Pushing Lorna’s Designer Knock Off Challenge Idea

At the Sew It Now meeting Tuesday, ASG member Lorna showed us a winning designer knock off contest entry from Pattern Review blog. It was pretty well done, but our conversation also strayed a bit to possibly having a designer knock off challenge in the guild. Lorna had the idea. I’m not sure how enthusiastic she was about it, but I’m posting this on my own enthusiasm for it. I’m not sure how set we are with our next challenge criteria, but this could be good for later or sooner.

At first impulse, a designer knock off challenge seems like a pretty bad idea. Knock offs of any level have a pretty bad rep. And who wants to take creativity out of the process? However, making a designer knock off isn’t exactly easy. For starters, you might not have a pattern to use, depending on your choice. If you did, you’d likely have to modify it. In other words, no straight and easy sewing involved. And who says you can’t add a touch to a designer knock off? Especially if it’s an improvement to the original that makes your knock off look even better!

Maybe we could reframe the challenge to “improving a designer garment” rather than “designer knock-off”, even if it might sound a little pompous. Given the talent we’ve got and what we can do, I wouldn’t think so.

Either way, it would likely be an easy challenge. Anyone is willing to try, of course. There are simple designer garments to knock off or improve upon, and then there are hard ones. And nobody said you have to knock off common designer garments. That’s probably least fun of all. Try knocking off or improving some of the garments on my Pinterest account, for example! They’re nice organized so you can take your pick, especially among the dresses. Many are relatively simple looking, too. You can decide if they’re actually hard or easy to knock off. Many are also labeled so you don’t have to go hunting to see by whom they were designed.

And if you must know, Pinterest offers secret boards only you and/or select people can see. I have a secret board of garments I thought were nice, but that I could improve upon if I were to redesign it. That’s only in the sense of opinion, though. I don’t think I’d be able to make most of the garments the way I envisioned them to be better. Those are my real inspirational garments, not the well done ones I love pretty much the way they are.

I have over 300 pins on that secret board, but I’ll just keep them to myself for now. 🙂

Year of the Snake Sewing Challenge

Happy Asian New Year, everybody! It’s the Chinese year 4711, the year of the Snake. What’s in store? A few disasters, increased conflict, and more Gangnam Style, if you ask some people.

Actually, I think someone mistyped “and” instead of “because” above. And yes, I just did put Gangnam style on the Sewing Guild blog. Webmaster’s privilege. 😉

With the Year of the Snake lasting basically a year (Chinese calendar isn’t exact on 365 days), I’d like to propose a challenge to all the members.

Between now and some time in February next year, make a garment out of fake snake skin that you would actually wear.

Garment can be gloves, boot covers, hats, whatever, not necessarily shirt, pants, coats or such clothing. Making something you would actually wear makes the challenge all that funner cause you have to take into account your style, not just make something abstract. You also won’t be wasting a garment. It’ll probably spice up your wardrobe a bit, too! Please don’t use real snake skin unless you want to self-fulfill the conflict part of the prediction above with PETA. 🙂

When next February this is to be done doesn’t really matter. Let’s just try not to wait till 2014 at all. By that time, we’ll be looking onward to the horse and forgetting this challenge. The horse should be an interesting challenge if we keep the same theme. I was going to suggest this themed challenge last year, but it’s a little hard to find dragon skin, real or fake, for sewing, ya know? 🙂