Meet the third contestant to leave The Great British Sewing Bee!
Week three was dedicated to gents classics and began with the first ever headwear challenge, sewing a baker boy hat! The Bees could choose from wool remnants and scraps to make their hat in one colour or a patchwork design. It included a peak and a covered button, which proved tricky for some!
In the transformation challenge, everyone could pick two men’s suit jackets to upcycle into something innovative and (hopefully) impeccably sewn. With 90 minutes on the clock, some sewists were able to create stunning dresses and skirts while others were overly ambitious and didn’t quite hit the mark.
And for the made-to-measure challenge, Patrick and Esme asked the Bees to make a utility jacket featuring lots of pockets. The finished results were very impressive with some well executed collars, great zips and perfect patch pockets.
This week Lawratu sadly had to leave the workroom after she failed to impress the judges and ran out of time to finish her utility jacket. We caught up with Lawratu to find out all about her time on the Bee.
GBSB7 – Exclusive interview with week 3’s eliminated Bee!
Was it liberating to be filming this series?
Yes it was a great escape from everything else in the world.
When did you first start sewing and why do you love it so much?
Generally I say I started sewing 6 years ago when I got fed up of buying clothes that didn’t fit me properly. I’ve since found a photo of me getting a sewing machine when I was younger. Not sure how I forgot!
Who was your mentor?
Funnily enough, although my god mother and an uncle sews I don’t have a mentor. I learnt, and continue to learn through blogs, online tutorial, the online sewing community.
What is your favourite garment to sew/or your speciality?
I don’t particularly have a favourite type of garment, as I like sewing all types of things.
Why did you want to be a Great British Sewing Bee and who did you want to most impress of the Judges, or both? And when the sewing got tough, was Joe a welcome ally?
I wanted to be a contestant as I have seen all of the shows. It is easy enough to say ‘I could do that’ so I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is. Judges wise, I wanted to impress both although Esme’s critiques were the ones I was most apprehensive about. Joe was much needed light relief, especially when things were a little stressful.
Describe your experience on first walking into the sewing room on this year’s Sewing Bee, and which challenge were you fearing the most the first week?
I was eager to get into the room, as it was a new set and also, getting into the sewing room made it very real! At that point I think I feared the pattern challenge the most. Although that and the transformation challenges were unknown, the pattern challenge came first. Once I got in it was all a little calmer….
What was your best and worst moment that first week?
Best moment – seeing my model walk in my made to measure
I do not feel like I had a “worst moment” however I guess it would be not having enough time to get my buttonholes done.
How did you try and stay calm when things were going badly wrong or you ran out of time in the first week?
At that point I was pretty much “what will be will be” I stayed calm by knowing that my model would have something on and just making a decision what was more important – a hem or buttonholes.
Do you have an attachment to a sewing tool, and why is it special to you?
I love a sewing tool in general – not for sentimental reasons though. I guess my favourite one is a buttonhole measure – really helped me on the button dress challenge as I had about 17 to do!
In your sewing life: What has been your worst sewing disaster – and your biggest triumph?
My worst sewing disaster – probably a dress I tried to make last minute for a party I was going to. Needless to say it did not see the light of day (luckily I had a backup). My biggest triumph is probably my coat which I am really proud of and making a bra.
Do you make for family and friends as presents? And most asked for garment?
I rarely make garments for others – sewing for me is my mindfulness activity, and part of what I do to enjoy my downtime when I don’t want additional pressures. I do occasionally make stuff for my sister and my daughter and do some mending for my husband.
Describe your style, and how much of your own clothes do you make?
I think my style is modern classic. I like classic styles with a modern twist and in a colour palette I enjoy. At this point I pretty much make all my clothes that way and I have a much better way of them fitting.
Can you give a sewing tip for amateur sewers who have been enjoying the show?
Never be afraid to try. I think that at times people don’t push their boundaries, don’t be held back by fear. Just try, you can learn a lot….
Was it hard to keep a secret that you were going to be on the show?
I think lockdown has made it easier! As no one has been meeting up – so no need to explain disappearances and what you have been doing.
What is the best way to describe the relationship between this year’s Bees?
We are a little beehive family. We are still in contact on WhatsApp and that’s great!
What will you take away from your experience of being on The Great British Sewing Bee?
I learnt so much, too many to detail. But I think the biggest thing is I got on the show in the first place.
What’s next for you in the sewing world?
More sewing, I want to continually challenge myself with the garments that I sew.
Best and worst moment for you during the whole series?
Best – my summer dress in Week 2 and Worst – my men’s jacket in Week 3 – no further explanation needed!
Favourite challenge overall and why?
I enjoyed all the challenges but in a weird way my favourite was the men’s blazer transformation. I felt I did a good job with that one.
Lawratu is a local authority officer from Surrey and an active member of the local Women’s Institute who enjoys all kinds of crafting, including needlework and knitting. She wants to dispel the myth that people who attend the WI are ‘all fuddy-duddies sitting round eating scones and having cream teas.’ Her own branch much prefer putting the world to rights at the pub over a glass of wine or a G&T.
Lawratu has been sewing for around six years and began making her own clothes because she didn’t like the fit of items in the shops. Completely self-taught with the occasional tip from YouTube, she likes bright colours and vivid prints often inspired by her West African heritage.
Follow Lawratu on Instagram seamesew