Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sew-vivor: Emerald Challenge Reveals + Voting!

I was nearly jumping up and down with excitement as the projects came rolling in over the last couple of days. They are all amazing!!! It doesn't seem right that we will already be saying goodbye to 5 of these incredibly talented contestants. Yes, you read that right... we are narrowing the competition down to the Top 5. Maybe next year I will set it up differently, so we're not saying goodbye so quickly to so many. At least this year, none of our contestants walk away empty-handed. Thanks to a suggestion from Miranda, each contestant will receive a parting prize from Coats and Clark.

Take a look at these amazing projects sewn with EMERALD.
Then find the voting poll and more details at the bottom of this post.
Projects appear in the order they were received.

CONTESTANT #1: Kaelin from The Plaid Scottie

Hi all! For my Challenge #1 project I made an expandable tote bag. Well, it's kind of a messenger bag/tote bag hybrid because I actually made this for myself (can't remember the last time I did that!), and I wanted a "tote" bag with a little more polish to it. I work in a big corporate office, and sometimes I feel a bit unprofessional schlepping in the office with a giant tote bag on my half the time I don’t really need a big bag, and my handful of items end up rolling around in there like tumbleweeds. It all depends on what my workload is, or what kind of errands I have to run that day. But this bag solves both of those problems for me - I have a professional looking bag I can use that is slim and sleek, but if I need more storage to bring a big file home with me, PRESTO! The bag unzips around the sides and expands to 6" wide (the zipped dimensions are about 14" x 12" x 1", and unzipped are 14" x 12" x 6"). I also included a snap closure on the inside, an adjustable strap so I can wear it cross-body OR on my shoulder (yay for options!), and an angled front pocket (inspiration found here) to store my phone, keys, pens, or pencils in (because when you have your hands full, sometimes it's hard reaching inside a dark bag to 1) find and unzip the zipper, and 2) fish around the pocket trying to feel what you're looking for). Well, at least I have issues with that...mostly because I'm clumsy and slightly absent-minded ;)

There's one big zipper running around the bottom three sides of the bag that opens to expand the bag to its full size.
I LOVE hardware - used a metal snap closure for the inside, metal rings and sliders to create and expandable strap and a big ol' zipper for the angled pocket.
I always like seeing a person wearing a bag so I can get a feel for scale, so my lovely friend Heather agreed to model for me outside her scenic home in uptown New Orleans :) 

Her husband brought their little guy out for a visit while we were busy reenacting Zoolander outside, and we decided to test whether the expanded size would fit handsome young babes. We're happy to report it does :)

CONTESTANT #2: Jessica from Dear Emmeline

I've been sitting on the idea to make a necktie sunburst for a while.  When we were challenged to sew something with Emerald fabric I knew it was the time.  I thought for sure it would be so easy to gather up old green ties no one was using.  Boy was I wrong!  I was only able to collect about 5 green ties from friends and family (apparently it isn't a popular tie color) and it took trips to 7 resale stores to find the rest.  To make the sunburst I cut off the wide and skinny ends of each tie (20 in total) and came up with an arrangement that would form a circle.  I used the wide ties to form the circle and the skinny ties were laid over top to join them all together.  After coming up with the layout it was time to pin and sew!  1 clock kit, 2 wood clock faces, and 3 dowels later we have a new piece of functional art for our master bedroom wall!

Stop over at my blog Dear Emmeline for the full tutorial.

Pin up and down each skinny tie to attach the tie layers.
Sew up and down each skinny tie continuously, until the entire sunburst is sewn together.

CONTESTANT #3: Jen from A Jennuine Life

First, I am sooo excited to be a part of Sew-vivor!  I am honored to be counted among such a talented group of sewing enthusiasts and it's already been a riot getting to know the other ladies and Rach our host.  Emerald... hmmm, that leaves the door wide open to interpretation and imagination.  I've been playing with the idea for this dress for a while and thought it would be darling in a rich color like emerald, so I took this opportunity to turn it into reality and I truly love how it turned out.  I drafted the bodice with a pseudo bateau neckline in the front giving no clue of the plunging open back with the simple sash to keep it closed.  I think pinafores and open back dresses on little girls are so sweet!  The main fabric is taffeta which although not my first choice was the only emerald fabric I could find.  I added a lace overlay to give it more of a springtime feel and to keep it from becoming too formal or seasonal.  This is the second dress I made.  My "wearable muslin" was an adorable green on white dotty ombre from Moda's Simply Color line but I decided that it didn't fit the criteria for the challenge.  Oh, well - she's got a casual version and one fit for a theatre matinĂ©e!  I've written a tutorial for this dress, it's available at A Jennuine Life.  
Vintage 1970's buttons passed to me by my Mom to close the back at the sash and waist.

The "A" initial necklace is hand-embroidered with French knot accents using a pendant as the base.

I made sure to include in-seam pockets - a little girl needs a place to keep her treasures. 

Perfect for twirling!

 CONTESTANT #4: Jen from A Quilting Jewel

I'd like to introduce you to my entry in the Sew-vivor Competition Season 2: Round 1: Sunrise Delight. If you're looking to make your own version of Sunrise Delight, check out my Craftsy store when I have posted a pattern for this quilt. This quilt reminds me of a beautiful sunrise with the soft butter yellow background and the early morning pink sky before the rich sky blue and earthy greens emerge. The sound of that just makes me happy. I designed this paper pieced quilt pattern after being inspired by all sorts of kaleidoscope quilts in cyber space. But, like most things that I do, I couldn't just leave this as a simple kaleidoscope, I needed to add my own twist. So, I altered the diamonds or the tips of the stars to add more interest. I created my own paper pieced pattern and went to town.

For this round of the competition, we had to use emerald green - the Pantone color of the year.  As I designed this quilt, I knew I wanted to use the Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets in Emerald.  After going to multiple shops that carry Lizzy House, I couldn't find that print and I didn't have enough time to order it online.  I settled for the green Kelly Green Remix print by Ann Kelle instead.  Most of us had a hard time finding a true emerald green, so it was decided that any shade of green would be acceptable for this challenge. I was fortunate to have the Boston Modern Quilt Guild retreat last weekend, which enabled me to spend time making this.  And boy was I determined to make this quilt during the retreat.  I started cutting and sewing the first day and put the final stitch on the binding (by hand, no less) at 1:00am that morning (or should I say, the following morning). I think I worked on this quilt for about 15-18 hours straight, stopping only to have a quick lunch and dinner. After retreat, I swung by my parent's beach house and took these pictures.

I machine quilted this quilt in a concentric circle, and it measures 36" x 36" square, and there are nine paper pieced blocks and a total of 200 different pieces in this wall hanging.

For the back, I went with a Joel Dewberry Chestnut Hill print I got on sale that had the same beautiful rich blue and soft yellow. For the binding, I went with the same Navy from Simply Color by V & Co.

Quilt Stats:
Finished Size: 36" x 36"
Fabric Used: Kona Cotton, Remix, Oval Elements, Simply Color and Lucky Penny, Chestnut Hill

CONTESTANT #5: Caila from Caila Made

I'm so excited to be here today! The first thing I want to say about this dress is that it makes me feel pretty. It's feminine and soft, but my favorite details are those with a modern feel: the printed gold triangles on the bodice, the black hand-stitching on the neckline, the short skirt. I love combining modern elements with classic femininity! As you can see, the dress has a fitted bodice (knit) with cap sleeves, a full gathered skirt, and an elastic casing at the waist. I love wearing dresses that are both beautiful and comfortable. The bodice pattern was self-drafted from my own measurements. I'm like every other women--I want my dresses to emphasize the good and hide the bad! It took a few tries to get it right, but the fit is perfect. See those gold triangles? I printed those by hand directly on the fabric, using a stamp made from a rubber eraser. It worked like a charm! I'm a sucker for details, so I also added box pleats to the cap sleeves  for a little something extra. I hand-stitched the neck binding using Alabama Chanin's techniques and I really think the black embroidery thread adds the perfect touch. The gathered skirt is made from rayon with a supple drape, and I can't believe how well it goes with the bodice fabric. An elastic casing brings things in at the waste, and gives the dress a comfortable feel. With cap sleeves, a hand-stitched neckline and full skirt, this dress is certainly my new favorite piece of clothing!
Luck Be A Lady dress by CailaMade

Full skirt, fitted bodice, scoop neck, hand-stitched neck binding, cap sleeves with box pleats. (Shoes: TOMS from Nordstrom. Necklace and belt: Francesca's).
Hand-stitched neck binding.
High waist with elastic casing, short skirt with rolled hem.

CONTESTANT #6: Kristie from OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder

Hi, I am Kristie from OCD: obsessive crafting disorder, and there is something a little fishy about my Emerald Challenge entry today..... I have had this idea in my head for a couple years, ever since buying a similar backpack style fish bag in a market in Italy.  Emerald was the perfect inspiration...perfect for fish scales!  I dug through my favorite green scraps, pulled out some linen, and paired them to make this playful fishy drawstring pouch.

The drawstrings allow the pouch to be worn as a wristlet...

....or can be pulled to one side for over-the-shoulder wear.

Inside, there is ample room for a change purse, phone, keys, and other special treasures :)
I had so much fun making this pouch, thanks for having me in the competition!

CONTESTANT #7:  Catlin from Call Me Cat

I'm so excited to be part of Sew-vivor! I have never participated in a sewing competition before (unless you count my nine years in 4-H when I was growing up...) and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with. This first challenge was great because I can definitely use more green in my wardrobe! I had a perfect emerald green cotton challis in my stash that I knew would make a nice flowy top. I used a pattern I have made a few times before (Butterick 5356) and I always love the fit. I knew I wanted to pair the top with a patterned pencil skirt, and I happened to have this leopard print fabric that looked great with it. I've made a handful of pencil skirts in the past and usually pull bits and pieces from different patterns and tutorials to create exactly what I want. I also sewed this "leather" purse I've been wanting to make for a while. I lined it with cute polka dots, and included lots of pockets and a magnetic snap. I had so much fun designing and sewing this outfit, and love how it turned out. You can see more pictures and descriptions at my blog Call Me Cat. Thanks for the great challenge!

CONTESTANT #8: Angelina from Jojo and Eloise
vintage golf,outfit

Hi, my name is Angelina and I blog over at JoJo & Eloise, I am so super excited to be participating in Sew-Vivor. Talk about a fabulous group of talented ladies here. Sewing has to be one of my most favorite things to do. I love that I am able to make things for my children and fashioning them in styles that you just don't see on a regular basis. When I saw that I made the final 10 and was so thrilled. Our first theme was using the color Emerald in our design. This color always gets me thinking Vintage Golf, why? I have no idea but it just gets me going in that direction. :) You can stop in at my blog and see my inspiration pictures. I love classic timeless looks so putting this outfit together was so much fun. I used a Tweed fabric for the knickers, bow and Hat. For the Vest and Suspenders I used Emerald corduroy. The blouse was made out of basic cotton. The knickers are Zipper fitted and the buttons in the front are just for show, except for the fact that they help to support the suspenders.
You can stop in at my blog to see some more detailed pictures and a little bit of the how to.
vintage golf, outfit, #golfing, #kids         vintage golf, outfit, bloomers, green     vintage golf #golf #bloomers #kids       vintage golf set  

CONTESTANT #9:  Melissa from Melly Sews
Fresh Bloom Frock Dress Sewing Pattern by Melly SewsAnd for my first round Sewvivor project, for the theme "Emerald", I give you the newly christened (and newly released) Fresh Bloom Frock girls dress. The dress features an asymmetrical collar that was drafted and redrafted and then redrafted some more after I sent out this pattern for testing. But I think it's my favorite part of the dress. It is definitely the thing that caught my eye in the inspiration photo. 

Fresh Bloom Frock Dress Sewing Pattern by Melly Sews 
My other favorite part of this dress? The button shoulder. I used a little of the un-embroidered selvedge of the fabric to cover the button. I just love this detail. 

Fresh Bloom Frock Dress Sewing Pattern by Melly Sews
The bodice is fully lined, and the dress features pockets - because honestly, ALL dresses should have pockets. Why did it take umpteen years of fashion for us to figure that out? 

Fresh Bloom Frock Dress Sewing Pattern by Melly Sews The fabric is hand dyed, using Dharma Procion Fiber Reactive Dye in Paris Green. I started with this gorgeous eyelet from Joann, but I think it's even yummier in Emerald. 

Fresh Bloom Frock Dress Sewing Pattern by Melly Sews 
 For more pictures and details, visit my blog. You can also find me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram

CONTESTANT #10: Charity from Happinest

Crown Jewel Dress
This dress has been floating around in my head for a few months now, and I’m thrilled that Sew-vivor motivated me to get it out of my head and in to my closet! Back in January, I tried on the Caledonia Cutout Dress at Anthropologie—it had a sweatheart neckline, a cutout in the back and a great print. I loved the concept, but sadly, it didn’t fit my body or my budget.  But the idea stuck in my head, and when I lucked out finding a few yards of this crazy emerald green crown print on a remnant table I decided it would be perfect for this dress. I used Vogue 9668 as the basis for the top and Simplicity 2588 for the bottom (because I just can’t resist a full, pleated skirt), then drafted the cutout in the back myself. I’m especially proud of how the cutout turned out, because it was a challenge to think through the puzzle of how to make it work, and I think it makes the dress a lot more fun and interesting.  There’s also some nice topstitching and pattern matching that I’m pretty darn pleased with—giant crowns are not easy to match! Overall, it’s a fun, sweet dress with a retro twist, which makes it my favorite kind of dress. More pictures and info on my blog.

How to vote:
FYI, the competitors are allowed to use patterns and they are allowed to incorporate other mediums (such as wood) into their projects. Scroll down to find the poll. Voting is open from Wednesday at 7am EST until Friday at midnight PST. Contestants are allowed to recruit from their blogs, social media, family, and friends. One vote per device is allowed. The public vote counts as 50%. The other 50% of the vote comes from our guest judges. The Top 5 will be revealed next Wednesday, March 27.

Guest Judges:
This week's guest judges are very talented seamstresses themselves. Please welcome...
 Andrea from The Train to Crazy
Jessica from Me Sew Crazy

Survivor-Inspired Twist:
The contestants were informed that whomever emailed their project to me, and happened to be the Lucky #7, would earn "immunity" for this week. So, congrats to Catlin from Call Me Cat! Her name does not appear on the poll, because she is immune from being voted off this week.

Sew-vivor Sew-Along:
If there is anyone sewing along with the contestants, I will be featuring some of your projects next week, and choosing random participants to win a grab bag from Coats and Clark! You can upload your pictures to our Sew-vivor Flickr Group or post them on Instagram, using this hashtag:
#sewvivor (without a hyphen)

Giveaway Winners:
Congrats to the following people! You will be contacted via email to claim your prize.

Southern Fabric- 
Melissa Moyers-Osman

Fishsticks Designs-
LueAnna Bracha
Naomi Vela

Lots of Buttons-
Jill Flory
Suzanne Offner
Kim Leavens

Go To Patterns-
Tara Karmas 

Sew-vivor is sponsored by:
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  photo mailgooglecom-1.jpg photo 18b953e5-886a-4bc6-b782-c8a83440bd6f_zps1e4f5655.jpg
150 photo 21399f8c-1d93-4b15-8800-56679f79009f_zps6b2ab8b0.jpg photo 2413f856-07f5-4ccc-bdcb-d8401b87b768_zpsad8bfe3f.jpg
150 photo 41f92dab-6ba5-49c1-ae15-408a89666c97_zps082f0a21.jpg photo 18cce02d-13b8-4f27-b77c-8eebd7b68914_zpsfa040fa2.jpg photo 91a0110a-3e83-49d4-a80b-384801ea3a84_zps89794fc9.jpg
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  1. awesome job everyone!!!! I love seeing all the different ideas and all the green!!!

  2. I love that everybody came up with such different projects. This is so much fun to watch :)

  3. WOW -- such amazing talent ... it's providing some wonderful inspiration to this newbie sewer!

  4. How exciting! I feel very lucky to have gotten immunity for this week because these are some AMAZING projects!!! I love everyone's ideas. Great job to everyone!!

  5. I cannot see contestant #7's photos.. maybe I'm out of the ordinary since no one else has mentioned this?

  6. Great job, everyone! What amazing projects! I'm honored to be in there with you all. :)

  7. I noticed that Contestant #7 is missing on the voting poll. The other 9 are all there.

  8. Maybe I should highlight this a little better in the post... but #7 is missing on purpose. She got "immunity" and will not be "leaving the island." The paragraph right before the voting poll explains why. I hope that clears any confusion!

  9. I love the little survivor twist of having immunity. Fun!

  10. WOW! Awesome job to all of the contestants! I love the projects this week and can't wait to see more!


  11. I'm so proud to have my quilt showcased among these great projects. Good luck to everyone and a fantastic job to all of the participants.

  12. I'm very impressed, ladies! That tie clock is so creative and I love the fabric used in the crown jewel dress. I almost hate to vote, because I want them all to continue on to the next round :-)

  13. I'm not sure if contestant number 7 has already been kicked out of the competition but I was not able to vote for her. Just wanted to point that out.

  14. Such a wonderful variety of entries!

  15. There is not a place to vote for contestant 7 Call Me Kat

  16. I wanted to vote for contestant 7 but did not find the option!

  17. Oh man so hard to choose! Definitely had to end up voting for my girl melly!

  18. There is a lot of great ideas here. Good luck to all of the designers!

  19. All the entries were great and all should be proud of their great work. I wavered between the two little girl dressed but one thing swung the pendulum. Jen's back closings went to different directions. Don't know if this was on purpose or accidental, but visually distracting. I seriously am not trying to be mean or critical, just something to watch for{or explain the rationale for} in the future.
    I salute all the ladies for their entries. Seriously, difficult to chose just one.

  20. Totally fair observation, Katie. The only explanation I can give is that the first version of the dress I used buttonholes for the sash and the back closures and they were all placed on the right. The second one I used the sewn button loops at the bottom and must have just gotten distracted putting them on while my girls were having snack. That'll teach me that the little details really do matter!

  21. Can't wait for email! Sew (ha ha)excited to win and from Fishsticks Designs. I have ogling the site for the last couple days putting things in my shopping cart to buy! Love the in and out pants and the raglan tee!

  22. Oh my! There are some gorgeous designs here.... I wish the judges luck, because this is going to be a difficult decision.... :)

    hugs x
    Crystelle Boutique

  23. I'm late to the sewing party once I just now discovered this blog. Love it btw! Each desist (?) is so talented and I notice how well all the seams are finished. Where can I find further rounds of competition and who won this round?
    Gamma Jane

  24. I wanted to vote for contestant 7 but did not find the option!


Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H