The Great British Sewing Bee steps out of Bake Off’s shadow with a simply stunning final

Perfectly pitched and beautifully stitched – the 2019 Sewing Bee final showed just how good Bake Off's sister show can be says James Gill

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 22:00:01 on 26/03/2019 - Programme Name: The Great British Sewing Bee - TX: 02/04/2019 - Episode: The Final 3 (No. The Final 3) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 22:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 26TH MARCH 2019** Juliet - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Mark Bourdillon

The Great British Sewing Bee has always felt like Bake Off’s timid younger cousin.

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It’s had its fans, often incredibly devoted ones, but unlike Bake Off it felt like a bashful secret rather than a national indulgence.

Well, it’s time to stop being so shy: Sewing Bee is brilliant, and I defy anyone to watch the 2019 final and disagree.

The episode had everything you could wish for: three beautiful, talented amateurs, bursting at the seams with pride for what they had achieved. A little stress, a lot of love and support – and a winner that brought tears of joy to everyone watching.

“It’s really surreal. So, so unbelievable. I never win anything,” winner Juliet said, shaking with emotion. “I’ve never won anything ever. I’ve had to fight for a lot of things, really work hard. I can’t believe it.”

Juliet might not have been able to believe it; her five-year-old daughter definitely did. “My Mummy’s a winner!” she said proudly, hugging her leg.

This was Sewing Bee’s Nadiya moment, and it couldn’t have been pitched better.

It’s been a long time coming: for three years, the sewing competition found itself in limbo. With Bake Off moving to Channel 4, there was always the worry that creators Love Productions and the BBC wouldn’t be able to patch up their relationship and bring Sewing Bee back.

In the end though, this was a show too lovely to leave on the shelf.

And the best news? It’s coming back next year. Applications are already open, but even if you don’t fancy picking up a needle just yet, make sure when it returns in 2020 you shout about it.

The show sew deserves it.

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The Great British Sewing Bee will return in 2020