Netflix and Sew: Our Favourite Sewing-Inspired Television Shows
Sewing is a great hobby that engages the brain and the hands – tactile, creative and away from those damn screens. But sometimes we’re tiiiiiiired. Sometimes the spirit itches to stitch but the body is weak, or the sewing pile is empty, or we just miss our best friends the screens so much.
Luckily for us, there are some mighty fine television shows out there that can soothe the savage sewing beast while you stay snug on the couch, or lying and cutting fabric, or hand sewing, or, if you’re a real daredevil who cares not about a needle through the finger, while you’re on the machine itself. We’ve chosen some of our favourite sewing-inspired television shows to share with you – shows that not only satisfy but educate and inspire, so you can throw yourself back into your own sewing practice refreshed and refuelled with new information and ideas you can’t wait to try out!
The Great British Sewing Bee
If you’re looking for Top Tier Sewing Television you can’t go past our beloved The Great British Sewing Bee. Each week, an eclectic bunch of amateur home sewists compete to be crowned Britain’s most sensational seamster under the wry and watchful eyes of judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young and new host Sara Pascoe. Full of the understated drama and general bonhomie characteristic of British reality television, every episode includes lessons in sewing history and special techniques for contestants and viewers alike.
Another Grand Matriarch in the Sewing TV Pantheon is the estimable Project Runway, where aspiring fashion designers compete to create the best clothes while restricted by various time, material and theme constraints. Spanning 18 years, 19 seasons, multiple spin-offs and several eras of fashion now abhorrent to human eyes (low-rise jeans you will never be our jellicle choice!), it is a rich vein of content for you binge-watchers out there.
READ MORE: Here are 11 Films to Inspire Your Sewing
Making The Cut
Making the Cut is hosted by platonic power duo Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum who left Project Runway to create their own legally distinct, though ideologically identical, fashion reality series. Picture Project Runway but with more established designers, higher production values and a renewed sense of energy (they’ve got Bezos’ cash to burn). It’s a good time and we challenge anyone not to feel inspired when they hear Tim Gunn sternly but not unkindly bidding you to “make it work”.
Next in Fashion
Queer Eye-con Tan France and Alexa Chung (to be replaced by Gigi Hadid in season 2, coming soon) present Netflix’s Next in Fashion, where 18 seasoned designers compete for the opportunity to take their labels to the next level. With an incredible amount of talent on show, each challenge reflects a different trend or design style that has had a major influence on the world of fashion. Tan brings with him the purposefully positive ethos that encapsulated his previous cult classic, cultivating a diverse, queer-positive and welcoming vibe to escape into.
A Stitch in Time
An accessible introduction to fashion history, Amber Butchart brings the past to life by choosing iconic and interesting historical outfits from paintings and recreating them using only period-appropriate techniques. Working with expert historical costuming crews, Amber shows how much we can tell about historical figures and their lives from only the clothes they wore, not to mention exposing the techniques required to create some truly sumptuous outfits, all while showing off her own serious style and charmingly unserious approach to learning.
READ MORE: What Historical Sewists Can Teach Us About Slow Fashion
RuPaul’s Drag Race
RuPaul scours the drag queen population for the newest swathe of drag superstars, judging them against criteria of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. While not always the main focus, a queen’s ability to stay in the race or sashay away is largely dependent on her sewing skills. Either way, the assortment of Capital-L Lewks they put on the runway each episode in order to meet various themes and challenges, often home-sewn, are sure to inspire you to serve, slay and so on and so forth in your own sewing.