Shear Madness Quarterly Challenge #4: “Putting Stuff on Other Stuff” – The Embellishment Challenge!

Shear-Madness logo

The third Quarterly Challenge is over, so it is time to start thinking about the next ones.   They are:

4.  UPDATE:Putting Stuff on Other Stuff – The Embellishment Challenge”  – This challenge has been changed from it’s original idea.  The new challenge is for embellishment on costume.  Whether this is embellished details on hats, beaded designs on fabric, knitted bits or woven designs, anything goes!  As long as it is something creative that has been added to a costume piece (or made into an entire piece) it counts.  (July – October 2014)

5.  “Popping Tags – Thrifty Costume” – Costumes made almost exclusively of thrifted and manipulated ready-to-wear garments. (October 2014 – January 2015)

6.  “Twisted Historicals” – Costumes made using a historical genre as a base.  A Betty Boop Elizabethan, Steampunk Victorian, etc.  Must have a historical shape to it.  (January 2015 – April 2015)

7.  “The $50 Challenge” – You can spend no more than $50 on a costume.  Show us your frugality!  (April 2015 – July 2015)

Challenge #4 started July 2, 2014 and runs till October 1, 2014.  The rules of the challenge are very similar to those of the first challenge:

1. The outfit must have been made within the time period of 7/1/2013 – 10/1/2014.

2.  75% of the outfit must have been made by YOU.  Thrifted items that have been significantly altered qualify as made by you.  Wigs and other items that are purchased would qualify in the 25% if there is a significant amount added to the wig.  We want to see your crafty creativity!

3.  The outfit MUST be embellished in some way – it cannot simply be made of plain fabric.  You can embellish a part of a costume – the hat, the boots, the shirt, etc.  It does not have to be the whole outfit.  The more pieces that are embellished, the more impressive your entry will be!

4.  The outfit cannot be a duplicate of an outfit that is advertised in a store unless the store outfit was an inspiration and yours is radically different.  No knock-offs of other people’s work, please.  Everyone is entitled to their own ideas, and we want to see yours – not a copy of someone else’s.

5.  You need to submit 1-5 photos to Laura on FB no later than midnight CST on October 1, 2014.  Please also include a photo or link to any inspiration images, and a brief description of why you decided to create this particular outfit.  Include any problems you had to solve, any new things you tried and any creative solutions to problems that you came up with.

6.  Contestants can share the progress of their outfits on their blogs, or on the Shear Madness page, but it is NOT required.

7.  Contestants can sign up at any time.  Simply send your name, the kind of outfit you are creating, and a valid email to Laura via FB email any time prior to October 1st.

8.  HAVE FUN.  This is not something we want you to agonize over.  This is to be a fun and inspiring challenge for you as a costumer.  And if the entire thing doesn’t get finished, oh well!  Submit what you have.  We just want to see what you were working on!

9.  If you have a question about an outfit concerning it’s suitability for the challenge, or the time period it was made during, send Laura an email and she will let you know.

The judges will review the entries and the winners will be announced on October 4, 2014.  There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes awarded, as well as honorable mentions as chosen by the judges.  All winners will be given a Shear Madness logo with their winning placement for display on their blog/website.  The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive Shear Madness plaques!

This plaque is standing in until the final plaques are created, or as soon as I get the files to the engraver....

This plaque is standing in until the final plaques are created, or as soon as I get the files to the engraver….

The first prize winner will also receive 3 yards of fabric of their choice from the fabric line of the amazing Sabine of “Bonnie Phantasm of Spoonflower:”

The "Eleonora di Toledo - Gold Velvet" fabric from Bonnie's Spoonflower line in Silky Faille.

The “Eleonora di Toledo” fabric from Bonnie’s Spoonflower line in Silky Faille.  She has almost 200 designs to choose from!

The fabulous Kim Byrnes of “Life is Too Short For Normal Clothes” has also donated a dozen buttons she has created to the winner:

Kim's reproduction buttons, painted gold.

Kim’s reproduction Eleonora di Toledo buttons – an example of her work done in gold.  The final button design will be chosen by Kim.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will also receive a bag of beads from Bobby Beads:

Yards of beaded trim made from fabulous beads from Bobby Bead.

Yards of beaded trim made from fabulous beads from Bobby Bead.

All winners (including the Honorable Mention winners) will have their creations featured in the header on the Facebook group page from October 4 to January 4, 2015.

The judges for this project are amazing costumers.  Each has an extensive background in costuming in different genres and are excited to see what you create for the challenge.

Judge #1 is Sabine, blogger at Naergi’s Costuming Site, designer of amazing fabrics at Spoonflower and accessories at Cafe Press and well known for her Doctor Who and Star Wars recreations.  Sabine has been a source of costuming inspiration on the Internet for over a decade, and she is currently recreating all your favorite fabrics from Sci Fi and Fantasy TV shows and from famous portraiture on Spoonflower.

Sabine chose an outfit she had made, rather than one she has worn often as her favorite outfit.  This is what she has to say about her creations:  “Well, it’s something you will probably never see in someone else’s garden, because good reproductions of that gown are so time-consuming. Each of those gowns is made from 76 pieces of fabric (hoopskirts: 25 more pieces of fabric for each!); many of the seams have piping – approximately 90 yards of piping in each of them. And each of them has to be assembled with watchmaker’s precision, because (around the body 24 pattern pieces), if you’re off by just 1/8 inch on each of those seams, that’s 3 inches off on the gown, which would either make it much too wide or way too small. Let’s not even start on drafting those dress patterns; because that would really take way too long, lol. I also liked that I learned to vacuform for that gown. Plus, embroideries – approximately 115,000 stitches for each of the gowns.”

Sabine and her gorgeous Queen Amidala recreation gowns.

Sabine and her gorgeous Queen Amidala recreation gowns.

Judge #2 is Kim Byrnes of Life is Too Short for Normal Clothes.  Kim is a long-time participant in the SCA in her native Australia and has recreated many famous garments from the Elizabethan era and the Italian renaissance.  In addition to re-creating the Eleonora di Toledo gown from the Bronzino painting BY HAND (she is creating the fabric via applique), Kim also enjoys Steampunk, burlesque and various other genres and eras of costuming.

Kim says about her favorite costume:  “It’s based on the portrait of Elizabeth 1, known as the Pelican Portrait. It’s an old favourite, but I love the fit, the colour and the way it makes me feel when I wear it.”

Kim in her reproduction of the Pelican Portrait.

Kim in her reproduction of the Pelican Portrait.


Judge #3 is Nola Yergen of Design By Nola.  Nola is an award winning costume designer working in film, television and theatre. A professional designer who has been working in the industry for more than 10 years; she has designed over 70 shows as well as numerous special events.  Most recently she won “Best in Show” at the Sci Fi/Fantasy Masquerade at Costume Con 32 in Toronto.

Nola’s favorite outfit is her most current Steampunk outfit, as she is constantly creating!

Nola in one of her innovative Steampunk designs.

Nola in one of her innovative Steampunk designs.

So mark your calendars for October 1, 2014 and get your creative juices flowing!  A second post will be coming soon with examples of different accessories.

Challenge #4 has begun!

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