Shear Madness Challenge #1 “Drawn That Way” Winners!

Shear-Madness logo

We received some really wonderful entries for our very first challenge at Shear Madness!  A big thank you to our wonderful judges:  Rae Bradbury-Enslin, Maral Agnerian and Jennifer Rosbrugh!

And here are the winners:

Honorable Mention:  “Ursula the Sea Witch” by Jessica Frantal!

INSPIRATION IMAGE:  Ursula the Sea Witch from "The Little Mermaid."  Copyright Walt Disney Studios

INSPIRATION IMAGE: Ursula the Sea Witch from “The Little Mermaid.” Copyright Walt Disney Studios

Jessica says:  “I was inspired to make a Ursula costume because, let’s face it, she’s one of the baddest of the baddies and fierce as hell to boot. In designing the costume, I decided the only option was to go Full Drag Queen. As such, I made a few modifications, namely the addition of lots and lots of sequins. I also knew from the beginning that it wouldn’t be worth doing if the tentacles didn’t move. I created a foam-wrapped articulated spine for each tentacle so that they would sway and swirl independently as I walked. Additionally, this costume gave me the opportunity to try hand ventilating a lace-front wig. A very tedious process, but it created a fantastic widow’s peak!”

Judges’ comments:

“Loved the feel of the dress. The glisten she got from the sequins made a perfect surface, and I could really see it on that character if she were real. I rather liked how the tentacles sat–they had nice curvature and I thought they looked great. ”

“Such fun! Getting the bulging silhouette is difficult at best so the creative use of the tentacles sewn underneath is brilliant.”

“I love the wig and the sequined fabric!”

Congrats Jessica!

Honorable Mention:  “Queen of Hearts” by Paige Cavanagh Mattern!

INSPIRATION IMAGE:  "Queen of Hearts" original artwork by

INSPIRATION IMAGE: “Queen of Hearts” original artwork by Lillykitten at DeviantArt.

Paige says:  “My inspiration photo has no sleeves, I added them in my bodice as I am uncomfortable showing that much skin. As I was unable to duplicate the hearts in the train, I went with hearts on the fabric, each heart has a red side and a gold side. I hope you like it as much as I do.”

Judges’ comments:

“She did a great job re-creating the red train based on the inspiration sketch.”

“I like the main fabric and the train.”

“I thought that was well done, especially the train.  She did a great job re-interpreting the design for her own figure.”

Congrats Paige!

Third Place:  “Assassin’s Creed Conner Kenway Cosplay” by Lisa Hansen!

INSPIRATION IMAGE:  Assassin's Creed video game by Ibusoft.

INSPIRATION IMAGE: Assassin’s Creed Conner Kenway video game by Ibusoft.

Lisa says:  “I did things I’d never even tried before for this costume and made everything myself except the toy guns. I even made a bow and arrows. I also used my own belts (and didn’t make belts from scratch). These items were less than 10% of the cost.  My son plans to wear this to Fanime in spring and I’m praying it still fits him.”  (You can see more about the making of this costume at Lisa’s blog:

Judges’ comments:

“Great attempt being that the original inspiration is so detailed. The creative and resourceful use of basic materials shows a fine sense of costuming others take years to work up to. And the attitude of the wearer shows a love of imagination.”

“As someone who tries not to spend a lot on costuming materials, I love seeing a costume this complex done this well on a shoestring. I was impressed with the ingenuity of the maker, in figuring out ways to create a costume that was very accurate with found or inexpensive materials.”

“Loved the attention to detail and accuracy!”

Congratulations Lisa!

Second Place:  “Captain America Cosplay” by Amy Lee Karow-Thara!

Captain America Crossplay.  Original artwork by

INSPIRATION IMAGE:  Captain America Crossplay. Original artwork from “The Avengers Anime” on Fanpop.

Amy Lee says:  “This Costume had its first appearance at Costume College 2013.  I made the choker and corset, along with buying the wig and shoes. I am still playing with ideas on how to attach the ammo holster but besides that one detail this costume is complete!  After I gave up my search for the perfect blue with white stars fabric, this costume actually went together quite quickly. I decided to use fabric paint and a stencil to add the stars to both the blue fabric, choker and the patches on my sleeves. The stars aren’t perfect but I think that adds a little to the charm.  The parasol started life as a plain white fabric parasol. To get it to look like Capt. America’s shield I printed out a star and cut it out. Then my dad took a flashlight and held it behind the cut out, distancing it far enough away from the parasol so its shadow was the perfect size. Then while he held VERY STILL I quickly drew around the shadow. To get the rings we had one person hold the marker, again VERY STILL and the other person spun the umbrella. There were a couple of places that were slightly off but it worked perfectly for what I needed.  After I had my outlines I went at it with the fabric paints.  Favorite part of this costume: Butt bow of doom!!!!. and the Parasol.”  (You can see more info on the making of this outfit at Amy Lee’s blog:

Judges’ comments:

“Beautiful adherence to the source material. Very complete and she came up with some genuinely creative methods for making the costume and transferring the shield design to the parasol. I gather that kind of ingenuity went into most of the costume.”

“Her costume is completely inspired by the original sketch which was the intent of the challenge. Plus, her execution is well done; you can see the hard work put into getting it just right. Wigs and accessories go a long ways in carrying off a completed costume. You can tell she loves wearing it!”

“Great problem-solving, and cohesiveness of overall look.”

Congrats Amy Lee!

First Place:  “Steampunk Lion Tamer” by Artemisia Moltabocca!


INSPIRATION IMAGE:  1873 Lion Tamer, Chromolithograph, Library of Congress

Arte says:  “Steampunk Lion Tamer: Simple designs with flashy fabrics.  This costume was worn as part of a group entry called “The Steampunk Circus” at Costume Con 31. Inspiration: I originally started with a Victorian safari theme, but couldn’t figure out how to use my red and yellow silk that just screamed “Circus” with the muted colors of safari. I started googling (I guess that’s a verb now), and came across this period image. It was perfect!” (You can see more info on the making of this outfit at Arte’s blog:

Judges’ comments:

“Nice creativity in blending a historical reference with modern Steampunk accessories. The execution in the colorways is outstanding as well as the overall silhouette based on the sketch taking it from a male to female interpretation.”

“I thought that overall this was the best interpretation of a design, and I thought the workmanship was superb. I loved some of the detailing, especially the braidwork on the bodice. Every detail in the drawing was brought forward nicely and any changes she did make all made sense to me.”

“I feel the Lion Tamer worked off the artistic reference and then played with it in a creative way while still staying close to the original.”

Congrats Arte!

Thank you to the other competitors:

“Picasso Shirt” by Laura Adams

INSPIRATION IMAGE:  Original artwork by Pablo Picasso

INSPIRATION IMAGE: Original artwork by Pablo Picasso

“Ciel Phantomhive” by Nell Bekiares

INSPIRATION IMAGE:  Ciel Phantomhive, character in "Black Butler" anime series.

INSPIRATION IMAGE: Ciel Phantomhive, character in “Black Butler” anime series.

“Goth Lolita” by Kim Byrnes

INSPIRATION IMAGE:  Original line drawing by Kim Byrnes

INSPIRATION IMAGE: Original line drawing by Kim Byrnes

“Anteater Bustle” by Lisa Hansen

INSPIRATION IMAGE:  Original photograph by Lisa Hansen

INSPIRATION IMAGE: Original photograph by Lisa Hansen

Thank you to everyone for making Challenge #1 such a success!  We are looking forward to seeing what you can come up with for Challenge #2!


One thought on “Shear Madness Challenge #1 “Drawn That Way” Winners!

  1. Artemisia Moltabocca says:

    First place? *looks at other entries* And in this company? Wow, thank you

    I learned that I seem to work better with an inspiration image. It funnels my design process instead of locking it in. I’m glad to hear that the judges think the changes and execution were in keeping with the image because that’s exactly what I was going for. Thank you!

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