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Great British Sewing Bee judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young see Gillie Ford through to second week of BBC One show

Gillie Ford has made it through to the second week of the Great British Sewing Bee thanks to her ‘come-hitherish’ office outfit creation.

The 74-year-old, from Orston but now living in Lady Bay, had mixed results in last night’s first episode of series nine of the BBC One classic.

In the first challenge, viewers saw the contestants make twist tops that had to have twice—sewn French seams.

Gillie, who gave an exclusive interview to the Advertiser before the episode aired, finished eleventh from 12 as she failed to finish within the time limit and one sleeve of her top was still held together by pins and upside down.

Great British Sewing Bee judge, the fashion designer Patrick Grant, told the contestants: “This was deceptively difficult. I think you have all managed really well.”

The contestants of the Great British Sewing Bee series nine, include 74-year-old Gillie Ford, fourth from right. Credit James Stack/BBC
The contestants of the Great British Sewing Bee series nine, include 74-year-old Gillie Ford, fourth from right. Credit James Stack/BBC

He said to a crestfallen Gillie that there was no getting away from the elephant in the room, that a sleeve was upside down.

Charming Gillie, a grandmother of two, said to camera that she thought she had let everybody down but the judges had been very kind to her.

However, Gille turned things around in the second challenge, finishing fourth of the 12.

In that challenge, on last night’s 9pm screening, contestants were tasked with using their sewing skills to jazz up a corporate uniform with items from the scraps bin.

In what may yet become known as a series of Gillie-isms, she told the hosts that she wanted her outfit to be ‘come-hitherish’ – flirty and alluring in effect.

Her come-hitherish design with its slit strips skirt proved a hit with Grant and Esme Young, who were judging without knowing who the garment creators were in advance.

The third challenge of the night was for contestants to make a made-to-measure cut-out dress for a model in five hours.

Gillie, the oldest of the contestants, took herself back to the Swinging Sixties that was influenced by a dress that her mother made her for her brother’s 21st birthday.

Judges liked the dress weren’t pleased with the cut-out.

Host Sara Pascoe told the gathered contestants that they had sewn their way into their hearts, but one had to be crowned Garment of the Week, and one had to go home.

Garment of the Week went to Tony W, while Catherine was the first to be sent home.

Last night’s episode is available on iPlayer and next week’s installment is Wednesday, BBC One, 9pm.

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