In the fifth season of The Great British Sewing Bee, 2019, Joe Lycett hosts and Savile Row's Patrick Grant and fashion designer Esme Young of Central Saint Martins, judge the contestants. Grant went to boarding school in county Durham, played U21 rugby, and has studied material science at university.
Historical details were provided by fashion historian Amber Butchart, Meredith More of the V&A, Martin Pel of Brighton Museum, and textiles historian and curator at National Museums NI Valerie Wilson.
The Great British Sewing Bee - Season Five
Season 5 of the BBC reality television series, The Great British Sewing Bee, was first broadcast in 2019 in a former tannery, 47-49 Tanner Street, London, SE1 3PL, which once supplied clothing manufacturers across Britain and the British Empire.
The challenges included sewing a Wiggle Dress, introduced by Dior in 1954, a jumpsuit, a child's hoody, a child's dance outfit, flared jeans, a maxi dress, a swimsuit, a luxury tracksuit, a pussy-bow blouse sewn from recycled clothes, a day dress made from curtains, a linen worker's jacket using a Patrick Grant pattern, a woollen coat, Indian Dhoti pants, a Japanese origami top, and a double-breasted waistcoat.
They were also challenged to alter garments, including denim jeans and shirts, faux fur, tartans, a tent, fabric offcuts, ticking fabric from a deckchair, a dashiki.
The contestants in The Great British Sewing Bee Season Five were:
- Alexei - Alexei Winter, an aerospace engineer, living in Leeds, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, whose aunt was the first woman to fly a single-engine plane solo around the world.
- Ben - Ben Moore, a PhD student in veterinary stem cell research, living in Edinburgh, with a love of trapeze.
- Janet - Janet Poole, a 70 year old grandmother of four, a retired boutique owner, former magistrate and sailor from Ryedale in North Yorkshire who has been sewing since the age of 9.
- Jen - Jen Hogg, a former lawyer who lives in Glasgow and in addition to sewing also explores silversmithing and stained glass making.
- Juliet - Juliet Uzor, a primary school teacher from Penge, south London, with family connections to Nigeria, apparently obsessed with sewing scissors!
- Leah - Leah Nicholls, manages an architects' firm in central London, who started sewing to make clothes to fit her 5'2" body.
- Mercedes - Mercedes Ferrari-Plumridge, a former bomb disposal officer with the British Army Reserve, who lives in East Sussex.
- Riccardo - Riccardo Guido, an Italian who moved to East London from Lecce, Puglia in 2013, a digital content producer and who plays beach volleyball.
- Sheila - Sheila Hall, a social services worker living in Essex, taught to sew by her mother from the age of 9.
- Tom - Tom Holmes, from Chelmsford, who started sewing at 19.