Well, hello there! It's good to be back with my little lighthearted recaps of the Great British Sewing Bee episodes! They seemed to be quite popular last year, so the pressure's on for me not to disappoint this time round, especially as the big man himself (Damien) messaged to say he was looking forward to reading these! Oh, didn't you know? We're BFFs now! He will deny the whole thing, but we are, honest! 😉
There's a major change this year in that Sara Pascoe has taken over from Joe Lycett as the host, which saddened me as I loved Joe! I don't particularly find Pascoe humorous, to be honest. In fact, her and that Aisling Bea are two women that totally do my box in. BUT, I shall reserve my judgement until we're a few episodes in, as I'm nothing but fair!
This series was filmed at Sunnybank Mills in Super Leeds, which is my home city, so it was nice to see some familiar surroundings on the screen. I can't quite believe we let the southerners and Lancastrians in, but I suppose it was only for a limited period of time so I'll let them off.
We can't carry on with a recap until we've covered the topic of "Patrick", can we?! I'm rather liking the new haircut! It's a little bit Tommy Shelby-esque, so if he could just start nonchalantly hanging a cigarette from his bottom lip and adopt a menacing tone, he'll have cracked it and it would make for a very different programme indeed!
You might remember from last year that I'm rubbish with names and I don't seem to cotton on (pardon the pun) until about Week 5, but I'll try my best! To give myself a project like last year, I need to find my stalking* victim early doors, and an early contender I think is Steve who wore the dungarees, or DungaSte as I will now refer to him as! (Thank you, I will now take a bow!! 😂) He seems like a down to earth bloke. Southern, but down to earth, but hey, we can't have everything can we?
The first Pattern Challenge of the series saw them make a woollen mini skirt, complete with exposed zip and patch pockets, which puzzled The Husband, who asked if people actually wear things with "those pockets". I said they wouldn't be my first choice, but they are a bona fide pocket. This challenge unveiled the winner of my inaugural "Smart A*se of the Week" award; a new award (which has no monetary value whatsoever nor a trophy to accompany the title) handed to the person who goes above and beyond what they're meant to do in a challenge, which admittedly I was renowned for doing at school, so don't take offence - we can be smart a*ses together!!! Take a bow, Angela, who chose to make her piping to edge her pockets rather than use some off the roll! There's always one, isn't there Angela?! 😉😂
A lot was learnt from this challenge; mainly that apparently it isn't that easy to place patch pockets in a pressurised environment without them being on the wonk. Mitch was quite clearly the one who they'd dragged off the street to make up the numbers, like I thought they had with Damien last year. I'm sorry, Mitch, but THE HEM?!!! WTAF?!! I will have nightmares about that for weeks.
Next up, the Transformation Challenge...🥱 or my annual Snoozefest. Regular readers will know that I find this part of the programme a turn-off, mainly because there is no way on earth you would ever contemplate doing any of the challenges in real life, so they're a bit pointless. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to start turning my hoodies into going out tops. Some of the creations were pretty amazing though and I liked Angela's take on it, by making a going out top fit for Anne Boleyn. She was known as a bit of a raver was old Anne, so it would have gone down well I think. (I made that up, I have no knowledge of Anne Boleyn's party habits.) Marni's creation was inspired though, who made her top using a hoodie and a pair of jogging bottoms for the sleeves and as everyone said, very '80s! There's something to be said for wearing a jumper as a going out top; at least you'd be warm when you're waiting for your kebab.
The Made to Measure challenge this week saw the contestants make a wrap dress. This was the time for us to see if Mitch had had time to pop out to M&S to find a dress to submit, like Damien used to do last year, but alas, I don't think he'd familiarised himself with the local area in time. The fabric he used was gorgeous and there were signs that it was going to be lovely, but alas, he made it short enough so we could see what the model had eaten for her breakfast. He pondered whether Patrick and Esme would notice whether he had made it too short, and when asked directly by Patrick whether it was meant to be that length, he answered with a resounding "Yes"! MITCH!!!!! You cannot lie to Patrick, it is verboden!!!
In the end, Debra won the Garment of the Week, which I suppose she deserved to with all that bloomin' bias binding on that wrap dress, and Mitch was the one to go. I think his fate was sealed once the bare-faced lie to Patrick left his lips! Bit of a shame, because Mitch seemed quite a good character, but hey ho.
One thing's for sure, there's definitely oodles of talent amongst this bunch and I think we might be in for a close-run competition this year!
A special mention must go this week to the programme's sound department and their use of literal music during the catwalk, a la "Homes Under the Hammer"! Kudos to the person who managed to dig up Louise's 1997 classic of "Arms Around the World", just so they could find a tenuous link to a wrap dress:
"Gonna wrap our loving arms
All around the world"
Well played, that man or woman, well played!
Next week, it's the turn of Sportswear. Hmmm....I wonder if the Transformation Challenge will see them having to turn a going out top into a gym outfit?! 🤔Only time will tell!
Have a good 'un,
*Note to any contestants who may read this and be disturbed by my stalking tendencies: I'm harmless enough, so no restraining orders needed.
Have a read of my Episode 2 recap here