Have you heard about The Great British Sewing Bee TV show? It’s currently airing on the BBC, and features 8 sewists working through a series of challenges that are then judged by a Savile Row suit maker and a long-time sewing teacher. It’s basically everything I always wished Project Runway could have been – not a focus on reality-show backbiting and silly rules, but a look at the creative process and the details of designing, fitting and sewing a garment.
The first episode is currently up on Youtube for those of us outside the UK who don’t have access through the BBC. I thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the reasons I really loved it was that one of the contestants is Ann Rowley, who’s been a long-time member of Pattern Review and in particular Stitchers’ Guild/Artisan Square. Anyone who’s spent much time on SG has read Ann’s fabulous advice and seen her amazing garments, and she’s even more delightful on film than she is on a message board. There aren’t always a lot of positive depictions of older people in the media, and it’s encouraging to think that if I’m lucky and work hard I can be half as talented and half as gracious as she is at her age, and still involved with something that allows her to be creative and engaged.