Oh, I rather enjoyed this. I'd watched a few previous episodes but not with huge enthusiasm or engagement probably because I didn't actually 'get' proper sewing. Now that I am the proud owner of my very own sewing machine, and took the Sew Confident course with the wonderful Jenny, I actually felt very drawn into this first episode. I am clear that my abilities do not match my standards and I'm unlikely to ever wear anything I've made but I do enjoy making small things.
The contestants look like a really mixed bunch that you could warm to and the judges were a nice mix of critical but supportive. I think that is where GB Bake-Off is beginning to fail to keep my attention as Paul Hollywood seems to be so full of himself and I felt his rather biased damning of some contestants and favouring of others to be toe curling. I'm sure some of it was perhaps due to the editing but on the Sewing Bee even the criticisms were simply pointing out flaws but balancing that with praise for what had been well done. I like it when people are nice and hate to watch reality talent programmes which are based on humiliating or bear-baiting members of the public for entertainment. I much prefer seeing the pure joy of achievement in someone's eyes as that is something special.
A lovely point in the Sewing Bee was when Lynda, the lady who is deaf, 'christened' Patrick with his own sign name. I also realised afterwards she is the Mum of the Crafts from the Cwtch blogger and she'd been the originator of the nickname! A year or so ago I took a sign language course at work which I thoroughly enjoyed. Though much of what I learnt has now been forgotten I remain very attached to my sign name which is the sign for Sparkly. This was to represent my jewellery making and a corruption of part of my name which a work colleague misheard and is sometimes used as my nickname. I'm quite sure I have other nicknames at work which I don't know about (!) but at least I'll happily answer to Sparkly. It is an improvement on my last job where I was called Ducky after a place and because I am rather challenged in the height department so my bottom is much nearer the ground than it should be.
I am looking forward to the next episode of the Sewing Bee and was sorry to see Cliff exit himself from the competition. I suspect he fell before he was pushed as he didn't do well in the first two challenges but he seemed like a nice chap. There are a few who seemed to stand out for their abilities in this episode but time will tell whether they last the course as no-one scored consistently in the different challenges.