Saturday, October 11, 2008

American Sewing Expo, Baby Lock Passion for Fashion 2008, Novi,MI

If you can't tell by my other posts(day 1,day 2,day 3), I really enjoyed taking part in the challenge. I was surrounded by wonderfully talented sewing enthusiasts/designers/patternmakers (one here and here)and my regret is that we didn't get to spend time together without competing.

The final garments:
Passion for Fashion 2008

Passion for Fashion 2008

Passion for Fashion 2008

Passion for Fashion 2008

Passion for Fashion 2008

Passion for Fashion 2008

At least 2 of the contestants were only 18, and I'm amazed at what they can do. I did not have the confidence or composure at that age to enter such a contest and succeed as they have done. Many more pictures here. Choose Passion for Fashion Show or PFF in Progress Galleries.

In one of the filming sessions I was asked if I would join the contest again, I amswered quickly, "no". I didn't have an answer when they asked why? At the time I was thinking, Now I know what its all about I don't have to do it again. I think now that perhaps I would do it again someday, but not for a couple of years, Maybe.

If you think you would like to try the contest, I'd send in a garment. On Sunday, we had the opportunity to take any classes, compliments of the American Sewing Expo and the Experience more than pays for the $25 entry fee!

My serger and entry garment and winning outfit came in the mail/AmEx on Thursday. All contestants also received a American Sewing Expo 2008 tote, Easy Zippers DVD, Rowenta Iron, and Kai Scissors (mine came in really handy during the contest!).

Pashion for Fashion American Sewing Expo 2008 Prizes

This serger is really cool! I have a lot of learning to do there. It can sew with 8 threads at once! I was really wanting a coverstitch machine and this has that and oh so much more. My "local" Babylock dealer is Sandy's Sew and Vac, they said I could come in and take as many classes as I needed to get comfortable with the machine. I'm sure I will need at least one. The folks there are very friendly and helpful, if you're in Michigan (Dearborn Heights (313) 292-2660, Lincoln Park (313) 388-7350, and Livonia (734) 266 2491, They do free estimates!)and looking to try out a Babylock I recommend going there even if its a bit of a drive.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Day 3: The Fashion Show, The Winners!: Saturday September 27, 2008, Baby Lock Passion for Fashion Challenge, American Sewing Expo, Novi, MI

The Final Day!

Saturday Time Line

3:00-5:00 Designers finish up garments and take models to dressing area behind the fashion stage. (Models must have their own make-up done and their hair needs to be up off their shoulders)

6:00 Kayla introduces judges. Then explains the contest and scenario. Then introduces the first designer (in alphabetical order) with their model.
-The designer stands on the stage by Kayla and the model walks down to the middle of the runway and stps, looks to the left at the photographer and waits for the photo, then continues down the rest of the runway and back up to the designer. Then both the designer and the model walk off the end of the runway together and go behind the stage.
-After the last designer and thier model have done the same as the rest, the judges will confer to pick the 6 finalists and...
-During that time, Kayla will announce the door prize winners
-Judges will then give Kayla the top six names
-Kayla will announce the 6 finalists and they will return to the stage with their models.
-Each judge may ask 2 questions only (10 questions total from all judges) and to different designers. (not2 questions to each designer)
-All designers, models and judges are to leave the fashion stage by the side.

7:00 Kayla will introduce Kenneth King and he will speak for 1/2 hour.
7:00 Kayla will announce that the dressforms that the designers used were generously provided to us by Prym-Dritz and thank everyone for coming this evening. Then announce the prizes.

All twelve designers won:
-An American Sewing Expo tote bag
-An Easy Zippers DVD from Islander Sewing Systems
-A DX8900 Professional Stream Iron from Rowenta
-3rd place winner will also win a Baby Lock Decorator's Choice Sewing Machine (Prizes valued over $1400.00
-2nd place winner will also win a Baby Lock Evolve Serger Machine (prizes valued over $2800.00)
-And the 1st place winner will also win a Dress Form from Prym Dritz, a trip to NYC from the American Sewing Expo and the Baby Lock Espire Sewing Machine from the Baby Lock Corporation (prizes valued at over $5700.00)

The 6 designers and their models will be asked to return to the stage and Kayla will announce the three non-winners, (and they will leave the stage by the side area) and then Kayla will announce the 3rd place winner up repeating her prize. Then repeat the 2nd and 1st prizes again (before announcing the winner) and then announce the 2nd place and 1st place Winners. Photos wil be taken with the top three contestants and the Baby Lock Dealer.

(There were some variations to the program but as far as I know the times are accurate)

I decided Friday night and Saturday morning that since I had enough fabric to redo the Jacket without puffy sleeves, 7 hours of sewing (8am to 3pm) was plenty of time to redo the jacket.

I got my muslin out again and this time was able to fix the shoulder slope. It just fell right into place on the dressform. I shortened the shoulder and opened up the neckline. Then I had to make the sleeve not puffy. I can't draft a sleeve really, its more about trial and error and then fudging to get what I want. Not something that I can do in one sitting, so back to the Pattermaking book. I saw how to make a normal sleeve puffy so I thought I'd just do it backwards. A little messy and time consuming, but it did end up working.


My cousin came to visit me again at lunchtime, I can't remember if I had the jacket started at this point, but she did get me thinking that it was time to get the stuff cut out and put together. I got the jacket in wearable condition just before we had to go and see the models for the final fitting at 3pm, but the flounce around the front and hem was sitting funny at the top and the sleeves were unfinished.

I was pleased with how well the skirt and top fit, but the jacket was too big. I knew I had to do something to it.

I made the scarf after returning to the arena, the Baby Lock Evolve Serger is pleasingly fast.

Someone, Kayla or Becky announced that it was quarter to five and suddenly I remembered that I was in a timed Contest. I realized I had to fix the too big top and finish the sleeves. That was the first time I felt rushed in the whole contest!

I put the elastic in the back to give the jacket some shape and managed to finish the hems and flounces in spite of the fact that the flounces were a bit too large. Just in time! It was a relief to finish the Challenge and just have to go thru the motions to see who won!

The fashion show went mostly like described above. And now what you've all been waiting for!!!

The third place winner:
Raminta Vilkiene, Livonia, MI
3rd Place:Raminta Vilkiene, Livonia, MI

The 2nd place winner:
Unfortunately I can't share any scenarios except my own because I couldn't hear backstage. Mine was: She works in a conservative office building and is going to a Gallery opening in the evening. The jacket is brown on one side and matches the skirt and the reverse is the bright color shown below.
2nd Place: Me!

The winner:
Angie Wolf, St. Joseph, MI
1st Place:Angie Wolf, St. Joseph, MI

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 2: Friday September 26th 2008, Passion for Fashion Sewing Challenge, American Sewing Expo, Novi, MI

Finally, we get our challenge:

2008 BabyLock Passion for Fashion Scenario

This year's challenge is to create an outfit the goes from the work place to an evening event. You will be asked to explain "who she is", where she works and what the evening event is. You must also base your outfit on one of the following four elements of nature; earth, wind, fire or water. You have 30 minutes to sketch and or select a Simplicity pattern (optional) for your sloper (remember this must be your design).

Next, starting at 9:00AM you will have 1 hour and $100 to shop for your project. You must return with receipts.

After shopping you will return to the BabyLock Passion for Fashion Sewing Arena to create your challenge garment.

Your mentors are award winning fashion designer, Kayla Kennington and her assistant Becky Fulgoni, the second place winner of the 2007 BabyLock Passion for Fashion. For assistance with the sewing machines and sergers Christine Tryon from BabyLock will be in the Arena.

ASE will provide a box linch for each contestant that will arrive in the Arena around noon on both Friday and Saturday.

Good Luck!!

So in the 1/2 hour before we went shopping, a couple things happened to me. I got stuck on a reversible jacket, earth, and brown. Then we got to see the patterns we could use. There were 5 or 6 I chose 3 of them (Simplicity 2933,2801 and 2951).

Passion for Fashion Pattern choices

Unfortunately, there were no jacket patterns, I'm pretty sure they were all dresses with empire waists of something going on in the front. I chose three and hoped to use them as a sloper. I can draft patterns, but it is very hard for me. I'm a seamstress #1 (but you can bet after this, I'll be spending more time with the patterndrafting books!)

Now time to shop, they weren't really holding us to a 1 hour only shopping time, and we were going to be allowed to pick up something extra if we needed it.

I stalked the aisles searching for fabric stalls, many of the stalls contained beautiful fabric, but at a higher price point than was possible for building an entire outfit. I knew I needed something snazzy for the evening side of the jacket, but I still needed to decide on fabric for the jacket and skirt, and see what I had left over.

Then I found Vogue Fabrics. Jackpot! Tons of quality fabrics for 3.99 and 5.99 a yard! (I'd guess most of the contestants bought at least some fabric here!) I was still wanting a wool blend because I wanted the stability, but I did have to adjust my plan, for the first time of many, and settled for a really great rayon with weight. I got 5yards at 3.99. I do have to add here though that Becky gave me a little push to get started, I was spending too much time trying to make what I have in my head somehow appear in the bolts.

I wanted something shiny for the inside, I had seen shiny and stable at Stitch in Time (281 265 2515), and wandered back over there for a look. The Burma Silk caught my eye, because it was stable, shiny and $32 for 3 3/4 of a yard, sold in little packs. With the help of the patient woman who worked there, I chose a bright color(outside my comfort zone) with subtle streaks of brown in the mix to make it a match.

One more stop to Haberman Fabrics for a bit of 7.99 brown silk I spotted in the sale aisle. I bought 3 yards because I was going to make the sleeveless top on Simplicity 2933, but again ended up changing my mind.

I spent the morning working on a jacket sloper. I was using the sleeves from 2951, I thought I wanted puffy sleeves, and sleeves and arm holes are particularly difficult for me. My cousin stopped by around noon and I had nothing to show for the day, so I decided to switch gears and actually accomplish something.

I used the neckline and arm holes from Simplicity 2933 to draft my tank top. I used two layers because the fabric was sheer. It is self faced and the hems are finished with a rolled hem and slightly longer underneath.

I got attatched to the idea of flounces at about this time and made a little bias skirt with an 8 inch flounce (flounces are found on pg. 173 of Connie Crawford's Patternmaking Made Easy book, I could not have managed to create an outfit without this book)
Skirts I can draft, and I'm fond of bias for a number of reasons. I'm not sure what time it was after all this, but finally I was confident that my dear model wouldn't have to go down the aisle in "the emperor's new clothes"! I was also very pleased with how these first garments had turned out.

Back to the jacket.....

I got help from Becky again and fixed the side seam, but the shoulder slope was still wrong. I needed to have something to show for the day so I cut out the jacket, using as little fabric as was humanly possible and put the parts together so I had something to think about. I decided I didn't like the puffy sleeves too....

This was the end of the day on Friday, Day 2:
Dress forms generously provided by Dritz!

End of day 2

End of day 2