We arrived early to have hair and makeup done. Carla, who owns Les Fabriques, had her daughter there to do hair and make up for us all. It was an unusual hairstyle for me, very puffed up, reminiscent of the hairstyles of the mom's of the 60's, and still existent in some small towns of the deep South.
As in Project Runway, we had a walk down the runway, and then a chat with the judges. As you can see below, I used my poplar leaves down the back of the coat. They helped to disguise the uneven dye from one of the pieces on the back, and to add interest. I pulled the front of the coat back to reveal the lining and add an interesting line to the coat. At the time I sewed them front back, but I will add snaps that are hidden underneath two of the poplar leaves so that I can snap them back or leave the front hanging down.
The show was hosted by Carla, the owner of Les Fabriques.
I don't really have a good photograph of the skirt, but I cut the shape of the hem using the pattern that I made for the coat. The skirt is made out of velvet that I bought on a sale table a few years ago. It is a mock wrap skirt. I did not have enough fabric to make a full wrap skirt. It is lined with the same silk fabric that lines the coat, but is dyed a deeper green.
Here I was asked by the judges to show the internal construction of the coat, which I had lined with over dyed silk fabric. The wool was from an old winter white coat that I had sewn for myself in my twenties. I added silk bias and cuffs from fabric that I dyed with the coat. I ran out of time to make a shirt to go with the coat and skirt, so I just wore a t-shirt and a scarf that was given to me by a friend, Nancy Bond, who makes and sells hand dyed scarves and clothing.
All the contestant lined up for the results of the judging. Below on the far right you can see a bodice designed in the style of Thomas Jeffersons era with old lace appliquéd across the front. Second from the right is an Alabama Chanin inspired corset and floor length skirt and small train with 118 silk butterflies appliquéd across the top and around the skirt representing the 118 slaves held by Mr. Jefferson. This ensemble was made from recycled t-shirts. There is my ensemble inspired by coats of the 18th century. The next dress was inspired by Jefferson's clocks. Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of the back of the dress which is where the most interest is. It had a round cutout echoing the clock face, and a small bustle reminiscent of the 18th century. Finally, the outfit on the far left was made from recycled clothing by a local artist. It had a detachable bustle.
The winner was the clock dress, and I came in second and won a $150 gift certificate at the fabric store. I did not enter for the prize, but only for the challenge of learning something new, which I did. I learned a bit about draping and making my own patterns. I am an engineer not a professional clothing designer, although I was competing against one. The winner was a man named Ampy Smith, who has a degree in Art and Design.
In addition to learning some new skills, I was able to spend time with a friend who joined me in the classes, which was fabulous. Finally, I got to take that old coat which has been hanging unused in my closet for more than 20 years and gave it a fabulous new life!