10 Nov 2017

The Great British Sewing Bee Sewing Studio Review

I don’t do sewing machines.  I can crochet beautiful patterns and I can sew with a needle and thread, but I don’t use sewing machines. The last time I used one was a couple of years ago when, under the watchful eyes of professionals, I managed to sew a Christmas gift bag.

What is life without a challenge, eh? So I accepted the task of using and reviewing the The Great British Sewing Bee Sewing Studio.

The Great British Sewing Bee Sewing Studio comes fully equipped with a pro sewing machine with features like a finger safety guard, auto speed settings,  and a thread spool compartment. It can be battery operated or you can plug it into the mains. The Sewing Studio is aimed at ages 6 and above, but only with adult supervision. Creating with the Sewing Studio can be a fun family project, something to spend time together and bond over.



The Great British Sewing Bee Sewing Studio comes fully equipped with a pro sewing machine with features like a finger safety guard, a foot pedal, 2 auto speed settings, stitch length adjustment switch and a thread spool compartment. It can be battery operated or you can choose to plug it into the mains using the adaptor that comes in the pack.


Also included are a pair of scissors, an instructions manual and a pretty sewing tin. The tin contains bobbins, reels of thread, a measuring tape, spare machine needles, a sewing needle, a needle threader, pins and a thimble. It really completes the professional look of the Sewing Studio. The Studio comes with a clutch purse sewing project and includes patterns, fabrics, accessories and instructions to get you started.

Once I had unboxed everything, it was time to set up and get started using the Sewing Studio. The instructions manual has a labelled diagram and detailed instructions on how to set up the electrical connections, the foot pedal and how to thread the sewing machine. There are parts on how to fill and replace the bobbin, adjust thread tension and stitch length. What is missing are basic instructions on how to operate the sewing machine, like how and where to place the fabric, how to move it along and what to do if thread gets tangled up.


It’s a good job I remembered what I had learned! Once the machine was set up, I got to work on the clutch project. The instructions for this are nice and clear with lots of accompanying diagrams to show you exactly what to do. I cut paper patterns, pinned them to the fabric with pretty pearl-headed pins and cut along the edges till I had four pieces of fabric for the purse. There is a polka dotted fabric for the actual clutch and a gingham one for the inner lining.


I started sewing the polka dot fabric, when it all happened! After sewing down one edge, I noticed the thread bunching up on the reverse side. A closer look at the instructions revealed that the thread tension was wrong. I needed to increase it. I turned the tension screw and it came loose in my hand. I was left holding bits of spring and a couple of metal discs, with no clue how to fix it. Thank goodness for M, my OH, who managed to sort it all out!

I cranked up the tension and went back to sewing the other edge. But the Studio carried on being temperamental. The thread kept bunching up and snapping. I was getting very frustrated. M continued to look on, the impartial observer. He recommended easing the tension on the fabric as I was guiding it along. “Stop pulling on the cloth!” he said.


I did, and things instantly got better. Only by now, I had lost the thread from the bobbin. It took patience and a lot of fidgeting before order was restored.

Both threads in place, thread tension adjusted, foot pedal at the ready, I carried on sewing. The evenly-spaced stitches on the gingham fabric are evidence that all was well again.

The Sewing Studio is aimed at ages 6 and above, but I think this is possible only with adult supervision. The instructions to set up the sewing machine are detailed and complex. There are no instructions on how to operate and sew with the machine. You will need an adult to iron fabric, to pin it and to help when things don’t go to plan.



That said, creating with the Sewing Studio can be a fun family project, something to spend time together and bond over.

Disclosure: I was sent a Sewing Studio to try out and review. All opinions are my own. 

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