A bit like the Olympics, but for amateur sewers, the final season of The Great British Sewing Bee is heating up – with four women lining up in the footsteps of The apprentice‘s own historic semi-final earlier this year and in contention for the top prize. This is the first time the show has featured an all-female finale since 2016.
Since April 2022, the contestants have been stitching their hearts together and creating everything from capsule wardrobes to David Bowie suits, and after last episode’s sailor pants bonanza (without forgetting this anecdote about the Loch Ness monster, from semi-finalist Man Yee Woo) there are only four left. According to the BBC, the upcoming new episode will see contestants battle for a place in the final by creating a “kimono-inspired dress” and outfit incorporating pleats and creases, as well as repairing old jeans using ” Japanese techniques”. It will air on June 22.
And who is in the running? First, Man Yee Woo, a 25-year-old actuarial analyst from London. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Portsmouth, she was taught to sew by her aunt as a teenager when she tried to recreate the costume of a Japanese anime character for Comic Con. She takes on Annie Phillips, 32, who lives in Surrey and works as a fashion buyer for a department store. Phillips also learned the trade from a family memberand learned everything she knows from her grandmother.
Rounding out the quartet in the semi-finals is Brogan Sommerville, 26, high school teacher — who lovingly crafts bespoke outfits for her dachshund Roger – and Debra Drake, 51, from North Wales. a solicitor “messy sewer with lots of random fabrics and matching projects everywhere.” Drake is also very fond of snorkeling when away from the sewing machine.
The finale, meanwhile, will be themed “Party Week” – and will be the last chance for the finalists to impress before a winner is crowned. Along the way, they’ll be tasked with designing an “iconic stretch dress” and “red carpet-worthy jumpsuits,” as well as creating an all-new costume from scraps. May the best embroiderer win!