Why I’m Not Watching the GBSB (yet!)

sewing bee


As a fan of the Great British Bake-Off and someone sufficiently interested in crafting to set up this sewing and book club, you might be forgiven for thinking I would be eagerly awaiting the new sewing version the Great British Sewing Bee. However, two weeks in and I have still yet to watch an episode.  I was thinking about why this was today. As I sat down to eat my lunch today, I chose the Panorama programme on North Korea on iPlayer over starting to watch this sewing competition. I think ‘competition’ is the crucial word here.

sew make believe was approached when this show was in production asking if any of our members were interested. I know my own reaction was a) that I’m not nearly good enough (this is not modesty) and 2) this is not why I craft. The thought of putting something that I sew in competition with someone else’s creation makes me feel distinctly uncomfortable. That is not to say that I think badly of those that do compete in sewing competitions or enjoy watching them on TV, but it is just so far from why I craft and why I set up sew make believe. This club is about coming together, about finding common ground, about support and helping each other, and about learning new skills.

Perhaps I am being just a little bit sensitive about this. After all, the programme has certainly shown in increased interest in our club and in sewing in general. What do you think about the programme if you have watched it? Are my concerns unfounded?


6 responses to “Why I’m Not Watching the GBSB (yet!)

  1. Kate – I could not have worded my exact thoughts as eloquently as you have! I too have not watched it and don’t plan to for the same reasons! I do craft because I love it and get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from it – the thought of competing is just not on my radar or in my scope of interest – I don’t even want to see others doing it! Just not my cup of tea.
    However, as you say, if the programme highlights craft in a good and positive way and gets people interested in taking a craft up, then all good!
    Happy crafting everyone

    • Glad I’m not the only one. It’s not that I have a major problem at all with the programme, I just thought it was interested and unexpected that this programme did not immediately appeal and I wanted to figure out why.

  2. As someone who has only recently taken up sewing in my 40’s, but who is not very confident at it, I am thoroughly enjoying the programme. I admire all the contestants and their skills and I am finding it hugely inspiring because we get to see all the ‘mistakes’ which you don’t always find with reading blogs, for example. I, for one, am finding that element really encouraging and it is making me feel a lot braver! Catherine

    • I can see why that side of the programme would be invaluable as you are starting out (and even if you have been crafting for a while since a lot of us are unsure of what we are doing a lot of the time!). It’s good to see that even people good enough to get on to a show like this can still make mistakes. Good luck with your crafting!

  3. As a guy, who has had nothing more than a vague interest in crafts, TGBSB has been instrumental in my wanting to dig out my wife’s sewing machine and getting started with something.

    I think that if you watched the series, you would discover how uncompetitive the contestants are. Of course, they would all like to make it through to the next round, but they each have the humility to understand when they have made poor garments, and respect each others good ones.

    I agree with Catherine, that the competitive nature of the programme highlights the mistakes that people make. If this was a more uncompetitive or an instructional series, then that would be hard to do.

    It is a shame that you so easily dismiss this series simply because it is competitive. As you have said, the increased interest in your club is directly related to this series, (that is how I found this site) and I hope that you will watch it so that you can better understand where this interest has come from. The competitive nature of the format is so very secondary, to the creativity and personalities of the contestants themselves.

    Finally, I find it very unfair of you to criticize a series that you have not actually watched. I understand that you may be sensitive to adding a competitive element to something that you so clearly love. But to not watch it at all comes across as a little over-sensitive. So, now, I hope that I have convinced you to watch at least the first episode, and I hope that like me, you will thoroughly enjoy it.

    For the record, I have not ever seen the great British bake off, so I cannot compare between the two.

    • Thank you for your perspective. The main reason I dismissed the show which I didn’t mention is because I am so pressed for time at the moment, being half way (or more now!) through my PGCE and as such, I have little free time at all. I had written this post because I was curious as to why I had not made the extra effort to make time since it relates to something important to me, and these were the conclusions I came to. Obviously, I am thrilled that sewing has been brought to the attention of a wider audience as I would love as many people as possible to enjoy crafting. I am sure I will catch up on it at some point but in the meantime, I have a ton of lessons to plan!

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