Like many other sewers, I am so happy to see the return of The Great British Sewing Bee - BBC2, Thursday night is now something really to look forward to!
I've loved all of these series but I'm amazed at how much more demanding the tasks are each time. All of the tasks in the first series were - if you had a basic idea of sewing - probably fairly manageable, although of course you did still have that dreaded time constraint!
However, when Series 2 bounced onto our screens, it was immediately obvious that the challenges were going to be a whole new level of demanding! Last year, at the Sewing For Pleasure show at the NEC, I went to a talk by Stuart Hillard from Series 1. A few of us were a bit early and Stuart was just chatting about things and mentioned how he was rather glad he wasn't taking part in it this year (Series 2) as the challenges were so hard! So, that was a fun little insight!
My husband isn't into sewing but he is very supportive in giving me opinions and helping when I run to him, flapping instruction sheets and crying 'I don't understand!!!!' He's also fabulous in doing the boring bits like cleaning my machine. That is actually good for both of us as I'm pretty accident prone and he is mechanically and technically minded (I am so very not!) so letting me loose on the mechanics is probably safer for both of us!
However, he thoroughly enjoyed watching Series 2 of the Bee with me and I think this was enormously helped by the fact that a) it's just a super enjoyable programme, whether you sew or not, as my parents also watch it and neither sew either. But I also think the appeal is that there are blokes on it - and 'blokey' blokes at that so it's something he can relate to very easily. Policeman David (also known now as Dizzy Sew and Sew ) was the perfect example in Series 2. I think this aspect really added a huge benefit for viewing figures. On Series 3 , amongst others, we have a Lieutenant Colonel from the British Army - it all shows that you can still be an Alpha Male type but also enjoy sewing! And that's just brilliant! It opens the hobby up to absolutely everyone.
Interacting with other sewers on Twitter such as Jules from Sew Me Something and Heather, who won Series 2 of the Great British Sewing Bee (with the most gorgeous Couture dress EVER!), it sounds like the Bloke Effect of the Bee is filtering down. It seems that boys are signing up for their classes! Yippee!! At last! The stereotype of sewing being only for girls has been around for far too long and it's such a shame, and a waste! We've seen from the programmes that men can have a completely different take on things than women do, and I for one, think that's a fascinating aspect! Men and women do think differently and it's good to accept and embrace and learn from that!
So, to paraphrase 'Footloose' - Let's Hear It For The Boys!
(Apologies for there not being any pics on this post - I'm not entirely sure of the legalities of posting any pics from the BBC website and didn't want to get into any copyright murkiness. Pics next post, I promise!)