Saturday, September 14, 2013

Success in the midst of chaos

I know I've been pretty scarce around the blog community lately, but I really have been busy. After a medium-crazy early Spring prom season, I fell into the busiest bridal season I've ever worked through. This was primarily due to the local bridal consignment shop's gushing referrals, as it seemed every week I had an appointment with another bride for her alterations. From April until last week, I've had 6 or more gowns in the studio at once, working on hems, bustles, taking in bodices, and restyling.

In the midst of this I ambitiously committed to creating a garment to enter in the Threads Magazine annual challenge to ASDP members. The challenge this year is sleeves, and I had a few ideas kicking around my imagination since the announcement at last year's conference. The problem was, the more I tried to refine my ideas during all the client busy-ness of the studio, the more the vision eluded me and the less it fell into place. I  decided in early June that there was just no way anything fabulous was going to happen, and I announced - to myself, my co-workers at Sawyer Brook, and my fellow ASDP member Evelyn, who was busily working on her own entry - that I was throwing in the towel (or muslin) and not going to come up with an entry. Hey, I've been here before - at least one other year I sent in my intent in April, but gave up before the August 1st submission deadline.

You know how just before you fall asleep some of the best ideas and thoughts pop into your head? Like your brain knows you have no way to record those wonderful things so it gives them to you in spades? Well, deciding against putting myself through the agony of creating a garment was the most freeing thing I could have done - because the ideas started pouring out and became such clear concepts that I simply had no choice but to make it come out in fabric. Within 3 days I had my drawing, my sleeve concept, the fabric chosen, and the inspiration documented - and managed to submit the entry on the last possible day.

I can't share any photos, as this is a blind-judged challenge. The judges have made their choices of the finalists - and my garment is one of them! (Happily, so is Evelyn's, so we'll both be on the runway at the members' showcase.) Until the winners are announced at the ASDP conference next month, I can't share anything about my design - and if it's one of the final winners, it can't be shared until the magazine is published late in the winter! All I'm able to say about it is, I made it with fabric from Sawyer Brook, so my co-workers are already excited about it.

So, I guess you'll have to settle for these photos:

On the runway, showing my outfit in the 2010 "Suit Your Style" challenge finals

Entry photo - full front view
I guess I can't let myself give up any more - this makes twice I've actually submitted an entry for this challenge, and twice my design has been a finalist. Not bad for a quitter!

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