Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Project Runway: Does it help or hurt?

I forgot to mention today in my previous blog post about Project Runway. When I was at Ursula's fabric store, we were discussing sewing classes she has offered before. I guess she got some young things (teens/late teens/early 20 somethings) coming in wanting to take sewing lessons.

I don't recommend a newbie sewer with NO experience jumping in and making a pair of jeans. Nor create things from their own fashions sketched on paper. Yet this is exactly what happened to her. Bear in mind Ursula has a ton of experience in the industry, has a textile degree, worked in patternmaking, etc. She's a goldmine of knowledge. She has non-sewers coming in wanting to learn how to sew--first project being some dress they designed on paper (because they've been designing since age 5 or something like that) or jeans as their first project. Can you imagine??? Not just pants, but jeans as a first project. Uh, I don't think so. That's like expecting a baby that doesn't know how to crawl yet to run tomorrow.

Ursula said these people had seen Project Runway and were influenced by the show. Ursula tried to tell them--It's a show! Real life is not like that. She knows. She's worked it and has been there. Done that stuff in NYC. The woman KNOWS! Real life experience does not equal what is seen on TV.

Ultimately, these girls were not interested in Ursula's sewing classes. It's no wonder why. They expect the moon, but they don't want to build the rocket ship to get there. If one has no idea how to sew a seam, how can they expect a first project to be a pair of jeans??? Or a fancy shmancy dress?

I found this conversation very interesting. Perplexing. Almost disturbing. I've never seen Project Runway. I'm low woman on the television viewing totem pole. We're usually watching ball games or in bed by 9 p.m. While Project Runway appears to be reigniting sewing interest, especially in young people, are young people's expectations unrealistic? Or is Ursula just seeing an anomaly, perhaps because of where we live or some other issue?

What do you think? Is Project Runway helping, hurting, or both? Like I said, I don't know because I've never seen the show.

BTW, thank you, Mary, for the cost info. The wheelbarrow design has over 40,000 stitches LOL. But your price range is about what I was thinking. I didn't realize about the EL designs being so stitch dense until you commented about it in a previous post. That was very helpful. My way about getting around that has been experimenting with enlarging the design by 10% right on my embroidery machine. Well, it has worked for these two anyway. I'm not that knowledgeable with embroidery but the confidence is building with these little projects.


angie.a said...

Well, I thinks it's a two-part problem. The part you mention, but also just that today THAT generation has an instant gratification complex. They have never learned how to "wait" (wait to get something, wait to learn something). Any whim is available immediately. Remember when you watched the Wizard of Oz on Thanksgiving because that was the only day of the year it aired? Period?

So I think they have no patiences, and learning to sew takes patience, and also takes many many mistakes (that you learn from.)

But I'm glad PR is there generating interest! Even though this season tanked.

colour by number said...

I am taking beginning sewing classes in Chicago. There are a lot of young men and women inspired by project runway. They all seem in ahh and appreciative of the whole sewing process -- maybe it is all luck but I have seen all good things from proj runway!

connie b said...

Aw what a honey you snagged! I once had a date who tried to plant his first date at a stop light! AFTER I made it clear that date number one was date number last! Um no way jose! I still can't go through that intersection without a slight shudder. Patience and practice, practice, practice, makes perfect.

I hear you about PR and "aspiring" sewers.