Friday, July 11, 2014

Sewing for Competiton: Kathy Knapp

Today will be my last post about the IPCA PLARS competitors,  the "People's Choice" winner by Facebook "likes" Kathy Knapp. Kathy's entry went on to compete against other IPCA member companies, coming in second. Kathy received $100 in product from my company, and as 2nd place grand prize winner, she took home a brand new fabulous iron from the Reliable company too.

Like Eve Kovaks, whom I posted about last week, Kathy has sewn for. and won many, many competitions. But unlike Eve, who employs a versatile range in competition styles, Kathy stays with a consistent method that identifies her work where ever she goes. Some of her other garments for competition are below:

 And a close up of that jacket shows how she sculptures and highly embellishes the fabric: 

Here is what Kathy had to say about her PLARS entry:

"As a collector of vintage clothing and accessories, I wanted to enter the challenge to try to put my own spin a vintage dress.  My aesthetic as a wearable art designer is to elevate traditional quilting techniques to a high art form.  As a rule I study historical garments and use them as a starting point to transform these ideas into a more wearable product with a modern edge.  I generally like to create structured pieces as a rule; the challenge pushed me beyond my limits to create a flowing garment. 
My inspiration in this case came from enjoyment of the vintage inspired garments worn by Katy Perry and the attention to detail in her early music videos.   The resulting “Party Dress” would be appropriate for the various music award after parties.
As an artist, I love to create intricate surface designs using unusual and vintage embellishments, if possible.  Beaded yo-yos and jewelry making beads along with accent pieces obtained from recycled costume jewelry; all hand sewn onto a quilted background comprise the surface design.  The bodice of the dress is constructed using free-motion quilting, boning, hand beading and non-traditional quilting of raw edge two inch squares.  The oval accent piece on the back uses hand applique.  Hand beaded and crystalized covered buttons are used as an unique closure.  A rare vintage French trim serves as a border on several pieces.  I used Hoffman fabrics of California for the dress purchased from Hancock’s of  Jewelry end cap beads can be purchased from Fire Mountain as they have a huge selection.  Look in your unused jewelry box or even thrift stores for elements which can add that extra twist to your design.
I encourage others to try and go out of their comfort zones of creativity – you may be amazed at the results!"

Kathy's entry as shown below shows the exquisite interior workmanship too:

Stay tuned! Next week I'm going to talk about how to plan for, sew for, and present your garment when Sewing for Competition.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sewing for Competition, Semi-Finalist: Eve Kovacs

This week's post will continue with the IPCA PLARS contest, and semi-finalist, Eve Kovacs.  First, you should know that Eve is no beginner when it comes to sewing for competition.

 She was a finalist in the 2011 Passion for Fashion design contest hosted by the American Sewing Expo (above).

This design with embroidery was created for the Bernina Fashion Show, one of the world's premiere wearable art shows. Eve titled it “Belladonna.”

 A quick "google" of her name, and you will come up with quite a design variety in competition creations

and incredible works of art.

Of course, many carry ribbons. She calls this one “Thai Tutti Frutti”

Her favorite things to sew are jackets, coats, and ensembles, so it's not a surprise that she did just that with the Sew Chic Beatrice pattern, #1310. As is common with wearable art, Eve added seams and plenty of details, mixing several fabric types for a successful "Rock and Roll" edgy and feminine look.

 Here is the pattern she used:
You can get yours here:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sewing for Competition, Semi-Finalist: Karyn Heidenreich

Continuing with the IPCA PLARS garment entries, this week begins the Semi-Finalist. When sewing for competition, all other things being equal, the one thing that will set your project above all others will be adding in special details and the quality of sewing. With this group, as you will soon see, all were beyond average.  This weeks entry is a skirt made by Karyn Heidenreich using the Sew Chic Spin Skirt pattern, #LN1209. She has sewn for many years, learning the skill first in high school. She enjoys making ladies apparel and sewing for her family. The following is what she wanted to share with you about her entry:

Semi-Finalist: Karyn Heidenreich

I bought the fabric because of the colors and print pattern was something I know my daughter-in-law would like.
 There was just about 5 yds in the clearance area of the store.
The main scroll motif was not centered and side patterns did not match.
I had to do some creative piecing to get the motifs to be situated properly.
I had just enough fabric to center the motifs on each panel the way I wanted.
 I knew I wanted to make a gathered tiered skirt of some kind.
I'm glad I saw an ad for the various pattern companies in a sewing magazine.

Ideally, wanted to make the yoke with a coordinating fabric, but couldn't find any that worked.
I wanted to do the ribbon trim with two cotton twill tapes.
I couldn't find any in the colors I needed, so I had to use synthetic grosgrain and satin ribbon.
I used the satin ribbon shiny side down.
I wasn't happy with the texture of those two ribbons, but did the best I could.
I used the lines on the underskirt pattern as a guide for ribbon lengths.
 Believe it or not, I used 3 needles to make the skirt.  That ribbon was really hard on the needles.
 I made an attached petticoat modified from the underskirt pattern and modified the ruffle pattern for the tulle.

I added purchased gathered trim to one petticoat layer and a purchased flower trim to the other.

I went back and forth about entering the skirt in the contest, because of time issues.
I got the pattern the end of March and only had 2 weekends to work on it to make the deadline.

In general, I'm glad I did.
If I get judging comments back, those will be very useful for future projects.
I am going to make another skirt with the same pattern in an above the knee length for my daughter in an Alexander Henry fabric.  No deadline for it this time! I'm going to take the time to  get just the right yoke fabric and cotton twill for it.

I'm glad she entered too! Here is the pattern she used:
Get your pattern here:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Honorable Mention: Karen Emmons

Continuing with the IPCA garment entries begun last week, I want to share with you the inspiring work of Karen Emmons, also an "honorable mention." Karen has been sewing since childhood, and used the Sew Chic Fantasia, #LN9005 for her entry. She loves Halloween and is enamored with the "Gothic" look and lifestyle, which became her garment inspiration. The following is what she wanted to share with you about her entry:

Honorable Mention: Karen Emmons

"I decided to enter the contest for several reasons. 1) I love to sew. 2) I wanted to win the Baby Lock Serger, so I could give my best friend my old Baby Lock Serger. I’ve always been fascinated by the Gothic Lifestyle and looks. I actually got my inspiration from an ad I saw in a Goth Magazine. When I saw the Fantasia pattern, I knew that was the one I wanted to adapt for my contest entry. I already had the black crepe like fabric, the baby blue satin and tulle were purchased at Joann’s. I also purchased a few items on the internet. A lot if the bit and pieces were from my unbelievable stash of fabric and misc. sewing items. I didn’t want the blue satin to be bright, so I covered everything in black tulle to tone it down and give it a dusky effect. The ravens were stenciled on the fishtail with black matte fabric paint. The sleeves were made long. The back inset, sleeves and corset were covered in black ribbon in a crisscross pattern. I also made a matching choker for the dress using the same beads and braid I used on the bodice front."


Her entry was based on this pattern:
Get your pattern here: