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Inspiration

The ultimate list of sewing related TV & Films

We get asked a lot about sewing themed films to watch while in your sewing spaces. Who doesn’t want to binge watch a film or TV programme about sewing.. while sewing?!  We have come to your rescue and complied a list of our absolute favourite dressmaking inspired watching. So have a peruse… pick out the ones you want to watch and get cracking in your next sewing project…

Also if there is something you’ve loved please do share with us at the bottom of this post.

Films:

  • The Dressmaker –  You know you are in for a treat when a sewing machine is on the cover! Kate Winslet plays the character of Tilly who returns home from a Paris couture house to her local town to rebuild her relationship with her mother. It’s full of fantastic outfits, love and humour. (Amazon)
  • Bright Star – This is the story of  the poet Keats’s love affair with the girl next door called Fanny. She is a fantastic dressmaker and is even introduced as the ‘well stitched Miss Brawne’ (I wish people introduced me as that!) and the opening credits are fab. (Amazon)
  • Phantom Thread – This is such a fantastic film! Daniel Day Lewis plays a tailor in 1950’s London who takes on a young waitress to be his muse. A lot of the film is set in his workroom and full of dark humour. (Amazon)
  • Coco Before Chanel – I feel like this film needs no introduction! It follows the story of Gabrielle Chanel in her early life in the run up to becoming the style sensation she was. Played by Audrey Tautou its stuffed full of fantastic outfits. (Amazon)
  • Yves Saint Laurent – This film is in French and wonderful! It follows the story of the designer from the start of his career in the late 50s when he met is partner in love and business Pierre. (Amazon)

These aren’t about sewing but have wonderful outfits:

  • Marie Antoinette  – Full of colour and wonderful vibrant outfits Marie Antoinette follows the story of her turbulent life. (Amazon)
  • Atonement –  A classic love story set in the Second World war and it flits between three different time periods. It’s really wonderful if you haven’t watched it, go for it, and get the tissues ready. (Amazon)
  • The Devil Wears Prada – Set in a glossy magazine in New York, Country girl Andrea has a baptism of fire into the world of fashion. (Amazon)

Documentories:

  • Advanced Style – God I loved this, honestly you have to go and watch it. The documentary follows a group of New York women who are seventy plus who have the most fantastic style, you get to see in their wardrobes and hear their life stories.. it’s wonderful.  (I-Tunes)
  • Iris – This is a spin off from Advanced Style with one of the women featured, Iris Apfel. She is 87 at the time of filming and the documentary is wonderful, and takes you though her impact on the New York fashion scene. (Amazon)
  • Madmoiselle C –  This follows Carine Roitfeld, as she leaves her role as editor of French Vogue, and starts out on her own trying to create a new magazine. (Amazon)
  • The True Cost – This was one if the first documentaries about the true cost of fashion. Made in 2015 it’s slightly out of date but it’s well worth a watch. (Amazon)
  • 7 Days Out –  Follows the Dior events team in the 7 days leading up the to the Couture Shows. Full of fantastic intel and makes you really understand all the work that goes into creating an event like that. (Netflix)
  • McQueen –  a story told by his close family and friends about his life and work, it’s wonderful. Excruciatingly honest and really sad, if you are feeling delicate it might not be for you. (Amazon)
  • Dior And I – This is magical, its shows the point that Raf Simons was appointed the creative director at Dior and follows him in the lead up to his first show. Annoyingly Amazon has removed it in the UK at the moment, but I’m hopeful it will come back!
  • The September Issue – This follows the infamous Anna Wintour editor of America Vogue during fashion week. I adored this when it first came out and you can see where the inspiration for the Devil Wears Prada came from! (Amazon)
  • Westwood: Punk Icon Activist –  Get a proper behind the scenes look at the life, work and activism that Vivienne Westwood has become famous for. (Amazon)
  • Fresh Dressed –  Follow this story of hip hop fashion from it’s birth in the South Bronx to how it’s become a multi million dollar industry. (Amazon)
  • Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel – oh my days I loved this, one of the most influential women of the 20th Century and editor of Harpers Bizarre & Vogue from the 30s through to the 70s. Fantastic fun documentary with a host of fashion A -lister talking heads.  (Amazon)

  • Paul Smith: Gentleman Designer – I’ve got such a soft spot for Paul Smith, and have always loved his work. This is a lovely documentary showing the inside of his studio. He’s an avid collector and his office is an absolute treasure trove. (Amazon)
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor: This must have been the first of it’s type of fashion documentaries, released in 2008 it’s dated but it’s pretty darn fabulous and he’s hilarious in it. (Amazon)
  • The Gospel According to Andre – Andre Leon fashion icon and editor of American Vogue shares his life story. The hardships of growing up as a gay black man in the deep south, and making it to where he is today. It’s really worth a watch… I mean the outfits alone are out of this world. (Amazon)
  • Bill Cunningham New York – I absolutely adored this, fashion photographer Bill, on his bike in New York. He was the  street fashion chronicler for the New York Times and beloved by many. (Amazon)

  • Love Cecil – An examination into Cecil Beaton’s life work. Really interesting and you really understand how important he was creatively as a photographer.
  • Unzipped –  the oldest by far of these (1995) following Isaac Mizrahi as he gets ready for fashion week. It’s hilarious and stuffed full of supermodels!
  • Notebook on Cities and Clothes – This one I haven’t seen but it’s on the list, it’s an interview with Yohji Yamamoto on cities fashion and people. (Amazon)

 TV Series:

  • Next In Fashion – Tan France and Alexa Chung host a Project Runway style format, but the designers are at a higher level and all currently run their own companies.  The designers are generally pretty kind to each other and it’s really great watching. (Netflix)
  • The Sewing Bee  – Follow twelve hobby makers on their journey to be crowned winner. (BBC)
  • Making The Cut – Hosted by Heidi Klum Tim Gunn on Amazon. This is a Project Runway spin off but on Amazon, same format but with more established designers. It’s more fun than project runway, I’m halfway though and loving it. (Amazon)
  • Breaking Fashion – Follows a fast fashion company in the UK called In the Style as it heads into it’s busy summer season. I never knew how those companies worked and it’s a really interesting insight into influencers. (BBC)
  • Inside Misguided – similar format to above, I’d say Breaking fashion is a bit better and the narrator on this programme swears like a trooper, so might not recommend watching with children! (All Four)
  • Assassination of Versace – it’s a bit gory this tv series! It follows the lead up to Andrew Cunanan’s murder spree in 1997 where he kills five people including Gianni Versace.
  • Atelier – I’ve just started this and it’s really fun. A Japanese drama about anew employee starting at the atelier and trying to find her feet. (Netflix)
  • Velvet – I haven’t seen this yet but it popped up on Netflix it’s in Spanish, but the story is about a seamstress who works in the most prestigious fashion house in Spain. I’ll report back!  (Netflix)
  • The Collection  – I haven’t seen this but got a couple of suggestions for it. Set in a Paris fashion house post second world war, looks set to be full of drama! (Amazon)

Not strictly sewing but amazing outfits:

  • Marvellous Mrs Maisel – One of my favourite programmes. It it rumoured to be based on the life of Joan Rivers and follows of housewife Midge as she pursues a career in stand up comedy. It’s set in New York in the late 50s and arguably has the best outfits I’ve seen in a TV show. (Amazon)
  • Mad Men – Set in a 1960’s New York Advertising agency in the era of the ‘American Dream’ follow the lives of the of the team. Prepare yourself for extreme sexism, alcoholism and the most fantastic outfits! (Amazon)
  • Killing Eve – The story of assassin Villanelle and the spy Eve who has been assigned to catch her. Full of fantastic outfits and dark comedy you are going to love this.  (BBC)
  • The Crown – This follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II from when she takes the throne in her twenties, through to her fifties over the three series. Full of wonderful costumes and a great insight into social history in the UK. (Netflix)
  • Sex and the City – I mean this really doesn’t need any introduction does it? Follow Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda on their dating journeys around New York. (Amazon)

 

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