The Great British Sewing Bee makes a welcome return to our screens on April 14th, showcasing the best and brightest amateur sewists. Series 7 sees judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young lead 10 more weeks of exciting sewing challenges, with presenter Joe Lycett here to keep spirits up in the work room.
Here are the 12 new sewists vying to be crowned this year’s Great British Sewing Bee winner! We can’t wait to see them in action – best of luck everyone!
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive straight in and meet the Series 7 Sewing Bees!
Cruise Ship Entertainment Director, Leicester
It was his Nan who taught Adam to sew when he was just six years old. By his fourteenth birthday he had asked his mum for an overlocker, but unfortunately for him she had no idea what that was.
Adam loves spending time with his family and often knits for his 18-month old-nephew whose nickname for Adam is Abba because Adam is a self-styled ‘Dancing Queen’. His love of the stage led Adam to study Performing Arts at university and then on to working as an entertainer on cruise ships, where he was promoted to Cruise Ship Entertainment Director.
His sewing style is inspired by his work and he is often drawn to nautical styles and fabrics, as well as to the glamour of classic films and iconic entertainers.
You can find Adam on Instagram, adamjamesbrooks
Student Engagement Officer, Birmingham
Education has always been Adeena’s calling and she currently works as a Student Engagement Officer at a university, providing welfare and support to the students. Outside of work she loves organising “get togethers” for her large family that always involve a feast. Her other creative hobbies involve painting, sketching and woodwork, and one of her crafty achievements includes a giant pencil she carved for a friend.
Fusing her Pakistani heritage with British style in her clothes, Adeena loves to sew for herself and her sisters. She is a spontaneous sewer who loves to add elements as she goes along and admits that her sisters have been ‘guinea pigs’ for her creations.
Say hi to Adeena on Instagram, deesewcialspace
Maths Teacher, Hull
Sewing has been a part of Andrew’s life since he was a small boy watching his mother and grandmother making their own garments. He admits to being something of a ‘magpie’, drawn to bold fabrics and eye-catching menswear designs.
The Church plays a very important role in Andrew’s life. A busy hobbyist, when he’s not making vestments for his partner who is a priest, or a new shirt for himself, he’s likely to be found bellringing or making stained glass windows. He confesses ‘one nice aspect of making things for churches is that they can be big, they can be showy, and are made from the best fabrics.’
See Andrew’s latest makes on Instagram, andrew.aspland
Post-Office Worker, Yorkshire
A dinner lady for 25 years but now semi-retired, Cathryn loves spending time on her allotment. Her other love is music. As an ardent David Bowie fan her cat is named Ziggy Stardust, but she is not to be pigeonholed and has eclectic taste. She has been known to sew the lyrics of her favourite grime artist, Stormzy, into her garments.
Cathryn has been sewing for over 50 years and her starting point is often old and recycled fabrics. She uses every scrap to make jeans, dresses, and quilts.
Say hello to Cathryn on Instagram, cathrynwaudby
IT Installation Engineer, Bolton
Sewing has been a relatively new addition to Damien’s hobbies, which also include craft ale making, woodwork, riding his motorbike and playing the guitar.
Damien started teaching himself to sew three years ago when a pair of work trousers needed altering and hasn’t looked back – despite some initial ‘mickey taking’ from friends. He admits that he sometimes gets a raised eyebrow when visiting fabric shops, as he’s not the stereotypical customer.
Damien describes his style as ‘practical’ and he mostly makes casual clothes for himself, along with the occasional dress for his partner, Jackie.
Farie’s talent for sewing was nurtured at school, where she studied Fabrics and Fashion at GCSE. After university she became an accountant, but a love for design remained throughout her adult life, with sewing providing a creative outlet that accountancy doesn’t.
Her two young daughters also enjoy the benefits of having a creative mum, putting in requests for colourful outfits they can guarantee their friends won’t have. Between work and caring for small children, Farie also makes time to keep fit. During the first lockdown she and friends competed in an indoor walking challenge and she landed herself a gold medal in a 100k challenge.
Follow Farie on Instagram, farie_zata
Art Psychotherapist, County Down
Growing up in Stoke-on-Trent, Jean lived with her parents and seven siblings, one of whom is her identical twin. Her parents were unaware that they were expecting two babies, so when Jean and her sister Jeanette were born, their dad raced home to whip up another set of baby clothes on the family’s treadle sewing machine. Jean’s mother taught her how to sew as a child and today she creates clothes for herself and her partner Jo.
Jean works as an Art Psychotherapist, using the medium of art to help children, teenagers, and adults through difficult life experiences.
In addition to sewing, Jean loves walking and in 2018 she spent seven weeks on the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage between France and Northern Spain.
Say hello to Jean on Instagram, jeanandyoda
Beauty Therapist, Rotherham
Julie’s first sewing machine was given to her as a Christmas gift and she’s been sewing ever since. When she finished school, Julie joined a European dance troupe and high-kicked her way through Greece, Italy and Spain for the next few years.
Julie’s style is bright and bold. She makes her own clothes and has sewn prize-winning dresses for Ladies’ Day at the races. She’s yet to try menswear as her partner, Paul, has told her “not to bother, you’re too wacky for me”.
Follow Julie on Instagram, juliepygot
Local Authority Officer, Surrey
A local authority officer, Lawratu is also an active member of the local Women’s Institute and enjoys all kinds of crafting, including needlework and knitting. She wants to dispel the myth that people who attend the WI are ‘all fuddy-duddies sitting round eating scones and having cream teas.’ Her own branch much prefer putting the world to rights at the pub over a glass of wine or a G&T.
Lawratu has been sewing for around six years and began making her own clothes because she didn’t like the fit of items in the shops. Completely self-taught with the occasional tip from YouTube, she likes bright colours and vivid prints often inspired by her West African heritage.
Follow Lawratu on Instagram, seamesew
Textile Artist, London
While his work as a Textile Artist has seen Raphael dyeing cloth for high-profile movies, it wasn’t until lockdown that he properly started learning to sew, focusing mainly on stylish menswear for himself. He’s still developing his own sewing style, saying ‘I’m a DIY sewer, because I’m self-taught. So, I don’t necessarily use pins. But then, I also don’t like unpicking things!’
Developing his sewing skills fits in around Raphael’s other pastimes including playing the trumpet in two London orchestras and gymnastics training. He also makes a mean pepperoni, having spent his summers at university serving pizzas on the beach.
Check out Raphael’s latest makes on Instagram, raph_sew_and_so
Retail Assistant, Scunthorpe
A trained teacher, Rebecca now enjoys working as a Customer Assistant at her local supermarket.
Sewing is in Rebecca’s blood, and from the age of four, her mum and nana would pass on their expertise with a needle. She went on to study textiles at A-level, and now finds making clothes the perfect way to relieve the stress of a working day. She likes fast projects she can make and wear quickly and admits to having ‘a bad habit for not reading the instructions and just ploughing through.’
Before the pandemic Rebecca was often on the terraces with her dad, cheering on Scunthorpe United, as well as scoring goals of her own on the netball court. As a member of a local amateur dramatics group, she has played the Good Fairy in a recent pantomime and is also a dab hand at the piano.
Say hi to Rebecca on Instagram, rebeccamaydesigns
Medical Student, Edinburgh
At 21, Serena is our youngest sewer this year. She is originally from Glasgow but has moved to Edinburgh to study medicine. She is now in her fourth year and has recently started ward placements.
Serena’s passion for sewing goes hand in hand with her love of sustainable style. She began teaching herself basic skills from YouTube in her teens, and now creates her own designs as well as ‘refreshing’ charity shop garments, giving them a new lease of life. Killing Eve’s iconic character Villanelle is her style icon: “she’s a bit androgynous and I’ve always been into wearing brogues and high waisted trousers.” Serena’s eventual aim is to create a completely unique, ‘me-made’ wardrobe.
Outside of studying and sewing, Serena enjoys keeping active and often runs around the picturesque landscape of Edinburgh.
Check out Serena’s latest makes on Instagram, serenasews_
When is Sewing Bee on TV?
Series 7 of The Great British Sewing Bee returns to our screens on BBC One from Wednesday April 14th at 9pm.