Some might say I’m crazy, but this year, I entered the Pattern Review Sewing Bee, a contest that contains four challenges, each a week in length. As a rule, I don’t usually get too excited about competitions, but I decided to try this one to push myself a bit. It’s time to try something new, I told myself, and to learn a few things in the process. Sounds good, eh? Still, I waffled, until the specifics of Round 1 were announced. The first challenge was to make a fitted blouse. And wouldn’t you know, I already had fabric in my stash for another peplum blouse. Is that destiny or what?!?
For my contest entry, I used Butterick 6097, a fitted blouse with a peplum I made here and here. This time though, I wanted to try something different. Since my fabric was a linen that had a denim look, I decided to use french seams and double topstitching to play up to the ‘jeans’ vibe of the fabric.
The french seams turned out to be essential as this linen blend unraveled every time I even looked at it. I overlocked in some places too. I thought sewing all the topstitching would drive me crazy, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop. Really. I went a little berserk. I put those double yellow lines everywhere.
To fasten the front, I used snaps instead of buttons. For those who haven’t tried inserting snaps, it’s really quite fun! You get to pound them in with a hammer. The first time is a bit…well, scary, since a screw up leaves a hole in your fabric that’s too big to deny, but then, you relax right into it. The noise made my poor cat a little insane though.
Once the shirt was done, I posted photos on the PR website, wrote my review and waited. And waited. If you haven’t taken a look at all of the gorgeous shirts entered in the contest, you really should. They were all amazing. I can’t imagine how the judges decided who would go forward to the next round. But, as luck would have it, I passed muster and am moving ahead. Yahoo! That’s the good news.
The Other news? Well, here’s the description of Round 2’s challenge. To quote: “In this round you will add surface embellishments to existing fabric to make a piece of fabric (or fabrics) something truly unique. You will then make a garment out of the fabric(s) that you embellished. Because the embellishment process may take additional time, participants will have TEN days for this round.”
Say what?!? My first reaction was, WTF! My second reaction was, ‘how much wine did I have the night I decided to enter this contest’? After a good night’s sleep and a nice long bike ride this morning though, I’ve settled into the idea of this challenge. Sure, I’ve never applied a surface embellishment (whatever that is LOL) to anything other than a bit of make up on my face, but hey. There’s got to be a first time for everything. And, with any luck, something like inspiration will strike in the next 24 hours (the clock is ticking here, brain!). I will swing into action and it will be fun. (Yes, this is a pep talk :))
A few of my favorite bloggers also entered the PR Sewing bee. You might want to check out their lovely makes – – Saturday Night Stitch, Gray all Day, Thanks I made them, to name a few.
I hope you’re enjoying our lovely fall, and are finding inspiration everywhere you look. Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!
6 thoughts on “PR Sewing Bee Round 1 – The Good News and The…Other News”
LOVE this shirt! The topstitching really sets off the fabric, too–great idea! And a big congrats to you on making it through Round 1 of the PR contest! The Sewing Bee challenge for Round 2 sounds bananas…I’m curious to see what they consider “surface” embellishment and what isn’t allowed; painting vs. dye, embroidery, applique, etc. Tons of possibilities!! Best of luck to you–I’m excited to see what you come up with for this one!
Thanks so much!! Given the current frozen state of my brain, I’ll be excited to see what I come up with too (LOL). Honestly, the pressure….
I can only imagine the pressure–10 days to create a new fabric AND sew something from it?!? Sounds like this situation calls for some wine-soaked inspiration!
Great suggestion! I just might have to pour some now!
I love your shirt! Your topstitching really stands out! Congratulations on moving on to the 2nd round!
Thanks! Who knew top stitching could be so much fun 🙂