Uckfield’s Jade Earley, the youngest-ever contestant on BBC2’s The Great British Sewing Bee is through to the final of the competition.
The 18-year-old feared she was vulnerable after coming third in each of the first two rounds last night but her constant striving for perfection saw her in contention for Garment of the Week for the third time. She didn’t win the accolade this time but her fans knew she was safe before the final reveal.
Patrick Grant one of the judges said, in summing up Jade at the start of the programme, that she had a very open mind and embraced new technologies. Her only disadvantage was lack of experience due to age.
She struggled, as did all the sewers, with what was described as a “fiendish” asymmetrical voluminous yoked skirt and Esme Young said later she thought Jade’s effort was “bodged”.
But then there was praise for the teenager in the alteration challenge when she turned a child’s duvet cover – without any waste material – into a flattering Grecian dress which was “a bit revealing” but “well thought out”.
Finally Jade created her own pattern from a standard one and produced a “really striking dress” with fabrics that worked well together.
Jade phoned home with the result and her proud mum Nyree dissolved into tears. She was speechless for some time as she took in the news.
• Jade is a swimming instructor and student who likes to sew clothing for her entire family, including herself, her younger siblings, dad, and even her dogs.
Jade’s work has previously featured on the Uckfield New website. Her Christmas tree dress was displayed inthe window of Josefina. she has also made ballgowns and even neckerchiefs for the family’s bulldogs.
She lives in Ridgewood with her parents Nyree and Mark, sisters Jema and Joolz and her brother Joel. More of her work can be seen here: Spikey challenge for teenage dressmaker from Uckfield.