It’s over! After lashings of haberdashery high drama, tonight’s final of The Great British Sewing Bee saw one contestant be crowned Queen Bee. Ooh how we do love a good sew-off. We don’t want to spoil it, so if you haven’t seen it, don’t read the rest of this article – it contains spoilers! But if like us you’re sad it’s all over, join us in reliving the highs and lows of tonight’s show.
1. Precision sewing & the pattern challenge
When the judges revealed that the final pattern challenge was to make a man’s dress shirt, the news was greeted by gasps of mild-horror tinged with excitement by the finalists. Despite being given a record 4.5 hours to complete the challenge, the time limit still proved demanding as they agonised over the early stages, desperately attempted sewing perfection… under *just a teensy bit* of pressure.
2. Speaking our language
From pin tucks to plackets and yokes… the final didn’t disappoint when it came to show-casing the delicious dressmaking terminology that we love. In fact the whole series is guilty for doubling our ‘must sew’ list of things to try next!
Who knew seam allowances could cause so much angst? Well, we did actually, but our hearts still sank for Charlotte when she sewed her shirt collar stand’s seam a teeny tiny 5mm out. Too late to try again as she’d already reached for the scissors, we watched her start to panic as the judges looked on from their balcony with barely discussed glee. Esme mused, “she’s panicking a bit isn’t she It’s a shame.” (is it really a shame Esme or is it actually pretty gripping TV?).
4. Esme’s high standards get EVEN HIGHER!
Despite winning the dress shirt challenge, even sewing-pro Joyce struggled to win glowing praise from the steely St Martins College pattern tutor. “It’s pretty good,” concluded Esme, in her trademark neutral tones. Patrick proved happier to dish out the praise, “I think you’re mean,” he replied. “I think it’s excellent. I really think you’ve done a very good job of this.”
5. We heart Jade
Give that she’s the youngest contestant the show has ever seen, 18-year-old Jade has managed to stay impressively unruffled throughout the past eight weeks, with her sense of humour always lightening the mood in the sewing room, even during the tension of the final. When Esme judged her dress shirt, saying, “There are just a few little things that have taken it from an A+ to a B,” Jade was unphased, laughing “That’s higher than my GCSEs so I’ll take that.”
5. THAT alteration challenge
It’s no secret that we love any chance for a spot of refashioning, but we’ve never tackled turning a dinner jacket into a little black dress before. This was our favourite alteration challenge to date. Having just got into her stride with the challenge that the contestants often fear the most, Charlotte even got a little racey. “You’ll also be able to undo the halterneck because it’ll be the bow tie,” she explained. “Ring a ding ding,” quipped Claudia.
6. Esme’s jacket…
After wowing us with her super-awesome accessorising skills throughout the show so far, Esme upped her game yet again with a jazzy, sequin-bedecked, animal dual-print jacket. It stole the show.
7. … and her love of disco dancing is revealed
When judging a little black dress, Esme revealed a previously unknown side to her personality – her dance moves! “One thing I’m surprised by is that it’s staying up ’cause it’s got no support. I would have thought if you’re disco dancing in this, it would end up around your waist,” she observed. “Well with the vigour with which you disco dance, it’s almost a certainty,” smiled Patrick. Now that we’d love to see.
8. Charlotte keeps it in the family
The final Made to Measure challenge of the series is traditionally the chance for the contestants to try out their fitting skills on their family members, but Charlotte displayed a touching moment of family harmony when she chose her children’s step mum to model her show-stopping final evening gown, explaining tearfully how important she was to her family. Claudia was delighted at the whiff of gossip: “When they told me ‘Charlotte’s model is her ex husband’s wife’ I was like, fantastic, I’m never leaving. I’m pulling up a chair for the whole 6.5 hours.”
9. And the award for most therapeutic technique of the series goes to…
Bead bashing! We know sewing is never dull but it’s pretty rare that we get the excuse to reach for the hammer and pliers. Jade got her tool kit out to break up the beads in her evening gown fabric, so she could insert a zip. Impressive stuff Jade. “If you hit a bead, the needle’s going to go flying,” she explained, before we hear an ominous SNAP. “That was a bead,” she concluded.
10. And the winner is…
We were gripped to our screens as the judges pronounced Charlotte the Series 4 winner. We loved how stunned she was to hear the news, “This is amazing,” she beamed, “it doesn’t feel real at all.” Patrick explained what won her the crown, “she’s showed she has an understanding of clothing, she has an affinity with fabric, she has a lightness of touch and she just understands how clothes move on the body, and that was what won it for her.” Congratulations Charlotte!
If you’re sad the series is over, why not try some of the project ideas from the past eight weeks? Check out our Inspired by The Bee free sewing tutorials, meet the contestants in our Meet the Bees posts, or subscribe to Simply Sewing today to get sewing inspiration straight to your door each month!
All Great British Sewing Bee images copyright BBC/Love Productions/Charlotte Medlicott.