The Great British Sewing Bee 2016: Meet the contestants

10 home sewers are putting their skills to the test as Claudia Winkleman returns for the fourth series of the crafty competition

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Meet the contestants in The Sewing Bee 2016

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Angeline is a marketing manager who grew up on a farm in Northern Ireland. She’s been sewing for about 10 years, ever since her brother bought her a sewing machine for Christmas. Her first project was a pair of curtains for her future husband, but now she makes a lot of clothes for friends. Elegant occasion dresses are her favourite thing to make – she even handmade her bridesmaids dresses for her wedding last year. 

Sewing isn’t her only passion. Angeline also runs triathlons and marathons. 

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Charlotte is a married mum of three from who lives in North London. By day she’s the editor of a medical journal and by night she’s a master sewer, aiming for perfection with her home-sewn creations. She’ll plan her projects down to the minute!

She’s been sewing since the age of seven, when her mother and her grandmother taught her and is now a prolific sewer. Her children wear her creations and she says she endeavours to wear something hand made every single day. 

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Maths tutor Duncan hails from Scotland but lives in London now. He started sewing three years ago after becoming bored of high street mens wear. He attends a weekly sewing club to hone his skills and now makes made to measure women’s wear for his friends too. 

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Ghislaine is a London office manager originally from Martinique. She started sewing three years ago, with help from her mum on the phone. She sews most weekends and often makes costumes for an international choir she sings in. Oh and she also normally sews in her underwear so she can try it at every stage. But we assume this won’t be the case when she’s on Sewing Bee. 

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At 18, Jade is the competition’s youngest ever sewer. She lives in Eastbourne with her family (her younger sister is hoping to steal her bedroom while she competes in the show.) She used to be a competitive swimmer, but suffered an injury in 2012 which meant she could no longer swim. That’s when she decided to take up sewing. 

Now she makes clothes for her sisters and her dogs. (They wear tutus if you’re wondering…) And hopes one day to open her own haberdashery. 

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Jamie hails from rural Devon, where he lives with his wife and baby son. He used to be a teacher, but gave it up to look after his son Harry, who was born deaf. For the last year he’s been improving his sewing skills while Harry naps. 

He wonders if sewing is in his blood – his nan was a glove maker who taught him tailoring techniques when he was a child. He finds inspiration from his life in the countryside and enjoys making tailored men’s jackets and shirts. 

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Sport is Josh’s first love. He plays football for Cardiff Metropolitan University and, though his teammates laughed at him to begin with, he can now often be found altering their tracksuits. 

He’s a self-taught sewer since he found a sewing machine at his parent’s home two years ago and he often uses online tutorials to teach himself new techniques. 

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71-year-old grandmother of nine Joyce has been sewing for almost 60 years. She lives in Sussex and is a retired schools admissions officer who keeps herself busy gardening, doing DIY and making clothing for herself and everyone in the family. 

She’s proudest of making her daughter’s wedding dress – and has just started taking photos of things she likes in shops on her mobile phone and trying to replicate them at home.

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Rumana is a junior doctor from east London who lives with her husband Taufiq (also a junior doctor.) She’s been sewing since she was a child, when her mum used to make all her clothes from scratch. Her first project was making a dress for the Barbie doll which matched one of her own. 

She took up sewing again when she graduated in 2013, making herself a graduation dress. She loves making herself outfits and creating clothes for her baby niece – and often uses sewing to destress after long shifts at work. 

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Tracey is a recently retired primary school teacher from Derbyshire. She was first taught to sew by her mum when she was a teenager, and she’s since passed on her knowledge to her own daughter Laura. 

She used to make clothes for her children when they were young, and now makes bright and bold outfits for herself. She’s a self-confessed fabric hoarder and is also known to belt out rock tunes while she sews. Watch this space. 

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The Sewing Bee starts on Monday at 9:00pm on BBC2