What Vicki did next – Lincolnshire mum’s life after Great British Sewing Bee

Her Great British Sewing Bee journey was followed by millions and Vicki Reid revelled in the opportunity that BBC One’s popular craft show opened up to her.

The Lincolnshire mum-of-two made it all the way to the semi-final of the contest, with viewers and the show’s judges alike impressed with her amazing and sometimes radical sewing skills. Triangle-gate anyone?

After the heady days of the sewing room, Grimsby Live managed to catch up with Vicki to learn about her GBSB experience and what she has been doing since being away from the cameras.

Read more:Grimsby man to take part in new season of Married At First Sight UK

What was it like to be on GBSB?

It was a really great experience, it’s amazing to think it was a year ago now. It’s funny because you do the experience and it gets put on hold – you have to forget about it to an extent because you can’t tell anyone about it.

People talk to you about it as if it’s just happened and it’s really nice to watch it back and relive it, to share it with people and chat to them about it. I’ve had lots of nice messages from people saying things like, ‘we really liked you’ and ‘we liked what you made’. It’s been brilliant in that respect.

Vicki Reid with daughter Iris, five, and son Ezra, three
Vicki Reid with daughter Iris, five, and son Ezra, three

It was good for me in so many ways. It has given me lots of memories, friendships and experiences.

What were the best parts?

The whole thing was a highlight. Being away from home in an intense environment, you learn a lot about yourself. It definitely made me realise I have some self-confidence issues that I do have to work on, which is always a good thing.

Previously, I would probably have never made a supermodel dress – I wouldn’t have had anywhere to wear it. In the pattern challenge, I was most pleased with my rucksack – I have since got it back but I haven’t dared use it just yet; it’s preserved in a bag.

I had a plus-size model which was without a doubt my best achievement. I was so pleased I got to do that and that there was that representation in the show.

What, if there was one, was the worst part?

The transformation challenge wasn’t my comfort zone. You are working on the spot and with unusual materials, which I find hard to embrace. I was always looking around and seeing what everyone else was doing – that part was brilliant – but you have to really commit to an idea and go with it.

I’m most proud of the last transformation challenge I did (Vicki sculpted a top from workwear tabards and pan scourers that the judges described as ‘genius’); I don’t know where I pulled that from.

I was really pleased with my last made to measure challenge, my boiler suit, even though I went home on that.

Any particularly funny moments?

My son, Ezra, I call Ezzy, and Sarah (show host Sarah Pascoe) thought I was calling Esme (one of the show’s judges, Esme Young), Ezzy. It was hysterical.

Vicki with husband John and children Iris and Ezra in matching outfits she made for Glastonbury
Vicki with husband John and children Iris and Ezra in matching outfits she made for Glastonbury

Were you sad to leave before the final?

I said, going in, if I was in a few weeks I would be super-pleased. Anything after that would be a bonus. There was stuff I got to do that I would never have thought about before.

Does the series show it as it is?

I think it does reflect the experience I had, yes. There is loads you don’t see – the challenges are maybe three-and-a-half hours and you see 15 minutes. You get to see the key moments, that’s the nature of TV, but it is represented very well.

Did you make friends with any of the other contestants?

I’ve made friends for life. We are all in touch. We have a WhatsApp group to chat and we have met up a few times.

Do you find people recognise you now?

I have had a couple of people come up to me and say they have recognised me from the show. I did have a couple of people message me on Instagram saying they had seen me and the kids at Glastonbury but they didn’t feel confident enough to come up to us.

I wish they had, I am a very normal person and very approachable. I did say to them: ‘If you see me again, you will have to say hi.’

Vicki Reid wearing one of her colourful handmade dresses
Vicki Reid wearing one of her colourful handmade dresses

I think if I went somewhere sewing related I would be more likely to be recognised but not in those day-to-day places, so I am always a bit surprised when that happens. I don’t mind, I think it’s nice when people come up and speak to me, it makes me feel quite flattered.

What is it about sewing that you love so much?

It’s my escape. It fascinates me how you can make stuff – I’ve always loved making things, creating things. It’s about coming up with the idea and seeing it come to fruition, I find that very zen, chilled and relaxing.

Do your family get to benefit from your sewing skills?

Me sewing is normal to the kids (Vicki has Iris, five, and Ezra, three). For them it’s: ‘I like this Mummy, will you make it for me?’ Not that they don’t think it’s something special.

If they get given clothing, they will say: ‘Have you made this?’ I tell them someone will have made it for them, even if their grandma has bought it from a shop.

They are actually fascinated about who has made stuff and hopefully it shows them it takes time and that someone has put a lot of themselves into making something.

What have you been working on since the show?

I made a couple of Christmas gifts first and then I made a memory quilt of the show, and I’m really pleased with it. The centre panels were made from the scraps from all my made-to-measure challenges and there are memories of all different things from the show round the outside.

I’ve made lots of clothes – I always make stuff for me, my husband, John, and the kids, all the family, for Glastonbury. We all got matching bucket hats for that.

Have you got anything new in the sewing pipeline?

It’s always bittersweet when something finishes but I have millions of ideas for things I want to work on. I think stuff will always be coming up for me to explore. Let’s just say I have a few ideas just now and we will see how they play out.

Where can people follow your work?

Instagram (@whatvickimade) is the best place for people to reach out to me. I am on Facebook as well.

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