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The Great British Sewing Bee

The Great British Sewing Bee

Tue Apr 2, 8-9pm, BBC2

By Debra Waters
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Series one, episode one
The Diamond Jubilee and Olympics left a legacy: BBC2 doesn’t seem to be able to air a programme without including ‘Great British’ in the title. After Menus and Baking, we’re offered a sewing contest, presented by the omnipresent Claudia Winkleman, alongside a rather stern May Martin from the WI and dapper designer Patrick Grant. Eight amateurs must sew, stitch, pipe, invert zips, make darts and scallop necklines in an attempt to be crowned Britain’s best home sewer.

The contestants are a nice bunch and the history lessons mildly interesting, but the ‘How To’ guides too vague to be useful. Perhaps in future episodes we’ll be treated to some couture of exquisite beauty, but so far watching people hunched over a table sewing clothes simply doesn’t appeal to the senses in the same way as watching people create and consume food. Winkleman talks of a quiet revolution, but this one’s positively silent – for craft enthusiasts only.
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