For the love of Joyce: meet the Bees

Great British Sewing Bee finalist Joyce

The hour is nearly upon us where we discover who will be crowned the winner of this year’s The Great British Sewing Bee. We’ll be watching tonight, and to get in the mood, we’re meeting the finalists today. as part of our Meet the Bees series of interviews with the Sewing Bee contestants.

71-year-old grandmother Joyce has been a breath of fresh air throughout series 4 of our favourite comfort TV show – with her confident sewing skills, controversial stubborn streak (‘binding-gate’ in International week springs to mind) and weekly confessions of loving a tipple… “I’ve had two firsts and I’m going to have two Chardonnays” she quipped after success in Sixties week. We quiz Joyce on what she’s learnt from the Sewing Bee and why she loves to sew.

Great British Sewing Bee finalist Joyce in action

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Joyce and I have been retired for nearly 14 years now after spending the latter part of my career in local government. I live in West Sussex with my husband, Hugh.  I have 3 children and 2 stepchildren and 9 granddchildren, who not only live locally but also in Somerset, West Wales, Scotland and Dubai.

How did you get into sewing?

I started sewing from an early age and when in my teens made most of my own clothes. This was not only the cheaper option at this time but my clothes always fitted me properly and were all unique.  I have totally loved sewing since then.

What have you learnt from your time on the Sewing Bee?

The best sewing tip I’ve picked up from Great British Sewing Bee is to focus and carefully plan each stage of making a garment and work steadily towards completion and always, always iron at each stage.

What’s on your sewing table at the moment?

A length of fine grey jersey to make a summer dress with a fitted, sleeveless bodice and asymmetrical skirt and hemline.

Which part of your sewing kit couldn’t you live without?

Apart from my sewing machine I couldn’t possibly live without my shears, scissors and snipping scissors which are always kept honed and sharpened.

Complete the sentence, every sewer can relate to…

… the creativity of sewing, from start to finish and the pleasure of completing a well made and unique garment, quilt, curtains, cushions – whatever I am sewing at the time.  I believe every sewer can relate to this!

Good luck in the final Joyce – we’ll raise a glass to you and your fellow finalists, whoever wins!

Tune in tonight to see Joyce, Jade and Charlotte sew their socks off making glamorous evening wear. And if you’ve caught the sewing bug after watching the series, why not treat yourself and subscribe to Simply Sewing? We’ll send you a free mini sewing machine to get you started! Offer ends 14th July

Great British Sewing Bee finalist Joyce in action 2

Images © BBC/Love Productions/Charlotte Medlicott and George Kimm