September is National Sewing Month and this year’s theme is Sew for the Skill of It. We’re always thinking about ways to sharpen our sewing skills and it’s always exciting when we find new ways to celebrate the gift that those skills are.
Recently, word has been spreading about a fabulous reality TV show called the Great British Sewing Bee that has home sewists competing based solely on their sewing skills. The show sprinkles in some interesting historical information and gives glimpses of the contestants’ backgrounds, but the focus is the craft of sewing and how well the contestants execute the challenges, which include following a pattern, making made-to-measure clothes for real people and upcycling a purchased article of clothing. The sewing room is stocked with exquisite fabrics and trims referred to as the haberdashery. The judges are an expert sewing teacher and a Saville Row tailor and the drama comes, not from personality conflicts, but from hoping the contestants will be able to finish the challenges in time. It’s all very civilized and no bleeping is required. Contestants talk about “unpicking” their mistakes (so much gentler-sounding than ripping) and one remarked that a fabric had a mind of its own so she had to “speak to it very firmly.” Wouldn’t it be great if we had something similar here in the US? A contest like this would be a great addition to ASG’s National Conference, for instance.
Season Two of the Great British Sewing Bee is in the works and the full episodes from Season One can be viewed on YouTube. Watching is fun, but doing is what we sewing fanatics love best. Let’s all celebrate National Sewing Month by tackling a project that tests our skills, learning or brushing up on a technique that’s gotten the better of us in the past. Do it for the skill of it.