Saturday, May 23, 2009

Challenge 5 Zodiac

This was the design that put me behind the eight ball. As you may have read earlier in this blog my daughter's apartment above our barn caught fire in December and she lost everything including her kitty. This was a devastating blow to us all. However despite this and the fact that PDW@H decided not to take a break over the Christmas holidays, I still had a design to hand in on time. I had no desire to do this design and it shows. The judges were harsh on me and that piled on my other woes, I was ready to pack it in. As I was comiserating with some other designers I learned that there had been some things going on behind the scenes and that some designers had resigned because of it. However I carried on despite our heartbreak and Zodiac was not a stellar performance.

JUDGE 1: 3 2 3 Comments: Larraine, I don't want to score you badly b/c your past creation have been stunning. However, based on this challenge, I have to calls 'em as I sees 'em. This is not Taurus, nor is it your best. I think all of the pieces have fitting issues and though they do go with your line, this will be your forgotten piece. Better luck next time, I really really feel you will top yourself!
JUDGE 2: 5-4-4 You do meet the description of a Taurus sign. The outfit is cute and I can see the apron look In your piece, I think it could have used a little more. I think the jacket could have used a tiny splash of the aqua color, maybe some buttons or beads for buttons or even add a little bow at the neckline matching the ones at the hem of the capris. Your construction looks good although I can't tell if your top stitching on the Jacket is uneven or if it is just the photograph.
JUDGE 3: 4 3 3 The colors reflect your collection and your clients sign. The overall fit of the jacket appears too large. The neckline is droopy and it is too big around the bottom. I would have liked to see the ensemble without the peplum/apron, it's fullness takes away from this ensemble.
JUDGE 4: 4, 4, 3. I like that this outfit is simple and cute. I like the brown polka dots on the turquoise top and the brown pants and jacket. I agree this is a nice way to introduce another color into your collection. I think the style of your jacket is cute, but the brown polka dot fabric you used takes away from the design. I would have liked it better if the sheer brown polka dot fabric had a softer look to it or flowed better. I can't determine if the sheer fabric is attached to something or is a separate piece. It would work fine as an apron, but you didn't show it as a separate piece. The seam in the back of the jacket does not appear to be centered on the doll. Nice idea!

The winner of the challenge:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Challenge 4 Layered

This was a fun challenge, but layered has been so "done" that once again it was a challenge to come up with something different. So I decided to make her skirt layered as well as layer the items of clothing. While my outfit looked fine in person, my photography of it was not stellar. I just couldn't get the darned thing right. Shadows and all kinds of things kept happening to my photos. Colours were off and I was going crazy trying to get things to go right.

Added to my photographic problems I was becoming frustrated with the fact that several designers were always late and exceptions were always being made for that lateness to the point that the rest of us were always waiting for the collages to be posted and the judges scores to come up. To add to that frustration, the person doing the blog and the organizer had a falling out and the wonderful blog was axed by the organizer. On top of that, the organizer now wanted to be a judge herself. Things were really getting stirred up.

However, the show must go on and the judges made their ruling. The judges liked what I did, but not enough to keep me in first place for another challenge and I slipped into second place 2 points behind the first place designer.

5 4 5 Always impeccable! Love the yellow again! The skirt, having all those tiny layers would look great if it were a little fuller!!!!
4 4 5 Nice skirt, cute leggings, layered top and tank is cute too and nice purse. The vest looks almost out of place. I think it is the stand up collar that detracts from the rest of the vest. otherwise it is great. The belt is a nice touch though. The vest does need it.
4 4 4 Good use of layers, colors and textures. The seams in vest back almost reflect the pleats in the skirt. The bands of color on the skirt pull in the darker colors, but seem a bit too tight.
5 5 4 I LOVE this layered look, and stripes are always good. Your stripe print blends in well with the yellow and the brown, and the turtleneck sweater is perfect under the little vest, then the vest jacket. Nicely done. I'm not sure what you did with the stripes around the skirt, because I see shadow between your stripes and your fabric. I think the outfit would have been better and more sophisticated without the stripes going around. You don't need them. Otherwise, this is a nice design.
The purse is really cute!

Here is the winner of the challenge:

Challenge 3 Dolman

Challenge 3 was one of the most uninspiring challenges of the contest. I could think of nothing to do that was original. Finally I decided on a silky fabric with bright bold stripes. I decided to make it very short for the mini skirted influence. BTW I hope you have noticed that all my designs so far have incorporated the peace sign.....sign of the sixties. This week I came right out and said PEACE man!!!

This challenge a new judge joined us and now we had four judges and a possible 60 marks.

This challenge turned out to be a tie between two very talented designers. It just made me more in awe of the fact that I had won the first challenge!!!

Larraine's collection: Dolman proved to be quite a learning experience for me. I have never owned or made a Dolman sleeved garment before, so I had no prior experience to base my ideas on. Keeping with my bold colours and patterns I introduced a new colour in this dress and gave it some bold stripes. That little peace sign just crept right back into the beltlace worn with this dress.
Judge 1
5,5,5 Overall adorable. New colors mix well with old but you're creating a bold look here. The dolman is simply marvelous. For someone not knowing Dolman, you perfected it. Unbelievable details! Another great one from you!
Judge 2
This piece looks nice , in scale, and neat. Love the use of strips and the matching up of the stripes. Love the scale of the accessories. finishing techniques look nice and smooth. Details are nice.
Judge 3
3,3,5 The garment is well made, stripes match perfectly, easy to see the dolman sleeves. The size of the handbag is distracting but a good color match.
Judge 4
5,4,5 This dress definitely meets the challenge of Dolman sleeves. Ellowyne wears her dresses a little shorter than I like, but this dress fits her nicely. The dress is not really original, but your use of the stripes and trim made it your own. There isn't much detail in the outfit...It is what it is...You have catalogued the opening of the dress magnificently. I can't even tell where it is. Nice job!
Extra 1/2 point
Total points: 54.5

But, hehehe, I was still in first place!!!

The winners tied with 58.5. Here are the winners:

PDW@H Challenge 2

Inspired by my win in Challenge 1, if forged into Challenge 2: Pleats. I researched and drew ideas and finally hit on my design. The work was intricate and difficult, but I did it and then looked at my outfit and realized, it was NOT bold as my premise had eluded to.

So I chose new materials and reproduced the outfit. This time the results were more to my liking and I submitted my design in time for that coveted extra 1/2 point.

I thought I had nailed it, but the judges put me in second place for this challenge, but I was still in first place overall.
Larraine's collection: Bringing the cocktail dress of the sixties into the 21st century by styling it in two pieces, but keeping with the bold colors of the sixties. I chose two styles of pleats and used the contrasting colors inside the pleats to give it an even more sixties look. The top is corset-like with Honeycomb Pleats and the box pleats of the skirt match the top. The skirt is also shorter, a la sixties, but not a mini.
Judge 1
5, 4, 5 incredible. this is SO well donme I can't even stand it. I LOVE what you have done and i'm blown away at how tiny these details are and they just make this SO cute...The peace sign on the purse ties together with your line and is really shaping this up to be an amazing collection! Bravo!
Judge 2
3; 4; 4 Nice entry. Very unique use of pleats in the top, Nicely pressed
Judge 3
4, 4, 4 The combination of colors combined with the honeycomb pleating creates a uniquely styled top. The reverse coloring between the skirt and top makes each stand out.
Extra 1/2 point
Total points: 37.5

The winner with 40 was:

Wow, gorgeous, I love the colours and the style was exquisite!!! I didn't feel bad about losing to this talented designer. In fact she inspired me to work even harder!!!

So now we were on to Challenge 3.

PDW@H Winner one is chronicled

So my win in the first challenge made me top headline news in the PDW@H blog. This incredible blog was published by Dot Festu and was scheduled to run throughout the competition, but that is yet another part of this saga!!!
Read about it here:

Project Dollway @ Home is DONE!!!

Well the competition that turned into a nightmare is finally done and I'm now just recovering from sewing burn out and the disbelief that this turned into a forum for the organizer's friends to be recognized!!!
What started as a fun challenge competition took a turn for the worse about half way through and things started going terribly wrong.

Challenge 1
We started back in October with our first challenge: Vintage. The contest was all about design. I have NEVER designed anything in my life. I have sewed for my Barbies once now and again, but actually design something and actually make my own patterns.......NEVER.
So I jumped right in. First to interpret the challenge word Vintage. I chose my era the bold and swingin' sixties. My premise for my collection: I chose the sixties as my vintage era, partly because I grew up in the sixties and loved the variety of styles, from Austin Powers to Flower Children, and partly because of the use of bold color and wild patterns. Anything seemed to go together in the sixties!!! I would like to take this bold use of color and build the collection on it by bringing this boldness of color to the styles of the 21st Century!!!

I chose as my colours for this collection: brown, orange and yellow.

To my surprise and delight I won the first challenge!!!

Judges Comments:
Judge 1
5 5 5 Total 15 Super all around
Judge 2
4 3 4 Total 11 Good interpretation of the 70's. Loved the bag and the long vest and the peace sign. The color is very indicative of the 70's. I like it.Over all construction looks pretty good.
Judge 3
3 2 3 Total 8 Bright, colorful, very 60's. Garments fit well. I like the coat, but aren't the shorts too long for this era?
Total points: 34

Also, here is the Point System the judges used for this competition:
Points go from 5 - 1, with five being the best , in these three categories:

1) Designer's interpretation of the theme, Vintage. How successful were they?

2) Originality (the style)... Is it different or does it look like something you have seen before in fashion... accessories... color.

3) Execution: How well is the garment made? Does it look finished? Are there clean edges? Ironed? The full presentation.

The most a designer can acquire from the judges is 15 points.

This should have been my first clue. The organizer suddenly decided, after a number of designers were late with their designs, that if you got your stuff in early you would get an extra point. Being a teacher I had to put my 2 cents in and said that when you do that you only encourage sloppiness and people will hurry their designs, better to say points off for late. I think that vocalization might have been my first mistake.

After the first challenge we were told that one of the judges had not been able to receive the pics of our designs and so only three judges had judged our work. One judge turned out to be the organizer's daughter.........hmmmm shouldn't that have been our second clue.......or is that foreshadowing!!!

But we were all new to this and everything was exciting. After that first challenge a number of designers even claiming, "I can't believe that she beat me by 1/2 point!!!"

On to Challenge 2...