Hard to believe it's been a week since ASE! Enjoyed a long weekend with plenty of sewing fun, education, and inspiration, as always. My absolute highlight was meeting new acquaintances and reconnecting with old friends :) Helping my siblings and cousin get signed in and their garments on, I felt strange being on the other side of Innovation Generation. Now I know how my mom felt all the years I was competing! They all did very well, if I do say so myself. Can't wait to write a post about what all I wore over the weekend!
Earlier this year, January-February, I participated in a different contest with my mom and grandma called Runway Repurposed, a fundraiser for the Howell Opera house. The purpose of the contest is to upcycle old, used items and turn them into modern day fashions. A local resale shop donates tons of clothes and occasionally other items, like shower curtains and pillows. We are given one month to create an outfit based off of the theme.
Registration opens in January for 3 days. We got there as soon as possible, a whole hour before doors opened, such was our excitement. We were lead into a room filled with ample amounts of dresses, pants, jackets, and tops and could choose up to 6 pieces. We were there 4-5 hours deciding which clothes to take!
I ended up picking 2 large, woman's pants (one denim, the other cotton), 3 dresses (A long, sparkly, & black with an empire waistline. One almost identical to the first, only in silver sparkles with a black netting overlay. A gorgeous, floor-length, blue beaded evening gown.), and a black leather jacket. When choosing pieces, I specifically looked for things with big portions of fabric, avoiding garments with lots of seam line designs. My intention was to cut everything apart and use them as material and embellishments.
This year's theme was “It's a Party”, a rather broad spectrum. You could basically create anything, from pool party wear to Oscars gowns. When I arrived to pick out my materials, I was hoping something would catch my attention and speak to me. For some reason, as I lay my chosen pieces out at home, the textures and sparkles kept bringing Indian saris to mind. I was inspired by the use of different patterns and textures incorporated in their garments. I especially love the beautiful choli tops! My other inspiration was the blue, beaded evening gown, which I grabbed last minute. Originally, I only thought I would need a few beads to add a little extra detail to whatever I designed. Never thought I'd end up pulling tons of them off and making hand-beading the focus of the bodice!
After cutting apart the pants, I used them to make the bodice. As someone recently pointed out, the bottoms are now living another life as a top, Lol! Very carefully I disconnected the neckband from the blue evening gown. Many beads were falling off or missing, so it took awhile fixing the bead pattern. Then I began pulling beads, which were already falling off, from the dress and weaving them into strips. Before this project, I'd never done any bead weaving, I only had a generic idea of how to do it. With a few Google and Youtube searches I was set and ready to go!
The most time consuming part of the project was definitely hand-beading. I was torn between wanting to sew an elaborate bead design and the reality that I only had a few weeks to accomplish it. Therefore, I bid farewell to my more intricate ideas and chose a simple one instead. Thank goodness I did! I spent days stitching bead after bead...
When I needed a break from beading, I began working on the second garment. Right away I knew I would use the sparkly, black dress to make a long, slit skirt. I love how the material glitters when the light catches it! That being said, it was slightly see-through, so I used the leather jacket's lining to make a mini, build-in slip. Now I could walk the runway with no worries! Finally, I took elastic from the back of a dress and secured it in my waistband.
With a week to spare, the bodice and skirt were completed. Taking that time to use whatever else I could of the remaining clothes, I quickly whipped together a couple accessories. From the leather, which I sadly hadn't gotten to use in the outfit, I made a geometric clutch and with the extra beads I created a matching bracelet.
On the day of the contest/fashion show, as we stepped out into the frigid outdoors, I questioned why I hadn't made something with sleeves. Michigan chose that day of all days to drop below 0 degrees..... It didn't help that the room we had to wait in was just as cold. Thankfully, I warmed up some while walking the runway.
Despite the cold, the contest was a blast! I cannot wait to compete again next year (the dates are already set). If you're in the area and looking for a fun sewing contest, I encourage you to give it a try. It doesn't matter if you are beginner or advanced, this is the perfect opportunity to put your creative skills to the test!
I'm Jasmine, a young designer passionate about creating! I hope my work inspires YOU to think outside the box and use your talents to do amazing things!