What Sewing Machine Do They Use On Sewing Bee? Find Out Here!

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Last Updated on 23 September, 2021 by

Our Guide To The Sewing Bee Show - The Machines They Use & All The Details!

If you haven't seen the Great British Sewing Bee then you are missing out, this BBC show is similar to Great British Bake Off and documents amateur sewers taking on a variety of different sewing challenges to put their sewing skills to the test. 

But if you are a fan of the Sewing Bee show, then your probably wondering the question that we all beg to know, what sewing machine do they use? 

Well, currently the Sewing Bee show uses the Janome Sewist 725 domestic sewing machine and the Janome Overlocker 6234XL sewing machine, both of which are a machine for beginners and advanced.

Below, we will review both sewing machines and how they function as well as how to make the sided cushion project from episode two in the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee. 

Our Review Of The Sewing Machines On Sewing Bee 

As we mentioned above, the Great British Sewing Bee TV show uses the  Janome Sewist 725  and the Janome Overlocker 6234XL sewing machine which are rated one of the worlds easiest machines to sew with.

We will review each machine in better detail below.

The Janome Sewist 725

This sewing machine featured on sewing bee comes with 23 built-in stitches for straight stitch or pattern pieces including stretch stitches too. It also has a one-step buttonhole sewing machine feet for sewing buttonholes, a snap-on presser foot, zipper foot and an overedge foot. 

Other notable features of the Janome Sewist machine are its extra high foot lifter for thicker fabrics, built-in needle threader, adjustable foot pressure and drop feed. It has a max stitch length of 4mm and a width of 5mm. 

A hardcover comes with the sewing machine for protection. 

What We Think

Overall, we like this sewing machine by Janome and see why Sewing Bee uses it on their show as it is excellent for beginner or intermediate users, coming with great features for its price and a long lease of life. 

We also like the machine for happy sewing thanks to it being very quiet to function when sewing projects. 

Downfalls of the Janome Sewist Machine are its lack of sewing style functions, but for a price of around £350, it is expected. Some users have said the sewing machines accessories to be of poor quality too. 


  • Fair priced. 
  • Quiet function. 
  • Great for beginners sewing projects. 
  • Easy to use.
  • Lightweight.


  • Lack of sewing functions. 
  • Accessories are of poor quality.

The Janome Overlocker 6234XL 

This overlocker machine by Janome has a differential feed allowing you to work with a wide range of materials and stops the materials you are sewing from puckering or gathering up during the process. 

The design has a 2, 3 or 4 head overlock and a seam width of 1-5mm with a length of 3.3mm. It additionally has an adjustable cutting width ranging between 3.1-5.1mm. The two needles on the machine having easy thread tension threading thanks to the colour guides. 

Its features make it easy to change over to work on rolled hem and it has a lower looper pre-tension setting slider. Additional accessories are its snap-on presser foot and lightweight of 8kg. 

What We Think

To conclude, the Janome overlocker is excellent for advanced sewing, it can cope with a high sewing demand (hence why they use it on sewing bee) and is easy to use thanks to the colour coded rethreading system and simple construction. 

Some drawbacks are the overlockers lack of LED screen which can make it hard to use in poor lit areas, but that's a minor issue. 


  • Great for advanced sewing. 
  • Easy rethreading. 
  • Can deal with the heavy workload. 
  • Lightweight. 
  • Easy hem rollover.


  • No LED screen. 

Should I Buy The Sewing Machines From Sewing Bee?

So you might be wondering, are the Janome sewing machines featured on Sewing Bee worth it? Well, in our eyes yes, especially the solid built overlocker, the Janome Sewist 725 does have a lack of sewing function but is still a great machine to perform basic stitching on and is reasonably priced too.

How To Sew The Sided Cushion Project (From Sewing Bee!)

It wouldn't be a good article about Sewing Bee machines without getting some inspiration on sewing projects from the actual Sewing Bee, would it? 

With no zips or buttonholes on this cushion, they are super simple to make for beginners, you can choose any colour you like to make a contrasting cushion or a simple cushion. 

What You Need

  • 60cm of woven fabric that is 115cm wide. 
  • 35cm of raw silk that is 112cm wide. 
  • Sewing thread. 
  • A cushion to fit the cover. 

Step By Step 

  • Step one - First of all cut the main fabric, cut one outer cover piece that measures 92 x 48cm and cut four strips for the ties that are 6 x 26 cm.
  • Step two - For the contrasting lining fabric cut two lining pieces, each 25 x 47cm and cut four strips for the ties which are 6 x 26 cm. 
  • Step three - After cutting you can now place the right sides of the material together and place a lining fabric tie strip on top of the main tie strip then cut off a 45-degree triangle at the end of one of the strips. 
  • Step four - Pin strips together and machine stitch up the long edges and diagonal with a 1cm seam allowance leaving the straight edge not stitched. 
  • Step five - Cut the angled point off, press seams open and turn the material right side out repeating with the other three sides and ensuring they all slant in the same direction. 
  • Step six - Prepare the lining pieces by folding under 1cm twice on the long edge and pressing to form a hem, then sew this in place with your machine. 
  • Step seven - Take the main fabric and lie it right side up, measure and mark pins on the short ends for the ties centred 11cm from one another. Put a lining piece on top of the ties at each end with a 1cm seam allowance and stitch through all the layers. 
  • Step eight - Press the seams to open then stitch the side seams by folding the whole material in half widthways, aligning the seams and stitching a 1cm seam, then press open. 
  • Step nine - Turn the cover right side out, push the lining inside and put the cushion inside, then tie the ties neatly, voila!

FAQs About The Sewing Machines Used On Sewing Bee

Where is Sewing Bee filmed? 

Sewing Bee has been filmed in a few different places, from a warehouse in London Bermondsey to where dragons den was. The latest version is now reported to be filmed at Trinity Buoy Wharf in London.

How much does the overlocker from Sewing Bee cost? 

The Janome overlocker costs around a price of £500, while the Sewist 725 has an affordable price of around £300, making it ideal as a first sewing machine.

Who are the judges on Sewing Bee? 

The judges on the sewing bee are Patrick Giant and Esme Young.

What challenges do they have on sewing bee?

They go through numerous different challenges on the series but some to mention from previous are; pyjamas, skirts, co-ord tops and bottoms, and even a festive coat for a dog!

What happens to the clothes from sewing bee? 

Most of the garments made on the show are given back to contestants after they make them for use, allowing them to take them home. 

Final Words 

To conclude, on BBC's Sewing Bee, they use the Janome Sewist 725 domestic sewing machine and the Janome Overlocker 6234XL sewing machine for a beginner and advanced use. The Sewist 725 has pretty basic stitch patterns but comes at a great price with a solid build, while the overlocker is great for advanced stitching and has a high-quality build. 

You can download many patterns online from Sewing Bee to try out at home if you are inspired by the show, or check out our guide to sewing a sided cushion from the first-ever series of sewing bee. 

One comment on “What Sewing Machine Do They Use On Sewing Bee? Find Out Here!”

  1. Hi Carole, I bought a Janome J3-20 with advice from a professional sewing tutor. It is basic but I’ve never used a sewing machine prior to this. Practising different types of stitch, I have found it easy to use. It’s light and fairly quiet. I’m pleased with my purchase and hope to use it on a few projects soon.

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Mum, Wife and Blogger at TopSewingMachines.uk, having excelled at textile arts in school, I soon thereafter embarked my journey as an assistant to a Fashion Designer. This fueled my passion for making clothes and soon lead me to creating Top Sewing Machines. A site where I talk sewing machines, overlockers along with tips and tricks and buyers guides.
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