You’ve been sewing for a few hours straight. Your hands are a little clammy, you maybe have a cramp in your foot from hovering over the machine pedal. You haven’t eaten/drunk/slept/urinated as your body is demanding but you’re on a roll! In the zone! Nothing can interrupt you.
And then someone pops their head round the door and the innocent question comes: “Weren’t you supposed to go to work five hours ago?”
After a bit of hissing and foam-flecked muttering about dirty hobbitses, you realise you’re coming off a little too into it. With a reluctant heart you re-enter society.
This is my fear about talking to people about sewing: if you’re passionate about something, you want to communicate that passion. But how to do that to an outsider without scaring them off with your intense Gollum-level attachment? Or maybe worse, leave them underwhelmed. What if they don’t dig your precious?
The Great British Sewing Bee, which started on BBC2 this week, feels like it communicates some of what the world of sewing can be about, without the mouth-frothing I
can be am never guilty of.
Before I watched the first episode I was excited but nervous. What if it sucked? What if people felt it was just a pointless spin-off? While I’m sure it won’t have won everyone round, I watched it feeling very positive. It didn’t overdo it but it showed some of the potential in how creative and reaching this skill can be, from altering existing clothing up to elegant dresses.
Plus, it was even more exciting to see a great blogger on the show as well, and survive to next week, phew. Woo hoo Tilly, pockets and collars for the win! Check out her thoughts on the first episode here, including a great run-down on what sewing means to her.
I don’t envy any of these very skilful contestants, the show is intense. The amount of work compressed into the challenges is intimidating and perhaps doesn’t show their talents off to their best advantage. Would you ever try to fit and sew a dress for a stranger in under a day? Probably not but you need these slightly artificial strictures are all part of this kind of tv.
If you caught the program, how did you find it? Is a reality contest the best platform to explore sewing? Do you feel nervous/excited/nonplussed about the idea of television execs thrusting your largely niche hobby onto primetime?