Orston’s Gillie Ford bows out of BBC One’s Great British Bee after judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young send her home
Our Gillie Ford has left the Great British Sewing Beer in week two after having what she describes as simply a bad day.
Gillie had to contend with a replacement model for her sewing a swimsuit challenge who was several sizes smaller, and not being aware of that, her prep and measurements from the previous week were for nothing.
Having not done very well in the making of a rucksack earlier in the programme, Gillie, from Orston, said she was flustered. However, she performed much better in the making of something waterproof from a windbreak.
But it wasn’t to be for the 74-year-old, who welcomed a third granchildren into the world last week, and judges, British fashion designers, Patrick Grant and Esme Young sent her home.
There was a group hug between the contestants and genuine shock as a crestfallen Gillie departed the hit BBC One show.
“Everyone was very kind to me,” said Gillie, from Orston, but now living in Lady Bay.
“It’s the same people as do the Bake Off and they said that even the best bakers can have a bad day and go home, and it is the same in the Sewing Bee.
“The rucksack was a disaster. My original model couldn’t do week two and my new model was four sizes smaller so my patterns were no good. But my swimsuit fitted her very well.”
“I just had a bad day. But I hope I didn’t disappoint anyone.
“It was such a wonderful experience and I have made wonderful friends.”
Gillie said the Great British Sewing Bee had whetted her appetite for perhaps applying for something else.
“It was during lockdown when I was bored and considering what I could that I mentioned applying to [her son] Leo and Leo said I must,” said Gillie.
“I’m so glad that I did. I feel the whole experience has woken me up to what’s possible. It showed me how creative I can be and gave me a confidence that I never had.
“My brief to myself was to bring my own classical style to the show, and to represent myself well - and I hope that I did that and made my family and friends proud.”
Gillie was five when her mother, a fashion designer on Bond Street with an illustrious career, first instructed her on how to thread a needle and she has loved sewing ever since, crafting her own clothes, clothes for her three sons when they were little, and costumes for the Orston Christmas Eve Pageant.
Gillie, who always buys Vogue Magazine, has a classical style and one of her favourite designers is Alexander McQueen.
She said she loved to make something beautiful from nothing, loved the vast choice of fabrics the show offered her, and seeing clothes that she had made on a profesional model.
She said: “I wish all of the contestants the very best in their future endeavours. We were an eclectic mix, which is of course what the show wants, but we all got on so well and are now such good friends.”
Gillie, who had always been a fan of the show, now in its ninth season, beat 15,000 other hopefuls for a seat at the Great British Sewing Bee sewing table and can be proud of her achievements.