British Sewing Bee Inspires Me

British Sewing Bee Inspires Me

I have recently started watching the British Sewing Bee with a friend of mine. It’s so charming and creative! I am loving the use of words such as unpicking (using a seam ripper) and haberdashery (a place that holds sewing notions, fabric and trims). The show consists of three sewing challenges, pattern, alteration and one they had time to practice. It is kind of like the Great British Bake Off.

During the pattern challenge the participants get handed a pattern they have never seen before. They then have 2-4 hours to create things like shirts, skirts, dungarees (overalls) or jackets. The second challenge is taking something off the rack and altering it. Could be a plain wool skirt, an oversized t-shirt, a suit or even a wedding dress. The participants usually only have 90 minutes for this one. It is always amazing to see what they do in such a short amount of time. The third challenge is something they had time to practice. It’s usually a full garment and complicated use of fabrics and patterns. The ones I have seen so far have made all kinds of amazing garments.

Needless to say watching the show has put me in the mood to sew and luckily for me, I know how to! For our August craft day, we spent time making a small wall hanging. Here is our basic layout:


A few years back I picked up a book with 6″X6″ quilt block patterns. Each lady, who came to craft day, choose a block or two to make for the center of their quilt and then we started cutting.

open-quilt-book quilt-book

Cutting out quilt blocks is much easier with a couple of helpful tools, a self-healing mat, a rotary cutter and a clear plastic ruler.  These items can be a little pricey so use coupons or watch for a sale on notions. Next up is the basic straight stitch using a sewing machine. My machine was my great aunt Lizzy’s, a Singer from the 1950’s. I love it! If you don’t know how to sew look for sewing classes in your area. Sewing machines are extremely reasonable now and can do some amazing things! If you have a machine and live in my area reach out to me. I will be starting some basic sewing machine classes soon.



Finally, once your wall hanging is done then you can have it quilted and bound using corresponding binding. I found a great lady in my circle of friends who has a quilting machine. She does a great job of binding and quilting the wall hangings for a reasonable price. She makes a living doing it so she can also watch her granddaughter. Win – Win for us both.


The idea behind this post is to get you sewing. Maybe a quilted wall hanging is too big for you to start, how about just some hand stitching. Make something using felt (Click here for great patterns), add some embellishment to a plain purse or bag, sew a monogram on a set of napkins for a friend or even just practice sewing on buttons (Click here for a quick button project).


Whatever you choose to do, GET SEWING and invite a friend! Crafting is always better with company.

Talk to you soon!



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