The BEST Episodes of The Great British Sewing Bee
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Network: BBC One
Amateur sewers take on challenges as they compete to be named Britain's best home sewer.
#1 - Special Occasion Week
Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired Apr 2, 2019
The contest, hosted by Joe Lycett, reaches its final as the last three contestants take on a trio of evening wear challenges before the winner is announced. Judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young begin by asking the sewers to create a double-breasted waistcoat. Next is the Transformation challenge, as the trio repurpose net curtains into exquisite, red carpet-ready, pieces of evening wear. Lastly, for the Made to Measure challenge, the sewers attempt to construct and fit glamorous strapless evening gowns for their models, this time hand-picked for friends and family. Last in the series.
#2 - Cotton Week
Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 12, 2019
The contest returns with new host Joe Lycett, and Patrick Grant and Esme Young passing judgement once more. The first pattern challenge is a Dior-inspired `wiggle dress' designed to hug the female form. Contestants also have to transform three second-hand items of denim clothing into a single, stylish new garment, and the final task involves a made-to-measure jumpsuit.
#3 - Episode 4
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 23, 2013
The final of brand new series, The Great British Sewing Bee, presented by Claudia Winkleman, reaches its climax. The three finalists compete in three tough challenges set by Savile Row's Patrick Grant and sewing expert May Martin who must decide who will take the title of Britain's best amateur sewer. The first test is to follow a pattern for a man's shirt. The judges are looking for perfect top stitching with no pleats or puckers but the complicated challenge drives one sewer to tears. In the second challenge they have to show off their hand sewing skills, decorating an evening bag, and for the finale they are asked to create the most demanding garment so far - a stunning made-to-measure evening dress in a luxury fabric. The finalists are in for a surprise when they see who their models are.
#4 - Episode 7
Season 7 - Episode 7 - Aired May 26, 2021
It’s Winter Week. The sewers' skills are put to the test making a flannel shirt, turning old scarves into a garment and creating a glamorous winter party dress.
#5 - Episode 2
Season 7 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 21, 2021
Summer Week sees Esme and Patrick challenging the sewers to create paperbag shorts, cocktail outfits and button-down sun dresses.
#6 - Episode 6
Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired May 19, 2021
It’s Reduce Reuse Recycle Week. The sewers make waistcoats out of old clothes, turn army surplus into a women’s outfit and make a dress out of jeans.
#7 - Episode 10
Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired Jun 16, 2021
It’s the final, and the theme is celebration. The three remaining sewers work on a bridesmaid’s dress, a festival-themed transformation and a glamorous off-the-shoulder gown.
#8 - Children's Week
Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 19, 2019
The nine remaining home-sewers are tasked with making children's clothes. Challenges include creating hoodies and turning fake fur coats into fancy dress beasts. The final task sees contestants up against the clock as they make made-to-measure dance costumes so the dancing kids can perform The Hornpipe, the Tarantella and Highland dancing down the catwalk.
#9 - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Week
Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 12, 2019
Joe Lycett challenges the contestants to make garments from recycled materials, from curtains and soft furnishings to the offcuts left from previous episodes.
#10 - Episode 6
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 25, 2014
The first challenge for the five quarter-finalists is to make silky blouses from 1930s patterns using sewing machines from that period. Next, they have to transform men's suits into garments for women, before fashioning complex and hefty made-to-measure coats taken from a historic or vintage pattern. Judges May Martin and Patrick Grant then decide which four will go through to the semi-final. Claudia Winkleman presents.
#11 - Episode 8
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Apr 8, 2014
The competition reaches its climax as the three finalists enter the sewing room for the very last time, with May Martin and Patrick Grant setting them three tough couture-themed challenges. The first tests their hand-stitching skills as they are asked to make a man's tie, and then have to produce a child's bridesmaid outfit from a wedding dress in the alteration task. Finally they are asked to fit a made-to-measure gown for a model, before the judges decide which of them deserves the title of Britain's best amateur sewer. Last in the series.
#12 - Episode 6
Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 12, 2015
The competition reaches its conclusion as the three finalists enter the sewing room for the very last time.
#13 - Technical Fabric Week
Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 5, 2019
The seven home sewers take on man-made fabrics designed for sport and the great outdoors, while the transformation challenge involves discarded festival tents. For the final assignment, male models arrive in the Sewing Room to be fitted with made-to-measure luxury tracksuits.
#14 - Episode 1
Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 22, 2020
In their first week, the sewers are eased in gently with wardrobe staples that might look familiar but aren’t necessarily straightforward to make. For their pattern challenge, the judges ask for a wrap skirt, a garment whose clean crisp lines can only be achieved through precise cutting, accurate stitching and a judicious choice of fabric.
#15 - Episode 1
Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 5, 2015
The contest to find Britain's best amateur sewer returns with 10 competitors trying to impress judges May Martin from the Women's Institute and Savile Row designer Patrick Grant. In the first episode, they are asked to work with cotton - a core fabric in every dressmaker's cupboard. First up they have to make a pair of women's trousers with a complicated invisible zip, then transform a denim shirt in just 90 minutes before producing a stunning summer dress for their real-life models. Claudia Winkleman presents.
#16 - Episode 4
Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired May 5, 2021
It's international week, and the sewers make Breton tops, transform sarongs into a new garment and take inspiration from Frida Kahlo.
#17 - Episode 7
Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Apr 1, 2014
The four semi-finalists face three challenges in which they are not allowed to use a pattern for guidance, having to fit a dress to a mannequin, add a pair of symmetrical sleeves to a garment and make a copy of a favourite item of clothing. Judges May Martin and Patrick Grant then decide which three will go through to next week's final. Claudia Winkleman presents.
#18 - Puzzling Patterns and Pattern Cutting
Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Jun 27, 2016
Claudia Winkleman hosts the semi-final of the Great British Sewing Bee, where just four sewers are left to battle it out to for a place in the final. All that stands in the way are three challenges designed by judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young. This week, they want to test the sewers' knowledge of complex patterns and pattern cutting. For the pattern challenge, the sewers are tasked with making an asymmetric yoked skirt inspired by modern Japanese pattern cutting. This brain-teasing pattern requires the sewers to stitch one of the most technically difficult and curved seams ever seen in the sewing room. Next, it is the alteration challenge and the sewers are asked to transform a duvet cover into a female garment. To add to the difficulty level, the judges declare it is a no-waste challenge so every scrap of fabric needs to be used by draping and sculpting it around the mannequin. How will the sewers cope with this radical approach to creating clothes? For their made-to-measure challenge, their ability to draft and create patterns is put to the test as the judges seek to draw out the sewers' inner designer. Creating their own patterns in the sewing room, as well as constructing and fitting their dresses is the sternest test yet of their all-round sewing skill and their ability to imagine clothes, but who will flourish and who will fail to make the grade so tantalisingly close to that place in the grand final?
#19 - Episode 3
Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Feb 19, 2015
Claudia Winkleman takes the eight remaining contestants back to the 1950s, when home sewing was at its height, with the first challenge involving following one of the biggest-selling dress patterns of that era. Next they are given a vintage item to transform into a wearable garment, before making a 1950s blouse out of an unforgiving sheer fabric. Judges May Martin from the Women's Institute and Savile Row designer Patrick Grant then decide who will leave the competition.
#20 - Episode 5
Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired May 20, 2020
The eight remaining contestants take part in a series of challenges as they return to the sewing room for lingerie and sleepwear week. To test the sewers' handling skills, judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young kick off the pattern challenge with a boned basque. The task requires sewing together small pattern pieces for a precise fit and creating a tricky hook and eye fastening. Next, in the transformation challenge, the sewers transform pyjamas and nightwear into a summer dress, before finally being tasked to create a two-piece female sleep set which has to incorporates lace somewhere in their design.
#21 - Episode 3
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Apr 16, 2013
Claudia Winkleman presents the semi-final. The four amateur sewers return to compete in three more challenges. Savile Row's Patrick Grant and sewing teacher May Martin set them a pattern for a child's dress which tests their ability to follow couture techniques on a miniature scale. In the alteration challenge they are asked to tailor a dress with precision and they create a made-to-measure jacket which must fit their model perfectly, after which one of them is asked to leave the Sewing Bee.
#22 - Episode 7
Season 6 - Episode 7 - Aired Jun 3, 2020
The six remaining home sewers head back in time to the 1980s, attempting to revive the glamorous - and sometimes ridiculous - style of that decade.
#23 - Episode 5
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 18, 2014
The six remaining contestants face three challenges testing their ability to work with fabric that is difficult to sew, starting by following a pattern for a nylon anorak. Next, they must use leather to transform a high-street top, before they finish by making a pair of velvet trousers to fit themselves. Judges May Martin and Patrick Grant then decide who will leave the competition. Claudia Winkleman presents.
#24 - Episode 5
Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired May 12, 2021
For children's week, the sewers' skills are tested by romper suits, Under the Sea-themed fancy dress and raincoats for mini models.
#25 - Episode 2
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 9, 2013
In this edition, the six remaining contestants face three more challenges, including following a pattern for a pair of men's trousers. Tackling a fly fastening leaves most of the sewers baffled, but the second challenge - to add patch pockets to a high street skirt - produces some imaginative results. Finally the sewers create a made-to-measure silk blouse for their model. The slippery fabric is too much for two competitors, and they are eliminated from the programme.