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Home Sewing Drama

Sew Well - Home Sewing Drama

My husband has been traveling a lot this summer for work.  Right now he’s currently on an island in the Pacific.  People often ask me why I don’t travel with him when he’s in these exotic locales, but, to be honest, when he’s in the field he’s working 24/7, so I know I’d still pretty much be on my own and maybe even in the way.  Once things are not quite so new – new job, new baby – then maybe we’ll find our rhythm and get to share these crazy adventures together.

In the meantime, to keep myself from not getting stir crazy at home, I’ve taken to watching snippets of documentaries on Netflix during baby girl’s longer feeding sessions.  One that I watched on a new-to-me topic was “Tiny:  A Story About Living Small”.  Did you know that there are people who choose to live in less than 200 square feet of home?!  From what I gathered, the residences are typically called Tiny Homes, and they’re often built on wheels since many counties have restrictions against building structures so small. Did you also know that blogging about Tiny Homes is a big thing?  I had no idea.  At least not until watching this film.  The film interweaves a couple’s experience building their own Tiny Home with interviews of Tiny Home owners and bloggers.  It creates a story that’s a more broadly appealing when you see it from so many different perspectives.

It got me thinking:  is there a documentary on home sewing that benefits from the amazing sewing blogging community?  I did a quick search, and I couldn’t find anything.  I think having something like that pop up on someone’s Netflix queue would really bring slow fashion into the limelight in a way that an introductory book on sewing or even a captivating book on fast fashion isn’t quite able.  I know I would love to see a documentary that followed Melanie of poppykettle‘s wedding dress journey.  Or the first year of Sarah of Goodbye Valentino‘s ready-to-wear fast.  Or Oonaballoona doing just about anything.  (Speaking of Oona, if time and money were no object, I think this silk crepe de chine would be perfect for oonapalooza – maybe even made up in her own soon-to-be romper tutorial!)  I’m imagining said documentary to be complimented by interviews with sewing bloggers and insight into the current state of fast fashion.

So, please enlighten me, is there something like this already out there?  Is there something better?  Do share since my husband is gone until the end of the week!

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36 thoughts on “Home Sewing Drama

  1. I am mildly obsessed with tiny living, having (non-purposefully) found myself in quite cramped quarters at various points over the last few years. I’ll check that out…

    And maybe I could convince Mr. Made to do that as his next doc… haha

    1. Well, from the comments here it seems like Mr. Made would have an audience for a sewing documentary, and he’d have a great in to the sewing community through you!

  2. I first thought you were having some personal sewing related drama. Luckily that’s not the case. 😉 Sewing related television would be great to watch. Especially if they go into the details of how things are actually made.
    Tiny homes on the other hand… Oh my, I definitely need some space around me. I’d already like my sewing room to be 200 square feet…

    1. Hahahaha! I wish I had a 200 square foot sewing room. I imagine Tiny Home owners would more likely be knitters than sewers given their space constraints…??!

  3. Project Runway certainly piqued the interest of a new generation of sewists in the US; previous television shows by Nancy (Nancy’s Notions) et al were project and how-to oriented. For nonsewists, this was an experience similar to watching paint dry.

    I don’t have Netflix, but You Tube offers quite a bit of interesting designer footage produced by the fashion houses, such as Chanel’s coverage on Coco’s life

    and the CHANEL Paris-Dallas 2013/14 Métiers d’Art show

    and numerous other brief films on the Chanel channel.

    You Tube has made it possible for budding designers to document their training and experiences. One example: Raven Elyse, UNT design student, posted the following VLOG

    as well as other videos on her “Channel”.

    The online world has leveled the playing field for artists, musicians, singers, authors, chefs and now sewists. Podcasts, “tutes”, pins, reviews–why not highlight bloggers who sew and inspire others to take the plunge via a documentary…….The producer of this proposed project just might find funding from a designer fabric house or a pattern manufacturer.
    Great idea, Amy

  4. Great post. I’d love to see more sewing-based TV. I tend to plough through Netflix while I sew, music is too distracting at the moment. Have you seen Harlowe? It’s on Netflix now, brilliant Edith Head costumes. As for other TV, Great British Sewing Bee? And I second the Project Runway suggestion

  5. Oh I loved The House of Elliot! Gorgeous outfits and hairstyles! Have you read The Thread by Victoria hislop? I loved that too….a sewing story!

    1. I’m only now figuring out how to read again. I’ve been so tired that any time I would sit down with a book, my eyes would get so very heavy… I’ll have to look into that one though! Thanks!

  6. Hopefully, the Great American Sewing Bee has started filming! That should be a treat to watch.
    I’ve read the book “The Big Tiny” by Dee Williams and it was a great read about how she built her tiny house.

    1. A book about Tiny Homes!! Crazy! There really is a whole culture out there! I’m excited about the Great American Sewing Bee. I wonder who was cast?!

    1. I really enjoyed the first season, such good natured competition. I even got my husband to watch it! I haven’t watched the second season yet though.

  7. Yes! more sewing TV is needed. I’d love to see shows on makers and how they create. It’s so fascinating to see people’s methods. I use You tube a lot to find clips of weavers in the outer Hebrides making Harris Tweed and Shibori from Japan. It’s so interesting to see.

    Am now going to go see if I can find the House of Elliot as that sounds quite wonderful.

  8. On a similar note, there needs to be more sewing podcasts that aren’t about quilting. I’ve learned that listening to podcasts is a good replacement for watching tv while I’m sewing. I’m way more productive that way.

    And my mom and I were just talking about those tiny houses– I couldn’t do it! Aside from the claustrophobia from trying to fit me, my husband, and two Golden Retrievers into one of those things, I’m pretty sure my sewing and craft supplies take up that much space on their own. And I’m not leaving my books out in the rain, either!

  9. I would so watch a documentary about sewing! I’m incredibly sad now since there isn’t one that exists already. 😦 Who are some good documentary makers that we can petition to do this?

    As far as tiny homes, I currently live in an apartment that’s less than 400 square feet. It’s taken a lot of creativity and a lofted bed, and there are things I enjoy about it and things that frustrate me, but as a grad student in an expensive city, I really couldn’t afford anything much bigger. Every time my small space starts to feel too constricted, I just look at the prices on Craigslist for larger apartments and I feel pretty good about it again! Whenever we’ve felt like we’re at the limit of living in such a small space, my husband and I find a way to reduce or rearrange so everything can continue working. I definitely would love to move on to more square footage once I graduate, but I hope I’ll be mindful of the space I require in the future because of the lessons I’ve learned in my small space.

  10. There is a Japanese TV drama, Carnation, about three famous designers, sisters Koshino: Hiroko, Junko and Michiko. Not exactly a documentary, but it follows designers’ lives and shows a fair amount of sewing 🙂

  11. oooo i’m so glad you asked this so we can all benefit from the suggestions! i would devour more TV sewing!

    i have docs on designers waiting in my netflix cue (if you search valentino or the tents you’ll come up with several) but your doc ideas. delicious. (altho at the moment my fascinating life includes downing a cup of apricot mango goat milk yogurt before a collaboration lunch at lincoln center. i guess the second half sounds fancy.)

    and i think you ought to buy some of that JAW DROPPING OH MY LORD SILK for the day when the rhythms are right for y’all to adventure together.

  12. I don’t know about sewing-related documentaries, but I do know this: I live in a 300-square-foot space, and I would definitely choose something (much) bigger if I had the option! 🙂

  13. I would love to see more sewing tv! LOVED The Great British Sewing Bee, and looking forward to the US version (although I’m prepared to be disappointed…..) but a home sewing documentary would be great!

    I really enjoy the tiny homes movement, but I grew up in a trailer house, and I am SO over the tiny living thing for myself! I would love to have a sewing studio that’s the same size as the home I grew up in!

  14. I watched the tiny houses documentary a month ago and immediately wanted one to get away from the craziness that is NYC. Then I realized my yarn and fabric stash would NEVER fit and I gave up that idea.

    However, a documentary about sewing and making would be fabulous. I’ve been going through my own ready to wear fast this year and I’d love to hear about others who are doing it too.

  15. I watched the Tiny Houses documentary about a month ago and immediately wanted one to escape from the craziness that is NYC. Then I realized my yarn and fabric stash would NEVER fit and I gave up on that idea.

    However, your documentary idea sounds fantastic! I’m currently in the middle of my own ready to wear fast and I’d love to hear about others that are doing it as well. Plus, the public definitely needs some more education about how their clothes are made and the conditions of the workers. There was a series on BBC a few years ago that took fashionistas who loved fast fashion and made them work in similar conditions in India, etc. I sadly forget the name of it though. It was very interesting to watch.

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