Sara Pascoe left with head in hands as Great British Sewing Bee contestant breaks machine

Great British Sewing Bee: Contestants rush to finish their skirts

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The Great British Sewing Bee returned to BBC One on Wednesday night with 12 new ambitious sewers ready to take on the challenge. Judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young returned to lend the sewers some helpful critique and saw new full-time host Sara Pascoe take the reins after she took over from comedian Joe Lycett. The new series kicked off with a bang, but contestant Mitch left Sara with her head in her hands as he managed to break the sewing machine in the first round.

The first task the contestants were faced with was a pattern challenge which consisted of making a mini skirt from wool, which had to include two symmetrical pockets.

Esme explained: “Patrick and I want you to make the mini skirt, it has two patch pockets with piping around the edge.”

Patrick continued: “As a homage to our fabulous new home, we want wool from Yorkshire, there is a great choice of textures and colours.”

The contestants had two hours and 45 minutes to complete their tasks and excitedly began their projects.

Speaking to the camera, Mitch explained: “Right, I want to get everything cut out so that I don’t have a breakdown.”

Mitch is a theatre manager who picked up his passion for sewing during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Whilst attempting to sew his skirt together, Mitch encountered an issue with his sewing machine, to which he exclaimed: “Don’t jam up!

“I have just jammed a pin in the machine, that could be a problem…” before Sara explained, they had 30 minutes remaining.

Trying to calm him down, she said: “Mitch, don’t pull it apart now,” to which he panicked even more and revealed: “My thread has split and jammed in the machine.

“I have been sabotaged by my machine, I have been sabotaged by my thread! It’s clearly not me…”

As the rest of the contestants were attaching their pieces and putting their skirts onto the mannequins, Mitch was still struggling to finish his design.

“I’m behind, I need to try and calm down a bit, oh no, my thread has come off, it really isn’t something you want to happen this close to the end, come on!”


As Sara called for the last remaining minute, Mitch was still sitting at his sewing machine, trying to get his skirt together.

Sara watched on with her head in her hands and exclaimed: “I worry when I see a naked mannequin!”

When it came to judging their creations, Mitch teased: “It’s quite a mess, and I have broken the machine, but I have made a skirt!”

Inspecting the skirt, Esme asked: “How did you feel about seeing this?” pointing to the uneven pockets on the garment.

Mitch joked: “A little bit sick, I still do,” before she continued: “They’re very uneven these pockets, that one is lower than that one.”

Looking at the hem, Patrick asked: “What’s going on there? You’ve had a right old nightmare with that, haven’t you!”

Unfortunately for Mitch, his next two designs didn’t compare to the rest of the groups, and he ended up being eliminated from the show.

Speaking about his time on the show, he said: “Coming into the sewing room is such a magical experience, but there were 11 other sewing bees that are now my little surrogate family.”

The Great British Sewing Bee airs Wednesday at 8pm on BBC One.

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