Amanda Holland: BBC Sewing Bee and deaf woman Lynda Lewis

Posted on March 7, 2014

Why should I write about this?  Well because this time there is a Deaf lady appear on this programme.  Also I found out that it is not in this blog so I like to let you know.  I have been offered to write it for Limping Chicken so it is my first one.

I did watched Series one last year but missed first few episodes so I enjoyed this programme and keep eye to see if it is back this year and very much pleased to see it back again and there is a Deaf person on it this year, which is the bonus.

I like this format of the programme as it is similar to Bake Off and Masterchef and also I enjoyed doing people watching to see their reactions to the challenges and look for some inspirations from those programmes.

On first episode start off with 10 people including Lynda, Deaf lady and they are trying to win British’s best amateur sewer.  Thousands of people had applied and only 10 got through, well done to Lynda!  Lynda is Learning Support assistant and originally from Wales now moved to Sussex to be close to her grandchildren.

Judges are May Martin, expert sewing teacher and Patrick Grant from Savile Row.

This week challenges are three different popular fabrics – cotton, wool and silk.  In cotton challenge they are making cotton top and Lynda came at 6th.

The programme did explained that Lynda is Deaf and use ‘signer’ to help her with communication support.  Lynda did brilliantly to educate the public and the judges about Deaf culture.  For example, judges thought she got difficult spot of the room with distraction of beautiful view out the window but she explained that she is Deaf and hadn’t got chance to look out of the window!  She explained to the judges that distractions that might disturb other people, like sounds and people talking that doesn’t happen to her.  She totally in her own world when she is sewing.

In second challenge, they have to transform the long skirt to something completely different to show their creative side.   She is first person to say the word ‘Godet’, which is sewing term for put triaingle in part of skirt.  Lynda came at 4th in this challenge.

For third challenge they have to use silk fabric to make a nightgown with live model.  Lynda is making empire line gown, which use lots of panels and lot of cutting the fabric.  During this challenge, Lynda had an opportunity to explain to Patrick, one of the judges, about sign names.  She explained that her daughter like Patrick so much and show Patrick the face expression of being excited and show him the sign, pat on heart few times so she had gave sign name to Patrick.  Patrick say it could be lot worse but he accept it and think it is lovely.  Another Deaf culture education there, good for Lynda!

Each episode the presenter explained about the history of the fabric or industry so this programme is brilliant to watch and learn at the same time.

Lynda had done the nightgown but unfortunately had not finished at the back of the nightgown but she is stay on for another episode, phew!  No one left at this episode because in my opinion that one of three blokes, called Cliff, had been not well during last challenge and decided to leave.

In episode two, this time for challenges is about pattern.

claudia winkleman presenter

Presenter Claudia Winkleman

In first challenge, to make box pleat skirt with patterned fabric to ensure it to look even, which is not easy.  Lynda did well by came at 5th.

In 2nd challenge, transform two men’s shirts to something creative and don’t appear look like shirt at the end of the challenge.  Lynda did change it into cute child’s dress and came at 4th.

In 3rd challenge, use patterned fabric to make men’s pyjamas.  When Lynda finish the pyjamas jacket, Patrick had put it on himself and Lynda was so overjoyed that Patrick had chosen her jacket to put it on.  She had excellent feedback from the judges on her pyjamas, which look so good.

At the end of the programme, they revealed that Lynda’s pyjamas had been selected as the garment of the week so she came 1st.  Well done!

It is young man had to leave the programme.

I had to watch those programmes via BBC iplayer because of my commitments so here is the links to those episodes if you want to watch it: Episode 1 / Episode 2

By Amanda Holland
My name is Amanda Holland and profoundly Deaf since birth.  Went to Royal School for the Deaf in Exeter then moved to Hartley House School for the Deaf in Plymouth.  I am bi-lingual – BSL and English.
Currently I work  on one day a week as Deaf Advocate in Plymouth and I am qualified Independent Advocate since 2010.  I recently work as temp for extra hours.
I take interest in various crafts, included dress-making, which I was taught by my late mother hence interest in watching Sewing Bee.

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