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gill arm sewing bee

Sewing Bee’s Gill speaks on her disability after ‘severe and significant loss of right arm’

It’s time to whack out the pincushions, cut out the patterns and make sure your bobbins are threaded correctly in the machine as The Great British Sewing Bee is back! The BBC show returned for its eighth series on April 27th and 12 contestants are battling it out for top spot in 2022.

Hosted by Sara Pascoe and judged by Esme Young and Patrick Grant, The Great British Sewing Bee sees contestants create all kinds of items each week. From making mini skirts from scratch to conjuring capsule wardrobes, episode 1 alone was full of challenging tasks.

The Great British Sewing Bee | Trailer | BBC

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The Great British Sewing Bee | Trailer | BBC
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Meet Gill from The Great British Sewing Bee

Gill is one of the Great British Sewing Bee series 8 contestants. She joins Debra, Marni, Mitch and co in the 2022 competition.

Three years ago, Gill’s husband bought her a sewing machine and she gave the craft a go for the first time and immediately fell in love. Since then, Gill taught herself to sew.

She’s 44 years old, hails from Doncaster in South Yorkshire and works as a public health intelligence analyst. Gill says her love for numbers helps her in sewing.

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Great British Sewing Bee: Gill speaks about her arm

Taking to Instagram on December 3rd 2021, Gill wrote it’s “taken her 44 years to acknowledge” she’s someone with a disability:

Today is #IDPWD (International Day of Persons with Disabilities)… I have a disability. This might sound strange, I mean look at me… I’m visibly different, I have what is described in my medical record as ‘Major loss of lower two-thirds of right arm. Severe and significant loss’. Let’s skip over the fact I didn’t ‘lose’ it, it’s not something I left at the supermarket or in a toilet cubicle!

Gill continued:

I live in a two-armed world, everyone I see has two arms. I’ve never met anyone in real life who looks like me and until recently I’d never seen anyone like me in the media. Pretty much every daily activity is constructed around having two arms. Think holding a glass and turning the tap on to fill it with water, think pulling the zip up on your coat, think tying your shoelaces. Of course, I do all these things.

She also wrote in a different post on January 11th that she was no longer going to wear a prosthesis: “I’ve decided to stop doing this for a number of reasons. This is personal to my own experience but I’ve realised by wearing a prosthesis I was hiding my disability, and that didn’t make me feel good about myself. So, no more hiding for Gill!

Is Gill on Instagram?

Yes! Gill has been taking to Instagram @theonearmedsewist since the end of 2021. She has about 2.7K followers.

Gill often creates clothes for her family, including her rescue greyhound Maureen. The 44-year-old often takes to the ‘gram to share the clothing creations she’s made for herself, including bags, coats, dresses and more.

Gill hasn’t stopped at clothing, though, she’s also renovated a whole sofa.

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WATCH THE GREAT BRITISH SEWING BEE ON BBC ONE EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 8 PM

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After studying for her BA in Journalism at Solent University, Helen went straight into writing for GRV Media as years of binge-watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta finally started to pay off. Helen has been with the company for over three years, writing about reality TV and specialising in USA and UK content. Outside of work you’ll find her rustling up Nigella’s latest recipes, or at the beach walking her dog.