a crisis when a left arm’s been sewn to the right body piece.
“The friendships formed are one of the things about the Sewing Bee that are amazing,” Esme says. “The contestants are a bit like students at college. They bond, and are friends for life and they help each other so much.”
“They all learn from each other,” adds Patrick. “Everyone shuffles over to each others’ station to learn. They get a real buzz out of being in the studio together, in the same way students do, with ideas circulating.”
Sara found it hard to say goodbye to contestants each week as she was pregnant during the filming. "I was more hormonal than I would have liked to have been. Occasionally, I was already crying at Garment of the Week," she says.
"I'd be so happy for the person who won. Sending someone home, it’s just horrible being the person who goes: ‘Actually, it’s you.’ I was really grateful no one ever really went home after a disaster. Usually, they had a good week, but everyone else had done that bit better. No one let themselves down."
What happens to the clothes made on the Sewing Bee?
Past contestant Chinelo Bally helped to clear up this mystery for us when she appeared on our We've Made It podcast. She said that all of the garments are returned to the contestants after filming. She also revealed that contestants receive a budget to buy the fabric needed for the show.
Who are the judges on Sewing Bee?
The judges on the Sewing Bee are Patrick Grant and Esme Young, who are both respected fashion industry experts. Read on to find out more about Patrick and Esme…
Meet the Sewing Bee judges
Patrick Grant, 49, is a Scottish fashion designer and famous within the industry. He's worked with multiple bespoke tailors including Norton & Sons of Savile Row and has a keen eye for sharp lines and crisp suits. He was awarded the Menswear Designer award at the British Fashion Awards in 2010 which means he is more than qualified to judge the Sewing Bee's contestants.
He bought ailing Blackburn clothing manufacturer Cookson & Clegg in 2015, saving the factory from closure, and launched social enterprise Community Clothing to champion UK-made quality, affordable and sustainable fashion. He's judged The Great British Sewing Bee since its start in 2013. He lives in London.
Read our interview with Patrick Grant.
Esme Young is the powerhouse on Sewing Bee. She began her sewing career in Camden with her brand Swanky Modes and has been sewing ever since. Their most famous creation, the Amorphous dress, is in The V&A Museum.
What does Esme Young from the Sewing Bee do? As well as being a Sewing Bee judge and TV presenter, Esme also teaches at Central Saint Martins art school in London.
Fun fact: did you know that Esme has worked on a lot of movies including Bridget Jones and Romeo and Juliet? She had to make lots of identical Hawaiian shirts for Leonardo Di Caprio to wear in the movie. She was also responsible for Renée Zellweger's bunny costume in the first Bridget Jones film.
We're all big admirers of Esme's incredible jewellery on the show and she says she finds many of her vintage necklaces in markets, particularly from Ridley Road Market in Dalston.
Read our Esme Young interview to get to know her better.
Who is the Sewing Bee presenter?
Comedian Sara Pascoe has been announced as the new Great British Sewing Bee presenter for 2022. You might recognise Sara from her past appearance on the Sewing Bee – she is a former celebrity stitcher on the show. She's bound to have a lot of sympathy for the contestants, having experienced the pressure of the sewing room for herself! Sara says she's enjoyed learning lots of new sewing words in her new role.
She replaces former Sewing Bee presenter Joe Lycett, who announced that he was leaving the show after three years in September 2021. However, Sara has revealed that Joe gave her lots of advice when he found out she was auditioning for the Sewing Bee. "I felt like he was a midwife in the crossover," she said in an interview with the Metro. "I actually did a gig with him the night I auditioned because they auditioned a few people. I was saying how it went and how I thought I was too shy and he was giving lots of advice. Then he was the first person to text because he knew before it was publicised."
The Great British Sewing Bee was originally hosted by journalist and presenter Claudia Winkleman.
Why did Joe Lycett leave the Sewing Bee?
No specific reasons have been given for Joe leaving the Sewing Bee, but he has been very busy with other TV work. He's recently taken over as the presenter of Channel 4's Travel Man, which was previously hosted by the comedian Richard Ayoade.
Learn to sew with Simply Sewing Magazine
If you've been inspired by the latest series of the Sewing Bee, you should check out Simply Sewing Magazine. Simply Sewing is a beautiful magazine for people want to learn how to sew and experienced crafters. It's packed with expert workshops to help you improve your sewing skills, creative ideas and lots of amazing projects to sew at home.
The magazine regularly features stylish garment patterns, inspiring makes for your home and clever upcycling ideas to reduce fabric waste. Read all about the latest issue of Simply Sewing Magazine and begin your sewing journey.
Sewing Bee applications: how to take part
You can already apply to appear on series 9 in 2023! Before you apply for the Sewing Bee, Esme and Patrick are on hand with have some useful advice. “You need a broad skill base,” says Patrick. “You should be able to sew zips, deal with elastic, and so on because we are testing all of it. We’ll always be testing all of those skills, along with many more.”
“When sewing at home, people often focus on a particular skill and they get very talented at it, but being confronted with something they've never done before can make contestants come unstuck,” comments Esme.
“Some people are good at following patterns and instructions, so if you want to apply, I’d suggest timing yourself doing patterns at home under pressure, as that’s a key part of the show,” says Patrick.
Looking for more creative TV programmes to watch? Check out our guides to Interior Design Masters, the Great Pottery Throwdown, the Great British Sewing Bee, All That Glitters, The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge and The Repair Shop.
All images from BBC/Love Productions.
Zoe is the launch Editor of Gathered.how. She has over a decade of craft publishing experience under her belt. She's a quilter and sewist who works with the UK’s best-selling craft magazines including Today’s Quilter, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Simply Sewing and The World of Cross Stitching. Zoe loves being immersed in Gathered’s quilting content, tweaking our tutorials and publishing new patterns. Zoe has previously written for radiotimes.com, Simply Knitting and The World of Cross Stitching and was previously Deputy Editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine. She has guest-lectured at Bath Spa University. She’s a keen quilter with 5 projects in progress at any one time and another 12 or so planned.