Great British Sewing Bee, Week 2

Matt stitches on to week 3 of GBSB

Week 2, The Great British Sewing Bee: Team peacock!

Phew, what a week on the Great British Sewing Bee that one was!

It was a real emotional roller-coaster, highs and lows, laughs and lil’ tears (Yes that’s right, I did have a little wobble moment on camera after the results were announced). It really was such a shame to see Alex leave, she is an unbelievable character and so very passionate in getting everyone stitching their way to a sustainable future, that sewing room certainly won’t be the same again.

It’s a surreal but fantastic feeling to see the kids on TV running around in the the garden, with Max’s ginger locks bobbing around! This time we were joined by my lovely Gemma too, speaking so kindly about the items I make, very proud indeed.

Right then, let’s get down to business and talk about those Sewing Bee challenges.

Week two in the sewing room and we’re given a Little Boys Waistcoat with single welt pockets….just to reiterate this is on week 2! Whilst the pattern itself challenged us all from the outset, mainly because of those pockets, I was actually quite happy with how it progressed.

I felt it was starting to come along quite nicely, but unfortunately I ran out of time getting those last 3 buttons on, one is plenty good though, right? I’m pretty sure just sticking the buttons in the holes didn’t win Patrick over. You have to believe me when I say that it’s blimmin hard to thread a needle when you’re hands are shaking and Claudia is telling you theres only 30 seconds to go!

With an exceptionally talented field to be up against, I felt a credible 5th place was about right and so I mustn’t feel too hard done by there. I have to say what a superb waistcoat Ryan made, he finished a clear 10 minutes before the rest of us, so in the spirit of smart attire, I doff my top hat to you Sir.

Next up was that task that everyone loves to watch but dreads to do, the 90 min alteration, this time we were given a dress and plain T-shirt.

I learnt from last week that radical alterations get the plaudits. That said one of the stipulations is they actually have to fit the mannequin. Which to be brutally honest mine didn’t.

It took me a good 5 mins to decide on what to do. However opting for something you’d never undertaken before was perhaps my downfall (note to self). My, oh my, oh my, what was I thinking choosing to do board shorts, I still crack up when I think back to that moment.

Although, and I’m sure this came across on screen, I was in hysterics for so much of this 90 min challenge that I barely managed to hold it together long enough to stitch a single seam.

Patrick’s comment of the shorts being a bit on the “hungry” side set us all off again, which made the ranking of 8th place a little easier to accept.

So alterations lessons learnt so far are:

1. be radical with your design

2. make sure it is wearable (and fits the mannequin)

3. ….oh and include boxing gloves!

Which brings us neatly onto the Made to measure challenge. As you may have seen on the show backstory, I’ve made a few dressing up outfits for the kids before. Max’s dinosaur tail is one of my all-time faves.

Now please can someone explain to me why I chose not to replicate this on a larger more detailed scale and instead opted for a peacock. What on earth came over me? Added to that I look around the room to find that there is another peacock and a beautiful Flapper dress with peacock print being constructed, still at least that meant I could get the word Ostentation into conversation with Claudia.

It seems that my line “What can possibly go wrong?” may just be coming back to haunt me!

This was actually a bit more of an evolution of a peacock, with me adding structure and adornments as we progressed, and there’s no hiding from that fact. The time adds an enormous amount of pressure and you’d be amazed how quickly the hours and minutes whizz by.

My model wore the outfit wonderfully and I promise that she’s allowed to be invited to faster moving parties in the future…..if I can just cover up that floristry wire!

What about Paul’s ballerina elephant hey? We were all in awe of how fantastic it looked, and the attention to detail too, there was even a super cute mouse on the foot. As if that wasn’t enough to contend with you had May and Patrick gently caressing the trunk, a sight that will surely live on in memory for many years.

So, not exactly a victory for me, but certainly not a defeat. Let’s see if I can up my game for next week. It’s back to the 50’s for me….was blue tac invented by then?

Tune in to BBC2 Thursday @ 8pm to see how we all go.



The stitcher. A magnet for foolery & prankster at heart. Loves being creative, whether with some wood and a saw or with a needle and thread. Attempts to disguise his past time activities as manly pursuits, but is actually pretty handy at sewing!


  1. Sarah 4 years ago

    I can imagine the pressure just mangles the brain and turns it to mush. Leaving a person to forget everything they are good at! You still good though, but that elephant was fabulous.

    • Author
      Matt 4 years ago

      Hey Sarah, It certainly does, given oodles of time I’m sure we’d all turn out some wonderful things…but it’s just not to be. A very challenging week and one I’m glad is over. Back to the 50’s now.

  2. Phil 4 years ago

    The thought of Claudia domineeringly telling you that have only 30 seconds to “finish off” conjures an image I’d prefer left in the dark…no wonder you were shaking!

    • Author
      Matt 4 years ago

      This is a family blog Phil and this is a comment that I feel deserves a response face to face rather than on here 😉 But I know what you mean. Tricky times to keep your cool.

  3. Emma-jane 4 years ago

    When i saw the clip from home and saw the dinosaur tail i thought youd walk it….. what happened???? All i can think of is that you tried too hard. Thankfully you got through….See you on Thursday :)

    • Author
      Matt 4 years ago

      I know, I know, I know (scratches head)

      I think trying too hard was definitely in there somewhere, the fact that Max’s dino tail was on the clip made me sit and think “why didn’t I just elaborate on that”. Hindsight is an amazing thing huh.

      Hope you enjoy vintage week.

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