Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee!

Makower London Collection Icons
Okay, has everyone been watching the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC Two? I have and I love it. I know there has been some controversy on other blogs about certain aspects but I'd rather not get into that.* The most important point is that there is a TV program/programme about sewing where technique and knowledge are paramount and ornamentation is second. The show is very unlike the Project Runway franchise where the contestants are meant to be more focused on design and flash instead of quality of construction.
  • What I like about GBSB is that the challenge projects were selected by an actual professional sewer, Claire-Louise Hardie of The Thrifty Stitcher. She also timed all of the projects to make sure that the time limits were do-able. She is currently writing on her blog about the GBSB: from the preparations made before filming to episode commentary once the latest episode has aired. 
  • I love the fact that they acknowledged the many types of sewing; dressmaking, menswear, alteration of ready-to-wear, home decorative arts, and costume. One doesn't have to be able to drafting their own patterns to be considered skilled in the art. 
  • The sewing history bits were great and informative. How many people outside of Great Britain knew about all the sewing-related street names that exist in England?
  • Love that it focuses on details we might not be as aware of now, such as menswear's traditional rules, while ready-to-wear womenswear has become less strict, ex. the direction of men's flys and shirt button plackets.
Having seen the episode 3 semi-finals, it is clearly down to Ann and Lauren for the win. I adore and respect Ann Rowley, administrator of the Stitchers Guild forum on Artisan Square, and would love to hang out in her sewing room and pick her memories. I am also increasingly impressed by Lauren Guthrie, now the owner of fabric shop Guthrie & Ghani. She is great news for the future of personal sewing. Though very young, she is knowledgeable and technically proficient in the art and has a great attention to detail. She understand the patience it takes to create a quality product. Those rouleau ties she constructed were amazing! I absolutely hate turning fabric tubes inside out and I can't believe she was able to turn those incredibly teeny ones. Impressive, indeed.

If you are in the US, the official show website will not allow you to view full episodes. Instead, they can be viewed on YouTube: Episode 1Episode 2, and Episode 3. Here is Episode 4 - The Final.

*The show does have problems: the judging format and those silly sewing project segments. Seriously, if they are meant for beginning sewers/sewists, then the instructions are given too fast and are far too vague to actually help.


Nanna said...

I came across this on another blog & I loved it!

JuliN said...

I really enjoyed watching the Great British Sewing Bee as the episodes came out on Youtube. Also, I nominated you for a versatile blogger award, if you care to partake :). Be well.