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HGTV Cancels all sewing shows

lindamaries | Posted in General Discussion on

I received this email…
“This morning I checked my email to find a letter from a good friend, informing me that HGTV has cancelled all sewing shows in their current daily line up.
This really saddens me, as I have always enjoyed learning about new people and products working with the hobby I enjoy most, so I took some time to verify the facts.
It is true. Sew Much More has been put on programming hiatus through the month of October, and there are no specific plans for November and beyond.
I hope that you all feel as I do, and that you don’t want to lose the one of the very few sewing-dedicated shows we have.
I am asking each of you to take just five minutes of your day to let HGTV know that there are sewing fans out there who would like to see this show and others like it continue.
The web address to send you note is: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/about_us/text/0,1783,HGTV_3080_4964,00.html
Just visit www.hgtv.com, click on Questions (at the very bottom). On the
Questions page, scroll all the way down to the link (at the bottom) for Viewer Services. Click on this for HGTV’s email form.”

Hope everyone here at Threads Gatherings can send a note.


  1. rjf | | #1

    Did they say why they were cancelling?    rjf

  2. GinnaS | | #2

    I have just visited the HGTV site and voiced my disappointment.  I have requested that they add sewing shows in the future. 

    I was surprised that they required so much personal information before allowing you to send a message to them.  They don't need my telephone number and street address.


    1. ElonaM | | #3

      Yeah, it seems odd that they'd require so much info from you. In my experience with these clowns, they sure as heck aren't going to use it to get back to you with a personalized answer. If you're lucky, you will get a form letter-type response.

      1. Jean | | #4

        I always suspect that they are making marketing lists to sell.

    2. sher141 | | #26

      I agree about all the personal info they requested.  Maybe they will send us something special for our contribution. :)


  3. SewingSue | | #5

    Thank you for the link.  I used it to send HGTV an e-mail indicating my disappointment.  I recorded the shows since I work during the day and would watch them during the evening.  When there was a different show on Monday I didn't give it much thought and figured we must have had a power bump or something.  When there was no show again yesterday I figured something must be up.  I was very disappointed when I checked their website and found they no longer have any sewing shows.  Hopefully our comments will help.

    Supposedly the number of home sewers is on the rise.  Hard to tell this when at each turn it becomes harder to be a home sewer.  First most of the fabric stores closed and now most of the sewing shows are being taken off the air.  Even the sewing magazines don't seem as good as they used to be.

    Sorry for griping.


    1. lindamaries | | #6

      I know what you mean. I think that all of us should get together and lobby the big networks (not HGTV, I don't think they'd listen) to put a really good sewing show on Saturday afternoons (because nothing else is on except football and old handiman reruns. How would we do this mass movement? It kind of sounds like a fun thing to do. I could just see it: the newspapers showing all of us sewers marching on Hollywood demanding equal air time.

      The magazines, though, really ARE getting better. I've been looking at old ones at the library and think that they are more technical now. But that is what I like to read about, the technique, so I'm happy.

      1. SewingSue | | #7

        Maybe someone else reading this post will have ideas on how to get the attention of the TV networks.  I would definitely lend my support but don't have any clue of how to go about it.

        You're right, some of the magazines do show more technical stuff which I also appreciate.  But, what I was thinking of was I remember in the 70s the pattern companies used to showcase their patterns and show ways of making them more unique.  Not to the extent of the current "fashion art".  I appreciate looking at a lot of the embelishment techniques but work in a very conservative atmosphere and it would not go over.  Sew News used to do this frequently also.

        1. lindamaries | | #8

          Yes, I know what you mean. I think the reason pattern companies don't do this anymore is because they want to sell patterns. I look though the books and see the same bodice on several patterns and the only difference is the neckline or the sleeve. You should read up on designing your own patterns. I see at patternshowcase.com there is going to be a internet class on designing. A person has to take a dart class first which is only about 40 dollars US. I'm thinking about doing this because I'd like to be able to change collars and necklines on any pattern which I hear is a very technical thing to do.

          1. SewingSue | | #9

            When I want to change the neckline or collar, I usually will marry up two patterns.  I'll lay the pattern piece I want to borrow the neckline from on top of the pattern piece I want to use and match up the shoulder seams.  I have done this a number of times and it has always worked like a charm.  Once the neckline is borrowed the collar will automatically work with no further changes.  It's sleeves and armholes that give me fits.  I'm short and chubby (thanks to menopause).  Was always short and never had problems til the weight gain.  If you use the pattern corresponding to measurements the patterns get huge in the neck and shoulders.  Continuing to get better at this though.

          2. lindamaries | | #10

            I've been learning about this "how to buy the right sized pattern" stuff.

            The big four: Vogue (Not the Today's Fit -different sizing)/Simplicity/Butterick/McCalls all can be purchased by using the high bust measurement if you have a largish cup size.

            I'm a DD cup and my measurement around my full bust (over the nipples/apex around the back parallel with the bra band) is 42 1/2" American.

            If I went to the pattern size listing chart, I'd have to buy a size 20.

            If I use the high bust measurement which is only 38" American, I have to buy a size 16. The high bust is over the breasts, under the arm pits and then below the shoulder blades. This measurement angles a bit, but that is okay.

            The size 16 fits my bone structure and therefore the armholes and neck are in better proportion to my body.

            I alter the back of the pattern for a broad back---just a line down the back from the shoulder seam to the waist.

            Then,I have to alter my pattern to bump out enough for my bigger breasts. I slash the pattern up from the waistline, through the apex , and then over to the armhole SEAM line. I leave the seam allowance alone except for a little snip. I pull the whole section just cut, downward and open up the area. The little hinge at the armhole holds it from totally separating. This whole process is called a large bust adjustment and can be found in lots of books.

            As long as I don't have to mess with the armholes, I'm okay.

            The other pattern companies use different "blocks" to draft their patterns. You have to pretty much use the Full Bust measurement with these. Burda, Today's Fit, New Mode, etc.

          3. SewingSue | | #11

            Thanks, I've got that part down.  The real problem is that a lot of the time either the armhole and sleeve are too small or too large.  When I use a small size to fit the neck and shoulders, I have no problem adjusting the body larger it's the armhole and sleeve that get me.  Same, if I go to a bigger size, I can adjust the neck and shoulder down but the armhole and sleeve still get me.  Generally I find it easier to work with a smaller pattern that file the neck and shoulder and adjust the body.  I think I am missing some key measurement for the armsyche.  I have considered computer software but don't want to pay that much without being able to determine if it will solve my problems.  I have read a bunch of chats and the reviews seem mixed.  I noticed a post that thread is going to have an article on this.  I think it said the march issue.  I can wait awhile longer.  I need to check out the site you mentioned.

          4. lindamaries | | #12

            I have a book called "Fast Fit" by Sandra Betzina. In the index there is a category on armholes for short people. I think if you think that the armhole is going to be too big, than there is too much length between the shoulder seam and the bustline/apex area. You have to fold out an amount all the way across the upper chest. The book shows that the horizontal folding line starts right above the notch of the armhole and goes straight over toward the center front seam. (Do th4e same on the back pattern piece.) Then, you have to fold out the same amount on the sleeve pattern piece. The fold is straight across the cap of the sleeve.

            I think taking a measurement from the point of shoulder seam/neckline intersection to the bust apex and then comparing that with the same place on the pattern piece's measurement, you'd see how much folding you have to do.

            Then, if your upper arm is fleshy, you might have to make a "cross" cut on the sleeve. Draw two lines: one shoulder to cuff and another below the cap right sleeve seam to left sleeve seam. Cut, Leave 5/8" on each end for a hinge. Then pull the pattern apart and open the center up. It will look like a diamond cross. This will give extra fabric to go over the bulge in the upper arm.

          5. SewingSue | | #13

            What I was thinking of doing is making a large hand basting across the width of the sleeve and across the front and back and see what is actually happening.  I think the cap is probably to high and should be shortened and widened.  I was have problems adjusting pants and did the same at the hip line and it really helped me figure out what was going on.  After I did that little exercise I was able to get the adjustments squared away.  Does Sandra handle sleeve adjustments the same as she showed on her series?

          6. lindamaries | | #14

            I never saw that part of Sandra's series, but I just went to hear her speak in Milwaukee about a month ago and she talked about the adjustments right out of her book. I think that there are lots of ways to adjust things, but some people have their favorite ways and don't change off that.

            She was talking about measuring with the side of a tape measure the cap of the sleeve and then measuring the armhole to compare. The cap should have a greater measurement than the armhole because the cap has to be eased into the hole. Sandra says in her book: "The sleeve measurement should exceed the armhole measurement by anywhere from 3/4 in to 1 1/4". A difficult-to-ease fabric, like wool gabardine for a jacket, requires 3/4 in ease, whereas a normal fabric can take 1 1/4" of ease. She said that in RTW (I'm remembering from her lecture), manufacturers always put 1/2" ease in for KNIT sleeves. This makes it so the sleeve doesn't bind on the arm. A lot of pattern companies have no ease for knits because that is just what they do.

          7. SewingSue | | #15

            On my next project I am going to try slashing the sleeve like you suggest.  I've seen this adjustment before but never tried it.  The more I think about it the more it makes sense and will probably help out a lot.

          8. sher141 | | #28

            When I was young my mother exchanged pattern pieces all the time.  She'd take two or more patterns and switch collars, necklines, sleeves, etc.  It seems to me that patterns aren't what they used to be, at least with the main 4 companies, Vogue, McCalls, Butterick, & Simplicity.  Though I believe that Butterick, Vogue, and McCalls are all owned by the same company now.  (Can't remember if it is Simplicity or McCalls that sold out).  I'd like to find a good source for information or classes on how to fit patterns.  If anyone knows of anything in the Western Kentucky area I'd appreciate it.  I am close to Nashville, Louisville, Lexington, St. Louis and a few other major areas. (at least within driving distance in a couple of hours)


      2. sher141 | | #27

        I like the idea of marching on Hollywood.  <big grin>  I guess once again we sewers are shuffled to the back seat while the "he-man fix-it yourself" shows take over.  I've often wondered if these letter writing campaigns really work?  I think the only thing that ever matters is if you hit the network in their pocketbook.  Now if you can come up with a way to do that I think we might have some clout.


        1. rjf | | #29

          How do the networks decide which shows to keep and which to abandon?  I know it's partly how many people watch and partly how much advertising they can get.  So where do you think the sewing shows fall down?  Do you think it's because sewists don't need to buy large expensive equipment so often while the hammer-and-nail types can always find a reason to buy something bigger, better and fancier?  I hate to be disloyal but I do like to watch the hammer-and-nail shows.  And "Trading Spaces" holds a morbid fascination.  I hate it but I can't turn it off.       rjf

          1. ShannonG4d | | #30

            decide which shows to keep and which to abandon? 

            Well, sometimes it's based on lack of sponsors (which I don't think was the case here).  Sometimes it is based on viewership.....which may have come into play in this case.  Sometimes it's a change in focus in the network.  I think you may find the last two to be the answer for this particular program. 

            Frankly, Sew Much More appeared to be doomed from the start, IMO.  When other programs are given two time slots per day, SMM was only given one very early time slot.  Many viewers were unable to watch because of the early hour, or because it conflicted with breakfast-and-getting-the-kids-out-the-door.  And not everyone has a VCR to record the program for later viewing.  And.....eight a.m. eastern is FIVE a.m. Pacific.....and nobody I know is that motivated to get up at five to watch a sewing program!LOL

            I am also miffed at the amount of personal information that network requires before they will allow you to even send a comment!  Boards like this one do not require a home address and phone number to participate.....thank you, Taunton!  I am not excited about giving such personal information to a set of strangers who may or may not use it for profiling, selling mailing lists, or telemarketing. 

            I do enjoy some of the programming on HGTV.....particularly when they have new episodes. 


          2. carolfresia | | #31

            Interestingly, I've read that shows like "Trading Spaces" (which I also like to watch--sometimes there's a real "hit" in amongst the "misses"--and I enjoy the fearless approach to color all the designers seem to have) have brought sewing for the home back into the public eye. Apparently viewers are getting excited about creative decorating, and see sewing as an easy way to get a designer look. So I keep watching, getting ideas (dos and don'ts!), and hoping that this might be a way to attract more people to our passion.

            I am sorry about the cancellation of Sew Much More from the HGTV line-up. I'm one of the many who sees it rarely, since I'm usually at my desk by the time it starts, but the times I have caught a few minutes of it I liked it a lot.


  4. user-192235 | | #16

    This was one of my favorite programs. Thanks for making it so simple for us to send a message to HGTV. Sent my note of protest today--haven't logged on for a few days so I hope my protest is not too late.


    1. SewingSue | | #17

      As long as we voice our opinion it should never be to late.  Everyone on this site needs to send similar messages and they will have to listen.

  5. marcytilton | | #18

    I taped a segment for the next HGTV season over the summer and just got a letter from the production company that produces Sew Perfect. here is what they said: Scripps-Howard, the Nashville based owner of HGTV is starting up a new cable channel called DIY (do it yourself), and they have decided to eliminate all sewing shows on HGTV and will probably re-schudule them on the new DIY network, maybe starting in early 2003. That was all the info the production company has right now....sounds as if Scripps Howard is expanding their empire and re-organizing their stations. When I called to schedule DIY on my dish, found out that it is only avialable as part of their largest and most expensive package.....this may vary in different parts of the country. They DO listen to viewer replies and though e-mail is the easiest, nothing carries the weight of a real letter. Marcy Tilton

  6. Dee7041 | | #19

    Thank you Linda Marie for your notice re: the cancellation of HGTV's sewing shows.  It is so unfortunate for those of us who still enjoy the art of sewing.  So many people remark to me how luckey I am to "be gifted".  These same people have no idea how those of us are driving farther and farther for our fabrics, seeing great distributors go out of business because the world has turned to "crafting".   Did HGTV disclose the reason for cancellation?  Was it that they lost a sponsor?  I would be curious to know.  I can't believe it was the lack of viewers !

    Thank you for the opportunity to express myself.  

    1. lindamaries | | #21

      No.  HGTV didn't talk to me.  I received the information through a newsletter that

      was sent by an internet pattern reseller.  www.patternshowcase.com

      Another person on this Threads discuss board said, though, that it looks like satellite will be having something on the new DIY (DO IT YOURSELF) network.  To receive the network, though, a person has to buy the most expensive package of channels. 

      Well, I do not get cable, nor do I get satellite.  All I get is PBS. You know, maybe everyone should get behind the PBS stations.  Just about every area in the country can get at least one PBS station.  It sounds like, Nancy Zieman on the Sewing with Nancy PBS show will continue with her shows.  Also, it sounded like Sandra Betzina was talking with different  TV people about getting on TV again after I heard her lecture last month.  Maybe she'll get onto PBS, too. 

      Personally, I think the best chance of having any kind of sewing show is PBS.  I think they really do listen to what people ask and what people say.  I think PBS is more democratic and are more willing to make their schedules without having profit in the foremost of their minds like cable networks and satellite.  I do not think money rules with them.  People do. 

      1. Dee7041 | | #23

        Thank you for your kind reply.

        I supported PBS for many years.  About three years ago my name popped up as a discontinued supporter.  I was telephoned by the Station to question why I had decided to stop supporting PBS.  I replied that the decision by the Station to discontinue the Sewing Shows was a disappointment.  When this decision to discontinue the programing was made, I wrote a letter to my PBS Station.  The Station replied that there were not enough viewers to continue the sewing programs.  I replied to this caller that my money would be spent on sewing shows whether they were commercially presented or on another PBS/television programing schedule since they didn't consider my interest when the decision was made.

        Sometimes one must decide what is the most effective to say, hey you need to make some other considerations here.  Money usually does it!

        Thank you for listening.


      2. Ladyemperor1 | | #33

        I agree with your view on PBS lindamaries! I have enjoyed so many good programs and thank you for giving us another idea where to look for and request good sewing shows.

  7. SewingSue | | #20

    It took quite awhile but I finally got my response from HGTV. Same as yours basically programming on hiatus unsure of the new line up. This is very sad indeed. There used to be many nice shows. Now more and more going to crafts. Agree with others who have posted that we have to go further and further for fabrics. I turn to the internet more and more. But never quite the same as being able to see and feel. I do a few fabric clubs, a little better, but those little swatches leave a bit to be desired.

    1. lindamaries | | #22

      Yes, I am learning where the places are that will help match for you.  You send a swatch to them and they will send back little samples.  In a way, though, I do not buy so much fabric anymore by having to swatch a lot.  I'm more goal directed when I buy fabric now.  If I'm really doing something special, I can always buy a little 1/4 yard sample and really get an idea of how the fabric will behave. 

      I've got so much more learning, though, on how to purchase fabric over the internet. 

      I figure after a while, I'll really get the hang of it and know really were to go when I need something.  The only thing, though, is that I'm a little trapped as to the price.  Shopping for price really can't be done this way, too much, unless I really get familiar with the "stores" on the net. 

  8. damaws | | #24

    Hey lindamaries,

    I just emailed HGTV.

    My daugher who is 23 is just now becoming a sewing nut.  She loves being able to take pride in something she really made. 

    In the past 2 months I have purchased 5 different machines, including an industrial pfaff.

    She has found a new love.    We need these shows for tips, and ideas. 

    Thanks for the tip on what is going on.


    1. dmorvant | | #34

      I am considering buying a high end embroidery maching that sews too.

      i am looking at pfaff, viking, bernin, janome and singer///////

      any suggestions?

  9. sher141 | | #25

    I have just joined this forum and distubingly the first post I read concerns the cancelation of HGTV's sewing programs.  I immediately sent out an e-mail via your suggestion voicing my sincere angst over this decision.  Thank you so much for the information.


  10. cmilford | | #32

    Hi, I'm new here, and I am also disappointed about HGTV not showing any sewing shows, I did write to them , and they replied that they only put on shows that the majority of people are interested in. I have a lot of friends that are interested in sewing, but I guess the majority isn't. Not many people sewing now adays, with the price of the patterns and fabric, they would rather wait for a sale in the dept. stores, but golly I see a lot of sales  on fabric,and patterns.

    Lets all hope enough will contact HGTV and maybe they will return some of the sewing shows, Carol

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