Judges Patrick Grant and May Martin return for a Christmas reunion with the sewing competition's 2013 semi-finalists Stuart, Sandra, Lauren and Ann.
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This year, rather than going shopping
why not make your Christmas home-sewn?
And there we are.
The Great British Sewing Bee's experts -
Savile Row's Patrick Grant...
That is very handsome reindeer.
..and sewing teacher May Martin...
Oh, I love that, I love that!
..have reunited their semi-finalists...
and winner Ann for a very special Christmas Sewing Bee.
Patrick, did you know that embroidery should look
-the same on the back as the front?
-I know that!
Let me see the back.
Collective making is something that people use to enjoy a lot
and I hope that we just remind people that actually time
spent together just doing something simple is very special.
They'll be pooling their talents to produce beautiful Christmas
Doesn't it come alive now that it's all together?
-Yes! Really pretty, yes.
-There's a little bit of all of us.
..exquisite handmade gifts...
This is the really exciting bit.
..and quick and easy tree decorations.
Put something nice inside.
And we'll find out just what the semi-finalists have been up to
since the Sewing Bee.
Welcome to the Great British Sewing Bee Christmas.
I love a bit of glitter!
MUSIC: "Silver Bells" by Doris Day
Hiya. Nice to see you.
Good. How are you?
It's absolutely wonderful to be back here and meet everybody again.
It sort of brings back all the happy memories of last year.
I've got lots of happy memories of being in the sewing bee.
Everybody looking at what everybody else is doing. Are you on time?
We're just here to have fun, so it feels a lot different. It's good.
So cool to see May and Patrick and the other sewers -
I've missed them. It's lovely.
Have you made that matching waistcoat and bag, Stuart?
I have. I've been practising!
Sometimes we lose sight of what Christmas is all about.
It's about thoughtfulness
and making something by hand and creating it yourself is
so much more special than going to a store and spending money.
Sewing bees are just a wonderful way for likeminded people to come
together to make things.
And it's actually really nice sharing your skills with
somebody else, helping each other, sharing ideas.
It's a really sociable, fun thing to do.
The old-fashioned sewing bees were collectives of friends
and neighbours who would get together to share work.
It's something that's largely disappeared and I think it somehow
reconnects us with the simple things that us human beings really enjoy.
# Soon it will be Christmas Day. #
Merry Christmas, all of you.
ALL: Merry Christmas!
And welcome back to the sewing room.
We are going to hold a much more traditional sewing bee.
We are going to sew everything we need for a beautiful,
We're starting off with a table runner.
There is going to be five panels.
We'll do one and we'll like you to do a panel each.
We've done a basic colour palette here.
If you can stick as close as you can to this,
use anything you'll like from around the sewing room.
I think, let's just get cracking.
A table runner is a long, thin decorative cloth,
which runs along the centre of the dining table.
I totally love that one!
Three tree is our main feature in our house,
-so it's got to be a tree, hasn't it?
Table runners, they are fantastic
because you can all contribute a square.
Everybody can experiment with their own ideas
and it's a wonderful sociable project to do.
Really, really lovely thing to bring people together.
Patrick and May's Christmas runner will be made up of square
panels, which are joined together using fabric strips,
a border and a backing.
Everyone will decorate a square each.
May and Patrick's will form the centrepiece - a patchwork star.
How are we putting the star together?
We are going to put it together in rows, we'll have some squares
and we'll have some triangles joined together to make other squares.
We're joining up a lot of triangles and squares to make a star?
So how is your machining?
My machining is excellent.
You have to be quite precise with this design.
Yes, these need to be neat.
Shall we cut up some fabric?
Have we got our triangle template somewhere?
I have something up my sleeve.
I need eight cream triangles.
I feel like Santa's little helper.
While May and Patrick are using patchwork to decorate their
centrepiece, the other sewers are using another traditional technique.
I'm going to do an applique design of a poinsettia because, to me,
Christmas isn't complete without a poinsettia flower,
so this to me is Christmas.
Applique involves cutting out fabric pieces that are ironed,
then stitched onto material.
I wanted to do a square that symbols what Christmas
is about in our house.
It's all about Christmas trees and baubles,
so I thought I would go for a Christmas tree
and hope for the best!
I'm going to use a combination of these fabrics,
but I'm still just mulling over the details in my head a little bit.
I've got a few different templates here, the reindeer's caught my
eye and I think that's quite a nice Christmassy thing to have around.
He's going to be quite cute.
I've got like scissors and cotton reels, so we'll have a wreath
made up of sewing things, with a few holly leaves and berries thrown in.
That's kind of what's going round in my head at the moment.
A wreath sounds so involved!
It's a piece of cake for him, he's a quilter!
Well, I had better make it good, hadn't I!?
Do you get all the things out
that the kids have made over the years, Sandra?
I do but they're drifting to the back of the tree now
cos they're getting that old and shabby.
Whenever we go through the year, I have to buy a new Christmas bauble.
I do that!
I buy one new bauble every year that goes on.
We have to buy more than one...
So do you do have a real family Christmas, Sandra?
Yes, everybody's there for Christmas.
You need to realise that these two talk all the time!
Do they? People walk in off the street?
Sometimes their partners are there...
We might be here for a while.
Everybody's there for Christmas dinner.
Everybody sits there stodged.
The sewers' fabric designs are being attached to the runner panels
using fusible web, a fibre that melts
when it's heated with an iron, leaving a sticky residue.
It's kind of like glue, in a way, that's heat activated.
I've ironed this onto the fabric, so it's stuck onto it.
But when I peel this off, there'll be another layer of glue.
But when I iron it again, it will stick onto the base fabric.
It's good for just holding things where you want them
to before you sew them, otherwise things can move around a lot.
Ann's constructing her poinsettia
from over ten separate layered pieces.
I'm using different coloured reds to give a bit of texture to the
look of the flower.
They don't have to be too exact.
This is freehand drawing, after all.
And there's my shape and it's got its sticky backing on it.
I'm worried that it doesn't look...maybe like a dog
with antlers on.
People do that, don't they, at Christmas?
They put antlers on their dogs.
I've totally got a picture of antlers on my dog.
Have you? Was that what inspired this table runner design?
So this is our Chrisatmas poinsettia. Now, talk me through where you are.
I'm doing layers of applique, starting with the wrap-round leaves.
And the central flower...
The central flower is the little polka-dot fellow.
I really like this idea of everybody coming together
and doing a piece of something communal.
It's a great idea because you get such a variety of ideas,
and there's so much talent out there.
I've got my elements all cut out, and what I'm trying to do now is
just place them into a wreath-like shape.
It's a bit difficult because the scissors are long and thin,
and it doesn't help me making a round wreath.
It's sort of coming together.
OK, dog or reindeer?
-That is a reindeer.
Patrick and May are still working out what goes
where for their Christmas star.
It's a quite a complicated design, so they're temporarily
sticking their shapes onto a piece of paper to create a template.
Then it's easy to see which pieces to sew together.
By Jove, I think we've cracked it.
When you sew this together, you join those two together
and those two together.
Then you join those squares that you've made to that square
there and that square there.
We sew them in four strips and then we sew the four strips together.
And you end up with a star!
You know what you are going to do now?
I'm going to have to sew something...
You're going to have to sew some together.
How many of these do I have to do?
Quite a few. Don't go anywhere.
I'm very interested to see May and Patrick's work.
I'm going to be looking very carefully
at Patrick's top stitching.
Mine could be the weakest link on the table runner, couldn't it?
I've just got to hope Patrick's no good.
What have you done there?
Have you got three bits of fabric and sewn them on the back?
It does look complicated!
People that haven't got a machine, or children who want to have a go,
can literally get them to iron it on and just stab-stitch it round,
and then they can add pom-poms and bits and pieces.
Oh, I remember you were a fan of the pom-pom.
-I love a pom-pom.
-I remember a particular pom-pom moment.
-My bag was lovely.
-It was lovely.
And this is the last...
And that's the last one. Fantastic.
Then that forms the rest of our star.
The patchwork strips are attached using wedding dress lace pins,
which are so fine they can be
stitched over without damaging the machine.
So now if we take those pins out...
..and we open this out,
it all matches beautifully!
-Part of our star.
Right. Let's crack on and finish it off then.
I'm going to use thicker embroidery thread
and I'm just going to do a little knot for his eye.
It wants to move that way round a bit but, yes, that's OK.
I think that's it!
There you go. It's going to be a sewing bee Christmas.
-They are absolutely amazing
and they're all completely different.
Incredible. I love your threads.
I'm particularly impressed with Sandra's star.
May will ensemble and sew everyone's squares together later
to form the table runner.
I put those the other way round,
so that the reindeer is facing into the middle.
Oh, that's a good idea, well done!
Ann came into the Sewing Bee with over 75 years of sewing
experience behind her.
She was just a joy to watch.
Oh, now that's a delight!
She really is extremely talented, extremely meticulous.
I think she looks rather good in it!
A very well executed piece of sewing.
Gorgeous zip insertion.
Ann won the Sewing Bee with her classic tailoring techniques
and precision timing.
Wherever I go people come up to me and say, "Congratulations!"
It's quite extraordinary.
Somebody stopped me and said, "Do you do alterations?"
I was completely taken aback!
I do not do alterations.
I'm the moderator of a sewing website.
Come on, dearie!
I put up tutorials and things.
Also, I can go in and if people aren't behaving themselves,
then I can tick them off or delete their stuff!
I will always love sewing. This is me.
This is what I do. This is what I am.
For Ann, when it comes to Christmas, it's not about making clothes
but about making presents for her grandchildren.
So, I'm going to make a teddy bear for one my granddaughters.
She's 15 and she collects soft toys.
Teddy bears became popular gifts in 1902.
They're named after US President Theodore Roosevelt,
who refused to shoot a bear on a hunting trip
and the first cuddly bears were produced to commemorate this event.
Ann's teddy bear is going to be made in the same traditional way,
from 13 pieces of mohair.
This is expensive fabric and you use every inch of it that you can.
Ann sourced this teddy bear pattern
and fabric from a specialist online shop.
Once the pieces are cut out, excess mohair is
trimmed off the edges to stop fur catching in the sewing machine.
Everything gets covered in teddy bear fur.
Don't wear your best black trousers when you're doing this.
It gives me great pleasure to see a child's reaction to a soft toy.
When I was I teenager, I made absolutely masses of soft toys
and I made soft toys for my children and for my grandchildren.
I think a lot of my soft toys have become favourites, yes.
Ann starts sewing the arm pieces together first.
So what I'm doing is I'm pushing as much of the fur as I can
out of the way as I stitch round.
I don't think I was interested much at all in the way of soft
toys as a child until I could make them, then I became interested.
That's now an arm shape.
Arm stitched, this process is repeated for the other arm,
legs, body and head.
We've got the sides of the head sewn up and in order to make
it three-dimensional, we're going to put a gusset over the top.
The bear has a bald nose.
I've trimmed the fur off the end of the gusset.
I'm not a biologist. I've no idea why bears have bald noses.
I guess it's the way their born!
The head is the final piece that's machined.
Ann will finish the rest of the bear by hand.
I really think that for my teenage granddaughter,
she's going to appreciate the fact that this is something that
I have made specifically for her.
Now it's all turned right-side out, we're ready to do some stuffing.
This is my stuffing stick. You don't need to buy anything special,
just raid the kitchen.
I think I used that to stir some sauce a couple of nights ago!
Before stuffing the arms, joints are attached.
Plastic pellets give the arm and foot paws a more real feel.
It almost feels also there is a person inside there.
You need to put some of this wadding in quickly to stop them coming out.
Once the arms and legs are stuffed and stitched,
Ann puts the bear together.
That's on, and the last thing we have to do is stuff his body.
She then gives the bear his face.
Half the nose is completed before starting on the mouth.
He does need to smile at you
and so it's quite a good idea to put a pin or something across.
Does he look as though he's smiling?
Yes, I think so. I think that's quite a good place for it.
Mouth done, there's just the other half of the nose to stitch.
And there we are.
Back at the Sewing Bee, May is assembling the table runner
whilst Patrick and the sewers get on with another communal project.
This time all they have is a needle and thread.
OK, sewers, we're going to make personalised table napkins to
go with our table runner.
Just to give you an idea,
this is the handkerchief that I did for myself,
so I would like, if you can,
just to put the initials of the person for whom you
are making it and then some little motif that represents the person.
So perhaps, Ann, you could make one for Stuart, Stuart
for Lauren, Sandra for me. Nothing rude, please.
And I will make one for Ann.
Pick anything but maybe try and think of who you are making it for.
Each take a hoop, each take a napkin.
It can be any motif you like.
We've done a few for you here on tracing paper,
so you can trace them on.
If you want to take some carbon paper
and then just trace over the top if it with a pencil.
Before carbon paper was invented in the 18th century, embroiderers
would use the dregs from red wine to mark out their patterns.
So, Stuart, what initials do you want put on yours?
Yeah, or you can put "G" for my middle name.
I think "SH" is probably enough.
I think it probably is.
As the napkins get under way, May constructs the runner.
I've got these pieces of fabric which are called spacers.
I'm going to pin them and this will form a join
between all your squares.
From year to year, you can actually change your runner.
You can add extra blocks to the end of it if your table gets longer.
And that's the last one.
All the panels now have a red band in-between them
and then we're going to put some red down the sides.
So now we need add the borders,
and it just frames these lovely panels and they just come alive.
To conceal all the raw edges, May pins a length of backing fabric
right side to right side to the runner and machines them together.
I'm going to leave one end open,
so I can turn the whole thing through this opening here.
I've sewn round the edges
and what I'm going to do now is turn it through.
We need to give it a really good press
and then it's ready for the Christmas table.
There's an enormous art to embroidery.
I mean, choosing the colours,
what stitches you use, where you put the stitches.
Patrick, what kind of stitch would you use?
-A backstitch for straight lines and satin stitch for filling in.
Backstitching is when the needle is placed a space
ahead of the previous stitch and the next stitch neatly fills the gap.
Almost! Good enough!
Satin stitches are placed
so closely together they appear solid, resembling satin.
Patrick, did you know that embroidery should look
the same on the back as the front(?)
I know that, yes! I'm taking a different approach.
Let me see the back.
Get out! Keep on with your own job!
You ticked me off last year on the sewing bee when you looked
at the back of the embroidery that I had done and it was inside
a purse and nobody but you,
peering inside the purse, would have seen it!
Stuart's chosen a sewing machine motif for Lauren,
while she's embroidering a measuring tape for Sandra.
I thought she'd appreciate an inch tape,
even when she eating her dinner.
I even have gone shopping with a tape measure around me neck.
-I can imagine that!
-This is perfect, then!
I've forgotten I've got it round me neck,
and I've looked down and there's me tape measure!
I'm doing a dickie bow for Patrick.
When I think of Patrick, I always think of him in his smart suits.
People are always shocked when they see me
not in a tailored jacket, so I think that's about right.
Do you dress casually very often?
Yeah! I don't live in a three-piece suit.
I'm currently trying to do a letter "A" for Ann.
There we are, there's an "A".
That's definitely an "A", isn't it?
It's definitely an "A"!
I think, if you like sewing, you just like the process of sewing
as much as what you're actually are sewing.
Just sitting and using a needle and thread
just seems to be a fascinating thing to do.
The only sewing I've ever known is sitting in a quiet work room
with lots of people all sewing together,
so this feels like the norm and everybody just sits and talks,
they talk and sew.
They all know an awful lot about each other.
They each other much more intimately than is probably healthy.
But absolutely, everybody knows everybody's business on Savile Row.
OK, so we've all finished.
Ann, I've done a little pin cushion.
It's kind of turned into something of a crown
because you were our worthy winner.
Stuart, let's have a look at what you've done.
-There's my traditional sewing machine for Lauren.
-Oh, I just love this.
-I mean, that's just absolutely amazing.
And, Sandra, you've encapsulated me in green and blue.
-To me, that just speaks you, Patrick.
-I think it's perfect!
And, Ann, you have taken Stuart and recreated him in stitch and napkin.
I love it! I love the way the buttons are just straining,
That kind of happened!
-Tell me about it!
Stuart was the maverick in the Sewing Bee, producing
some of the most unusual garments.
I had an absolute ball.
What Stuart bought to the sewing room was just a sort of joy
and an enthusiasm for the process of making things.
If in doubt, call it punk...
He grew throughout the competition.
..that's what I say!
Since the Great British Sewing Bee, Stuart's been rather busy.
I'm at the Alexander Palace Knitting and Stitching Show,
just generally sewing and talking at the same time.
Who knew a man could do that?
I shall applique that in the middle
and then make another 48. That's my quilt!
I've been teaching a lot of workshops...
Have I met you before?
-I don't know.
-I met you at the Festival of Quilts.
I'm doing lots of pattern designing and lots of writing.
If you've got a book, I've got a pen!
It's probably one of the best thing I've ever done in my whole life,
And this Christmas, at least one of the presents under Stuart's
tree will be home-sewn and made of tweed.
I'm making a messenger bag, a laptop-style satchel,
and I'm making
it for my partner, Charlie. You know, boys need bags, too.
This one's made in a really nice heavy wool,
so it's durable and smart.
I'm just making the button loops now.
I've got my strip of fabric and I've folded it in three times,
so the raw edges are all encased.
So I've put my lining fabric right side facing up,
and put my outside fabric on top of it
and my interlining goes on top of that.
The button loops are attached and the three sides are stitched.
I've made this bag a couple of times, actually.
It's a nice, easy bag and it's all rotary-cut,
which I like. And it's very quick, so...it's a good one.
When you're top stitching, it's really worth taking your time
cos this is the bit that really shows.
Next, a pocket is constructed for the inside.
I think for Charlie, two fairly roomy pockets,
so he can keep things like his keys, mobile phone will make it useful.
Got to get him organised.
Christmases in Yorkshire, tend to be family affairs.
I'm not that bothered about presents particularly,
but definitely about the eating,
lots of lots of that, so all good stuff.
Stuart stitches the bottom and sides of the lining together,
with gaps left at the edges.
The reason why that's important is because
when we bring those two pieces together to make the bottom
of the box, if you like,
they'll be nice and flat because we have got that gap in the stitching.
Now what I'm going to do is stitch across this line here.
The front piece of lining is attached,
but a gap is left at the bottom.
I often put double pins in, cos I get a bit enthusiastic
when I'm on the sewing machine and I just keep going.
When I see those double pins I know to stop.
And that's the gap that will be used to turn the bag through later.
The outer bag's constructed in the same way.
Hopefully it will look like a bag.
Stuart makes loops for the strap rings...
There we go!
..and uses the same process for the shoulder strap.
At this stage now, I've got the outer bag inside the lining
and the pretty sides touching each other.
It's like giving birth, isn't it?
I can see the head.
A bit of top stitching and the strap's then attached.
Once the toggles are sewn on, my bag is done.
MUSIC: "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" by Patti Page
Next on Patrick and May's home-sewn Christmas list are tree decorations.
There's something lovely about having
decorations on our trees that are made by members of the family.
I think we cherish them far more than any that we've bought.
This is one that was made by one of my daughters,
I suspect my eldest daughter, probably 40 or 50 years ago!
It's really lovely.
What have you got in your hand, Lauren?
Well, I've got this little one, which I must have done
when I was about 11 years old, so don't look too closely!
The stitches are so small!
My mum brings it out every year and she lent it to me today,
and she was very keen that I bought it back,
and that it wasn't for me to keep. She wanted it back.
May is making her decoration to celebrate a new arrival.
I am going to make a new decoration for my new granddaughter.
Christmas in our house starts on the first of December.
The tree is my main feature, always has been.
It's sort of my pride and joy that I decorate.
Every year you make something new.
I saw the lid of my pin box and that just said, "Hang me on the tree!"
What are you doing?
I'm doing a garland, with hearts and stars
-and bells in-between.
-What are you making towards Christmas?
I am making a tweed stocking from a bit of leftover tweed.
I think that's the nice thing about Christmas
because you can use all your scraps ups.
Stuart, what are you doing?
There is something fantastic going on up there!
I'm making, it's called a clamshell case. It's a hanging bauble,
but it's actually like a little box as well.
You can hide stuff in there.
So, what's that stuff?
-It's template plastic.
-It's quite rigid template plastic.
-Acetate, is it?
Lauren, what are you rustling up for us?
I'm just making a really simple little dove with felt
and hearts on it.
Christmas trees became popular in Britain in the 1840s after
Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert,
brought the tradition over from his native Germany.
Early tree decorations included crystallised fruits and candles.
Something simple like this would be great for a child to make.
They want to use something which doesn't fray,
which they can make big stitches, which is easy to sew.
So I've chosen felt in bright Christmassy colours
and I've got some matching threads to sew it all together.
Is this the first Christmas decoration you've made?
No. I think I've made one in playschool.
I made an angel for the top of our Christmas tree with a loo
roll down the middle.
He lasted on our tree for many a long year.
This presumably is "C" for new granddaughter Charlotte?
Yes. C for Charlotte, yes.
I'm going to make a heart-shape hanging decoration.
You're going to sew over the top of that?
Yes, an embroidery stitch round the edge of that. How you doing, anyway?
This is about the simplest tree decoration ever. Pair of shears,
a little bit of paper, you don't even need a pattern, you can free hand it.
A piece of cloth, a needle and thread
and actually you can make a tree decoration.
Stuart's cut his acetate leaf shapes,
stuck wadding and fabric onto one side and is ready to construct.
I've glued my fabric on, making sure the points are nice and neat.
I'm going to stitch the pairs of inner and outer together.
I've cut out my little hearts from the red felt
and I'm just top stitching them on with a little running stitch.
And then when I've finished this heart, my two separate doves
will get put together
and I'm just going to stitch all the way round the outside,
stuff it and then I've got some of this really pretty ribbon that I
think will look lovely with it.
That will be how it can hang from the tree.
So I'm just starting at the point of the star
and just doing a small straight stitch.
I don't want the stuffing to come out.
When you get to the point, you've got to make sure your needle
is down, then you can lift your foot up and just turn your fabric.
So you haven't got a rounded point, it's a nice sharp point.
Turn it inside out, then I'll get my magic little tool,
which Stuart told me all about when we did the series.
Got your chopstick?
I used to use a knitting needle,
but this is an excuse to have a meal out.
Then the fun part starts with the stuffing.
I've put this white decorative piece on
and I've just used some big stitches.
And it doesn't matter what the back looks like
because it's all going to be covered up,
It's not going to show in the end.
I've put two pieces together and just stitched around the outside,
and now I've got to put the third bit in, which is the tricky bit.
Cos it's not quite as easy as putting two flat bits together.
Kind of squish it, like that.
It's just a bit of a fiddle, really.
I think the idea is Japanese originally,
and they're just like little accessory boxes that people make.
And the first time I saw one of these,
a friend had got a mini version of this.
And she keeps her thimble in it,
and I thought it looked like a little Christmas bauble.
And I loved the idea that you could have something on the tree,
which was more than it looked.
I've sewn it on, then the very last thing that I do
is too trim it all the way round...
..and there we are.
I think that a nine or ten-year-old could probably make that.
Just finishing stuffing the star and what I've done, I've pushed it in
and then got me chopstick and I've just pushed it into the points
so it's nice and firm.
Well, you don't want soggy corners, do you?
Sandra's adding her pieces to an existing bunting.
I just wanted a little bit of jingle for Christmas.
MUSIC: "Deck The Halls" by Peggy Lee
Once this is closed up, he'll be finished.
All I've done is threaded some ribbon through the end,
so the last bit is to tie a little knot and then I can open it.
Put something nice inside.
Could be sweets, could be a diamond ring.
Let's hang them on our tree.
Christmas at my house,
every surface is covered with Christmas decorations.
My husband has an expression if he stands still for too long,
he gets decorated.
I do enjoy making gifts for other people
because I can personalise it or I can put a little touch on it
that I know they will really love or appreciate.
27-year-old Lauren was the youngest member of the Sewing Bee,
but she made it to the final with her advanced techniques
and well-finished garments.
She is a passionate sewer and her skill levels were terrific.
In the final week, we were able to see, really, everything
she was able to do. That ball gown was truly spectacular.
Since the Sewing Bee, I feel like my life has hugely changed.
It completely revolves around sewing now.
Lauren has opened her own haberdashery.
I've got two girls that work in the shop with me, and it's like we're
friends that get to hang out in the haberdashery shop all day.
Oh, yes, yes. Better than that one.
It means a lot to me that I've got a job that revolves around sewing
or being creative because it's great that I can do it every day.
I feel really lucky. It is what I truly love.
I am making a fabric-covered doll's house
and it's going to be for my two little nieces.
And, at the moment,
I am just cutting out what is going to be the walls of the doll's house.
This plastic, it's just called plastic canvas.
It's almost like a little grid.
It gets used quite a lot for children
when they are learning how to sew.
Wadding lining is cut, and the plastic canvas is
sandwiched between it and secured in place with a tacking stitch.
So now we've got all the panels for my house ready.
We need to cut out the main fabric for the house.
It's going to have a garden section,
and this is what I'm going to use for the garden.
And as it's got a gingerbread theme,
I've chosen this brown fabric as the base.
So this is the outside of the house and this is going to
be my walls on the inside. I'm just going to sew it all the way around.
Turn it the right way out.
Next bit I am going to do is prepare the roof.
I'm going to use this rick rack. It will sort of look like snow,
but also a little bit like chocolate biscuits as well.
It ties in nicely with my gingerbread theme.
I've got one done, so I repeat that for the other side
and then I will be ready to sew all the different panels together.
The first bit is just putting my plastic canvas and wadding
into my side panel,
so that just gets slotted in and it should be a nice, snug fit.
So, now I am just sewing the roof panel onto the main panel
of the dolls house and then I will sew the interior fabric together.
So, what I am going to do now is join my outside panel to my inside
and do it with the right sides together,
so all my raw edges are hidden. OK.
This is the really exciting bit
because I'll turn it all the right way out,
and I'll start to really get an idea what it's going to look like.
Here's my roof. Next comes the garden...
There it is.
I am going to insert my panels.
With all the wadding panels sewn in, the house can be decorated.
I'm going to have a snowman, and he is going to be flying a kite
because I've got a really nice memory of visiting
my nieces and we all went to the park together and flew the kite and
they really loved it, it's a really nice memory that I've got.
OK, so now he's got the carrot for his nose,
I can get started on some of the other decorations.
I've been looking through old Christmas photos with my mum,
and we found this one when I was only just over a year old
and she made me this Wendy house!
I can remember playing in it and I loved it!
I think people really appreciate it when you put time
and effort into making something that's handmade.
These are the last few stitches...
and then it will be finished.
I'm really pleased with it.
I think it's got a lot of personal details
that the girls will really love,
and I think they will have a great time playing with it.
The Sewing Bee is all about sharing home-sewn gift ideas,
and these quick-and-easy stocking fillers
can all be made in under an hour-and-a-half.
My daughter-in-law has been bitten by the sewing bug,
so I am going to make her a beautiful sewing box for Christmas.
It's really, really simple to make.
The outside is made from thick-ish card.
The inside is made from thinner bits of card -
those could be cereal packets.
When you fold it up like that, you've got your box,
you've got your inner and you've got your outer.
I'm going to make a Christmas jumper -
the scourge of all Christmases past - but I'm going to try
and do it in a way that is really nice.
It's a simple way. I'm not knitting it but, what I am going to do
is take a really simple reindeer motif and just applique layers
of wool and melton on top on one and other to create this pattern.
So what I've done with the picture of the reindeer is break
it into three colour groups, which took a bit of working out
but is not beyond the wit of man.
Each one will be cut out, the fabric will be cut out,
they will all be stitched together and put on the jumper.
We weren't a big Christmas jumper family.
It wasn't really a tradition at all.
It's one I would like to start if I have one of my own.
I think ridiculing your children by making them
wear idiotic-looking knitwear is something
we need to preserve as a nation.
When I usually get home from work, the first thing
I do is put my pinny on and get the tea started,
and it just saves all my work clothes getting messed up.
I've decided to make an apron for one of my friends.
I am making a hot water bottle cover.
Decided to go for a Christmassy fabric -
I couldn't really resist it.
I've just put a paper pattern on top
and I used this really cool stuff called freezer paper.
It's got a paper side and a waxy side.
For someone like me, who is a bit cacky-handed
and not very good at pinning things down, you can just
and put the paper pattern down, go over it and it sticks.
But then you can peel it back off again and then you can re-use it.
So if you were making a number of these, it's a lot faster,
it just sort of speeds the process up.
I'm going to make a fabric-covered notebook for my mum,
and I've got this, just a plain note book here, nothing special, really.
And I've got all of these scraps of fabric that I just had
left over from other projects.
So, I am just going to join them up to make a big, long rectangle
and it will be like an envelope that just almost slots onto the notebook.
I'm making a little coin purse so that I can put the present
of money that I'm giving into it, so it's not just in an envelope.
It's just made from a rectangle of fabric
and I've put a layer of thin cotton wadding underneath it,
just to give it a little bit of softness and body.
The fabric and the zip for this came from Lauren's shop.
Stuart's cut some button holes for his hot water bottle cover.
I've cut some circles of fabric
and doing a quick running stitch around the edge.
Once I've got back to where I've started,
I can put...
..the plastic bit inside and gather up.
And then I just get the other part, pop that on top,
push it down and there is the finished button, all covered.
Before attaching the design to his jumper,
Patrick checks his reindeer pieces fit together.
Roughly speaking, although he looks grumpy now,
I'll make him a little happier. Hello!
There he is.
What I'm going to do now is start by attaching in layers,
and then the whole thing will be sewn onto the jumper.
May's lined and covered the outer and inner parts of her pyramid.
I'm now going to do my fastenings, these rings here.
This is my invention.
You take a paper fastener and you take a little brass curtain ring.
You put the ring to the back of the paper fastener.
Pop that through, over the top.
Fabric strips are stitched on to become pockets.
I'm using a curved needle because it's really easy when you are sewing
on a flat surface, cos it comes back to meet you as you stitch.
Next, May makes a pin cushion from triangular pieces of fabric
stitched and stuffed with wadding.
The outer and inner triangles are then assembled.
Clip it together while the glue dries, or you can put the two
together and put a pile of books on top of them.
Once stuck, the edges will be stitched.
You can put anything inside these.
I've made this one into a sewing case,
but you can put a little pouch into the middle for jewellery.
You can customise it to suit the person you are giving it to.
So when you've done this, you take a piece of ribbon
and you thread it through...
..and there you are.
Lauren's attached flaps to both ends of her fabric to make
a sleeve for her notepad.
It means that you can re-use it again and again.
When that notebook's full,
you can just take it off and put it on another one.
I'd be more than pleased to receive an apron for Christmas,
especially if it was in a pretty fabric with co-ordinating pockets.
I've pinned them on. I've checked where the pins are and then
I shall make sure they look level and line them up
with a tape measure, just to make sure.
If I turned the purse right side out now, it would be absolutely flat.
So, what I am going to do is make a sort of box,
so I am going to
machine stitch across that corner...
..and I do that on all four corners.
My little hair bobble's in place,
so I am just going to sew my button on and I will be finished.
I think it looks great, and I think my mum will really like it.
Turn this right side out and then
if, I want to give some money as a present...
I thought, just to finish it off, a bit of ribbon around the neck.
If it gets cold in Yorkshire, that will keep you warm and toasty.
How much money shall we give them?
I think that's probably about enough.
That is a slightly hurried, but very handsome reindeer.
I could probably slip it on and see how it fits.
So there you go.
I think she'll be pleased with that.
I'd like it if I had it.
Sandra was a bit of a rebel in the sewing room.
You haven't made rouleau loops.
Sandra and I didn't always see eye-to-eye on things
like fabric choice.
You like it and that's the important thing.
But what was so lovely was that was very much her personality.
She's bright and fun, terrifically experienced.
All those years of making clothes for her daughters clearly shone through.
She didn't believe in herself initially.
Week-by-week she just got better and better.
And things have continued to get better and better.
OK, ladies, have you all done your bit of homework?
Life has been really busy since the Sewing Bee.
I've gone from the normal mum to doing classes,
which is something I would never have dreamed of doing before.
If I was you, I'd re-tack that in there quarter of an inch.
I'm working at something I really enjoy doing.
The response has been great,
and it's nice to pass on all the knowledge I've got to others.
You've done really well there.
I do more sewing now than I've ever done and it just so enjoyable.
-That's not too bad, is it, girls?
I'm making a suede gardening belt for my husband,
just to see if I can encourage him
to spend more time up the allotment with me.
The belt is made from seven pieces of fabric, some binding and loops.
It's a nice suedette material.
Quite hard-wearing. When you're bending down and digging, it's
not stiff and rigid to get in your way. It'll bend with you.
There we go, so lift those off.
I've designed this with Anthony especially in mind,
knowing what kind of tools he uses up the allotment.
A pouch for his secateurs. One for his mobile phone,
which he has usually got shoved in his pocket and never hears.
This is a waterproof pocket, so it will do for your mobile phone,
your seed packets, anything that you don't want getting wet.
With different fabric, pockets and attachments, the belt can be easily
be adapted as a gift for anyone, from an artist to a DIY enthusiast.
I really didn't cut up my husband's string vests for this.
The stretchy waterproof mesh forms the last two pockets.
Next, Sandra trims the edges with binding.
So I'm just doing the top stitching,
and if you fold your binding over and just make sure it overlaps,
you know when you sew it's going to catch it the other side.
So there you go, and we'll just bind all the pocket pieces like that.
That's my little net pocket for any string or anything.
I'm going to fold that in half and I've got a silver ring,
which we usually put clips on for tying the fruit
canes on or you can put your keys on.
Then, I'll have that one going down like that,
which will bring it all together.
Anthony always spoils me at Christmas
and I usually get my wish list.
A new machine would be nice.
Now, I'm ready to sew it onto the main piece,
which you'll attach to the belt.
It's unusual for me to make much for Anthony.
I usually do a lot more for the girls,
so I think he will be really pleased with this
because he gets a bit left out.
I can always remember a Christmas with my mum sitting their sewing.
I can remember her making endless amount of frog door stops,
everybody wanted one.
I think she supplied the whole of Wolverhampton with them.
So there we go. That's the first pocket done.
All we've got to do is add the others.
We can pop the seeds in there, ties in there.
We've got a little pocket for his pen.
And he can even put his mobile phone in there, so I can keep hold of him.
I think I might make myself one of them with a bit of flower on!
I don't think home-made gifts are for everyone.
That's really clever!
Any little girl would love that, wouldn't they?
If your 15-year-old wants a computer game,
don't give them a home-sewn stocking!
Isn't that fun?
But there is enormous love and energy in things which are handmade.
It's absolutely fabulous!
Such fun to make! Such fun!
And actually, probably that child that doesn't necessarily want
that home-made gift at the time will keep it for ever,
and the expensive toy they ask for gets discarded after a few years.
And you didn't neaten the edges? It's just raw edges.
What do you mean, "Didn't neaten them"?
They are beautifully neat, Ann! "No" is the answer to that question!
My grandmother, God bless her, was not the best knitter
in the world but she used to knit us mittens that looked more like socks.
Every time I pull one out it reminds me of my grandmother,
and that's lovely.
It's much more thoughtful and much more redolent than
anything you can possibly buy in the store, and I think that's why
hand-sewn and handmade at Christmas is just the thing to do.
This is just very much part of being a sewing bee.
We've all worked together,
we've all sewn together, created together, fantastic!
The Sewing Bee has produced teddy bears, table cloths,
and tweed stocking decorations.
With a bit of time, a needle and thread, anyone who wants to
can create a beautiful, home-sewn Christmas.
Cheers! ALL: Merry Christmas.
Feeling ready to sharpen up your sewing skills? Visit...
..where you'll also find sewing tips, techniques and ideas.
The Great British Sewing Bee returns for a Christmas reunion with the judges, Savile Row's Patrick Grant and sewing teacher, May Martin and 2013's semi-finalists - Stuart, Sandra, Lauren and 82-year-old winner Ann. Like traditional sewing bees of the past, they pool their experience and talents to make everything from Christmas table linen, to unique gifts to exquisite tree decorations. Ann demonstrates how to make a beautiful teddy bear, Stuart produces a tweed satchel, Sandra puts together a gardening belt and Lauren constructs a fabric doll's house. As they sew, they and the judges share stories of their own family Christmas traditions.