Patrick Grant and Esme Young set to create a ‘buzz’ at the National Festival of Making!

Published 01st Jul 2024

Are you heading to the National Festival of Making this weekend?

We know that Patrick Grant and Esme Young – judges of the hugely popular BBC 2 series ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ – are!

Lucky fans have already bagged tickets to see them at the ‘Conversations in Creativity’ event being held with them both in partnership with Creative Lancashire.

The tickets literally went like hot cakes and the event is fully booked, but don’t worry if you missed out, Patrick will be doing meet and greets at his Community Clothing pop-up event.

Visit the shop in King William Street – just up from Café Impresso – and you’ll be able to bag a bargain at their ‘jumble sale’, with many of their garments made right here in Blackburn. Or step into their fabulous sock shop, with colours and styles to suit all feet!

Community Clothing relies on traditional making skills in the UK, using British made materials, to create its sustainable collection, and Patrick is set to be at the CC shop all day on Saturday and will be signing copies of his new book, LESS, a Sunday Times bestseller.

Esme might even pop in to sign copies of her book too!

They’ll be in good company too with the likes of fashion designer, Red or Dead’s Wayne Hemmingway – a founder of the award-winning festival – also visiting as well as an impressive list of nationally renowned artists who are showcasing their work as part of the Art in Manufacturing programme.

Lauren Zawadzki, Co-Director of the National Festival of Making, said:

We promise something for everyone at the National Festival of Making and there really is.

Our programme of talks are always incredibly popular and this year we have Esme Young and Patrick Grant, judges of the hugely popular BBC 2 series The Great British Sewing Bee, joining us for a very special afternoon.

The tickets for this event sold out in record time, but we’re sure visitors will spot them both around the festival and Patrick will be doing meet and greets at the Community Clothing pop-up too.

With more than 70 things to see and do across the weekend, fans can come and make a full weekend of it while enjoying workshops, art installations, new galleries, live music, performances and more.

Patrick is a great friend of the festival and we’re really looking forward to welcoming him back once again and this time with Esme too.

For those who love a spot of sewing, a visit to the Stitch School is a must with the chance to make your mark on a large embroidery cloth that’s been travelling around community networks here in Blackburn in the run-up to the festival.

Hosted by local artist Sana Maulvi, previous Stitch School collaborators include the V&A Dundee, Alexander McQueen and TRImarchi – the biggest design gathering in Latin America.

And for those who love to shop, The Makers Market curated by Hopeful & Glorious is also a must on Saturday.

Head over to Blackburn Cathedral and you’ll find emerging and established crafters, traders and artists bringing handmade jewellery, homewares, limited edition fashion items and artworks.

Start making your plans now – you can view the full festival programme now at:

There’s a downloadable version with maps and handy guides on the website too.

You can also follow the festival on Facebook, Insta and X for daily updates.

Blackburn BID will also be sharing useful guides on what else there is to enjoy in and around the town centre when you visit on its Facebook and Insta – give them a follow now.

The National Festival of Making is supported by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Arts Council England and the Brian Mercer Trust.

It also benefits from funding from the UK Government, including through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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