Sunday, 4 February 2018

The great British Sewing Bee

We had a visit and talk on Saturday by Lauren Guthrie. Lauren was one of the finalists in the first ever Great British Sewing Bee (GBSB) in 2013. Following a career as a physio she changed tack to follow her love of dress making.

Lauren described to us the process involved in the GBSB. She saw an advert and applied and had to complete a questionnaire and send in pictures of her work. Next they asked spot questions over the phone for example 'what is a french seam?'. This was then followed up by a visit to London with 3 items and taking part in a screen test and a mini challenge. Eventually she was chosen to take part.

She told us as it was a new series it was an adventure for all Claudia, May and Patrick the presenter and judges. She found herself challenged all along the way having to make jackets and trousers for example for the very first time. It took 2 days to produce an hour long programme and was very much tied into Claudia Winkleman's schedule. The tasks were done to time but most of the rest of the time was taken up with walking in and out, retakes and interviews etc.

Her hi-light was her sister turning up for the final showcase to have an evening dress made and fitted. It was a well kept secret.

Around this time her and her husband were renovating a building Moseley to turn into a fabric shop and workshop space. Guthrie and Ghani. by sheer coincidence the opening of her shop coincided with the televising of the Series.


Introducing Lauren

This is the first Jacket she had ever made and had to do it on the show.

These are the first men's trousers she had ever made . She was marked down because she based them on her own trousers. She thought she was wearing ladies trousers and did the fastening opposite but she was wearing men's!

Lauren with the other competitors

Lauren with Patrick and Claudia

This was her final showcase item that she made for her sister

This was the crowd at the grand opening of her shop

photo from the Christmas special they made

Lauren and her book




These are some of the outfits that Lauren does workshops for



photos from the GBSB  live show at NEC

This was one of the items that had to be altered  on one of the shows.


Many thanks to Lauren for a very interesting talk. It certainly encouraged lots of questions. 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Two Days with Annette Emms -Imaginary Birds

When Annette Emms' workshop , Imaginary Birds, went out for booking we had such an overwhelming response that Annette was approached to do one on the Saturday and another the next day. We managed to fill both of them. 
What brilliant days we had with a lovely  teacher. As you can see from the photos the work produced was beautiful .  Needle felting scrim into blanket then birds created out of scraps of fabric and panels decorated with wool, ribbons and stitch. 
Annette says she loves coming to our group and we love having her.

Day 1
Annette helping Lorraine

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work in progress








Day 2






Annette's pieces

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