Sewing Based Inspiring TV Shows
I enjoying watching (well kinda watching, more listening) to TV shows and series while I sew. Now that I’m spending at least a couple of hours every week sitting at my sewing machine, I have my laptop set up with little speakers so I can turn up the volume to hear over my loud, older industrial sewing machines 🙂
I really enjoy seeing sewing and creativity in TV programs, it’s not often you come across a show that really inspires you to pick up fabric and scissors. I know there are a few technique based, sewing teaching shows but I enjoy seeing the creative design process. So I thought I’d make a list of my favourite sewing based TV shows and see if any of you know any more?
Sewing Based Inspiring TV Shows
The Great British Sewing Bee
I’m really enjoying watching the fourth series of The Great British Sewing Bee. Each week, amateur home sewists are challenged to creating a garment from a pattern, an alteration challenge and making a custom fitting garment. It’s so nice to see people encouraged to sew and even nicer to see them learn and develop their skills over the series. The judges actually pass on ideas and tips rather than just criticism and Claudia Winkleman (the host) is a good laugh.
It’s really inspiring to see the Bee sewists taking on new challenges, completing techniques and garments they haven’t tried before. Also seeing what they decide to do for the alteration challenges and trying to come up with an idea for what I’d sew if I had to alter the garments they are given.
The Sewing Based TV Show everyone knows – Project Runway has been running for years now and has a few spin-off series as well. The competing designers complete a challenge each week to create an outfit to walk the runway in front of the judges. The winner designer at the end of the series receives a huge prize package often including cars, sewing machines and the opportunity to design a range of clothing for production.
I really enjoy watching the creative process of each designer and sewing how their garments come together. The runway show in each show is usually really inspiring too. I do often disagree with the judges, but then I design for me not couture customers lol.
There is a lot of drama and conflict between the designers that seems to be increasing with each season. I understand this makes for good reality TV but it really takes away from seeing the skill and the constructive processes the designers use. I personally would like to see more of the workroom and less of the judges talking but I still enjoy the show and love seeing new styles, designs and getting interesting ideas.
Project Runway – Under the Gunn, Project Runway All Stars and Project Runway Juniors are also similar watches.
There was a British version that ran for a few series in the early 2010s – Project Catwalk (I haven’t seen these yet but am trying to find them online)
This Old Thing
I came across this show on a obscure smaller channel here in NZ. I really enjoyed watching this one. Dawn O’Porter takes people who shop mainly in high street, fast fashion stores and introduces them to the world of Vintage Clothing Stores. She also has a workroom full of tailors, designers, crafters and sewists who transform some of the vintage pieces into modern incarnations or show people how to alter their clothing to keep it in their wardrobes.
The vintage clothing is fantastic and I wish we had those kind of stores here!
L.A. Frock Stars
OK so very little sewing goes on in this show but for inspiration – it’s amazing! Doris runs a Vintage Clothing Store in L.A. It seems as though she has at least one piece from every great designer there’s ever been. I love seeing all the amazingly preserved dresses and outfits, also seeing where she buys and sells them all. Every episode is a great fashion history lesson.
Doris also has the shop next door to her clothing store, filled with books, fabrics, prints, trims and interesting and inspiring fashions from over the decades. I wish I could spend a few days discovering all the treasures in that shop, it would be an awesome fashion and design education!
I know there are a few other fashion / dress based shows – What not to wear – Say Yes to the Dress etc but I really struggle with the drama and the negative attitudes that most of the episodes seem to include. So I haven’t really watched these shows.
I love seeing the sewing industry encouraged and the hobby developed. I hate the fact basic sewing skills are being pulled from our school curriculum. I hope there are young people being inspired by these shows and by the amazing sewing blogs online, to learn sewing.
Please let me know if you know of anymore Sewing Based Inspiring Tv Shows!