The Great British Sewing Bee returns to BBC One tonight (April 27), and we can’t wait to see the return of judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant.
Sara Pascoe will succeed fellow comedian Joe Lycett as host for Season 8, as 12 talented seamstresses create fabulous designs under the watchful eyes of Esme and Patrick as they battle to be crowned top seamstress.
There will be three challenges that competitors will participate in; the first is the Pattern Challenge, during which they will choose fabric from the haberdashery to create the same pattern.
The second is the makeover challenge, which will test their creativity and imagination by giving them just 90 minutes to transform old clothes into something new and exciting.
And the third and final challenge is the Tailored Fashion Test, which will see participants fitting into an actual model, which they will have had time to plan ahead.
Esme and Patrick will oversee every task and are on hand to advise ambitious seamstresses with their invaluable fashion and tailoring expertise.
For those new to The Great British Sewing Bee, or fans anticipating its return, we’ve discovered everything you need to know about the dynamic and diminutive judge Esme below.
Who is Esme Young?
Job: Designer, television judge and teacher at Central Saint Martins
Esme is known for her unique style and amazing ability to spot wobbly seams.
The designer enjoyed a successful career in the fashion industry after graduating from Central St Martins. In the 1970s, Esme started her own fashion label called Swanky Modes with friends Judy Dewsbery, Melanie Langer and Jeanette Beckham, which was a design collective founded in Camden Town. The brand was known for its scorching bodycon dresses worn by superstars Grace Jones and Cher.
At this time, Esme was dating David Bowie and the Sex Pistols, which influenced her work and style over the years.
Esme recently shared a throwback of herself outfitted with threads that looked a lot like Bowie’s Starman. instagram.
In the 90s, she designed costumes for the big screen, creating Renee Zellweger’s iconic bunny outfit in Bridget Jones and Leonardo DiCaprio’s shirt in The Beach.
“Renee wanted the bunny outfit to be tighter because her character wasn’t skinny. She really wanted cleavage, so the costume lifted her breasts. She could barely sit in it because it was so tight “, did she say. TEN on the process of making the Zellweger costume.
Esme joined BBC’s Sewing Bee in season 4, after original judge May Martin resigned in 2015. May had been on the jury since the show started in 2013, along with Patrick Grant.
Talking about how she got the role, Esme explained to The sewing directory“I met a producer at dinner who thought I would be good on the show, so she introduced me to executive producer Susanne Rock and we met.
“Isn’t it strange, with life, you never know what’s around the corner, meeting the right people at the right time.”
On what she looks for when judging the contestant’s work, she added, “I look for nice stitching, nice sleeves, etc. I want everything to be perfect.
“I also want a surprise, I want to be excited, and I want to see their personalities come through in their choice of fabric, color, the sewing techniques they use. I like a bit of hand sewing and something nicely put together, attention to detail, no creasing, etc.”
She recently published her memoir Behind the Seams: My Life in Creativity, Friendship and Adventureand continues to teach at Central Saint Martins.
The Great British Sewing Bee returns to BBC One on Wednesday April 27 at 8 p.m.