Matt's Great British Sewing Bee final celebrations

Matt’s Great British Sewing Bee final celebrations

How I celebrated the Sewing Bee final

Well, who saw that coming?!

You have to believe me when I say I didn’t. I was up against two extraordinary stitchers and to even be stood there in the room, after seeing 7 of my buddies depart, I really felt like I was already a winner.

For the sewing bee final night we went to our local pub in the village, I’d been prepping for a couple of days getting a projector and some speakers from my friend Mike, ironing a tablecloth as a screen, running 20m of coaxial cable through the hallway etc etc.  The set up was going a little too well, until 18:30 on the night itself, when I could get every channel tuned in except BBC2, I mean seriously though gimme a break!!!! Fortunately with a few tweaks we managed to get it going. thank goodness, because I really didn’t fancy making that many phone calls.

Gems would never let a celebration go by without a cake and oh my this was some cake!  I had my wonderful sister-in-law, Becca, to thank for this fantastic Great British Sewing Bee collage reflecting the last 6 weeks in fondant icing.

Now all  dolled up, kids in bed, we were back to the pub to meet our 40 friends and family.  Now it’s a strange concept watching yourself on TV, let alone having loads of mates watching you watch yourself on TV. There was so much ooh-ing and ahh-ing throughout, it felt like fireworks night.

Obviously the point when I came 3rd in the asymmetric blouse challenge sent a wave of “oh well, never mind, at least he made it to the final” around the room.  Maybe, now would be a good time to get a refill…

Next up was the alteration challenge. It felt like a shame to chop up such a beautiful dress, I really wanted to do it justice. I remembered seeing a beautiful, hemline rolling like waves when researching  “Avant Garde”.  Why not try and recreate that in 90 mins!!!

In all honesty thats one of the outfits I’m looking forward to seeing again, I was pretty chuffed with it. I know a lot of people were wondering where was Neil going with the “Skanklet”, he’d obviously listened to previous weeks and seen that people had received plaudits for radical transformations…and his was certainly radical alright. But what an absolute corker Lorna did on that challenge, very Issey Miyake.

So from 3 to 2, I felt the mood in the room lift, and what better way to keep it going than to introduce the awesome Mrs C as my model. Everyone was so ecstatic to see her on the big screen, I think this got one of the biggest cheers of the night.  Gems definitely gave me strength in the sewing room, she kept me on track. As she does in normal everyday life. You know what they say, behind every good man is a good woman. Well thats very true in our case, after all without her I wouldn’t have even entered.

The final dress was inspired by a picture I’d seen a couple of months before, I couldn’t recall where, but I had an image in my mind and was sure I could make it work. It was fantastic to hear all the comments and buzz in the room as we watched me stitch, I could sense everyone was in anticipation waiting to see how Gems looked, what with her new big hair-do and all.

I wasn’t disappointed, there were loads of cheers and a few gasps. I felt so very proud. Gemma looked stunning.  With the catwalks done (and very well done too) it was time for the big announcement.   There certainly was a huge buzz in the sewing room now all the Bees had returned, the warmth and love just came flooding back.

I think I was so at ease on the day because although I knew I’d done my best, I was so ready to shake Neil or Lorna’s hand as they really are both exceptional.

Now for the big moment, Claudia: “And the winner of this years Great British Sewing Bee is…<extremely massively long pause>….Matt”.

Well believe me when I say the noise in the pub was deafening, everyone was whooping and hollering. I couldn’t look around the room at everyone because I know I’d look goofy or cry or something, so I just had to stay focussed on the screen and enjoy the sound.

I couldn’t quite comprehend that was it, it was over, Gems & I had kept our secret for 9 months and now was the time to celebrate, and boy did we celebrate!!

Before I sign off, I want to give a  massive shout out to my fellow Bees, we are an extremely close group and we were made so strong in the sewing room. To Annie, Alex, Neela, Amanda, Ryan, Paul, DEBORAAAAH, Lorna and Neil. Missing y’all already!

Huge thanks to everyone who has taken the time to send me a kind, heart felt message.  We have read each and every one, I am trying to get through all the replies.

Matt xx

AKA Winner of the Great British Sewing Bee 2015

 

 

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!

41 Comments

  1. Shez 2 years ago

    The finale just ended in Australia (we’re that far behind the rest of the world) and I think I just about woke the entire apartment block up with my yelp when you won! My husband hadn’t seen me that thrilled in weeks! Congratulations (again, a year on by now).

    • Author
      Matt 2 years ago

      Hi Shez, Thank you so much for getting in touch. It’s fantastic to remember the final, I have received a few messages today and I feel like celebrating all over again. We love Australia after living in Sydney a few years back, it’s just crazy to think that I have been on TV in Australia! Love it!

  2. Alexandra 2 years ago

    Hi Matt,
    Congrats on your win! Although perhaps a little belated for you, but I’ve just watched the series in New Zealand. I have to tell you that your reaction to your win brought me to tears! I was so thrilled for you! You looked genuinely shocked and in total disbelief. A well-deserved win from someone who was considered to be “the underdog” in the series. I loved your final piece! I’m still a fairly novice sewer and started out making clothes for my small kids, like yourself. I love my machine and have a rather worrying addiction to buying fabric to add to my mountainous stash! Well done Matt. Your win made the 3rd series all the more memorable for me and so cool that 2 guys were in the final and a male winner. Excellent!

    • Author
      Matt 2 years ago

      Thank you Alexandra, I still find it amazing that people are watching the Sewing Bee all around the world. I am so very lucky to have such a wonderful moment caught on camera to be able to replay it for years to come.
      Everyone starts somewhere, I only really started a few years ago and that was with a curtain. Keep going and remember you can never have enough fabric (well that is what I keep telling Gemma) Matt.

  3. Doreen 2 years ago

    Firstly, congratulations!!! I’m thinking of buying a new sewing machine, could you tell me what would be your machine of choice and what machines were used in ‘The Great Sewing Bee’?

    Thank-you

    Doreen

  4. Sophie Slim 3 years ago

    Hi Matt! A big congratulations all the way from New Zealand! You sewed your way through the season so well! You seem like a really fun and humble guy, so glad you could win this one! Happy sewing :)

    • Author
      Matt 2 years ago

      Hi Sophie,

      Thanks ever so much for your comment. I love to hear that our show reached shores far away. We have some great friends who live down in Invercargill who followed my progress, but it’s great to hear that we made it into other living rooms too.

      GBSB was a fantastic experience and I loved every minute of it plus made some friends for life.

      I see you’ve got a blog too, I’ll be sure to pop over and pay you a visit.

      Matt

      • Sophie Sljm 2 years ago

        New Zealand is a pretty small place 😉 I’m on the same Island as your friends! Very impressed you kept your win a secret for so long!! Any plans to ditch the computers and start this sewing celebrity gig full time?! Anyway, consider me a new follower!

  5. Dorothy 3 years ago

    Ha just watched the show. So glad that you won Matt. I was hoping that you would.
    Well well well well done !!!!!
    D

  6. Val Hart 3 years ago

    Hi Matt and Gemma so pleased that you won. You thoroughly deserved it. I had my fingers and toes (and anything else I could cross) crossed for you all the way through. I don’t know how you managed to keep it secret for 9 months though. Look forward to seeing your future blogs on what you’re up to. Well done once again. Val x

  7. Sara 3 years ago

    Thrilled to bits to see you win this time. The nicest as well as the best stitcher won. Kudos!

  8. kath 3 years ago

    Well done ,best and nicest winner so far !

  9. Louise 3 years ago

    Congratulations, Matt. I hadn’t seen GBSB before but loved the show, it was so inspiring. I’m just taking up sewing and was in awe of the finished garments. Well done.

  10. Sarah Dawkins 3 years ago

    Hi Matt,

    Just wanted to say a huge congratulations on your win. I’ve been rooting for you from the start. You came across as such a lovely, down to earth man, not cocky at all which I really admire. My hubby works in IT so I was rather hoping it might give him some inspiration to join me in sewing. Your final dress was stunning and Gemma looked absolutely beautiful in it!

    Hope you keep us the sewing :-)

    xxxxxxxx

  11. Wendy duncan 3 years ago

    Matt, I bumped into you outside the hexagon Saturday night . I was so excited to see you. It made my night!
    Once again I want to congratulate you on the amazing garments you made . You are a very worthy winner and I look forward to what you are going to do next. The very best of luck to you in the future.

  12. Joanne Rabbitts 3 years ago

    Fantastic! Congratulations. Loved reading this and don’t know what to do on Thursday evenings now….btw – made my husband cry when you won (but don’t tell anyone)

  13. Caroline 3 years ago

    Very well done Matt! I’ve been routing for you throughout the competition as you seem like such a lovely guy, and also because my sister is a friend of your sister-in-law so we had our fingers crossed for you! As a fellow sewer I’m super impressed by what you achieved and your relentless sense of humour under peessure – I would have been a wreck!! So pleased you won.

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Thanks Caroline,
      I promise you i’m just as silly and mischievous off camera as well as on it. I find the best way to diffuse a tricky situation is with humour, and the easiest form is self deprecation 😉
      We got on famously well with each other in the room so we all felt so very much at ease, although the time constraint definitely keeps you on your toes. You fancy it next year?

      • Caroline 3 years ago

        Haha……maybe……! I considered applying for the last series and chickened out……although I am a confident sewer and have made all sorts of tricky things, I think I would go to pieces with the time constraints……I am not quick! Also some of the alterations challenges would have brought me out in a cold sweat I think!!

  14. Bren Holmes 3 years ago

    Yes, it was a surpirse on the night, but a good one and you so deserved to win, Matt. I hopt it takes you to some wonderful places and that we see more of you in the future.
    This was the best series yet!

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Thank you very much Bren,
      We certainly enjoyed it, even if some of those challenges were pretty darn hard. I mean leather jacket in 7hrs!!!
      Hopefully I get to carry on inspiring people to give it a go, I’ll make sure I keep the site updated with our progress.

  15. Ellen S 3 years ago

    I have enjoyed each Sewing Bee but this year, not only did the best sewer win, the nicest sewer one did too! Congratulations.
    Ellen (Canada)

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Awww shucks, you’ll make me blush!
      Seriously though, thanks Ellen. I’m so impressed you got to watch it over in Canada. I have family in Calgary and I love it over there.

  16. Toria 3 years ago

    That’s quite a secret to keep for 9 months!! I didn’t realise it had been filmed so far in advance. Massive congratulations on winning; looking forward to seeing what’s next for you 😀

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Thanks Toria,
      Yes I think the longest I’ve ever kept a secret was when we were expecting, and lets face it, thats only 12 or so weeks.
      Although I did very nearly slip up a couple of times, we managed to last the distance.

  17. Lara 3 years ago

    Only just watched the final last night and I’m soooo pleased you won. Everyone was fab, but I was rooting for you the whole way through. Your final piece was stunning (and definitely made even more beautiful by your lovely wife wearing it). Huge congratulations again!

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Thanks Lara,
      I’ve had so much support, but getting messages like yours is fantastic. It makes me very proud and honoured to have been part of it. I had such fun.
      Matt

  18. Jacquie 3 years ago

    Well done Matt, Family and friends in Devon where watching and cheering you all the way and it was nice to see lovely Gemma as well. She modelled that dress like a true professional. XX

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Thank you Jacquie,
      Didn’t she just, she was amazing. I loved the way they did her hair too. Gemma gives me so much strength and confidence just by being around. She helps me concentrate on what I need to and not on what I don’t.

  19. Carmen Maidment 3 years ago

    Huge congrats Matt!!! And thank you to both you and Neil for inspiring boys everywhere. Our boys need to be shown that sewing isn’t only for girls, and that creating something of beauty is not gender specific. MASSIVE well done!!

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Thank you Carmen.
      Yeah Neil and I were determined to take it on and make sure that boys felt that it was acceptable. I love the fact that there were 4 blokes on the show. With the colour and sparkle Paul brought to the bee and Ryan’s flair for design. Blokes Sew Too!!!

  20. Sue 3 years ago

    Well done Matt. Thoroughly deserved. 9 months……. well done again.

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Cheers Sue, On the way home Gemma and I decided to keep it a secret from everyone including family. So after the first few times of doing the poker face we kind of became naturals at fibbing….thats not a great role model I guess, but it worked 😉

  21. Jo 3 years ago

    well done Matt. You deserved your win! Sew, whats next?

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Thanks Jo.
      Yes thats a good question. We’re looking at some options and ideas. Our names have only been known for 6 or so weeks so I hope theres time yet to decide.
      But rest assured we’ll update people on any developments here first.

  22. Sam 3 years ago

    Congratulations Matt, a very well deserved win! I was rooting for you throughout the final. Your final dress was amazing and Gemma looked stunning in it. How on earth did you manage to keep your success a secret for 9 months!?

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Thanks Sam,
      I just wanted to do the best I could, but I agree Gemma was (is) stunning, she did so well managing to complete a catwalk on rattan carpet in high heels and a very impractical dress.

  23. Nikki 3 years ago

    Tears from me too – I only managed to watch it last night – I have been saving it for when I could watch uninterrupted – your final dress was amazing – and your surprised face at the end priceless!!!!! Well done and carry on making sewing manly !

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Thank you Nikki,
      Believe me no-one was more surprised than me!
      I just tried to make the most amazing outfit I could for my model (who was pretty darn good btw). So the win was never on my mind.
      So glad you enjoyed it.

  24. Author
    Matt 3 years ago

    Thank you Amanda,
    It was a fab journey and I feel so privileged to have met you all.
    Gemma and I loved Thursday evening, finally being able to talk about it. xx

  25. Amanda 3 years ago

    ooooh! What a lovely post! Tears in my eyes reading it! Well done and to the beautiful Gemma too! What a team! Xxxxxxx

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