I’ve got the title all sewn up! Doctor on coronavirus front line is crowned the winner of BBC sewing bee
- Hospital consultant Clare Bradley, 38, claimed the Great British Sewing Bee title
- She won the show after ten weeks of sewing tasks that were filmed last autumn
- Her 1930s-inspired red evening gown was the garment that stole the show
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For a nation desperate to keep itself occupied during lockdown, the Great British Sewing Bee was a godsend.
Thousands were inspired to pick up needle and thread thanks to the BBC1 show’s popularity.
And last night, hospital consultant Clare Bradley – who has been working on the NHS front line during the coronavirus pandemic – was crowned the winner, thanks in part to her love of vintage clothes.
Miss Bradley, a lung specialist at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital, won the competition after ten weeks of tough sewing tasks which were filmed last autumn.
Clare Bradley’s appearance on the show – presented by Joe Lycett – made her instantly recognisable to patients and it has led to many revealing their own interests in knitting, sewing and quilting
The 38-year-old claimed the title after triumphs including creating a 27-pleat kilt and turning a swimsuit and party dress into a costume fit to wear at a carnival.
It was her 1930s-inspired red evening gown in the ‘made-to-measure challenge’ that stole the show
But it was her 1930s-inspired red evening gown in the ‘made-to-measure challenge’ that stole the show.
Commenting on the dress, judge Patrick Grant, 48 – an Edinburgh-born fashion designer who played rugby for Scotland at U18 and U19 level – said: ‘This is the very epitome of elegance. It’s ever so chic, it’s ever so refined.’
Fellow judge Esme Young added: ‘The simpler the garment the more the mistakes show up so it’s really tricky to sew something like this.’
Miss Bradley was taught how to sew by her mother Jane – who was also a doctor – at the age of eight.
However, it wasn’t until five years ago that she started taking it more seriously when her love of vintage clothing developed.
She said: ‘I started wearing vintage-style clothes when I struggled to find clothes – particularly trousers – that fitted my proportions.
‘I settled on a mid-20th century clothing look, particularly the 1940s, because they are a good combination of fit and smartness.’
Clare Bradley – who has been working on the NHS front line during the coronavirus pandemic – was crowned the winner, thanks in part to her love of vintage clothes
Retro chic: In one of her vintage outfits
Her appearance on the show – presented by Joe Lycett – made her instantly recognisable to patients and it has led to many revealing their own interests in knitting, sewing and quilting.
Miss Bradley said: ‘I watched a lot of the series on my own during lockdown… for the final episode I borrowed a projector so that I could watch with a couple of friends in their garden.
‘My closest colleagues knew I had got to the final as they could count how many days I’d had off work, but I think I managed to keep it a secret that I’d won by pulling my best “patient confidentiality” straight face.’
Miss Bradley beat 11 other sewers to the title, pipping broadcast engineer Matt Gage, 43, and jewellery designer Nicole Akong, 42, to the post in last night’s final.