Ahead of The Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Special we hear from Joe, Patrick and Esme about their Christmas traditions and thoughts on New Year’s fancy dress
How do you usually like to spend Christmas?
Esme: “It’s with family and previously we would go to far flung cities, some that celebrated Christmas and some that didn’t. Obviously, this year that’s not going to happen.”
Patrick: “Usually it’s a traditional family get together, we all get together somewhere, although I think this year it’s likely to be different. In Edinburgh, my nephews open their Santa stockings first thing, and then we go for a long walk, depending on the weather. We come back and have bacon rolls and a glass of champagne, and everyone opens their presents. “
Joe: “We change it around, either mum and dad’s or Auntie Pauline and Uncle Eric. Last year I had a new kitchen so I hosted the whole day. I loved the challenge and made a really traditional roast, amazing potatoes [blast them at the start so they crisp up early on and then do a slow roast]. A moist turkey; Brussel sprouts, carrots from the garden; braised cabbage. This year who knows where we will be or if we’ll be allowed to see people!”
Have you got a favourite Christmas childhood memory or favourite present?
Esme: “I can remember getting my first bicycle and my brothers got them as well. I was fairly young at the time and it was great to go out on our first bike ride together.”
Joe: “When I was younger I wanted a Playstation but I woke up Christmas morning and saw I got a cheque for half of it. I was really disappointed and then mum said there’s something in the backroom there for you. It was a wind up and my parents had got me the Playstation. I tried to still pocket the cheque but that was taken off me pretty quickly.”
Any Christmas sewing advice – if you are making gifts as presents?
Esme: “Every year I make eight Christmas cakes as presents, I then ice them and decorate for various friends and family. I start making them in November, and I feed them with brandy. It’s a lovely personal present to give someone. I keep one for myself, but it’s only a little one!”
Any favourite Christmas films?
Esme: “In our family we always watch Dinner for One, that’s a regular tradition. It’s nice to be together and we have a little Christmas tipple with it, we normally watch it after we have eaten Christmas lunch.”
Patrick: “I like watching Love Actually, Elf, The Holiday – I love a good Christmas film even if we have watched it many times. It’s the only time of the year where I get to switch off. The factory closes for two weeks and it will have been really busy up until then. It’s usually a time I can really relax and read a few books.”
Joe: “I like watching a classic like It’s a Wonderful Life, and I am happy to watch that every year.”
What’s the worth Christmas outfit you have ever worn, and best?
Esme: “I don’t think I have ever worn a bad outfit, I definitely wouldn’t wear a onesie, although for the last Bridget Jones film I made Renee Zellweger’s pyjamas! I like to wear a dress with one of my statement necklaces, I think it’s nice to dress up for the day.”
Patrick: “I have been pretty lucky, as my family stopped buying me clothes when I was about 12, apart from my granny who used to knit me mittens, which I still have as a keepsake. I usually wear a smart pair of trousers, a shirt and a cardigan, or a crew neck jumper. The house in Edinburgh can get quite cold so sometimes you have to wear more than one jumper and a couple of pairs of socks to keep warm!”
Are you good at running up a fancy dress outfit for a New Year’s Eve Party?
Esme: “I like fancy dress outfits, and I have been to New Year’s Eve parties and I like to mix it up and change them depending on the theme.”
Patrick: “Depends on the theme, but I am quite happy wearing fancy dress – I quite like dressing up. I could run an outfit up quite easily.”
Joe: “It would be fun to have a New Year’s Eve with Patrick and Esme and yes we would all dress up.”
What do you hope for in the New Year?
Patrick: “It’s been a shocking year for a lot of people, so I hope for a safer, better and healthier 2021.”
Joe: “I hope everyone is healthy and happy and that they will be watching the Sewing Bee at home and having a lovely time.”
Don’t miss The Great British Sewing Bee Celebrity Specials on BBC One at 7:45pm on Boxing Day and 8pm on New Year’s Eve.
Discover more about the nation’s favourite sewing show HERE.