Okay, okay, I know I’m very behind the times with this revelation. They have, after all, just completed Season 3. But The Great British Sewing Bee is quite possibly the best reality TV show of all time.
It’s not like I didn’t know of its existance before. Ages ago, a friend gave me the first season on a USB stick and I’ve been meaning to watch it. But quite frankly I really don’t like reality TV. I appreciate the talent that must go into constructing it – making hours and hours of content into a comprehensible storyline requires an extraordinary amount of skill. But I find it all a little false (and instead go and watch fictional shows that have quite clearly be made up. I know. I know).
At the weekend however, I stayed with a friend who loves the show. As a fellow home sewer, she assumed I’d love it to – and I do!
Here’s why The Great British Sewing Bee is brilliant.
- It’s just a friendly competition.
- There are no prizes. Which means no endless product mentions of sponsors’ names and no gushing about how much it would mean to win.
- The competitors help each other. At crucial points in the competition, they will abandon what they’re doing to hold something in place, offer advice on a tricky part of a pattern, or help someone decide what the best way forward is.
- There’s very little conflict. There’s tension – there can’t not be when trying to do something like sew a boned corset in 90 minutes – but nobody’s screaming at people or bitching about them behind their backs.
- It’s an amazing learning tool. I learnt so much over the space of a season, like different construction techniques or why you should use a particular foot.
- It’s nice to see other people make mistakes – like sewing the right front to the left back – and know that everyone’s human – and at least when I do it, I’m not sewing to a deadline!
When I write it all down, it sounds a little wish-washy, but this truly is an amazing show. Check it out.