Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Tilly on the Telly!


Soooo… have you heard about the forthcoming BBC2 TV show about sewing from the makers of Bake Off? Well… ooh… eep… arrgghh… yikes… [deep breath] I’m a contestant!!!

If you’ve seen the baking version or one its international equivalents, you’ll know what to expect. A diverse group of amateur sewists are put through a series of sewing challenges, under hot lights, high pressure and crazy timeframes. Their work is scrutinised by expert judges and their spirits boosted by a down-to-earth presenter. Contestants are eliminated each week until one is accorded the title “Britain’s best amateur sewer”. Mercifully, viewers are spared the unsavoury aspects so often associated with reality shows – no sob stories, no divas, no backstabbing, just normal people struggling to sew a dress in 20 minutes while talking to the cameras at the same time, with plenty of good humour and comedy errors.

Thank you so much to the lovely readers who encouraged me to enter the contest in the first place! I felt like I was representing the wonderful sewing bloggers of this community, so I've been bursting to tell you about it for months and months. I’m not the kind of person who dreams of being on the telly (okay, despite spending my childhood rehearsing for a career as a Blue Peter presenter), but we work so hard to spread the sewing bug across the interwebs that the opportunity to share the sewing love with the unconverted via primetime TV is just a dream. If the show can convince a few more people to try their hand at sewing for the first time, to slow down their fast fashion consumption, to experience the pleasure of making, to feel empowered by taking control of what they wear, then that will be a wonderful thing. Plus it’ll just be hilarious TV gold!

No, I can’t believe I got picked. Yes, it was crazy pressure. No, there will be no spoilers here! (Although I will be posting and tweeting after the episodes' first airings, so close you're eyes if you're waiting to catch up on iPlayer/YouTube.) And yes, I will be watching from behind a very large glass of vino... The finished show will be (almost) as much of a surprise for me as it is for you, as I have no idea how it’s been edited. But what I do know is that it's gonna be awesome! Everyone involved in the show is absolutely lovely - not to mention super talented - and we had sooooo much fun filming. I just know you’re gonna love it!

140 comments:

  1. So exciting. I'll be cheering for you Tilly! Please let us know if there is a way for the internationals to watch.

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  2. I saw this on Debi's blog - so exciting! I'm gutted that I'll be out of the country for the first one but I'll definitely catch up on the BBC i-player when I get back. Does i-player work for international readers? And my husband loves Claudia Winkleman so I may even be able to persuade him to watch it with me.

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  3. Awesomesocks! I know who I will be rooting for now! Congratulations, Tilly!

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  4. Ooh, how exciting. Maybe the Sewing Bee can do for sewing something like what the Bake Off did for home baking.

    @theamazingtaracat, nope iplayer doesn't work out of the UK unless you can pretend your computer is UK based.

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  5. Argh I'm so excited for this show!

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  6. Oh yes please, do let us abroad readers know if there is any way we could possibly watch this show, super keen to watch it!!
    Lauren x

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  7. How amazing! I saw a trailer the other day and thought I spotted you, then saw an article in the Daily Mail on Saturday that named all those involved. So excited for you, I can't wait to watch.

    And I have to say I'm slightly jealous that you met Claudia Winkleman, I LOVE her!

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  8. How exciting for you I shall have to watch that one, Ive not seen it advertised so thanks for the times.

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  9. Can internationals not watch online? Surely there must be a way. If I could tune into 'Biggest loser USA' last night (which I did, only for a minute) then I have lost faith in all modern technology if this gem cannot be beamed across the skies. I only found out about this tellybox show the other day and actually whooped and squealed. I am sooo excited you're on it Tilly, you're like a sewing world cyber celeb already - and now this! Amazing. I now cannot wait to tune in (does my tone give away just how excited I am - I hope so).x

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  10. I am British but live overseas - we can watch shows on i-player as my boyfriend set up a VPN (£5 per month)that gives us a British IP address that cons our laptop into thinking we're in the UK. This is my non-techy take on it, he says it's quite straight forward. May be worth a try? Luckily we get BBC2 on swiss tv anyhow so I'll be watching in real time. Good luck!

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  11. So exciting - I'll be cheering for you!

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  12. Thats amazing news! They couldn't have picked a better contestant. I hope you win! (I also hope I can scrounge up a way to watch it
    somehow!)

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  13. Oh my god, oh my god, I saw the trailer and put a reminder on my phone so I don't miss it, I'm so excited! I had no idea you were on it (altho I now think you might have been in the trailer) Good bloody luck, I will be on the edge of my seat rooting for you, can't wait!!

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  14. I'm a fairly new reader but just had to comment to say congratulations! I'll definitely be tuning in next week to watch the show!

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  15. Woah! I was already excited for this show before I even knew you were going to be on it.

    There's been talk for a while now about TV addressing the growing interest in sewing and I'm so glad British telly producers chose the Bake-off as a model for it. Can't wait.

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  16. Wow, this is so exciting :) I have my fingers crossed!

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  17. Yey that's so exciting! Will be cheering you on!

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  18. I've been excited about this programme airing for ages (as I saw the calls for contestants last year...I was waaaay too scared to even consider it) and now I'm even more excited that you'll be on it! I apologise now, but I will totally brag to everyone who will listen that I 'know' you...hehe! And I'll be routing for you all the way!xxx

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  19. I can't wait to watch this! I've got my fingers crossed for you!

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  20. I saw your photo on Debi's blog also! YAY I wonder if we get the show here in Australia? xoxo

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  21. I'm so excited for you Tilly!! Good luck, I will be glued to my set xx

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  22. I cannot wait. I'm home in Brazil but I got my other half to stream me to me by FaceTime... Of course to record too...

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  23. Thrilled thrilled THRILLED for you, and for all the sewing people out there to be so well represented.
    I am sure we all agree with your eloquently written hopes: that people will "try their hand at sewing for the first time, will slow down their fast fashion consumption, will experience the pleasure of making, and will feel empowered by taking control of what they wear."
    Such true ideals. Thanks for putting yourself out there Tilly. No matter what the results are and no matter how they edit you, we know you have done something important for all online stitchers.

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  24. Congratulations, Tilly!! So exciting. I'm American but watch a ton of British TV, and will definitely be watching. It's a long process to explain via a comment, but if anyone wants to contact me directly about how to get the show, I can try to help. The only problem is that English TV is so addictive, you won't stop at this show. :)

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  25. I actually don't know how I'm going to watch this without passing out in a dead faint. I don't think I can have anyone else in the house at the same time for fear they might try to talk to me. SO pleased for you, Tilly, and for the larger community.

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  26. Fantastic! I haven't seen the trailer but my husband told me about it because he knew I'd like it. I'd wondered if I'd recognise anyone from the net.
    (We'd have been cheering for you anyway because my eldest is Tilly. Well, officially Matilda but apparently definitely Tilly now she's a teenager...)

    Good luck!

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  27. So thrilled that you are in it - can't wait to watch it and see what you get up to!!

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  28. That's so cool, congrats to you...I'll have to find a way to download it. How exciting.

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  29. Tilly's followers in the States can watch iPlayer using the Chrome browser by adding the free Hola Unblocker extension. Make sure it's turned on then you can go to iPlayer and it will think you're in the UK.

    Enjoy :)

    So excited about this show and I NEVER watch reality TV!

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    1. It works in France too!! Thank you SOOOO much Kimberley for letting international followers know how to watch the BBC iplayer without having a VPN. I'm amazed!
      Which means I'll be able to watch Tilly's adventures :) Go Tilly!!

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    2. And again, it is ILLEGAL.

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    3. As far as I know, neither the DIY VPN method nor the Hola Unblocker are not illegal however downloading a copy of the show and sharing it outside of the region is. It's a bit of grey area and may not be legal too far in the future which is a shame as it exposes content to a wider audience however for now, you can watch without fear that you will have the police banging on your door half way through.

      I'm not a lawyer though so don't quote me on it, just somebody who works in web content.

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    4. Oops that should say 'neither...are illegal'!

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    5. Sorry, I'm creating a mini thread here! Just want to share the joy! http://www.ibvpn.com/blog/2010/04/is-vpn-legal-yes-it-is/

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  30. Congratulations. Will it be on Youtube so I can watch you from Australia?

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  31. Oh my, that's so awesome! Let us know if anyone figures out how we can watch it in the US. So cool!

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  32. I've been so excited about this programme for months! Was really hoping it was going to get picked up for broadcast. I was too nervous to enter- so good on you for going for it!! And now I know someone to cheer on... Yay! :)

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  33. OH MY GOSH THAT IS SO EXCITING! If you discover a way for us internationals (Aussies!) to see the show or even part of it, please do share! xx

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  34. Tilly, you'll be the most wonderful ambassador for the sewing community. I'm SO EXCITED and thrilled for you, congratulations. I'm with Karen though, I really don't think I can wait a week to watch you on TV, I've already bored everybody stupid talking about it non-stop! Can't wait. xx

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    1. If I was London-based, I would so ask you, Karen (and any other interested London blogger friend) over for a girly/blogger night of Sewing Bee watching and refreshments ;o) It would be so much fun watching it with fellow sewing bloggers...i fear my boyfriend won't get why I'm so excited when it airs ;o)

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    2. Now there's an idea..... ! x

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    3. I will be back for the final, let's book it x

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  35. This is awesome! Will definitely watch it!

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  36. Oh my goodness, how exciting!! I am setting it to record and will watch every one!

    Penny

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  37. Congratulations! I don't know if I'll be able to find it online here in Canada... youtube perhaps? If I can find it, it would totally be something I'd watch. No spoilers, eh?

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    1. No spoilers before UK broadcast in any case. I will be posting and tweeting a few nuggets after each episode, so just close your eyes if you haven't watched it yet!!

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    2. Hey Tilly, just wanted to let yo know that the sewing bee has totally inspired me to get to grips with the family sewing machine which has poreviously only ever been used for sewing name labels, and to use it and to have some fun making my own stuff, and your blog has really helped me so far, so I just want to thank you for helping me on my way with my little mission!
      (sorry for the essay ;) )

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  38. Ahh! Congrats Tilly! I can't wait to watch it via iPlayer here in Canada. I really miss British TV.

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  39. I loved the Bake Off and I don't even like baking, so this I'm really excited about! Can't wait.

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  40. Oh my goodness, that is absolutely AMAZING!!! How CrAzY that your on TV o.0 I hope to goodness that we USA-ers can watch it soon ;) I hope you win!!!

    -Charlotte
    boyerfamilysingers.blogspot.com

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  41. Wow!!! This is so exciting! Congrats!!! I wanted to find a way to watch this even before this, but now I just have to find a way.

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  42. I was already excited about a show, but knowing that you are one of the contestants makes it so much more exciting!
    Its good to see someone who is involved wth the sewing community taking part in a show like this, sometimes you wonder where all these people have been hiding!
    Thank you for posting in advance so we can make sure our iplayers are set to record in plenty of time!

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  43. I live in Belgium and I will definitely watch it!!! I have BBC on my tv and I am already excited!

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  44. That's so amazing! Congrats on being chosen for the show :) I hope I can figure out how to watch it in the USA!

    -Amy (www.thatssewamy.com)

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  45. WHOA, Tilly, this is AWESOME news!! Big big congratulations to ya! :D

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  46. This is SO exciting! Gotta figure out a way to watch here in the States!

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  47. Amazing! the production company contacted me when they were researching the company and were asking about prominent people in the sewing community and I suggested you. I look forward to seeing you on the program and having someone to root for!

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  48. Oh congradulations!! That is really so cool! I hope it goes up on youtube or somewhere where us international folks can get to it!

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  49. That's brilliant, Tilly!!! Look forward to seeing you and the programme!! I hope you win!!! Pati x

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  50. I'm so excited! And I hope I'll find a way to watch the show :D

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  51. How exciting! I really hope the episodes go up on Youtube so those of us in America can watch!

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  52. That is so awesome! Congratulations!

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  53. That's amazing news! Congratulations! We must find a way for the non-UK readers to watch the show!

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  54. Congratulations Tilly, I'm so happy for you! This is just the start of exciting things to come I'm sure, well done!

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  55. AMAZING!!! I'm going to try and catch this show by any means necessary. Can't wait to see you!! That's so awesome. YOU'RE SO AWESOME!!! XO

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  56. So exciting! Congratulations! I was looking forward to the show already, but even more so now! x

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  57. Congratulations to you! How exciting for us all to watch.

    It's actually quite easy to use a VPN service to watch UK tv in another country. The VPN signs you into a server in the country you want to "be" in and voila. BBC has iPlayer so you can download episodes easily.

    I use Witopia as my VPN service (but there are lots - just google) since I travel the world for a living and still want to be able to do my mundane online chores without being blocked. A happy byproduct is watching foreign TV. Probably not "legal" though if anyone's asking.

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  58. Congratulations!!! I so wish we could watch it over in the States. (I'm hoping perhaps online!) How amazing, and I can't believe you had to keep it silent for so long, you must have been bursting with pride!! :D

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  59. Yay!!! I have no idea what the show is, but it sounds awesome and I'm already certain you're going to win :)

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  60. Gosh I hope there's a way for us to see this in the US. I'm so excited for you!

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  61. I am stupidly excited about watching this, and thrilled for you that you're on it! I've been telling everybody I know to watch it. I hope that it is as sucessful as The Great British Bake Off, I loved it and I couldn't boil an egg! It's wonderful to finally have sewing on television, and it will be the first programme that I've watched for ages without knitting or crocheting in my hands - I want to give it my full attention! :)

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  62. Congrats! I'm not from Britain, so I don't know if I'll be able to watch it. I'll keep checking Youtube though (:

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  63. This is amazing! I will be watching, you gave me inspiration to sew again so you will do amazing :)

    http://kewteepye.blogspot.co.uk

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  64. Incredible! This morning my sister said, "I wonder if Tilly will be on the Great British Sewing Bee" Lo and behold, you are! Congratulations, so excited to watch you!

    http://thewoollybaalamb.wordpress.com

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  65. How exciting!! I hope those of us in the US will be able to see it somehow, but just hearing about your experiences will be fun enough! Good luck!

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  66. Woot! Now I can relax and know it's going to be a great show. Roll on Tuesday night.
    For those who can't access iPlayer legally, don't forget that the Great British Bake Off was sold to a gazillion countries...so Sewing Bee might be on a TV near you soon.

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  67. If you find out how internationals can watch please share I would LOVE to see it here in NZ

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  68. Congratulations! Oooh, that sounds like great fun to watch too, and I can't wait to see what you made. I'm one of the international fray, but the internet has a way of bringing these things to the masses one way or another :).

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  69. Wow cant wait to see, you will be fantastic i am sure ;) I love coming to read your great blog, thanks for all your posting

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  70. How exciting. I'll be watching for sure. Well done for getting through.

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  71. Tilly, I'm away next week. Any chance you can find out if it will be repeated or on iplayer for those of us who won't be able to watch next week?

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  72. I just saw the ad on bbc :) Looks very intense! I'm looking forward to watching it on the weekends while doing some sewing of my own.
    -Anna

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  73. Aha! I knew it was you when I saw the advert and I recognised your hairdo! Good luck! (although it has already happened, but I'm attempting to maintain an aura of suspense out here in audience land). I shall add in a link to your site from my blog post about the show asap.

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    1. And does Patrick Grant really look like Mr Selfridge or is that just my imagination?

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  74. Hooray and squeeee! So excited about this Tilly. Fingers crossed you win but who cares if not -you'll still have taken part in something very cool and worthwhile...and you'll still be queen sewing bee to me xxx

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  75. so so so excited about this. Really want to finish the Mathilde in time so i can wear it whilst watching. I decided in January to use my sewing machine again. Not really made clothes so Googled for beginners patterns and was linked to your blog. Since then i have made a ginger, an Alma and am making Mathilde at the moment. With laurel, Hazel and Peony waiting in the wings I'm sure I wouldn't have got this far without you. A true inspirational lady. thank you.

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  76. Oooh excited to see you on there!

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  77. Oh I'm so excited about this. I just saw the advert for it, so went to look it up and saw you with the other contestants. I was like 'oo i know her...from the blogging world'. Good luck - it looks like an amazing show! x

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  78. As an ex-BBC (and telly in general) production person I can say that watching a UK only broadcast outside the UK is illegal regardless of how you do it for the simple reason that none of the worldwide rights will have been purchased (they cost more, obvs) that allow music, logos, presenters, contributors or guest judges (etc) to appear in a programme shown outside the UK. That being said, BBC America tends to pick up anything that's popular, so let's hope it's a big hit!

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    1. My understanding is that viewing rights are linked to the licence fee, but here in Belgium, and certainly in Brussels, I have legal access to BBC 1, 2, 3 and 4. Presumably the cable companies have struck a deal with Auntie.
      I am sure that "Ros" would wish to comment that this is "illegal", but in this circumstance, she would be ill informed.
      I've already programmed the record feature on my - legal - digibox. Only two days to go!!!!!

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  79. How exciting!!:)
    If anyone knows Australia broadcasting, please let me know! :)

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  80. Congrats! So happy for you... you're working so hard for your blog, it's a great 'present'. Hope you to win... lucky girl!

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  81. How fab!

    I've just read about the series and can't wait for it to start.

    Good luck x

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  82. So exciting!!! Good luck!

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  83. That is so brill! And brave you. I do hope it comes to Australia or maybe i can watch it online or something magical like that. I am enjoying your blog immensely, Tilly, and find it very inspiring. Good luck! xx

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  84. Big congratulations for being on the show.I really look forward to watching it. I am in the UK so will be watching on the TV but your international friends might be able to use www.unblock-us.com. It costs about £4 a month and they offer a free 1 week trial. Enjoy watching yourself on TV. :o) Keep up the fabulous sewing, Tilly.

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  85. I'll be watching, and I use Strong VPN but I've Tunnelbear is good too as a VPN. I think it's up to people's conscience whether they use vpns

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    1. Breaking the law is not a matter of conscience.

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  86. That is wonderful. I hope I can watch on-line somehow from Canada. If not I'll certainly be following you on your blog and I really must get up and running on twitter!!

    Good luck!

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  87. My dream tv programme, I can't wait.

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  88. Congrautlations Tilly!!!! Can't wait to see how you do. I hope you get to plug your beautiful Mathilde blouse somehow

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  89. Gosh! You're famous! And in what an awesome spreading-the-sewing-love kinda way!

    I'd so love to see it, but no idea how to get hold of them here in Australia.

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  90. The goals you have for this project are awesome, I love what you said about being empowered by making! I certainly hope more people try sewing as a result. I'd run screaming from anyone trying to put me on TV (especially here in America), it's very brave of you!

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  91. Wow, well done! That's so exciting. I toyed with the idea of applying too but chickened out! Can't to see it.

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  92. ooh, fantastic. Actually I let out a whoop of excitement when I saw the trailer then immediately looked up the bbc site and saw 'tilly' as the name of a contestant and thought 'hey that's tilly and the buttons'.
    If I was a machine rather than hand sewer I would have gone for it. Looks like fun. Its nice to finally have a show about sewing on UK tv...enough with the cookery/DIY/property/antique shows.

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  93. I am SOOO excited about it too!! I couldn't do anything like this, so I'll be cheering you all on from my workroom as I watch on telly. GOOD LUCK!!!

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  94. That is so freaking exciting!! Hopefully someone will find out how we can watch it in Aus :) I'd say good luck, but it's done!

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  95. Hip hip hooray!! I was so excited when I found out!! Are you in the book too?

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  96. I'm so excited for you, how utterly wonderful.

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  97. Hi Tilly! I just got the book from the TV show, and you look so lovely in it!
    I've taken a few snaps of my book and written a little bit about it on my blog if you haven't had a peek yet.

    http://nessahux.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/the-great-british-sewing-bee_27.html

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  98. Thank you SO much everyone for your lovely comments! I'm super nervous but it feels great to have you supporting me :)

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  99. Oh my god good luck! cant wait to see this! x

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  100. good luck Tilly! My colleague has sent off several rolls of Tana Lawn to the show, hope you used lots? :) x

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  101. How wonderful! Looking forward to watching you and sending lots of support.

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  102. What about You tube? I KNOW there's GOT to be a way for the rest of us to watch this. I want to so so bad!

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  103. Dear Tilly on the telly (and there's a great title for a spin off programme!) -I have been looking forward to the Great British sewing bee for ages, I love sewing and making things, but don't really make clothes (although I used to) -my big passion now is quilting, will the programme include that? the title certainly suggests it?
    Hope you did really well, will be watching and cheering you on! Hanneke

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  104. I hadn't heard about this programme! Excellent, can't wait to see it and congratulations, will be routing for you! I fear it's something I will have to watch when Hubby isn't around, lol!

    Good luck and I love the look of your sewing station on set!

    Kate

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  105. Such exciting news, both the very fact of the programme and you appearing on it! i just saw a snatch of the trailer today and spotted you, so crazy. What a great project to be involved in, fingers crossed it gets a big audience and that you win of course!

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    1. Just checked out the website for it here:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0165nj8
      and watching the preview clip was cool It's so strange to see a sewing mistake overseen by a little cabal of judges who do the tv judging thing of whipping it into greater drama. Ha, I would fall to pieces if people were whispering next to me about my clangers!

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  106. Wow, I just found you via Fabric Godmother, and wanted to wish you many congratulations. I will be glued to the telly to see what is happening, and wishing you on.

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  107. Oh my god MASSIVE congratulations!!! Cannot think of anyone better to fly the flag for UK sewists! Can't wait and good luck!!

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  108. I've just discovered your lovely blog, and will definitely be watching this tomorrow!

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  109. I cannot wait for this! So exciting!

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  110. I have only been following your blog a ahort while but hae thought your tutorials are fantastic. I will tune in tonight to see this, and hopefully it'll give me the sewing bug!

    Katie x
    www.katiescreative.blogspot.com

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  111. I'm cheering you up here. Yaaaay team Tilly

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  112. Well done Tilly! I'm just watching the programme now. Congratulations. x

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  113. I came across your blog just last night after searching for a suitable project for a beginner. I decided that today I would have a go at making the Sew Over It skirt, which was a complete success! Then, tonight, I sit down to watch a new TV show that I only heard about this morning whilst at the material shop. I switch over to watch it and who do I see? None other than the person who is quickly becoming part of my new sewing journey, but yourself! I was amazed! I quickly logged back on here to check and recognised you were wearing the picnic blanket skirt. I thought your designs were amazing and you are so clever to even know what to do and where to start with those tasks! I will definitely be rooting for you!

    Take care and keep inspiring!

    Sam xx

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  114. Great work tonight on the show! I loved your red scalloped dress. Can't wait to check out what the projects are next week. Talk about working under time restraints though!! xxx

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  115. Good luck!

    Found this on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Fq_X_xngU

    I'm in the US and am able to watch!!!

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  116. Just wanted to say, you have so inspired me, and I can't wait to watch the show!

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  117. I live in Sweden and I see the program here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8te1WAO20I

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  118. Awesome show! I loved that the focus was on the details and not the competition component and drama that so many other shows focus on.

    Is there a plan for the BBC site to list more details of the garments produced? It would be great to see details of the pattern used, fabric used and some more detailed photos of the areas where the judges gave positive feedback! One can only hope! ;)

    Good luck!!

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  119. Aha! I sat watching it last night and thought `I know her. I think its Tilly and The Buttons haha`. So I had to log on and see if I was correct. I have been so busy, I had not read this post. See! I recognised you anyway. Well done.

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  120. What a wonderful show! I was able to see all 4 episodes through the magic of youtube, and yes, there were commercials. It was all about sewing, not about petty rivalries like Project Runway. The follow-up on all contestants at the end was my favorite bit, and yes,all through I kept wondering if Tilly was the one I knew from blogs. This is real sewing, where you take chances, use familiar techniques on unfamiliar fabrics, and celebrate every success.

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