Saturday, August 3, 2013


Summer is really getting in the way of sewing. I have been crazy busy lately! We just spent four days visiting friends in Kansas City, and then tomorrow I'm off to Chicago for Lollapalooza. I get to see Beach House, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, The Cure, and Postal Service. I am so freaking excited, you have no idea. It's basically my dream lineup.

I did sew one thing recently, just a quick little sundress with this strange fabric from an estate sale. I am not 100% thrilled with how this turned out (gapes under the armpits) so I might have to rip some seams out and fix it. I used the same New Look pattern as my Paris dress, but I made the straps longer so I could tie them.

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Is the print...nursery rhymes? There's geese. Fishing. A guy chasing a girl. 

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Speaking of sewing, I had entered 4 items in the Wisconsin State Fair. In the "Independent Pattern" category, I entered my beloved Colette Chantilly and I was SURE I would win 1st place. In "Adult Halloween Costume" I turned in Effie Trinket. I really thought that one was a lock as well. Then in "Misses One-Piece Dress", I entered my Flag Day dress. It's not the most exciting thing I've ever sewn, but it's well-made and I thought the judges would appreciate my patriotism. Finally, in "Misses Cocktail or Dinner Dress", I entered my New Years Eve dress, as a total afterthought. It's great fabric, but pretty basic design. I was not confident about either of those. Well, guess what. I won ribbons for the two that I thought were NOT my strong contenders.  I got 3rd place for the cocktail dress and 4th for the misses one-piece dress. I got to see my items displayed today!!

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I was feeling pretty happy about my wins! So I decided to check out the competition. Uh. I seriously hope I don't offend anyone with what I'm going to say, but I'm pretty baffled by the judging. Some things were really great, like this 2nd place winner in Misses One-Piece Dress. Super adorable. I would wear that in a heartbeat.

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The 1st place winner for Cocktail Dress was also super adorable and very much something I would wear.

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But, uh, this one (the white dress) won 1st for Misses One-Piece Dress. It's just a basic bodice with a gathered skirt. Any of us could knock that out in 2 hours. Maybe it's impeccably made? The scoring was 40 points overall presentation, 35 points for construction, and 25 points for materials.

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And this weird patchwork quilting cotton vest won a ribbon for the Independent Pattern category. I am seriously shocked that this is considered better than my lovely Chantilly, which in my opinion, is the prettiest and most well-made thing I've sewn. Boo.

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But then I saw what won Best in Show for the misses fabric garments division.

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I can SEE a pucker on the right sleeve cap. It's maroon wide-wale corduroy. So I feel a little bit better because obviously the style the judges prefer is very different from my style.   I don't mean to be a Bitter Betty, and I seriously hope I don't hurt anyone's feelings. I am really happy to win two ribbons. Just a little surprised I didn't do better.

Okay, I gotta go pick a Lollapalooza dress. I have two muslins done so hopefully I will have a real sewing update soon!


  1. Congratulations on your ribbons! I once entered some dresses for my daughter in the local fair and won two ribbons (which I still have). There were only one or two entries for each category however;) I do think fairs judge a little differently than actual sewing competitions. I also wish they could find a safe way to display things so that we could see them better.

  2. I love your sundress. I think it looks wonderful and certainly don't see anything wrong with the underarm area. Love vintage fabrics and yours is no exception. Congratulations on your ribbons. Yours clothing was well sewn and creative. I have always been to afraid to enter anything to the local fairs, I am always too afraid that someone will hate it. I applaud you!

  3. Very nice summer sun dress! And, the fair looks like a lot of fun.

  4. I love that sundress! I'm going to have to pick up that New Look!

  5. Congrats on your prizes! With our local show judging is very much a bias thing. Show society members are more likely to vote for other show society members when voting. It's very unlikely for newcomers to win. I'm not sure if your show is run the same but with ours the judges are people who have been involved with the show for ages and know the entrants show they have their favourites.

  6. Now you can say that you are a ribbon winning seamstress! hooray!
    Loving that sundress too. awesome fabric and oh so flattering on you :-) thanks for sharing.

  7. Love the nursery rhyme (?) dress! And congratulations on your winning dresses - yay!

  8. Congrats on the state fair wins! I went to the Iowa state fair this year (for the first time ever) and was checking out the sewing and refashioning 4H entries. I'm jealous for the Lollapalooza line-up - enjoy it! :)