1912 Mill interior - Venue for The Great British Sewing Bee Season 8
1912 Mill interior - Venue for The Great British Sewing Bee Season 8 BBC

The Great British Sewing Bee - Season Eight

The Great British Sewing Bee - Season Eight

Season 8 of the BBC reality television series, The Great British Sewing Bee (TGBSB), first broadcast in 2022, was filmed in an early 19th century woollen cloth mill complex Sunny Bank Mills in the town of Pudsey located between Bradford and Leeds approximately 200 miles from London. Street address is 88 Town St, Farsley, Pudsey LS28 5UJ. The filming took place in the 1912 Building / 1912 Mill.

Kimono on a stand with a contrast collar and belt tied in a bow
Annie's week 9 Kimono

In the eighth season of The Great British Sewing Bee, 2022, actress and comedian Sara Pascoe hosts and Savile Row's Patrick Grant and fashion designer Esme Young of Central Saint Martins, judge the contestants. We learn that Sara Pascoe's husband has over 200 pairs of trainers, and that Esme's father captained the Wasps rugby football team, she made the shirts worn by Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann's movie Romeo and Juliet she once dressed as Dolly Parton and is friends with English rock singer Bette Bright.

Historical details were provided by fashion historian Amber Butchart, art critic Bonnie Greer OBE, Professor Miki Sugiura

9 quilted jackets - episode 4 pattern challenge - reduce reuse recycle week
9 quilted jackets - week4 pattern challenge - reduce reuse recycle week

The 12 contestants in The Great British Sewing Bee Season Eight were:

Angela - an award-winning school nurse in Lancashire with five grandchildren aged 1 to 6, who started making all her clothes 45 years ago when training to be a nurse. She is a member of the Women's Institute. Angela was sent home at the end of week six having come 6th in both the pattern and the transformation challenge.

Annie - a 32 year old from Surrey who lives with her boyfriend Dan, and who is a junior fashion accessories buyer for a UK retailer and was taught sewing by her grandmother, Monica, who is from Ghana. She has a passion for vibrant colours and for roller skating. She won garment of the week in weeks 6, 8 and 9. She was a finalist.

Brogan - a modern languages teacher in a senior school near Burton upon Trent, originally from Edinburgh, who now lives with her fiancé in Leicestershire. She started sewing in primary school, she was a dancer / musical stage theatre actor in her childhood and is a big fan of Ginger Rogers. She was a finalist.

Chichi - a research analyst and molecular biologist living in Surrey. Chichi was sent home at the end of episode two, having come 9th in the pattern and 8th in the transformation challenge.

Cristian - a fashion store manager living in Liverpool who grew up in Romania close to Dracula's Bran Castle and learned to sew from his mother. Cristian was sent home at the end of episode 8, having come 2nd in the pattern, 4th in the transformation challenge and using Lycra for their 1930s movie star gown (a fabric not yet invented in the 30s) in the made-to-measure.

Debra - a native Welsh speaker, who lives in Llanfairfechan, Conwy, North Wales, and loves to show off her glamourous self-sewn clothes at work at a medical manufacturing facility, where she is a PA. She moved to Manchester at 18 to study fashion. She has a cat called Olive, a son Albie, husband Andrew, and regularly takes early morning spin classes. She won garment of the week in weeks one, three and five. She was a finalist.

Debra's Miss Haversham Halloween outfit - S8E5 Garment of the Week
Debra's Miss Haversham Halloween outfit - S8E5 Garment of the Week

Gill - a public health intelligence analyst, who lives in Doncaster with husband Darren, and who was inspired to take up sewing by her great-grandmother, Ivy, who was always immaculately dressed and made clothes for herself and her family. She won garment of the week in week four. Gill was sent home at the end of week seven, having come last in both the pattern and transformation challenges.

Man Yee - a pensions actuary living in London, who started sewing at the age of 12 when she created a cosplay outfit for the character Haruhi Suzumiya for Comic Con in London. She likes bouldering with her competitive friends. She won garment of the week in week seven. She was a finalist.

Marni - a veterinary surgeon based in Torquay, Devon and former member of the Army Reserve. She won garment of the week in week two. Marni was sent home at the end of episode five, having come 3rd in the pattern and 5th in the transformation challenge and a disappointing outfit in the made-to-measure.

Mitch - a theatre manager who lives in Cumbria, who started sewing during lockdown and has played in an ABBA tribute band with his girlfriend (now wife) Lisa. Mitch was sent home at the end of the first episode after coming last in both the pattern and the transformation challenge.

Richy - a baker who lives in Shrewsbury with his partner, Dave, he loves and recreates historical garments and undergarments, including over 50 bowties. Richy was sent home at the end of episode three, having come 9th in the pattern challenge and 6th in the transformation challenge.

Steve - originally from Essex but now living in Newcastle with his girlfriend, a 100km ultra-marathon runner and working as a running coach, a Millwall FC fan who took up sewing during lockdown. Steve was sent home at the end of episode 4 after coming last in the pattern challenge and 7th in the transformation challenge.

TGBSB series 8 episode 6 Cristian Bowie inspired
Cristian's Bowie-inspired costume - S8E6

The pattern challenges included a wool mini-skirt with two piped patch pockets (2 hrs 45) (won by Angela), a pair of high-top trainers (4 hrs) (won by Man Yee), a shirred midi summer dress (3 hrs 30) (won by Brogan), a quilted jacket from fabric scraps (4 hrs 15) (won by Debra), a child's traditional sailor suit (3 hrs 45) (won by Man Yee), a parka (4 hrs 30) (won by Brogan), lace bra and knickers (3 hrs 45) (won by Annie), 1930's bib-front fastening Sailor's trousers (4 hours) (won by Man Yee), a kimono inspired dress, styled by Wakako Kishimoto and Esme Young (5 hours) (won by Annie), the Amorphous Dress designed by Esme and part of the V&A collection (2 hours 30) (won by Debra).

Man wearing luxury pyjamas
Man Yee's luxury pyjamas for a man - S8E7

The transformation challenges included turning loungewear into a glamorous going-out top (1 hr 30) (won by Marni), netball outfit into a glamorous daywear garment with pleats (1 hr 30) (won by Brogan), hammocks into an adult summer garment (1 hr 30) (won by Angela), two overcoats into one coat (1 hr 30) (won by Man Yee), a child's outfit from items of old school uniform (1 hr 30) (won by Angela), a "load of old denims" and shirts into a stage outfit fit for a country music star (1 hr 30) (won by Gill), a going-out garment from pastel-coloured thermal sleep sets or as Patrick quips "nana to Rhianna" (1 hr 30) (won by Debra), shirts into a woman's 1930s blouse (won by Man Yee), repairing and renewing worn denim using Japanese sashiko technique (1 hr 30) (won by Man Yee), creating a party outfit from the offcuts from the previous 9 weeks (1 hr 30) (won by Man Yee).

Aerial image of Sunny Bank Mills, venue for The Great British Sewing Bee Season Eight
Sunny Bank Mills from a distance, venue for The Great British Sewing Bee Season Eight

The made-to-measure challenges included a wrap dress (5 hrs) popularised by Belgian designer Diane von Fürstenberg in the 1970's (garment of the week from Debra), a jacket inspired by a sporting hero (5 hrs) (garment of the week from Marni), a two-piece co-ordinated trousered outfit (5 hrs) (garment of the week from Debra), a maxi-dress made from duvet covers (garment of the week from Gill), a child's Halloween themed outfit with a 3D element (4 hrs) (garment of the week from Debra), outfit inspired by David Bowie (5 hrs 30) (garment of the week from Annie), luxury pyjamas for a man (5 hrs, filmed Thursday 14th October 2021) (garment of the week from Man Yee), bias-cut gown inspired by 1930s movie stars (garment of the week from Annie), origami dresses (5 hrs 30) (garment of the week from Annie), a glamourous jump-suit suitable for an exclusive party (5 hrs 30).

The winner of The Great British Sewing Bee Season Eight was Annie.

Esme Young judges Annie's red carpet jump suit in the final
Esme Young judges Annie's red carpet jump suit in the final

Filming and staff members include: Fiona Parker - Sewing Team and Fabric Buyer, Hannah Mellows - Production Coordinator, Hannah Riordan - Contestant Runner, Kirsty Podlaski - Casting Researcher, Montana Bent - Casting Assistant Producer, Natasha Chinyenze - Studio Runner, Rebecca Cole - Specialist Associate Producer.