The Great British Sewing Bee 2023: everything you need to know
The Great British Sewing Bee is back! 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, the Great British Sewing Bee offers lashings of sewing room drama with the eagle-eyed judging we've grown to love from Patrick and Esme.
We update this page each week while the show is on the air and reveal the latest news about the Great British Sewing Bee 2023 as soon as we get it, as well as updates about any festive specials!
Each week while the show is on the air, we'll be sharing episode highlights as well as pattern recommendations for you to try at home.
Read on to discover the latest Sewing Bee 2023 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?
- Sewing Bee episode guide
- Sewing Bee patterns
- The Great British Sewing Bee's 2023 themes
- Who left the Sewing Bee?
- What happens to the clothes made on the Sewing Bee?
- Meet the Sewing Bee 2023 contestants
- What does the winner of the Sewing Bee get?
- Who are the Sewing Bee's judges?
- Who is the Sewing Bee presenter?
- How to apply for the Sewing Bee
Every thing you need to know about the Great British Sewing Bee 2023
When is the Great British Sewing Bee on?
Based on previous years, the Sewing Bee is likely to return in mid-April 2023. We'll share the confirmed date and time as soon as we have it – watch this space!
What channel is the Great British Sewing Bee on 2023?
The Great British Sewing Bee is shown on BBC One.
Where can I stream the Great British Sewing Bee?
The BBC has made all of the past eight 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 2023 episodes will be available on iPlayer shortly after they've aired. The show can also be streamed on the Sky Go app.
Where is the Great British Sewing Bee filmed in 2023?
The Great British Sewing Bee moved to a new venue for the 2021 Christmas specials – a former textile mill called 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 know who will win this year's Sewing Bee yet, so watch this space.
Is the Great British Sewing Bee coming back?
The Great British Sewing Bee is set to the BBC in 2023. The date hasn't yet been confirmed, but it's likely to be in April to coincide with the release of the latest Sewing Bee book. We'll confirm the details here as soon as we have any information.
More like this
Which celebrities will be appearing in the Sewing Bee Christmas special?
The celebrity contestants for the 2023 Sewing Bee Christmas special have yet to be revealed, but we'll reveal who is likely to be appearing as soon as we find out.
Past contestants include Strictly's Johannes Radebe, EastEnders' Natalie Cassidy, Podcaster Rosie Ramsey and TV personality Penny Lancaster.
When is the Sewing Bee Christmas special on TV?
The Sewing Bee Christmas special for 2023 has yet to be announced. Stay tuned!
What can we expect from this year's Great British Sewing Bee?
As usual, 12 enthusiastic amateur sewers will enter the sewing room to take part in a series of fiendish challenges, which will be judged by industry experts Patrick Grant and Esme Young (no pressure!).
Each episode has three challenges: the Pattern Challenge, the Transformation Challenge and the Made to Measure.
In the Pattern Challenge, they are assigned a specific pattern to make. For the Transformation Challenge, the sewers are given some secondhand clothes which they have to turn into a creative outfit. Finally, the Made to Measure puts their tailoring skills to the test, as they have to make a garment to fit a model.
Every week one person leaves the show and one lucky contestant wins the Garment of the Week accolade.
Ever wondered who composed the music for the Sewing Bee? Find out more about the Sewing Bee soundtrack with classical-music.com.
What sewing machines are used on the Sewing Bee?
If you've been eyeing up the machines on the show, discover the exact make and model with our what sewing machines are used on the Sewing Bee guide.
Sewing Bee episode guide
We'll be sharing all of the highs and lows from the next series of the Sewing Bee! Come back here for weekly highlights while the show is on the air.
Sewing Bee patterns
Want to make garments like the ones you've seen on the show? Each week we'll be updating our Sewing Bee patterns roundup with projects inspired by the episode's theme.
The Great British Sewing Bee 2023 themes
The 2023 themes have yet to be announced, but we'll list them here when we find out more information. There's always a week focused on recycling (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle week) and we would expect to see the return of Children's week too.
Meet the Great British Sewing Bee 2023 contestants!
We don't yet know who will be on the show in 2023, but we're expecting the fresh batch of contestants to be released in the coming weeks. Once we know who they are, we will share their details here.
If you're catching up on the last series on iPlayer, get to know the 2022 contestants below.
- 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.
Who won the Great British Sewing Bee in 2022?
It's Annie! Read our interview with the Great British Sewing Bee 2022 winner Annie to get to know the new sewing champion. You can also read our interview with the Sewing Bee 2022 finalists.
The celebrity Christmas special winner was Johannes Radebe.
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.
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.
In the episode, Chinelo talked about her experiences on the show and shared some great tips for novice sewers. You can find We've Made It on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
What does the winner of the Sewing Bee get?
The winner of the Sewing Bee receives a golden mannequin award and the title of Britain's best amateur sewer. There's no cash prize, but many previous winners have gone on to write their own sewing books or set up their own craft businesses.
Do Sewing Bee contestants get paid?
No, Sewing Bee contestants do not get paid. They just do it for the honour of taking part and the chance to be the Sewing Bee champion!
Is the Sewing Bee filmed in one day?
No, Sewing Bee contestants have to commit to taking part in 20 days of filming spread over four months when they apply to be on the show.
Has a man ever won the Great British Sewing Bee?
Yes! Matt Chapple was the first male winner of the Sewing Bee in 2015. In recent years, we've seen more men taking part in the show such as Raph Dilhan who was a finalist in 2021.
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…
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 joined the Great British Sewing Bee as a presenter in 2022. You might recognise Sara from her past appearance on the Sewing Bee – she is a former celebrity stitcher on the show. She has a lot of sympathy for the contestants, having experienced the pressure of the sewing room for herself!
She replaces former Sewing Bee host 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 been busy presenting other shows such as Channel 4's Travel Man, which was previously hosted by the comedian Richard Ayoade.
How to apply for the Great British Sewing Bee
You can now apply to take part in series 10 of the Great British Sewing Bee. Before you apply, 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.
Apply for the next series of the Sewing Bee.
Get the latest Sewing Bee book
A new book to accompany the series, The Great British Sewing Bee: The Skills - Beyond Basics: Advanced Tips and Tricks to Take Your Sewing Technique to the Next Level, goes on sale 13 April. This is a great way to predict that the hit show will almost certainly be airing on our TV screens around the same time!
Published by Quadrille, the 160-page techniques book, will help you find your confidence when tackling different sewing projects and achieve that perfect finish.
Why the Sewing Bee is one of our favourite craft TV shows
The Sewing Bee has got it all: kind contestants, beautiful clothes, loveable judges and lots of incredibly creative ideas. It's not surprising that it's one of the most popular craft TV shows out there.
The best part is that the Sewing Bee has inspired lots of people to take up sewing for themselves, with some of them even appearing as contestants on the show!
Start your sewing journey
If watching the show has inspired you to start sewing, you're probably wondering where to begin. We'd recommend starting with our sewing for beginners guide, which is packed with expert tips and advice to help you enjoy this satisfying hobby!
All images from BBC/Love Productions.
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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