Well if you don’t know by now Heather is the winner of The Great British Sewing Bee season 2! A thoroughly well deserved win from a woman who never failed to amuse with lines such as, ‘I’d like to drown in a bucket of gin’. Boy can she sew! Unlike most other reality TV programs the Great British Sewing Bee much like it’s Cooking Bee cousin is a pretty low budget BBC production with NO prize at the end (except for the glory of being known as ‘Britain’s best amateur sewer’), NO gimmicks and NO bitchiness. In fact this is precisely the reason I love it so much. The focus is on the skills and talent each contestant possesses and not on their ability to ‘stir the pot’ or annoy people into tuning in to see what all the fuss is about.
In addition, all of the contestants are so bloody nice to each other; they are helpful during sewing challenges, often assisting each other with invisible zips or fiddly pattern pieces. How joyous, watching people with a shared hobby (mercifully everyone refrains from saying ‘passion’ or ‘journey’ most of the time too) working together and creating amazing hand-made garments.
I learn a lot too. Unlike a lot of the other reality TV I watch, I have learned actual practical skills that help me with my (pretty basic by comparison) sewing. By contrast I think shows like The Celebrity Apprentice or any of the Housewives shows serve only to make me critical of strangers and potentially a lot dumber. The most helpful hints those shows offer seem to revolve around looking good rather than actually doing anything.
Oh and the judges, how did I get this far into this without mentioning May and Patrick. Funnily enough although they are both well qualified to judge such a contest, they refrain from doing that in a horrible reality TV way too. Both judges offer kind words, constructive criticism as required and it’s all delivered without the hyperbole we’ve come to expect from this genre. How did I get this far without mentioning the fact that Patrick is so old fashioned handsome it amazes me no one has sewn their fingers together while swooning over him in the sewing room?
Is it that the Brits have a refined sense of style or a more reserved disposition that lends itself well to a show like this? Well ‘The only way is Essex’ and ‘Geordie Shore’ both undermine that argument. Perhaps it’s the fact that the BBC had a hand in it. Possibly it’s the fact that audiences are after a little more reality with their reality TV now, or like me, they’re really excited to watch people compete and try their best but then get together in a cafe afterwards and chat about it like old friends. It’s not the end of the world if you ‘get sent home’; after all that’s where you live. Similarly you can’t retire to the south of France should you win either. The stakes are not artificially high which to me makes it even more pleasurable to watch.
Now I hope I have persuaded you to pick up a needle and thread, watch Season 3 of the Sewing Bee or at least Google Patrick Grant! Happy sewing!
What do you think of the Great British Sewing Bee? Leave a comment below…