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Our 17th Quarterly Shear Madness Costuming Challenge was “TIE-DYE FOR” which was all about color, rainbows, fabric coloring/dyeing techniques, and fun!

Tie Dye For

Shear Madness is a celebration of all costuming genres. We were so pleased and proud of the costumes submitted to this challenge.

Honorable Mention for Professional Design Execution

Rhinestone UK Heels” by Leah Lloyd

Leah Llyod Shoes

“These shoes were a commissioned item, and she requested that only the heels be decorated (for a Def Leppard concert lol). I copied the design of the Union Jack flag onto the heels using a ruler to ensure they were centered and a grease pencil for markings in case of errors. Started with the center vertical red line, using E6000 to adhere the stones to the heels, then laid down the verticals on either side for a 3-stone-width. Then set the horizontal red rows, and the clear as an outline. The St Andrew’s cross pattern was determined by the angles created by the heel itself and the inner corner edges of the white rows. The blue was added last by filling in the background. The design does not go around the entire heel, by request. This took approximately 6 hours to complete”

Honorable Mention for Creative Re-Purposing

Katy (and Kitty) Wampus” by Raechel Fleming

Raechel Fleming 3

“Katy Wampus is a steampunk fairy who is currently hard at work collecting discarded neck ties to mend her wings and create vests for her ever growing family of pixies and imps. She has a strong will to repurpose items no longer wanted by the masses and delites in finding the organic beauty in asymmetry. I started collecting ties, and basically made a circle skirt to start with. From there I draped the skirt onto my dress form and let the rest come together in a very organic way, letting the fabric and the ties sort of tell me where they wanted to go.  The dress is entirely hand sewn because I’m still afraid of my machine but also because of the multitude of fabrics it was easier to control. I learned the ladder stitch to construct the bodice. The front center two ties are the only ones that retain their full length. Which meant that a seam would need to be added horizontally in order to put the skirt at the proper length. I didn’t mind this since I knew I wanted to use an additional tie as a belt and I thought it gave the dress a 1920’s sack dress look, which I liked. the belt is actually a tie that belonged to my grandfather who passed away when I was 12. This idea of a tie dress started 2 years ago for an Easter project for my daughter and I finished hers 2 years ago but mine never materialized. As you can see in the picture, her dress is now a skirt because pixies grow fast, but mama pulled through this year and we finally got to wear our dresses to church for Easter! ”


“Eritrea the Rainbow Masquerade Fairy” by Casey Brown of Skyleaf Creations


“Custom petticoat
Multilayered circle skirt
Low back custom bodice
Bodice and Skirt ,Kaos Cloth overlay
Kaos Cloth Wings
Kaos Cloth Mask
Hair/Hat Kaos Cloth and TranspArt
Worbla TRanspArt Septer”
9)    Diamond Dust “Sugar Crystals””

*Judge’s comments:

“It is not a full-size costume for a human, which is more the focus of Shear Madness, but it perfectly meets the theme of the challenge and is very happy, bright, and cute.

This is beautiful. The sewing is very clean, which always impresses me with little things like dolls. I really like the bright colors.

TIE-DYE FOR CHALLENGE: Second Place Winner

Painted Dragons” by Ayzha Wolf

Ayzha Wolf 1


“These costumes were made for the Coney Island Mermaid parade June 16, 2018. They are inspired by two of the dragons from Game of Thrones: Viserion (gold) which is my costume and Rhaegal (green) my husband Gerry Green’s costume. I wanted to make them bright and colorful. For the Green dragon I thought, ‘I’ll wrap my husband up with duct tape, cut him out of it and then glue green scales on the makeshift vest.’ FAIL! All the bumps from the duct tape showed through the soft Polyurethane vinyl.  Back to the drawing board.
I made a pattern from the duct tape top and used it to make a muslin. I then SEWED the basic chest piece together from brown vinyl and THEN cut and individually PAINTED 300 scales green with a beautiful shiny green acrylic paint (Lumiere by Jacquard) that is bendy once dry.  I then glued the scales and the side panels on the chest piece. I made a neck / shoulder piece from the vinyl as well.”


“For the Gold dragon (me) I purchased a black corset and glued Gold Polyurethane vinyl onto it and then cut out about 200 scales and glued the scales and side pieces to the corset.  My necklace was a “test” from a friend’s jewelry company that I added red gems to. I didn’t get this costume fully completed by June 18, but it was far enough along to wear.  I will finish my bracers / greaves and shoulder armour for Dragon Con.
For the headpieces, I made the bases from paper mache using wood glue, then carved the horns from pink insulation foam and glued the horns to the bases. I covered the horns in wood glue to seal them and painted the entire thing with Lumiere paint. The greaves and bracers for the Green dragon are made from Worbla and painted with the same type of acrylic paint.
I sewed loin cloths and tails from vinyl and stuffed the tails with plastic bags.  For the shoes I secured vinyl over Sketchers using Velcro and glued thick craft foam on them for claws. I also glued thin craft foam on the gloves for claws and then cut holes in underside of the gloves so we could pull our fingers out to eat, take photos or text!”

*Judge’s comments:

I love everything about this. I love that it is a full costume, head to toe. I think the use of creative solutions and unusual materials is incredibly clever, and they look genuinely happy to be wearing these.

It’s always fabulous to have a costuming buddy that is willing to enjoy the hobby with you. I am incredibly impressed that she hand-painted and applied all those scales! The headpieces really steal the show as does the on-point beard dye.

I love the different techniques used here and that when one thing didn’t work, she tried something new.


1870s Plaid Madness” by Danielle McKinney

Danielle McKinney 1

“I love how fluffly and over the top Victorian 1870s can be! I had this plaid fabric for years and when I found this fashion plate I knew what to do.”


“I made all of the undergarments (chemise, corset, bustle pad, bustle, petticoats) in addition to the underskirt, overskirt and bodice. The challenging aspects of this dress was designing an angled front with a plaid, hand pleating all of the pink velvet trim (seen best in closeup), hand sewing on all of the trims.”

Danielle McKinney 2

“I learned how to pattern match an uneven plaid and where to pattern match since plaid can’t be matched perfectly on angled seams. I also cut up a vinyl table cloth and used it as a train support; it not only holds the shape nicely, it also can be wiped and cleaned easily. I wore this to a Steampunk Tea Party in January this year and had a blast!  My hat is the creation of Kitsune Thief Cosplay. “

*Judge’s comments:

OMG this amazing! It’s absolutely perfect. Every seam, ruffle, trim, etc is perfectly placed and sewn. In every angle the plaid goes the correct way and all the colors are great! I love this.

I’m a sucker for a fancy, wild sleeve! The color scheme is bright, joyous and outrageous: a perfect fit for the colorful theme of this challenge.

She has very extreme curves, and she is so good at fitting herself…it is basically perfect. The use of the different colors is really clever, and the construction is fantastic.

Thanks to all the wonderful entries we received for Challenge #17!

We are always excited to see the talented artists of Shear Madness share their creations with us. We want to see what you’ve made, too! Shear Madness Challenges are open to all costumers  of all skill levels and genres. Entering is always free and winners get nifty digital badges to display on their websites, blogs, Facebook Profiles, or anywhere else. They are called “Challenges” because the aim is to challenge yourself to et inspired, make your design dreams a reality, try a new technique,  and take pride in your artistic accomplishments. Check out past challenges and challenge winners by clicking the “Past Challenges” link at the top of the page to see all the other fabulous creations from the past 5+ years!

*The order of judges’ comments has been randomized for each entry.

Looking for other like-minded, fabric-loving, costume-wearing folks like yourself? Request to join the SHEAR MADNESS FACEBOOK GROUP!



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