Claudia Winkleman hosts the grand final of the Great British Sewing Bee. The three finalists create three pieces of evening wear to impress the judges.
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Seven weeks ago, the sewing room opened its doors
to ten of the best amateur sewers in Britain.
After 147 garments, just three sewers remain.
-It's so empty. Oh, it is so empty.
-It is so empty.
And now either Charlotte...
-This is not good.
One more, just one more.
-Damn, damn, damn.
..is going to be crowned the winner of The Great British Sewing Bee.
Charlotte, Joyce and Jade have just three more garments to make before
Esme and Patrick decide who deserves the title of Britain's best amateur sewer.
I was born ready.
I don't know ready for what.
Charlotte takes a mathematical approach to her sewing and often
prefers to play it safe, but last week she excelled,
winning a complex pattern challenge with a precisely sewn skirt
and revealing a real flair for design
with her Garment Of The Week-winning alteration.
The fact that I had a good week in the semifinal has really buoyed me up.
I'm just going to do the best I can, and hopefully it will be enough.
With six decades of sewing behind her, Joyce knows every technique in the book.
Her taste may be traditional, but her fabric handling, fitting and finishing are hard to beat.
If - big, big if - I won, it would be the cherry on the icing of the cake,
and my son-in-law has already got me down to switch on the Hassocks lights if...
-It's a tiny little village.
This is exciting, guys.
At 18, Jade is the youngest ever sewer on the sewing bee.
She may be the least experienced, but she's proved she's a fast learner
and showed she has the ability to remain cool under pressure.
I feel like I've worked really hard for this.
I'm just going to get my head down,
show the judges why I'm meant to be here.
Guess what. We are in the final.
-No, we're not. This is a dream.
-Good morning, sewers.
Will you come and join us, please, finalists?
For the final, they've decided to take it up a notch,
and you are dealing with the daddy in the sewing world,
and that is exquisite evening wear.
-What is their first challenge, Esme?
-Right, here you are.
-What we've given you is a man's dress shirt.
This shirt has rows of perfectly parallel
pin tucks down the front, and more than any challenge we've set before,
we are only going to be looking at the precision of your sewing.
Girls, are you feeling all right?
-You have 4½ hours for a perfect shirt.
-Your time starts now. JOYCE:
Shall we pull it back together?
For the last pattern challenge, the fabric has already been cut.
-Bags not pink.
-I don't mind pink.
-I want that one.
-I'll have the blue
The judges want to focus purely on the finalists' sewing,
and expect precision with every stitch.
I'm glad it is just down to the sewing,
because this is the kind of thing that would take four hours to cut out.
This challenge is probably the toughest we've ever set.
Every bit of this is difficult.
We will be looking at the placement, the precision, the accuracy,
the straightness, the spacing -
and that's just on the pin tucks on the front of the shirt.
Also the placket, this is a binding for the cut you make in the sleeve of the shirt
so you can open the cuff.
But it's the tricky piece of sewing.
They've got to attach the collar to a collar stand,
it has to then sit correctly all the way round.
These points have to be precisely turned out, no bumps in the corners.
There is so much precision in this.
And we will pick up on every single error they make.
I had a feeling it would be a shirt or something hard,
so I'm just reading the instructions and really taking in exactly what they are telling me to do.
My approach to this is to follow the pattern to the letter.
Pencil at the ready, tick off when I'm done.
The first step is to sew a set of
six pin tucks on each of the front pieces.
Then the button stands are created,
before the front and back are joined at the yoke.
The sleeves are made with their placket openings and inserted.
The collar and cuffs are added,
and there are seven buttons to attach at the front
and two more at the cuffs.
I think the pin tucks is probably the trickiest part of the pattern.
Once you've done them, it's just a nice sewing job.
Having said that, of course, we've got plackets to put in, as well.
And a collar to put on, so perhaps it's not just an old sewing job.
Joyce left her old job as a school admissions officer in 2012,
but since the Sewing Bee started, she hasn't had a spare minute.
Being retired, I think Mum thinks she works hard,
but actually now she's really had to focus and concentrate on the sewing.
I think she has been quite tired, but when she gets there,
it sort of like reinvigorates her.
How are you feeling about the final?
I'm really excited.
I just love it when I'm there, to be honest.
It's not just me that's proud of her, I know my dad's really proud of her,
my son's really proud of her.
All of the family are proud of her.
-You are the best.
-Even if you don't win.
Such faith in her mother, Harry(!)
Have you made a shirt before?
I've made shirts for my boys when they were youngsters,
but of course it didn't have the precision of this.
And I actually made a shirt for my husband once when cheesecloth came into fashion.
-Oh, right, OK.
-He wore it once, so I made him no more.
Was it the cheesecloth or your sewing, Joyce?
How could it be my sewing, Patrick?
"Attach your pin tuck foot, and, working from top to bottom, stitch the first tuck.
"Continue sewing your pin tucks."
Do we have a pin tuck foot?
Oh, we do.
Sewing them free hand would mean
spending hours on the pin tucks alone.
The pin tuck foot should speed things up.
The pin tuck foot has several ridges,
but the ridge in the middle is the one
that makes the pin tuck you're currently sewing.
And then the other ridges are where previous pin tucks sit,
so the new one, it's absolutely parallel to the one you've sewn before.
Any wobbliness in those pin tucks is going to be, "Hello!"
I need to do 12 pin tucks altogether.
You've got to get your stitching exact.
This is petrifying.
I'm going to slow right down.
I'm concentrating on getting this line spot on.
-I've never sewed anything so slowly in my life.
-It's the final.
I just like saying it because I really like your reaction.
It's a mixture of excited and terrified.
How important is it for the psychology
to do well in the first challenge?
Oh, it's hugely important because it sets you up.
There, that does look nice.
Charlotte studied for three years to get her PhD in osteology,
but getting to the Sewing Bee final has been much more of a team effort.
The kids, throughout the process, have been so supportive of her,
it's really sweet.
-This one will go with the green.
-Do you think?
It has been really nerve-racking to find out if my mum has got through every week.
Every single time that I got a phone call,
I got really excited and shaky, like,
"Oh, no, what if she doesn't get through?"
But I think in my heart I knew she was
going to get through because she's amazing at sewing.
Winning it would mean so much to her.
She told me if she won Sewing Bee,
she would be more proud than she was of her PhD.
Just in case there was ever any doubt,
I am never making my husband a shirt.
This is ridiculous.
They are all taking an awfully long time doing their pin tucks.
We gave everything cut out, they had to sit down,
read the instructions, put that first piece under the machine and sew.
I understand they want to get this right, this is the final.
But they've got to crack on, there's so much to do in this challenge.
Yes. It is quite worrying.
Sewers, you've spent an hour already doing...
-You said it, Charlotte.
I've done 3½ pin tucks.
-How many have you done, Joyce?
One, two, three, four, five.
It is very hard. And they want 12 of them.
I will be glad when this bit's over.
Feel like my eyes are going woozy.
Jadey, how are you finding this?
-Have you ever sewn a pin tuck before?
I've never sewn a pin tuck.
Don't worry about the fact you haven't done it, just -
if I can say this in the nicest possible way - smash it.
You sound like my mum.
God, I think you were only about 11 there.
Jade is no stranger to competition.
On course to eventually represent Great Britain as a swimmer,
a knee injury four years ago put an end to her Olympic dreams.
You know, when she got injured, her life was changed dramatically.
It was a real shock to the system.
And then obviously sewing took over after the swimming.
Jade was always a very strong-willed person -
if she put her mind to something, she would always achieve.
Jade is so pleased she's got down to the final,
but she would love to win.
It would be like winning an Olympic gold medal for Jade.
Finished my pin tucks.
I'm never doing any again in my entire life.
Next is the button stand.
The button stand is the opening where the buttons and buttonholes will go.
It's created by pressing double folds along the front to reinforce the edges.
I'm going to sew up here first and then that gets folded in again
and then you sew up that one.
It says to fold over 2.7cm.
Normally, I would eyeball this sort of thing,
but today is just the precision, so I'm measuring it.
Next, the front and back pieces must be joined to a yoke, and every seam
finished with impeccable top stitching.
It is very important it's an even distance away
from the edge of the seam.
This shirt has an awful lot of top stitching.
Right, I'm going to hang this up and then we're making sleeve plackets.
Never done one before, this is going to be a tough one.
-Placket binding, is that what they call placket binding?
This is going to go round the bit that goes to the cuffs
so you can get your arm in, basically.
You have to make a slit.
-Have you done a placket before?
-I'm a bit lost.
This is quite a tricky piece of sewing and on the inside of a placket,
it should have a little triangle here,
and they have to push the excess fabric up between this,
so we don't want to see any raw edges.
I'm not quite sure what to do with you. Just turn you under, I guess.
Pin you down.
If you're no good at origami, you cannot do a shirt placket.
Oh! How did that happen?
-It looks like it makes sense,
all these little raw edges get tucked inside
and then you top-stitch it down and it hides it all.
How have you done it?
I just kept fiddling with it, and suddenly it fell into place.
I'll have to do it again, though - God knows if it'll work the second time.
Two sleeves, two plackets.
Hello, Joyce. This is the first or the second?
This is the first placket.
OK, so you've still got...
-to make up your cuffs, your collars, put your sleeves in.
You're panicking me, Patrick.
-Do all your buttonholes.
-You're panicking me, Patrick.
-It looks neat, but honestly...
-I need to pull my finger out.
You need to move at about twice the speed you're moving at, you've got a lot to do. Okey dokey. Hustle.
# You made my heart go tick-a-tick tock... #
Out the way.
Right, let's... Cuffs, cuffs, cuffs.
-A cuff has two pieces, an inside and outside, basically.
You sew all the way round that, clip the curvy bit,
flip it inside out and then you have a cuff.
I'm hoping that if I just remain calm and just keep on trucking,
it will be all right.
The cuffs aren't tricky, really,
you just need to make sure you've got nice angles on them and no puckers
or anything like that.
The difficulty with the cuffs is to make sure that they match on each side.
OK. Sew it on.
Sewers, you have one hour and ten minutes. Will you be all right for time, Joyce?
If I rush, I might, but...
Come on! What do you need me to do?
Shall I make like, galloping noises...?
No, couldn't you do my collar for me, while I do the buttonholes?
Like I know how to make a collar! Look what I'm wearing!
I'm not allowed to have an opinion on clothes.
I'm pinning my collar pieces together and I'm going to sew around the edge.
I need to make sure that my collar sits nice and flat on the body,
but has nice pointy corners at the end.
Once they've made the collar itself, they need to make the collar stand,
the section of fabric that joins it to the neck.
I'm now attaching my collar stand.
I'm just going to follow the instructions at this point, cos I haven't got a clue what I'm doing.
So that basically goes over like... that.
"Right sides together, pin and stitch the inner collar stand..."
What sort of seam allowance have we got?
Doesn't tell you, so let's use 1cm.
The seam allowance is the distance between the edge of the fabric
and the line of stitching.
The pattern specifies 1cm for the collar itself,
but it's up to the sewers to decide if this applies to the collar stand.
I used a 1cm seam allowance.
Creating too much seam allowance will make the collar too small.
Too little, and the collar will be too big.
Definitely being under pressure makes it harder to remember how to do stuff.
Also makes you second-guess yourself in a way that you wouldn't ordinarily.
It doesn't say a seam allowance in the instructions,
-but I've done
It doesn't say one.
I know, but I've just done it on one and it fits perfectly.
-But I've done it and trimmed it.
I've sewn the collar stands together with a 1.5cm seam allowance
and now I'm panicking that it won't fit,
but there's nothing I can do about it at this point.
I've already cut it, trimmed it.
Sewers, I have bad news.
You only have half an hour left.
OK, that's the collar on.
As Jade and Joyce move on to the final stage...
-..Charlotte's struggling to fit her collar.
It's not going to work. I can see already, that's not going to work.
The collar stand is too small for the shirt.
I did use the wrong seam allowance.
Aargh! This is going to look like crap.
I think the whole issue with the collar has thrown her.
Absolutely. She's panicking a bit, isn't she?
-It's a shame.
I haven't got the time to fix it, haven't got time to do anything about it.
Everyone else is on buttonholes.
One more. Just one more.
Come on, get out!
This is not good.
Sewers, 15 minutes. CHARLOTTE SIGHS
I'm sorry, Charlotte is angry with me for mentioning the time.
You've got to sew your buttons so that they match the buttonholes.
There's no point having in your button half an inch up.
It is stressful. If I had another five minutes, I could easily get these on.
The rest of it is absolutely fine.
It's just that one bit. That's going to have to do.
Just desperately trying to finish this so I can give it a good press.
And between you and me, my top buttonhole is not brilliant.
I've got nine buttons to sew on.
-They're all the same, Charlotte, just get it in the right position and put your foot down.
-Sewers, you have five minutes left.
I think I can do it. They're not going to be beautiful,
but they're going to be finished. Four done, five to go.
Three buttons left.
They're getting tacked on quick as they can.
I've done my buttons and it's just pressing now.
I don't think I can sew these buttons on fast enough, my hands are shaking.
-Jade, are you OK?
-I've got one button to go.
It's not going to do up. OK, never mind.
-A quick press of the collar.
One minute left.
I actually feel like I'm going to be sick.
I've never sewn buttons on so badly in my life.
That top button's not good.
Sewers, your time is up.
What a bloody mess.
Very well done, guys. Let's take the mannequins to the front.
# Lipstick on your collar
# Told a tale on you... #
Three pin-tuck dress shirts in four-and-a-half hours,
but who's followed their final pattern with the most precision?
Joyce, you're up first.
# ..Bet your bottom dollar You and I are through
# Cos lipstick on your collar told a tale on you. #
Your pin tucks look pretty good.
I'm not sure if this isn't slightly narrower.
Yeah, probably is.
-Yes, it is.
-Smaller this side?
Those points of collar are very sharp, very even.
The top stitching is very neat, it's a very nice curve here on the cuff.
When I look inside the placket,
you've sewn it in exactly the right place there.
The one thing that absolutely leaps out...
You've just got this buttonhole in the wrong place.
To me, it's really pretty much the only flaw.
It's pretty good.
Shall we start with the pin tucks?
This side is definitely narrower.
I mean, we can check that, for sure.
They're noticeably narrower, but they are pretty straight.
-Now, let's have a look at those cuffs
and see how even those are.
How are you that side?
-They're pretty good.
The top stitching on the button stand is very neat.
You obviously rushed putting your buttons on,
you didn't check the spacing.
We've got a bit of a gape on these two,
but it's a very good shirt in a very short space of time.
-I'll take that.
-Thank you very much.
There are a few things that jump out.
-The most obvious one to me is that your collar is too short.
And what that's doing is dragging everything out of shape,
so all of this here is because the collar is too small
and it's dragging everything around the shirt
into a smaller neck hole than it wants to be in to.
What you've done is taken too big a seam allowance.
It didn't specify seam allowance.
We specified a centimetre.
-For the collar, but not for the collar stand.
I mean, if I was sewing a centimetre on the collar,
I'd sew a centimetre on the collar stand.
Which is a shame, because the plackets are very neat,
the cuffs are pretty even.
The top stitching is pretty good.
You have done the pin tucks beautifully neatly.
The other big one...
-Your buttonholes are off-centre.
-And that was because you rushed them at the end.
Well done. Thank you, Charlotte.
Now the judges must decide whose dress shirt
was sewn most accurately.
In third place...
is Charlotte. Your sewing was very, very neat,
you just made an error on the collar.
In second place...
..Jade. Beautiful sewing all over this shirt.
Just a couple of small errors, but otherwise, very well done indeed.
-In first place is Joyce.
Thank you, thank you!
The only thing was the button hole at the top,
but everything else was very beautifully sewn.
-A very, very well done to all three of you.
We know that was incredibly hard.
Go, relax, gather yourselves.
We'll see you back here soon for the alteration challenge.
Off you go. Well done.
I'm just thrilled.
It's a good start for the final for me.
The number of my husband's shirts I have ironed over the years also helped.
I knew exactly where to put that little row of stitching onto the placket!
Pretty happy with second. It's in the middle.
That's where my mum always said is the best place to be.
You don't want to always be first. You don't always want to be last.
I've had a slight knock, obviously.
I want to do well in the alteration challenge,
I really need to do well in that.
So fingers crossed.
From a dress shirt to another classic item of gentleman's evening wear,
which will test their ability to reimagine clothes for the final time.
Patrick, what would you like our lovely finalists to transform?
-One of these.
It's a dinner suit, which we'd like you to transform
-into a little black dress.
What we want is something glamorous.
We've got sequins, we've got chiffon, we've got georgette,
so you can use haberdashery and fabrics, but remember,
it's a little black dress.
-Judges, you have to leave now. Goodbye.
You have 90 minutes.
This is your final chance to blow their minds with an alteration.
Your time starts now.
Right. Let's have a look.
-I don't care which I have.
-I want this one.
You're going to be beautiful.
Come on, dude. He's coming with me.
Don't for one minute think I know what I'm doing.
I'm thinking that I want to use the lapels in some way.
Haven't thought about the skirt bit yet, but the scissors are out.
So, I'm really looking forward to see how they transform this obviously
very classically masculine evening wear outfit into something classically feminine.
-There are no big bits of fabric here.
So they are actually going to have to think about how they use
-the elements of the original pieces.
-The biggest piece are the trousers.
We're looking for something sexy, something well-fitted.
And hopefully, they will do something daring.
You are something of an expert in the field of little black dresses.
Well, I got a little black dress into the V&A.
It's part of their permanent collection,
so I know something about little black dresses.
Was that made from an old man's dinner suit?
Well, no, it wasn't.
That's a bit...
No. Going to do something with this.
What are you making, darling?
Basically going to be like the top of my prom dress,
so I'm going to have it quite up and then round.
Oh! Have you just made your own pattern?
I have just made my own pattern.
What are you talking about? In an alteration challenge?!
I know, to get the shape of the top...
-Of the bodice?
-..I had to draw it.
I have got a little bit of black sequin here.
Got to look classy in your tiny, tiny outfit.
Right. That's the skirt...ish.
I want to do a longer one with this.
I want it to show a couple of inches below, like so.
I've worn quite a lot of little black dresses in my time.
And when I was younger, they were very little black dresses,
but as I got older, they got bigger, with me!
This is already the best dress I've ever seen.
CHARLOTTE LAUGHS It is! Now, your last of alteration.
I know, a bit sad. I've just got the hang of them.
It won Garment Of The Week.
An alteration hasn't won Garment Of The Week this series,
so that's major. So what are you doing?
Um, sexy satin...
-Bit of sequin.
You'll also be able to undo the halterneck, because it'll be the bowtie.
CLAUDIA GASPS Ring-a-ding-ding!
I might have to let it out a tiny bit, just down the side seam,
then it should fit.
It is quite a masculine fabric
and I think that's what's kind of hard about this challenge,
that you have to turn something so masculine
into something quite feminine.
I'm just binding this edge
and then I can attach the sequin to the underside.
I also want to put sequins on the pockets.
I'm not a blingy sort of person, so this is sort of different for me.
The dress is going to stay up, I'm going to put straps on it.
Everyone is really going for it.
I think cos it's the final, you've got to go for it.
-One hour to go in the final alteration challenge.
Be quite nice with the buttons down the front of it.
I'm just sort of making it up as I go along.
Right. That is a waistbandy stuff.
Look. Ta-da! You've got the little bit underneath and you've got the bling in the middle.
Just unpicking the inside leg seams,
then I can sew the legs together front and back,
and that will make kind of a skirt shape.
I like this ribbon down the side.
Let's sew it on, then we'll think about something for the top.
I'm going to try and make quite a fitted skirt,
a bit like a pencil skirt.
It's a bit indecent, currently.
I think I'll put a bit of sequin in the front there, to echo that bit.
You are halfway through your alteration challenge.
Gosh. I wonder if I could make this into a strapless?
What I'm doing now is I'm going to bind the edges of the skirt,
otherwise, I'll have raw edge, and then sew the sequins underneath.
I just want to do something a little bit more outrageous
and have the darts sticking out.
Usually, they're meant to go on the inside.
I actually did this on my GCSE project.
And I thought it looked pretty cool.
I don't know what the judges are going to think of them.
Instead of darts in the skirt, it's got pleats in the skirt.
Oh, I've done that the wrong way.
I've started sewing the hem the wrong way round.
I'm attaching my bodice to my skirt
and then I'm going to put a zip in the centre back.
Second time lucky.
Back of the skirt is going to be done up with a zip,
I just need to figure that out.
I just need to sew these pockets...
Done my pleat all wrong again.
Quickly sewing my darts into my dress.
I'm loving this, actually. Really enjoying this.
Sewers, you have only ten minutes left on your little black dress.
I've gone for a really long open-ended zip.
Hook and eye. Hook and eye.
The Velcro is going to be a fastening.
I like that zip. Does it go all the way down?
I'm just putting on a bar at the top of the skirt,
cos there's quite a big gap -
it's the kind of thing they might appreciate.
Right. Let's go for it.
The straps are on, it's whether they're long enough,
which I don't think they are. I need to make them longer.
That goes there, I bet I've put it on the wrong side.
Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.
-That's one minute left.
We've done it.
Anyone know how to tie a bow tie?
Not very elegant, but it's on.
That's it, time's up, please.
Come on, darling.
There we go.
Very well done.
MUSIC: The Look Of Love by Burt Bacharach
Three little black dresses from three tuxedos in just 90 minutes.
But will the judges be dazzled by their final alterations?
I've got to say, I'm extremely pleased with what I'm looking at.
So we've got an element of the jacket here
and then a piece has been added on the top.
We've got a little dart.
I wonder why the dart's on the outside.
I don't mind the dart being on the outside,
but if you're going to do that,
we should have had this dart on the outside. In fact,
we should have had all the darts and seams on the outside.
If you're going to do it, go for it.
Yeah, keep it consistent throughout.
Yes, so it looks like it's meant to be there.
Actually, I quite like this chunky zip in the back.
Overall, I think the shape is very dramatic.
I think it looks sort of sexy and fun.
I just am not sure about the darts on the outside.
# Bewitched, bewitched
# You've got me in your spell
# Bewitched, bewitched... #
So we've got a little underskirt that's been added.
The back has been pleated and we've also got pleating at the front.
I'm not 100% sure I love the placement
of all of these bits of sequin.
If they'd been black sequins, I think it would've looked chicer.
Does this open all the way...?
Got Velcro on the front, so the whole thing opens up the front.
One thing I'm kind of surprised by is that it's staying up.
Cos it's got no support.
I would've thought when you're disco dancing in this,
it would probably end up round your waist.
Certainly with the vigour with which you disco dance,
I think it's almost a certainty.
MUSIC: Playboy's Theme by Cy Coleman
I like very much how they've used the revere, and look.
-They've used the bowtie.
-That is fantastic.
And also, look here.
We've got the trouser stripe.
They've inserted a zip and a hook and bar. I like the inserted sequin.
I think it's well-balanced, I think the shape is very nice.
You know, they've bound these fronts with a kind of satin effect.
And the hem. I think it's great.
I do, I think it's great. The proportion of it is really good,
the fit of it is nice - I really like this.
The judges will now rank the alterations for the last time.
In third place, it's our strapless sequin number.
It's certainly a lot of fun and I think a very dramatic transformation,
-so very well done.
In second place...
..is the heart-shaped dress.
It's sexy and a very nice shape round the bust.
-And in first place,
it is, of course, Charlotte's halterneck sequin number.
-You're getting good at this at just the right time.
It's an absolutely fantastic transformation.
-Thank you, it was a lot of fun.
Well done, Charlotte. After shirt-gate...
What a brilliant first day, thank you so much.
Go home, relax. Tomorrow really is the final challenge.
So, on that note, sleep well.
It's a huge relief that I came first after this morning's shirt-gate,
very happy about that.
'I think it's very close.'
It puts that little bit more pressure onto tomorrow, that's why,
you know, I'm going to go in and just get my head down
and get on with it.
Two of us got a one and a three and the other one got two twos -
how to call it? You just don't know, do you?
One more challenge left.
In just a few hours, either Joyce, Charlotte or Jade
will be crowned the winner of the Great British Sewing Bee.
We've had bottom to top, top to bottom and something in the middle.
-Nothing is clarified.
-Nothing is clear at all.
Joyce, technically, she's a very good sewer.
But she has struggled at times with fitting.
Charlotte I think has the most natural affinity with the fine finishing.
And Jade has won Garment of the Week for her made-to-measure
twice out of the last three weeks.
-But what we really don't know is what is going to happen.
For the last challenge, as ever,
the mannequins make way for real people, but this time,
the models have been hand-picked by the sewers.
-How are you feeling?
-Nervous. Very nervous for them.
It's exciting, though. It's the waiting!
They are...Joyce's granddaughter.
Jennifer! Oh, darling girl! Are you all right?
Jade's mum's best friend, Gemma.
Oh, my God!
And stepmum to Charlotte's children, Ruth.
You look gorgeous!
Good morning, sewers.
Good morning lovely models, thank you so much for being here.
This is it, there is one challenge left.
At the end of that,
-somebody will be crowned Britain's best amateur sewer.
It's happening, Joyce, there's no other way of saying it.
For your made-to-measure, the judges would love you to make
floor-length, exquisite evening gowns using luxury fabrics.
You have six-and-a-half hours.
Enormous luck. Your time starts now.
I'm feeling good, I'm feeling confident, I know what I need to do.
I think this is their chance to shine.
It has to have beautiful fit, gorgeous finish.
It needs to have impact.
This is the kind of pinnacle of all dressmaking, really.
-What could go wrong?
-Well, they're using very delicate fabrics,
so they need to handle them with delicacy, they need to press beautifully.
Everything that we've talked about through seven weeks already,
all of that needs to come out in this challenge.
I can't wait to see what they produce.
Neither can I. I'm really excited.
Nothing will be as good as your jacket, Esme. Nothing.
To give them a fighting chance of creating a perfect gown,
the sewers have all pre-cut their fabric pieces
and for once, have been able to practise fitting to their models.
I want to show the judges a well-made garment
that's slightly off-piste.
You know, it's not quite what you expect for an evening gown.
Joyce's black and silver two-piece evening gown
comprises a pleated bustle skirt
made of a thick silk called dupion,
and a tight-fitting velvet bodice
with a gathered peplum trimmed with lace.
Are you so excited to wear one of your grandma's amazing creations?
Yeah, I have worn her dresses before, but now that I'm older,
I'm getting to wear another one that she's made.
Can I have a look at a picture? Look at that!
Are you nervous about making this?
I need to work flat-out to finish it.
I'm doing the skirt first, get that out of the way,
then I can concentrate on the bodice.
How did you choose it? Did you always think,
"Corset, peplum, lace, bustle"?
-Did you just go, "Boof! I know the one!"?
Do you know what I'm also going to get for you? A live horse.
-I think you need to do that catwalk with a shire horse.
Are you going to make me feel glamorous, Jade?
Ah! That's always my aim.
My dress is a low-cut front dress.
It's going to have straps out of that beading
and running down the back from about here, through the straps,
is just going to be a massive panel of beaded fabric.
Jade's beaded train and straps will add a striking feature
to her coral-coloured
silk satin gown,
made up of a close-fitted bodice
and wiggle skirt.
I see we've come to the hardware store.
Pliers, hammers, absolutely everything.
That is, of course, because you're going to have to get rid of some of these beads.
So you're inserting the zip into the beaded...
Into the beaded fabric, yeah.
So it's going to be quite a tough one!
So where are you?
I've put all my bodice together...
-Are you lining this?
-I am going to line this, yeah.
I'm lining it in the same fabric.
I've interfaced it, as well, the bodice,
just so it had a little more structure to it.
Have you ever made anything for Gemma before?
I've never made anything for Gemma before,
but anything would look good on Gemma, even, like, a binbag.
But you're not making us one of those.
-No, I'm not making you a bin bag.
-It doesn't look like a bin bag.
I hope it doesn't at the end!
Hello, Charlotte. Hello, Ruth.
When I said, "Oh, who's Charlotte's model?"
And they said, "Yes, Charlotte's model is her ex-husband's wife,"
I was like, "Fantastic."
I'm never leaving, I'm pulling up a chair,
I'm here for the whole six-and-a-half hours.
Jeremy Kyle is just over there.
No, it's fantastic!
We've got a lie detector test...
No, I'm kidding! It's so lovely, because between the two of you,
you have three people to look after, and they will love it so much
when they go, "My mummy made my stepmummy this amazing dress."
-Where could it all go wrong?
-Just to bring it down.
Because I want to hand-finish everything.
-That I can, yes.
Charlotte's purple crepe-back satin gown
has gathered shoulders and a V-neck bodice.
She's attaching a diamante waistband
to give Ruth an extra touch of glamour.
She's an extraordinarily important person in the kids' lives,
she's loving, she's kind, she's brilliant.
It's just really important to me.
Ruth's very important.
-It's all true.
-Thank you. Thank you so much.
Sewers, you have had one hour in your final challenge of the final.
I'm just checking it fits around the front, around her boobs,
which it does. I'm happy with it.
The only fitting I'm going to do on the skirt is the waistband and the
length at the front.
The waist has got to be right.
I'm just putting some gathering stitches in the front of the bodice
and those make the gathers under the bust.
So that is the front...
-That's comfortable, is it?
-Right, I need to smash these.
If the beads aren't crushed in the seam,
then, it won't lay nice and flat.
Right, hammer time, guys.
Jade, shut up!
The neckline is going to be a crisp V.
I marked the point that I have to sew to.
You want to be careful when you're working with satin that it doesn't slip about.
Charlotte's fabric looked really beautiful.
It was absolutely lustrous and iridescent, but she has to handle it very...
It's a very delicate fabric.
It's quite a thin fabric, it hasn't got, really, any weight to it.
-Look at that.
These are my straps, so they're going to be like that...
It looks like Jade has sussed out how to use the beading.
But it's quite heavy and a train typically has
a sort of lightness and a bounce to it.
You just need to take your time.
If you hit a bead, that needle is going to go flying.
That was a bead.
I'm attaching the lining and the skirt together.
This whole thing just is bagged out, so to speak.
Joyce, slightly worried, because she's bagging it out,
that the lining might drop below the outer...
How you getting on, Joyce? Have you done your skirt?
-No, but I'm on...
-Are you on track?
I think so.
To form the dramatic bustle for the back of her skirt,
Joyce must accurately follow her pattern to create a complex arrangement of pleats.
not right. I'm trying to figure out the pleats at the back
and I've forgotten how they go.
You need these pleats so that you get a nice shape to the bustle.
Pleat there to there...
No, that's wrong.
Oh, dear me.
This is going to hold me back if I'm not careful.
Sewers, halfway through now.
and then somebody will win.
I'd hoped I'd be a little bit further on at this point.
I'm sewing my skirt panels together now.
I'm sewing these seams really slowly, because they're going to be really visible.
This is exciting, this part.
This is the huge train at the back of it.
Whilst Jade and Charlotte are making progress,
Joyce is still pleating her skirt.
Still not right.
-Joyce is having a bit of a 'mare.
I'm worried that she's given herself too much to do.
The back and front don't match, so I've obviously gone wrong.
To get the waistband on, you've got to have this matching.
I am a tiny bit worried about Joyce.
Six-and-a-half hours sounds like a long time, but believe me, it isn't.
But not everyone is in a hurry.
I'm doing a hand-picked zip.
It means that I'm putting it in by hand using tiny, tiny stitches.
Putting in a zip in this kind of fabric,
it's absolutely important to take the time to do this properly.
The skirt's done, I am now doing the bodice.
I spent too much time making that skirt,
so I'm just going to work flat-out.
I am attaching my bodice to my skirt, finally.
So I've got the normal fabric interfacing
and the beading fabric and then, lining to go on it.
But it's looking good.
Right, let's go and sew it together.
I'm just unpicking this tiny bit here,
because it lines up at the top of the waistband,
but not quite at the bottom. It's the kind of thing they'll notice.
Sorry, Jen, I'm just pushing you around, I know.
This needs to really go in.
It fits perfectly.
Apart from the zip, though - damn it.
It's a little bit of a bump on the zip here,
not laying as flat as I'd like.
I'm going to sew this bling on quickly,
then I'll hopefully have time to go back
and do something about that zip.
Sewers, bad news - only one hour to go,
then I'm going to massage your fingers.
The princess seam here is just sticking out a little bit,
so I'm just going to have to give that
a good old press and get it flat
with a nice curve, rather than it trying to push out everywhere.
This is what the judges are looking at, how it fits the model.
I'm attaching the binding around the armholes.
I'm not doing such a good job of this, because of the time factor.
I hate this rush.
I've had a change of plan.
I haven't got time to hand-sew my hem,
so I'm going to do a nice two-stage rolled hem on the machine.
Hopefully, that will give me enough time to redo my zip.
I'm feeling stressed.
-I don't think she's made a lovely job
of that zip down the back.
Maybe she can press it away, but at the moment,
it looks a little untidy.
Still doing that weird shape.
I'm a bit worried about Jade.
The shape over the bust is not very nice.
I can't do anything about it now.
I've got the peplum and the eyelet.
It doesn't sound a lot, but I can tell you it jolly well is.
-Joyce is behind, and because she's behind,
she's powering through this sewing
-and it just doesn't look like she's taking care.
-She is going fast.
She's going hell for leather.
-Right, there's the pleats in after a fashion - not neat,
but who's worried about neat at this stage?
Sewers, you have half an hour left, only half an hour!
I just want to do this as quickly as I can, so I can get back to that zip.
Yeah, there's no way I could have done this in the time
if I was doing it by hand, not a chance.
It's an ENORMOUS amount of hem.
Just checking the hem...
I'll have to sort that out, it looks like it's going up on you.
Come on, come on, get in.
Urgh! I need to do 16 eyelets.
My fingers are bleeding.
-Charlotte? Are we there?
-We are at the "eurgh" stage.
OK, what have you got left to do?
I've got to unpick the zip and redo it.
You're shaking, I can't bear it. Why don't we just sellotape it?
Or just get her to hold it.
She's your ex-husband's new wife, it's the least she can do!
Sewers, you have ten minutes left.
Press that to see what it looks like.
It's not made as well as I would like.
Hopefully, the overall appearance, though, will be OK.
It's certainly a lot better than it was,
but it's still got a bit of a bump there.
Just pressing my lining down from the bodice.
-Oh, look, that's not good.
I'll have to do that bit again.
Final press. Final garment.
Final nervous breakdown...
in the sewing room.
You have all these wonderful ideas when you start off,
-Just got this tiny section of hand-sewing left to do.
I've not done the train hem,
but I think it's quite nice that it shows off all the beads.
-Are you all right, Joyce?
Well, Jade, do you want me to be honest, or do you want me to lie?
-No, I'm not all right.
After all this, I just hope to God it fits.
-Let's put it on, come on.
That zip looks much better, but it still doesn't look perfect.
Sewers, that is it, it is over.
(Oh, Jenny, you look beautiful.)
And breathe! Oh!
It's really hot!
It is emotional. I feel like I've done really well,
considering I made that in six-and-half hours.
-I'm such an idiot.
-No, you're not.
For getting so upset. It's only...sewing!
It's because you put your heart and your soul...
-Come on. Stop being silly. Look what you've made.
One thing about this dress that is absolutely fantastic
is how the fabric moves when she walks. It looks gorgeous.
You've got the proportion of this spot-on.
The depth of the neckline, the position of the band,
is really very good.
I think the fit under the bust is quite well-managed, actually,
it doesn't look tight.
The gathers are pretty even. The size of those shoulders -
it's quite a Grecian look, it's delicate and well-done.
Now, can we turn you around?
-What really lets this down is the zip.
This is shooting up here and you've over-pressed it.
Mmm, in desperation.
You've done the hem by machine neatly, I would say.
The seams are well-handled down the side.
I think it's extremely good, with that one tiny exception.
I think it does look a bit costume-y, I have to say.
It looks like it could be in a film.
You know, I think there's a lot of really good sewing in this.
The fit on the corset is actually pretty good.
The peplum has a good shape to it,
but the gathers are not as even as they should be.
The binding, well, it's a little twisted.
The top stitching is pretty neat.
I mean, this skirt was quite complicated, wasn't it?
I think this bustle works extremely well.
It's got real bounce to it.
-There's a slight problem with the lining on the skirt.
It's just showing slightly below, isn't it?
Shall we have a look at the waistband?
Ah, OK. What's happened here is that you've made this skirt far too big.
-When I take that out...
..that is eight inches too big around the waist.
That is three on the double, at least.
You also have to remember, you're lashing her in,
you're making the corset tight,
-so the skirt has to be tight, too.
I think you've delivered a dress with real eye-catching appeal.
I love the beaded fabric.
-Yeah, and I think this great flow from...
-The front to the back.
..the top of the bust all the way over the shoulder is very dramatic.
Obviously, the train is struggling on this carpet.
You backed it here, but you haven't in the train,
so you've just given us a raw edge.
The train on an evening gown needs to be finished in some way,
because, ultimately, this is just going to come apart when it's worn.
Also, quite often with trains,
you put weights in the hem so it keeps behind you as you walk,
so it should have been lined and it would have been great
if there had been a weight in it.
I have a problem with the fit of it.
I don't think it's fitting great on the bust.
Can you see how it's been over-pressed?
There's too much fabric there.
-Yeah, my lining...
..is shooting to the front.
I think there's some other little bits and pieces -
I think there's just too much fullness across this.
I think probably what you've done is the lining is shorter,
so it's causing this to fold over.
But I think the overall look of it -
it fulfils that glamorous evening wear brief spectacularly
and whilst there are flaws in it,
I think the overall impression is very strong.
Jade, thank you so much.
Huge congratulations, sewers.
Go and have - I don't know - a group hug.
When you come back,
we announce the winner of the Great British Sewing Bee.
Whilst Joyce, Charlotte and Jade await the judges' final decision,
the sewing room has opened its doors
to their family and friends and a few familiar faces.
It feels great to be back.
I'm actually really enjoying being back and not worrying about sewing.
This is the cutest thing ever!
We had to make them out of ski suits!
What Jade made in sportswear week is amazing
and pretty much what I would have liked to have made.
My gut feeling is Jade is going to win.
I did say Joyce a couple of weeks ago.
Having looked at the garments...
..I think my money is on Charlotte.
Maybe it's just cos I love her, but Charlotte.
But I honestly think Joyce is in with a really good chance.
I don't know. I'm glad I've not got the job.
-There is no absolute clear standout from all of this.
-They are so evenly matched, aren't they, don't you think?
Let's talk about Joyce's made-to-measure challenge.
For me, it just didn't feel like a modern piece of evening wear.
Also, something went dramatically wrong with that skirt -
it was eight inches too big around the waist.
But you had a few problems with Jade.
Yes. I like the design,
I love how this comes from the front and goes to the back.
That train needed to be finished.
Let's, then, talk about Charlotte.
That zip is where the great difficulty lies,
which takes us all the way right back to the beginning again.
Joyce's shirt was pretty flawless, but there was a problem here.
Charlotte's had all sorts of problems
and was rightly in third place.
Jade was pretty close.
This was Joyce's alteration, which you didn't seem to love.
Once you go disco dancing in that, it will be round your waist.
I thought Charlotte's little black dress was absolutely knockout.
She showed her imagination.
Jade, her alteration, I liked it.
I very much liked the shape of the top, a very sexy neckline.
It sounds like quite a dilemma, then.
We will leave you to it and then, we'll bring them in
and announce the winner.
WHOOPING AND LAUGHTER
Where are my babies?
Hi, honey! Oh!
Come here, you!
Welcome back, very, very lovely sewers,
and a huge welcome to friends and family,
thank you so much for being part of this.
Finalists, can I ask you to step forward?
Now, it all comes down to this.
Enormous luck to all three of you.
The judges deliberated and they have decided
that the winner of the Great British Sewing Bee is...
It's Charlotte. WHOOPING AND CHEERING
Oh, Charlotte, well done, darling. Oh!
Oh, really well done.
-Oh, my God!
Esme is going to present you with the trophy.
-Very well done.
-Thank you so much!
Well done, Charlotte. Well, well done.
I'd completely written that off!
-Cos of your zip?
-Cos of my zip!
This is amazing.
It's amazing, it doesn't feel real at all.
We set some extraordinarily tough challenges this week
and nobody found it easy, but I think throughout the three,
and really, I think, particularly in her alteration,
she showed she has an understanding of clothing,
she has an affinity with fabric,
she has a lightness of touch and she just understands
how clothes move on the body, and that was what won it for her.
I think Charlotte has grown over the course of the sewing bee.
Something has happened -
it almost feels like something has clicked in her brain
and she's shown us her imagination - her aesthetic has grown.
In the end, that is what really shone through.
I'm absolutely honoured to have sewn next to Charlotte.
I've learnt so much over the past eight weeks than I think,
than I have in the past four years.
The support from everyone has been amazing.
I'll never forget this, no.
-You've got loads of time.
'I will miss the sewing room.
'Everyone was different,'
everyone was genuine and we shared all our sewing secrets,
it was brilliant. Mmm.
No, I'll be going home and going to bed for six weeks.
But I do have a quilt that I had to put to one side,
so I'm going to go back to that.
If there's anything I've learned in this,
it's that if there's something you want to do, just do it, try it.
There's nothing to lose, you can...
You can get so much out of life,
so much out of trying things and amazing things can happen.
Just go for it.
It's so cute!
That is insane!
Don't cry! Don't cry!
# Don't forget to love me
# Don't forget to write me
# Miss me just a little while I'm gone
# Keep the love light burning
# Pray for my returning
# Miss me just a little while I'm gone
# And when that waiting seems a waste of time
# And sundown makes you blue
# Dry your eyes and know that I'm
# Alone and lonesome too
# Oh-oh, let this moment guide you
# Till I'm home beside you
# Miss me just a little while I'm gone
# And when just waiting seems a waste of time
# Sundown makes you blue
# Dry your eyes and know that I'm
# Alone and lonesome too
# Oh-oh, let this moment guide you
# Till I'm home beside you
# Miss me just a little while I'm gone
# Miss me just a little while I'm gone. #
Claudia Winkleman hosts the grand final of the Great British Sewing Bee. Having made it through seven weeks of tough sewing challenges, the three finalists fight it out for the title of Britain's best amateur sewer. But first, they must create three pieces of evening wear to impress judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young.
First up is the pattern challenge, in which the sewers demonstrate their precision by creating an immaculate man's pin-tucked dress shirt. Next is the alteration challenge. They must use all their sewing ingenuity and imagination by taking a classic tuxedo and transform it into a little black dress. For the final made-to-measure challenge, the sewers make floor-length evening gowns for a model of their choice. Who has the ability to handle the most delicate, luxurious of fabrics and show off their advanced technical skills under intense pressure?
Across the three challenges, the judges will choose one sewer who has shown themselves to have all-round ability, attention to detail and vision for beautiful clothes. For the announcement, the other sewers return to the sewing room, joined by the finalists' friends and family to see who will be crowned the winner.