22 thoughts on “Top Five Historical Movies for Those Who Sew

  1. By happy coincidence, Kate WInslet was just on the Graham Norton show and they had a clip from “The Dressmaker.” If you’ve never seen the show, it’s the last real classical talk show in which all the guests come on at the same time and interact. Great guests, everybody who is anybody, usually a mix of international and British stars and a big musical number with superb production values. BBC America now on Thursday nights.

      1. It’s a 1950’s -60’s based Spanish series about a department store/fashion house in Madrid. The heroine is a seamstress in love with the owner’s son. Available on Netflix streaming!

  2. in the costume shop where I work they often exhort us to “sew like the wind”. It’s funny until you hear it at 10pm after not having a day off in two weeks. Then you just want to smack a bitch.

  3. I loved Velvet. A more recent Netflix original, Atelier, is about exquisite lingerie. Lots of sewing, fitting and designing.

  4. Maybe not sewing, but I love the opening credits in the Tailor of Panama. As the credits roll, the tailor (using proper tailor-speak) marks and cuts out pieces for a suit.

  5. There are a number of great fashion documentaries out. Dior and I, Iris, September Issue, For sewing can’t leave out Perils of Pauline, plus I love to watch movies like Top Hat, Zigfield Follies etc. just for the costumes. How about Gone With the Wind, Cinderella? Would love to have some mice help me out in the sewing room from time to time. Especially hemming.

  6. The Dressmaker is a lot of fun, even if it is predictable and and full of cliches. The opening scene will make any seamstress laugh though- Kate walzes into town swinging a suitcase in one hand and her 1950s Singer in the other. Anyone who has worked with one of thoses machines knows how much they weigh – she would have dislocated her shoulder in the first 15 seconds.
    Another fun (old) sewing movie is the 1980s Winnona Ryder vehicle ‘ How to Make An American Quilt’, in which a large number of terrific American actresses manage to quilt for hours without ever puttinga hand underneath the quilt they are working on.

    1. Oh, God. I love How to Make an American Quilt. It’s not a great movie, but it really got to me nonetheless. I’ve tried to read the book a few times, but it just doesn’t grab me. Maybe I’ll try one more time…

    1. “A woman should never learn how to sew, and if she does, she should never admit it.” –Katherine, The English Patient

  7. I just got finished rewatching Hose of Eliott again, and loved it all over again! But, is it just me, or are the clothes on the leads so much better than the clothes that they were designing for their fashion shows! The runway show costumes are almost laughably amateurish….probably because they’re trying hard not to be the direct copy of any real 1920’s designers. My only real gripe, though. I like Velvet, too!

  8. The Time in Between is really great – I’m about half way through the series and just love the sewing and the story. I too feel like I’ve been stabbed in the back by not being able to see The Dressmaker with Kate Winslet yet – and yes they are bastards! – I’m going to have to add The House of Elliot and Velvet to my list at Netflix – and i just can’t do The Three Amigos – I love certain Steve Martin movies but this one just doesn’t do it for me no matter what….lol

  9. oh I forgot to mention that I also loved the TV movie “Coco Before Chanel” or Coco avant Chanel – it has Audrey Tautou and Alessandro Nivola and I just love it – there are a lot of sewing scenes in it and I have to admit that I find it interesting that so many designers/seamstresses smoke in movies at least…lol

  10. There was a recent mini-series, ‘The Collection’- set in post-WWII France – it was about a fashion house, I believe- where the two brothers who own it, had a lot of secrets; one’s gay- & yet was involved with his brother’s new muse (maybe he was bi-curious)- & the other brother was possibly a collaborator in the war.
    Throw in their ever-so-slightly unhinged mother (the same lady who was the senior nun in ‘Outlander’, s2), an American wife, a stunning but bitchy model, a murder or two, & some financial questions regarding the future of the house- as well as some stunning clothes, & you have a pretty good weekend!

    1. The Netflix image and description are so boring that I’ve never been tempted to watch it. Your description just did the trick. I’m adding it to my queue now.

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