Being on the Sewing Bee was one of the best experiences of my life. I met some amazing people and had so much fun, I never wanted it to end.
I learnt so much from my fellow sewers and the judges, not just about sewing, but how it's possible to do anything if you want to! I never would have believed that I would have the confidence to put myself under scrutiny in front of Patrick and Esme, never mind the 3 and a half million at home watching!
Once I started sewing I forgot about cameras and competition and just got on with sewing, what's not to love! I got to sew all day, with some great company and they even gave me lunch!
We became such a strong 'team' that it never felt like a competition, it always felt like us against the judges. We wanted each other to do well in their eyes, so we often helped each other, thank goodness we did, otherwise there would have been many more disasters! When something went wrong for one of the sewers it was painful, you knew how hard they had worked and how much they wanted to stay on the 'team' so it was a real wrench when someone went home. Week after week I remained, through to the semi-final, which considering I nearly went home in week one was an amazing achievement!
After it was all over and life went back to normal it was a strange limbo waiting for the show to be aired. It had to be kept secret but at the same time you were bursting to talk to others about your amazing time away.
The day our names were released to the public was 'bonkers' to quote Jade! Twitter exploded and I had no end of friends texting 'think I've just seen you in an advert!' Everywhere I went I just smiled all day! Must have looked like an idiot! I did radio interviews and press questions and suddenly I was being recognised when I went out. People were so lovely and supportive and had lots of great things to say about the show, I was walking on cloud nine! I bought the Radio Times and every other magazine we were mentioned in!
The night of the first show was the most nervous I've ever been ! More nervous even than filming. 'Will they be kind? Will they like me? I knew how well I'd done but still had my heart in my mouth when Claudia announced who was going home. And I cried!!
Every week when someone went home I cried- when you watch these things you think 'they've only been together 5 minutes why are they so upset!' but we were all away from home, in a totally alien environment, with new vocabulary like 'voxpops' and 'jib' thrown at us, so we quickly bonded to keep ourselves sane!
That bond has remained still and we are in contact all the time, we meet when we can and are all thrilled to be 'the Bees of series 4'
Now things have calmed down and the series is behind me I'm enjoying my new role as a Sewing Bee. I'm teaching sewing lessons, talking to craft groups and generally loving my new life as a full time seamstress. Others are being inspired to sew after watching the programme and I'm glad to have been a small part of that revolution.
I'll never forget my time as a 'Bee' and I cherish every stitch!