A Stitch in Time
Watch it for...
The feel good and relaxing vibe, the intricate fashion recreations, and the intriguing historical tidbits that come up during the garment-making process.
British fashion historian Amber Butchart hosts this fun and fascinating documentary series. In each of the six episodes, she partners with various experts and historians to dive deep into a particular historical outfit from a specific work of art. For instance, one episode focuses on famous queen and fashionista Marie Antoinette by exploring the gown she wears in the painting La Reine en Gaulle. Another episode investigates an outfit worn by Dido Belle, the daughter of an enslaved African woman brought up in England. As Butchart gives the viewer the context of the clothes and the people that wore them, talented historic costumer Ninya Mikhaila and her team painstakingly recreate each outfit for Butchart to try on and model. Each episode is short and focused, offering interesting insights into the history and creation of fashion without demanding an intensive time commitment or prior knowledge and expertise from the viewer.
I live for gentle shows that highlight the talent and skill of artisans—for instance, I also loved The Repair Shop, another BBC gem. A Stitch in Time is a charming show that made for fun, no-stress watching. Amber Butchart’s enthusiasm and excitement for each project is endearing. I liked that she offered historical and social context for each piece and tried to show how fashion is intertwined with politics and society. Since I am also kind of a history nerd, I would have actually enjoyed more depth in the historical commentary, but I also appreciated that the show was an easy, quick watch.
My favorite part of every episode was watching Ninya Mikhaila’s team recreate each outfit, though. They often tried to use historically appropriate methods and seeing what they could do was mesmerizing. I myself can’t even sew a straight line on a sewing machine, so I was in awe of what they were able to accomplish! It was hard not to feel jealous when Butchart was up close and personal with delicately preserved historical pieces, or when she was trying on the fashion recreations! It’s a fascinating show that I really enjoyed.