Sewing and Other Advice For Future Project Runway Contestants

Dear future stars of Project Runway,

Just a few things for you to consider, from a fan of Project Runway since Season 1 Episode 1…..

  1. Please learn how to make a French seam. I’m looking at you, Richard (Season 11)!  I’ll show you how to make a French seam on this blog. Please check in tomorrow.
  2. Do what you know. If you’ve never sewn a certain fabric, say silk duppioni, do not select it for a challenge. It will almost certainly result in elimination.  If said fabric is integral to the challenge parameters, I can’t do much for you, except recommend that you gain experience with a lot of fabrics before applying for Project Runway.
  3. It’s you, not the fabric. It’s not the fabric’s fault if your look is not as successful as you’d like, or if the judges hate it. Do not diss it. I’m sure Mood Fabrics will agree with me here.
  4. What a competing designer recently called “corrugated waistline” is really made with a technique called cartridge pleats, which have been around since time began.
  5. If you think sewing is for the birds, you should audition for Fashion Star on NBC. You will have seamstresses there to execute your sketch. Until your sketch comes to life, you’re just a pen & paper artist. The patternmaker and seamstress are really the people who make you a “designer”.
  6. Do not verbally trash a fellow competitor’s project; the judges will praise that look to death. It’s Murphy’s Law. The editing department of Project Runway may disagree with me here.
  7. Follow the challenge specifics exactly. If the guidelines say no t-shirts and pants, is there a reason you should design a t-shirt and pant look, or variations thereof? Not unless you want to be auf-ed  into the sky.
  8. DO NOT say bad things about “home sewing”.  Viewers and fans like me watch the show to see design and construction drama — not the other kind. Again, not sure the producers will agree with me here.
  9. Finally, no crying. Please.

Thank you for reading!  Please check back for actual sewing tips…..


Other readers, please feel free to add any other advice you deem helpful to the future stars of Project Runway.

14 thoughts on “Sewing and Other Advice For Future Project Runway Contestants

    1. Thanks for the comment, Tee! I thought I would have fun with Project Runway in a way sewing fans would enjoy. Also, thanks for following my blog.


  1. Oh Samina!

    You’ve really got your finger on it! I tire so of designers blaming everything & everyone else under the sun. DO stand up for your ideas! I did on season 7! Of course, I got auf’ed, but I didn’t throw anyone under the bus or blame my fabric! And I’ve done very well for myself since so I stand by my choices! 😀

    So many of the finest fashion designers actually admire “home sewers” …did you ever wonder where their workroom sewers come from??? The “home sewing” world!! When I freelanced for major designers in NYC, the designers inevitably would walk into the workroom during high pressure moments before a show & actually ask the sewers at their machines…”Do you have any neighbors who can sew?” HELLO!! That’s asking for home sewers! But major designers who are much wiser than the scared kids you often find on TV shows, love their own sewing teams and often praise them very publicly.

    And so, I agree with you! “DESIGNERS…Learn to sew! Get a clue about fabric. Learn your fashion history…at least take one semester! And stop being babies so we can continue to love & admire the show for many seasons to come…and don’t forget to Make it work!”

    😀 – Pamela Ptak
    Project Runway season 7 designer


  2. Many home sewers know our terminology and work on our craftmanship. My mom worked in a garment factory for 20 years and does quality sewing-made my wedding gown. I’m learning…but hell, even I can do a french seam. 😉 We sew because we can’t find what we want in retail or can’t afford high end but can make it ourselves. I just found your blog today and love it-adding it my reader feed!


    1. Tracy, thank you for leaving a comment and following my blog! Nice to meet you 🙂 Totally agree with your reasons we all sew. Here’s a trivial thing about me: haven’t purchased a ready to wear item (barring undies) since 2010. I just never see anything I really want to wear.


  3. Great post! I love Project Runway and am often shocked at the things I see and hear when watching! The french seam thing killed me…I despise seam finishings and even I can successfully complete a french seam. Sheesh!


  4. Kacie, I was also quite irritated with the whole French seam thing on PR. I wonder when they will have a challenge which gets the designers to come up with a look for a sewing pattern company. Oh, and thanks for the compliment on the post.


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