MAKING her own wedding dress was a ‘warm up’ to the challenges Deborah Simms has faced as a contestant on BBC2’s Great British Sewing Bee.

Deborah, 26, who was born and brought up in Feniscowles and attended St Bede’s, has already shown the nation how to make a pair of trousers and a kid’s outfit under pressure.


This week she had the chance to impress with a vintage themed creation.

“We made 50s outfits on a vintage sewing machine. It was great fun, but the pressure’s always there.”

The series was filmed last year and Deborah this week said she was not allowed to reveal how far she gets in the show hosted by Claudia Winkleman and judged by Savile Row designer, Patrick Grant and the WI’s May Martin.

“They are really down-to-earth people,” says Deborah. “ We were all a bit starstruck and nervous at the beginning, but after a while they just seemed like any other people.

Lancashire Telegraph:

“We’re all a bit more calm and relaxed now, which is nice. It was a great experience. Now it seems like every time I go on the internet people are talking about me. I don’t feel quite like an A-list celeb just yet though.”

Deborah, who works as a project bid support officer at MMU, has always been ‘crafty’, but when she couldn’t find the perfect dress for her wedding to fiancé Terence last year she decided to make her own. It was a vintage-style white lace dress with a big 50s skirt and blue underskirts.

“The styles I saw in the shops weren’t really me, there was no colour in them and they felt very restricted. So I made my own bodice from a pattern and made up the skirt pattern myself.”

Deborah teaches embroidery at a class in Manchester, but would love to sew full time.

“The problem with sewing full time is that you have to find different ways to make money. I’m interested in teaching it. I’m not interested in trying to make 100 copies of an item of clothing and trying to sell it. It would be difficult to make it a full time job but hopefully I’ll be able to do it 50/50 in the future.”.

The Great British Sewing Bee can be viewed on BBC2 on Thursdays.