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Last September, on an online design community I'm a part of, our admin shared an opportunity to submit an application for a new sewing competition reality TV show. It was minimal commitment with new contestants every episode and filming over two days only.

That I should apply hadn't crossed my mind at all, until our group admin told me I should apply. But, I had a baby only two months before and hadn't stepped foot in my sewing studio. I don't feel my sewing skills are good enough for TV!  And, I've never considered myself the TV personality type. "You should still apply!" our group admin replied.

In that moment I thought why not?  To apply, I had to submit photos of 5 designs I made, fill out a short questionnaire on my sewing abilities, and make a short video explaining why I should be on the show. I filmed the video on my phone, in 50 takes, while the baby was sleeping. I chose the designs I felt most strongly about, the ones that have a story.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt good about it. At least, receiving professional feedback would be great, I reasoned!

Two weeks later, in the middle of picking my son up from school, the casting director called to let me know I was chosen as a finalist! The in-person interview would be the following week, four days away!

The next morning, an email from casting: All finalists are given a challenge from the producers to make a top in muslin fabric in 90 minutes and bring it to the interview! Now I was really nervous! I had a funeral and an engagement to attend that weekend! I was lucky to have just enough muslin fabric on hand to make a long sleeve crop top, with a front ruffle detail and cuffs.

ammaraza ruffle top

The day of the interview I was so nervous. I wasn't too happy with the final result of my top, as I tried to keep it in the 90 minutes required. I really wanted the interview to go smoothly, so I planned to get to my parents house way earlier to drop baby off.  While on the way there I realized I forgot the baby's milk in the fridge! How??? I packed my breast pump by chance so all was not lost. But, I found myself completely frazzled and worried. Now, I wasn't even nervous about the interview!

The interview panel consisted of three people, one who was the designated fashion expert. They took turns asking questions like what first sparked my interest in sewing, what's my design point of view, what inspires me, list three words to describe my style, and which are the most special pieces I've made and why. Of course I included YFT thobes in that answer:) In fact, I definitely spent a couple of minutes discussing my inspo behind YFT!

Ultimately, I didn't get selected to be a contestant on the show. The simple experience of being a finalist is a great encouragement though!  Would you apply for a reality TV show? What kind of reality show would it be??

-written by Ammara (@ammaraza)

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