Local Scunthorpe lady, Rebecca is set to appear on season 7 of The Great British Sewing Bee!
Joe Lycett is back in charge, with twelve of Britain’s most talented home sewers competing to win one of TV’s toughest creative challenges.
Judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young cast an expert eye over the garments, in the competition to find Britain’s Best Amateur Sewer.
A trained teacher, Rebecca now enjoys working as a Customer Assistant at her local supermarket.
Sewing is in Rebecca’s blood, and from the age of four, her mum and nana would pass on their expertise with a needle. She went on to study textiles at A-level, and now finds making clothes the perfect way to relieve the stress of a working day. She likes fast projects she can make and wear quickly and admits to having ‘a bad habit for not reading the instructions and just ploughing through.’
BBC Picture; The Great British Sewing Bee
Before the pandemic Rebecca was often on the terraces with her dad, cheering on Scunthorpe United, as well as scoring goals of her own on the netball court. As a member of a local amateur dramatics group, she has played the Good Fairy in a recent pantomime and is also a dab hand at the piano.
Joe Lycett welcomes a fresh batch of sewers to a brand new location on the banks of London’s River Thames. Week One sees judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young settling them in with a trio of challenges based on everyday wardrobe staples. They start with their first Pattern Challenge, creating the simple, clean lines of versatile classic sleeveless blouse called a ‘shell top’. Will their finish prove fine enough to make a good first impression?
How did it feel to be filming this series?
It definitely felt liberating to be a part of this specific series of the Sewing Bee. Not only was this
series filmed among exceptional circumstances, but I felt almost like the virus wasn’t even around
as the production team kept us so safe and the only thing on our minds was sewing! When series
six aired, we were in the first UK national lockdown and I remember how many people were
watching it and commenting about it on social media. Knowing that I was able to be involved in
the next series which we were very luckily able to film before the second lockdown felt fantastic. I
feel very privileged that we were able to make it happen under the circumstances.
When did you first start sewing and why do you love it so much?
I started sewing with my nana when I was very young, possibly only around 3 or 4 years old. My
nana also taught me to knit at the same age. I have grown up in a creative and crafty environment
where I have been introduced to creativity and encouraged to have a go and see what I can
achieve. As my nana and mum have had the tools and resources, I was lucky that I was brought up
in this environment and only now do I appreciate just how much of an influence this was to who I
am now. I love sewing so much because it allows me to be creative and explore my own ideas
while enabling me to make something wearable. The designs you can make are just unlimited and
this makes it all the more exciting.
*What is your favourite garment to sew/or your speciality?
I love to make a wide variety of clothes. My favourites are tops, skirts and dresses as they are so
wearable, however since the show, I have found that I absolutely love making evening wear too
and so definitely hope to make more occasion wear in the future.
Why did you want to be a Great British Sewing Bee and who did you want to most impress of the judges, or both? And when the sewing got tough, was Joe a welcome ally?
I wanted to be on the Sewing Bee for a number or reasons, mainly to prove to myself that I am a
good sewer and to make my family and friends proud. I did want to impress both Patrick and Esme
however I also wanted to impress myself with what I achieved. Joe was always around when
things were going well or terribly and it was comforting to know he would come over and have a
laugh with us even if things were going wrong.
Describe your experience on first walking into the sewing room on this year’s Sewing Bee, and which challenge were you fearing the most the first week – Pattern challenge; transformation challenge, or Made to Measure challenge?
Walking into the sewing room for the first time was the most surreal feeling ever and I am so glad
that it was able to be captured on camera. It didn’t feel real and I was excited yet apprehensive for
what was to come. I was really looking forward to the pattern challenge as I do enjoy following a
pattern but I was dreading the transformation challenge as turning something into something else
isn’t something I’ve done very much. I was feeling apprehensive about fitting to a model on the
Made to Measure however looking forward to actually making the dress.
What was your best and worst moment that first week?
I have two best moments from the first week. The first pattern challenge when we made a shell
top I really enjoyed. My second favourite moment was when all of the sewers were waiting to go
into the sewing room for the first time and Joe shouted across to us from the other side of the set.
We all screamed like little excited fans and that was the first moment I think we appreciated what
we were about to do. My worst moment probably when I had a panic with my button hole on my
top that I had done it wrong and asked Andrew for help. It turned out I’d done mine right but the
anxiety that hit me at that moment was just awful!
How did you try and stay calm when things were going badly wrong or you ran out of time in the first week?
Luckily, I managed to stay quite calm when things weren’t quite going my way. I used to be quite a
‘stressy’ person but I knew that if I panicked over not understanding an instruction or about
running out of time, that I wouldn’t do as well than if I remained calm and collected. Sometimes it
was hard though to keep a lid on my feelings when things didn’t go my way- I struggle to hide how
I am feeling on my face!
Do you have an attachment to a sewing tool, and why is it special to you?
I do have a bit of an attachment to my sewing scissors on my lanyard. I have a terrible habit of
losing scissors. I can literally start with about 4 pairs altogether and in ten minutes I’ve misplaced
them all! It’s the only thing that helps me to know where they are and saves me lots of time!
*In your sewing life: What has been your worst sewing disaster – and your biggest triumph?
I’m a big believer in learning through mistakes as I tell children I teach on a regular basis and so
I’ve made many disastrous items! Drafting patterns myself and making them have never turned
out well and I’ve wasted so much fabric! Before the Sewing Bee, my biggest triumph was making
my first jumpsuit! I was so unbelievably happy with the way it turned out and it was one of the
first items I took my time to fit to myself. I used to rush ahead and hope for the best!
*Do you make for family and friends as presents? And most asked for garment?
I’ve made some items for my family and friends as gifts but tend to just make items for myself. I’ve
been asked for a few tops before from people who see what I make and ask me to recreate it for
them! I’m planning a lot of handmade Christmas presents too for my friends and family.
Describe your style, and how much of your own clothes do you make?
My style is quite feminine and girly but still fashionable. I do make myself clothes however some
of my wardrobe is still shop bought. My aim now though is to stop buying clothes that I could
make myself and only buy items like jumpers, coats and jeans that I wouldn’t be willing to make
myself as easily. I’d also like to start refashioning items I no longer like or wear instead of happily
selling them at a boot sale or sending them to a charity shop.
Can you give a sewing tip for amateur sewers who have been enjoying the show?
My sewing tip to anyone out there who wants to get sewing is to believe in yourself, be creative
and accepting making mistakes as a way to learn! Begin with easy-to-sew items, get advice from
others who sew and watch YouTube videos and you will be amazed at where it all takes you. Don’t
be put off by thinking sewing is only for retired ladies; sewing can be for ANYONE so just try it.
Was it hard to keep a secret that you were going to be on the show?
Not telling many people that I was on the show was the most difficult secret I’d ever had to keep!
A few years ago, my work friend was expecting a baby and I was one of the first to know and I had
to keep that a secret which was so difficult – looking back, that was so much easier to keep to
myself than appearing on The Great British Sewing Bee!
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