Not Trying to be Tim Gunn…..

Hey Project Runway fans, Season 12 is now filming! Time for some more unsolicited pointers for contestants.  Feel free to read my previous PR advice post or my special French Seam tutorial for Project Runway contestants.   Yup, these tips will keep coming.  Nope, I’m not trying out for Tim Gunn’s job.

Dear Project Runway Designers,

Congratulations on winning a place in the competition, and best of luck!! I’d like to think that you must be really very good at what you do to be accepted to compete on Project Runway.

Below is some advice you never asked for.  If I may, I’d like to make you aware of a viewer demographic which happens to be a large fan base of Project Runway:  sewing enthusiasts. Keeping that in mind, you may want to heed my words below:

  1. Create knock-off worthy looks. Just because a design came off your sewing machine doesn’t mean it can’t come off ours. If we like it, we WILL try to make it for ourselves. That’s a law in the home sewing universe.  We like to make nice things for ourselves. That is why we sew.
  2. Mind the details. If you can’t come up with designs worthy of a sewing enthusiast’s time and enthusiasm, at least try to get some fabulous details in the design. We just loved Season 11 winner Michelle’s quilted leather and metal details in her looks. And the bleeding heart sweater was genius! We agree with the judges of Season 11 in awarding the final win to Michelle.
  3. Don’t make us cringe with bad execution of a perfectly good design. Hanging threads?  Crooked seams? Auf wiedersehen already.
  4. Know ways to ensure a good fit on the model. How many competing designers have been caught close to runway time with a badly fitting garment? Don’t let that happen to you. See #5….
  5. For heaven’s sake include plenty of seam allowance in your garment before the model fitting!
  6. Sewing enthusiasts know things.  See #5 again. So don’t knock home sewing on the show. I’ve said it before on this blog, but it bears repeating.
  7. Whether you win PR Season 12 or not, we suggest you attempt to license with the sewing pattern companies. Don’t ever think it is beneath you to tap the home sewing market. If Donna Karan, Tracey Reese, Badgley Mischka and Vena Cava can do it, so can you.  Season 5 Project Runway winner Leanne Marshall has patterns as well as instructional videos on the Simplicity Patterns website, and former contestant Suede (him of the third person) had the right idea in licensing with Simplicity.
  8. Like Nina Garcia, we do not like to be faced with boring fashion. We keep up with trends, you know; and we love to see the next big thing.
  9. Please remember that the judges may be looking for designs that knock their socks off, but pleasing the fashion-loving masses is your bread and butter. So go back and think about #7.

Whether you heed this advice or not, I had fun writing this post. I can hardly wait to watch Project Runway Season 12.  Best of luck to all contestants from this enthusiastic fan.

Last word: Mr. Gunn, I am really, really not trying to take your job.

Other readers, feel free to offer more advice in the comment section! Thanks for reading my post 🙂


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