Happy Sewing Month! and Unsolicited Suggestions for #ProjectRunway Challenges

Polka Dot Sewing Machine

My life is complete.  It’s National Sewing Month; and Project Runway Season 15 Premieres in 2 weeks.

To celebrate, I’ll combine my two obsessions mentioned above. As I do with each Project Runway season, I snarkily address the contestants of the show. This time I’m addressing the producers of Project Runway directly, and offering unsolicited challenge suggestions for future seasons. Why? Because sewing aficionados are the biggest fans of the show which premiers the 15th season on the Lifetime channel on September 15.   I’m requesting that a few future episodes should focus on the fashion sewer since I’m certain that the sewing community is the show’s biggest fan base. If you want to read more of my musings on seasons past, go here, herehere. Heh.

  • Design a sewing pattern specifically for the home seamstress. Keep in mind that we’re not all beginning seamstresses, and are far better sewers than most of the competing designers on the show.  We’d like an innovative, challenging design that is wearable.  We’d love to see a prominent home sewing educator as guest judge; like Claire Shaffer, Susan Khalje. Maybe pattern company executives. Granted there are “Project Runway Inspired” line of patterns by Simplicity, but we’d like a design that was actually created on the show.
  • Related to the above:  For us fashion sewers who like our lean, mean closet space: convertible clothing – one item which magically converts into at least three different looks just by turning, folding, tying/untying or some other manipulation! That should save a lot of my closet space.
  • Design another sewing pattern, the opposite of challenging. Many, many kind hearted home sewers participate in programs to sew dresses for the poorest little girls in America and the world.  We’d like you to design at least three little girl’s dresses which are cute but ultra-simple and quick to make. One dress is too easy of a challenge for you, so three…
  • Home sewers also hate to throw away fabric scraps; we’re an eco-conscious group by nature.  We’d like a scrap saver challenge, please. Bring leftover materials from previous challenges and create a fashion forward look. This may have been done before as a spin-off between two designers who were tied for third place (or something like that); we want it back as a full Project Runway episode.
  • In the same vein, throw in a zero waste design event. By the way, what does happen to all the fabric scraps left from each challenge?? We’d love to see a bonus segment at the end of the season where this kind of behind the scenes information is offered to viewers – maybe in the “Reunion” episodes.
  • Bring back the haute couture!!!  The haute couture was a challenge just once in the Runway’s history way back in season 3. We want it back.
  • Construction technique challenge – at least once during a season I’m appalled at the lack of knowledge among designers about fabric, construction techniques, sewing terms, even design terms.  Please put forth a challenge which has all contestants create a look by incorporating a certain design element/technique – say, with “cartridge pleats”. That should be fun – woe to the designer who does not know cartridge pleats.
  • The final brief: First female candidate needs a new wardrobe IF she’s elected to office! Design a look for the Oval office, one for working weekends at Camp David, and throw in a state dinner gown worthy of Madame President. The three looks must be comfortable, exude authority, and still fit her personal, feminine style.  What would you have her wear – IF elected to office? Sounds like a team challenge!!

So… I’m going to enjoy Sewing Month 2016 a lot! How about you? Remember, this is OUR month – how many people get to say that?





11 thoughts on “Happy Sewing Month! and Unsolicited Suggestions for #ProjectRunway Challenges

  1. Boy howdy. You have given that some thought. I pretty much just gave up on the show when Mondo didn’t win. Still pissed off about that. Yes, I hold a grudge.
    Great British Sewing Bee, which you told me about, is so much better. Gotta find seasons 2 and 3 which are currently MIA.


    1. I’m hoping that someone will upload GBSB 2 and 3 to YouTube – and soon.
      Yep, I think about these things while I’m watching PR – no deep thoughts. Just like to watch young punks sewing good things.


  2. Wonderful suggestions. Really challenging and interesting. PR really needs to focus on sewing and forget all the “drama.” The British shows (both sewing and baking) are so much more interesting and so well done.


    1. They probably can’t forego the drama for the ratings. I’ve noticed that since the show moved away from BravoTV, there is much less drama. The contestants are nicer. The fashion design industry itself is full of drama I’m sure. LOL.
      The British shows are definitely more warm and fuzzy – as sewing should be. I think the two shows are competing for different outcomes.


  3. I was surprised how much I loved the GBSB, given the squawking I heard about the production itself. But it addresses actual sewing issues, as well as challenges and just redonculous designs. Something for everyone, and I’d like to thank YouTube piracy for being able to watch it.

    Project Runway is just silly and just reinforces the whole reality star schtick. It’s childish, and a waste of time.


  4. I’m not aware of “squawking about the production” – can you tell us?
    I like both shows equally. The premise for them is so different. PR contestants are there for the money, and jump starting their careers. Or, maybe some exposure – if they move far enough in the competition. That’s probably why the claws come out.
    In GBSB, there are huge bragging rights and a small trophy for the amateur but skilled sewers; no money prize. Maybe that’s why the creators and cast/contestants see no need for cat fights. I love the way they incorporate some actual sewing education in each episode.


  5. Wow! That’s a long list of suggestions. I don’t think Project Runway has much regard for home sewers with the “Beckie home eccie” type comments. I read some time ago about an American sewing competition show in the works like the British one, but it never panned out. Too bland and public-television-like for American TV? I find the ordinary blokes and older mums on the Brit show a refreshing contrast from the artsy, trendy types on PR. I don’t mind some drama with my fashion, but I don’t like over the top nastiness. I love the runway and the judging on PR so I will watch.


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