Everything You Need to Know about The Great British Sewing Bee’s New Judge

One of our favourite TV shows starts filming again at the end of the month; it is of course The Great British Sewing Bee! There has been a shock announcement about the new series, however; we are now being told that May Martin will not be returning to our screens.

Although no word has yet been given on the reasons for May Martin’s departure from the show, we have been reassured that Patrick Grant will remain as a judge and it will still be presented by Claudia Winkleman. All of them team members here at Croft Mill will be sad to see May go, in fact we can’t imagine the show without her.

So who be the new judge of The Great British Sewing Bee we hear you ask? Because surely they cannot be leaving Patrick on his own…. Though we wouldn’t mind being the ones to keep him company.

Well from what we know, the new judge is Esme Young, a graduate of the highly acclaimed Central Saint Martins. In 1972 she and a few other graduates founded Swanky Modes; originally a small shop selling their own designs made from vintage fabrics. The pieces were often ‘one offs’ or made to order, as demand for their designs grew in 1978 they joined the ‘London Individual Clothes Show’ and showed there seasonally.

Since her days at Swanky Modes, she has also worked as a costume designer for major film titles including ‘Trainspotting’ and the yet-to-be-released ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’ so you may see some of her creations on the big screen soon.

Although we love May Martin, Esme does seem to have lots of skills relevant to The Great British Sewing Bee… from sewing and designing clothes to working under pressure and to tight deadlines. There has yet been no word of when this series will be on our screens but we are keen to meet Esme Young and see the talent on display this year.

What are your thoughts on May’s departure?

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Thimberlina
    10/02/2016 at 9:01 PM

    Thanks for the news!!! The next judge sounds exciting, only trouble is I’m now wishing my life away for the next series to start. ✂️?✂️

  • Reply
    joan
    13/02/2016 at 10:13 AM

    I am sad about this news- May always seemed to provide the ballast for the show. ..May was brilliant at explaining the technical issues and gave the show a shot of realism. Ordinay sewers could relate to and learn from her critiques. I am sad she has been ousted. I was always surprised and pleased that they hadn’t gone for style over substance in the first place. Am I now going to find this the case?

    • Reply
      Rebecca
      09/03/2016 at 2:01 PM

      Yes we were sad to see her go, like you said she her knowledge was very useful to us home sewers.

  • Reply
    carol
    13/02/2016 at 10:48 AM

    I do hope age had nothing to do with it….. I know what TV is like with their “yoof” appeal.

    • Reply
      Rebecca
      09/03/2016 at 2:04 PM

      Us too! Surely experience in sewing is more important than age? At least I hope so…

      • Reply
        sheilaspiritualistmedium
        17/03/2016 at 5:44 PM

        Yes is it age or a graduate experience? Qualifications? I started sewing 15 yrs old the proper way on a factory line making childrenswear, it gave me the best sewing tech pniques, and when at 46yrs old when factories shut I went into college then a degree to find I had to show tutors how to use an industrial machine, and other students I helped. But one thing I learnt tailoring from a man that got taught in the factories from his father , I rest my case xxx

  • Reply
    Alyson Urbanowska
    13/02/2016 at 11:22 AM

    Won’t be the same without May Martin but everything has to change eventually. The new judge sounds very interesting so I’m sure it will be just as good. I wish May Martin all the best in whatever she does next.
    From a Sewing Bee addict.

  • Reply
    Janet O'Mahoney
    13/02/2016 at 7:07 PM

    Sad to hear May is leaving. A lady of maturity, a find it hard to think May could be replaced with someone much younger.

  • Reply
    Michele
    14/02/2016 at 8:05 AM

    Very sad to hear May will not be part of the Sewing Bee this year, I truly hope she is ok and wish her well. Looking forward to the new series with great excitement!!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    17/03/2016 at 5:22 PM

    Esme can’t be that young if she graduated around 1972! She must have heaps of experience and should bring an added dimension to this great show. Can’t wait.

  • Reply
    Bron
    17/03/2016 at 5:55 PM

    Just thinking that if she graduated in 1972 she won’t be a young thing?

  • Reply
    Mooloo
    17/03/2016 at 6:03 PM

    I presume May could have chosen to leave rather then being ousted. She has a very busy schedule afterall.
    Funnily enough I have one dress from the early 80’s that is a Swanky Modes. It is my favourite dress for Summer holidays.
    Although I did find a small fault with its design, so I will reserve judgment on the new judge.

  • Reply
    Marg Burton
    17/03/2016 at 7:34 PM

    Very sad to hear that May is leaving. I hope it is not yet another case of getting rid of the more mature lady. I loved her down to earth advice and her ability to keep it real. I do hope it does not get all arty and weird designs no one will ever wear. Marg.

  • Reply
    maria
    18/03/2016 at 3:30 AM

    Yet again its an age issue, following from news readers to strictly.

    • Reply
      Jean Nathan
      27/03/2016 at 10:03 AM

      If you google Esme Young, yu’ll find she isnlt a young thing. If anything she looks older than May.

  • Reply
    Nora
    09/05/2016 at 6:47 AM

    Sad to hear about May leaving, will be waiting for the new one to win me over, hard act to follow though!

  • Reply
    Judi
    16/05/2016 at 9:09 PM

    Erm…not that impressed.

  • Reply
    Shiona
    16/05/2016 at 10:09 PM

    Just watched GBSB 2016 and very sad not to see May Martin. I loved the way she always encouraged the contestants rather than knocking them down. Also, the way she and Patrick worked in partnership together: a good team. Whatever you are up to now May, thank you for your input in previous years. I miss you!

  • Reply
    The Great British Sewing Bee 2016: The First Episode - Get Craftii with the Croft Mill Fabrics Blog
    17/05/2016 at 11:15 AM

    […] Last night we saw the first episode of The Great British Sewing Bee, Series 4. All of the team members here at Croft Mill were eagerly awaiting our first look at the new judge Esme Young, who has replaced May Martin. (You can read about Esme Young in our other blog post here.) […]

  • Reply
    Jan
    28/05/2016 at 6:45 AM

    I seriously miss May Martin. Esme is a gimmick. Why do they have to spoil a great show?

    • Reply
      Rebecca
      31/05/2016 at 2:14 PM

      We miss May too! It is such a shame she left.

  • Reply
    Marianna Dominguez
    09/06/2016 at 10:42 AM

    Esme is not a patch on May – bring her back.

  • Reply
    Jan
    13/06/2016 at 7:32 PM

    After several episodes, I still can’t warm to Esme. I am a ordinary sewer like the viewing audience, not some college Art and Textiles student. May Martin suited the audience profile perfectly but now it is not such a draw. It is like the GBBO without Mary Berry.

  • Reply
    Ash
    16/02/2017 at 7:17 AM

    Thanks For Sharing!

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