We meet Tamara from The Great British Sewing Bee

Tamara Melvin has shown her sewing prowess throughout this year’s Great British Sewing Bee and we’re pleased to have caught up with the finalist.Not only is Tamara a brilliant sewist, but The Great British Sewing Bee finalist is also a yoga instructor; blogger (The Green Thimble); ambassador of children’s charity Dreams Come True and a mum of two who specialises in face painting too!

So. Today’s the big day, when one contestant on The Great British Sewing Bee will be crowned the Queen of Sewing! We’ve caught up with Tamara ahead of the excitement to find out what she’s up to, her top sewing tips and more.

Image © Tamara Melvin

Congratulations on becoming a GBSB finalist! We’re all very excited for you. If you had to pick your favourite moment on The Great British Sewing Bee what would it be?
I loved the Vintage episode. When I saw the 1930s sewing machine on my table I couldn’t wait to use it. It only sews a straight stitch, so everything you make on it has to be simple. I chose to make a coat that my mum had made in 60s, I found it really emotional, almost like she was there with me and I really wished she was because the yellow fabric was a nightmare to sew!

What fashion trends are you loving right now?
I don’t really follow a trend, but I do use them to inspire me. I keep a scrapbook that I scribble and stick images into from magazines. I love sports luxe: being a yoga teacher I live in stretch fabrics but don’t necessarily want to look like I’ve just stepped out of the gym. I make myself yoga wear that looks just as good in a coffee shop as it does on the mat.

Image © Tamara Melvin

What are your top 5 sewing tips?

  • Choose a space to sew in with good light
  • Keep two or three seam rippers handy, they are like biros: they disappear
  • Don’t use your scissors for anything but fabric. I went to grab my scissors the other day and they were blunt. Turns out my 9-year-old daughter had been using them to cut through wire… grrr.
  • Treat yourself to a pin magnet – they are brilliant. I’d never seen them until I was on the show. Genius.
  • Have some patience, you’ll make mistakes and you’ll need to re-do some parts.
  • Try and keep your sewing space tidy.

What’s the best creative advice you’ve ever been given?
I always learn from my mistakes, sometimes I even finish a project only to throw it in the bin! But I have learnt from each of those hiccups and I’m never afraid to start again. My favourite quotes include:

“The person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything.” – Paul Arden

“I haven’t failed, I’ve just had 10,000 ideas that didn’t work.” – Benjamin Franklin

What are you working on now?
I’m working with children’s charity, Dreams Come True on their annual fundraiser Dream Tea event. It’s really easy to get involved. All you need to do is take some time out, gather friends, family and colleagues, pop the kettle on and add cake, biscuits and bunting. You should definitely sign up.

I’m also designing a mug cosy to keep my tea warm. While I’m sewing my cups of tea always end up going cold by the time I go in for a sip.

Tamara will be tweeting throughout tomorrow’s final. You can find her at @thegreenthimble

Tamara Melvin GBSB