We’re now 2 weeks in to this new program on BBC2, with 2 more weeks to go, and I’m not entirely convinced they’ve hit the mark with it (2.5 million viewers for week one is some going however, especially as that increased a bit in week 2!).

The title of the Great British Sewing Bee says to me that it should be about all kinds of sewing, and yet all we’ve seen are clothes, with previews of week 3 implying that that’s all we’ll be seeing going forward.  I feel rather like I’ve been had, kind of like the Great British Bake Off that only did cakes!  Clothes sewing takes a great deal of skill, however it’s not the be-all and end-all of sewing, although I suspect the fact that one of the judges is a tailor might have had some influence.  Looking at the background of the contestants, I’m not even sure that they’re all clothes sewers normally – a few of them definitely are, but Lauren and Stuart seem to have a much broader range, like home décor and quilts lurking in the background of their ‘at home’ friends and family interviews.  I’m enjoying the series, but I think it ought to be renamed, perhaps to the Great British Clothes Off (hmm, maybe not ;o) )

So, here’s my debate for the day, if you had 8 contestants with 4 weeks of competition, 2 being eliminated each week, what would you have them doing each week?  Sticking with the same general format you will need each week:

  • 1 follow a pattern challenge, to take 2-3 hours (PC)
  • 1 enhancing an existing item, to take 1 hour (EI)
  • 1 make what you like following a general theme challenge, to take 6 hours (GT)

Personally, I would go for (off the top of my head):

Week 1 – Home Décor & Quilts:

PC – create a pair of lined curtains

EI – decorate a plain cushion cover

GT – create a simple child’s quilt

Week 2 – Toys & Gifts:

PC – make a sewing kit

EI – embellish some plain tea towels for a bridal gift

GT – make a soft toy

Week 3 –Bags & Pouches:

PC – make a boxy zippered pouch

EI – decorate a simple tote bag

GT – make a handbag

Week 4 – Clothes:

PC – make a simple A-line skirt

EI – embellish a child’s t-shirt

GT – make an evening dress

So what would you do? (‘cos, you know, the producers really care what we think ;o) )