Think of it as the next knitting. Call it a backlash against High Street “fast fashion” designed to be here today and gone tomorrow. Posit it as a parallel to the “Slow Food” movement that turned cooking from scratch into a statement of social activism. Whatever the reason, home sewing is undergoing quite a revival – especially among the kind of young professional women who wouldn’t have been caught dead doing it a decade ago. Witness the success of the “Great British Sewing Bee”, the television phenomenon that began as a four-part spin-off to “The Great British Bake Off” before being itself spun off to a hardcover how-to book, a Christmas special, and a further series. Since serving as a judge on the show, designer Patrick Grant, whose considerable charisma has made him the heartthrob of the home sewing set, speaks of encountering a heretofore-unsuspected “large and quickly growing population of home sewers” during promotional appearances at fairs like The Knitting and Stitching Show at London’s Alexandra Palace; as well as “Twitter feedback that also hints at a fast-growing interest in everything to do with sewing.” As part of this year's London Craft Week Patrick Grant, Director of Norton & Sons & Judge on BBC2’s ‘The Great British Sewing Bee', talks through the process of designing and developing new tweeds from cloth to garment, with Brian Hinnigan, Design Director of Johnstons of Elgin.
A new series of The Great British Sewing Bee will begin BBC2 on Monday at 21.00
This is in part an extract from Beth Smith's article in the Hollywood issue of Selvedge.