The Great British Sewing Bee, a BBC show designed to find Britain's best home sewer? I mean, just the concept alone is amazing.
The show starts with 8 contestants.
Tilly and the Buttons. How cute is she? She looks gorgeous on screen and performs beautifully under pressure.
here), and I savored every minute of it. There were three challenges: make an a-line skirt from a pattern, design and sew a new neckline for a simple cotton blouse, and make a custom dress for a client. The exciting thing about this show is that it really is ALL about the craft. The judges examine each sewn product with care, admiring facings and handstitched hems. It's like a full hour of garment sewing porn. The narrative goes into great detail on construction, and even has some sewing history segments thrown in. The least successful part of the show (in my opinion) is the short sewing project. In episode one, it's a drawstring laundry bag. They rush through the construction (not that I'd want to see it, honestly) so it feels tacked-on and very separate from what the contestants are doing on the show.
The most charming thing is how very quiet and quaint this reality show is. Between challenges, the contestants sit down for tea at a local cafe for a nice little chat. The bitchiest comment from a judge so far was (whispered furtively behind her hand as a contestant cut some lining fabric from a bolt): "that's way too much fabric for a lining." She was promptly chastened by her fellow judge, because after all, the sewer could have been making a full-length skirt. (He wasn't.)
If you'd like a taste of the drama, check out this video, the ominously titled "Sandra's Mistake." (Spoiler alert: she sews her neckline facing on her blouse with the right side facing up.)
My major complaint is that the series is way too short overall: only four episodes! Hopefully it will be a smash hit and come back with more. Oh, my other complaint is that there's not yet a Great American Sewing Bee. Because I would so be there.
Episodes two and three are available to watch online, and I seriously cannot wait. Who will win this thing? I've got my money on Ann, an 82-year-old whose flawless construction reflects decades of experience.
Are you readers watching this show? If not, no excuses! Run, don't walk, to YouTube and check it out. Happy viewing!