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Mini-Wardrobe Contest 2013 - 1 - 30 Sept
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Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 7/30/13 6:12 AM

There is a lot of information in this post. Scroll down to find: Quick Contest Facts, Complete Rules and Guidelines; Links for First Time Contestants; Head Start Suggestions, including tips on photos, storyboards, inspiration, and advanced planning.

Pinterest Board -Sign in to, click the button to 'Follow' this Pinterest Board, ask Deepika to give you permission to pin images to the board.

New Skills and Special Techniques List -From beginners to advanced sewers, many of the sewers are challenging themselves with sewing skills they have not done before. View the list to see what they are doing.

If you still have questions after reading the Rules shown below, read the Control Panel and Procedure post. It explains how to use the Control Panel to Join the Contest and the procedure for writing the required Reviews and entering your completed outfits to the contest for voting.

**** QUICK CONTEST FACTS ******************
(Contest dates edited 9/28/2013 3:00 a.m.)

Contest Dates: September 1, 2013 - October 1, 2013

Voting Dates: October 4-10, 2013

First Prize: $100 Gift Certificate from Fashion Fabrics Club

Second Prize: $50 Gift Certificate from Fashion Fabrics Club

How to Win: Starting on September 1, cut and sew 4 garments. The 4 garments must combine (without adding additional garments) to create at least 4 looks.

Be sure to read the Complete Rules segment below for examples and the details about the required reviews and photographs.

Visit the Contest Report page for all the Contest Links, Rules, and Buttons to Join the contest and post your Entry when you are finished.

I have volunteered to monitor this discussion group and answer your questions about the contest. I hope you will join the contest and enjoy your sewing in this friendly challenge. ---Ashford.


New to Pattern Review Contests? You will find a lot of useful information in the Participating in Contests on PatternReview tutorial

Looking for a post you saw 3 days ago in this discussion thread? Click the button at the top of the message board for Search in this Topic.

Want to get alerts in your email when new messages are posted? Scroll up to the top of this page and click the button for Track This Topic. If you do not see the button, that may be a feature only available for subscribed members who are Logged In.

Read the Head Start Suggestions written below the Rules section for tips on working with your photos and numerous links to help you succeed.


2013 Mini-Wardrobe Contest Rules and Voting Rules (added by board moderator)


Mini-Wardrobe Contest 2013 Rules

Discussion Board Managed By: Ashford

Mini Wardrobe Contest
September 1 - 30 2013

This is a contest to create a 4-piece wardrobe in 4 weeks. You will determine what clothing pieces you use in your wardrobe.

The 4 garments must combine (without adding additional garments) to create at least 4 looks.

For Example, but not limited to...
1. tee, blouse , pants , skirt. Tee/pants, blouse/pants, tee/skirt, blouse/skirt = 4 looks

2. Dress, cardigan, top, pants. Dress, dress/cardigan, Pants/top, pants/top/cardigan = 4 looks

3. 2 pants, top, jacket. Pants1/top, pants2/top, pants1/top/cardigan, pants2/top/cardigan = 4 looks

As long as you can take the 4 items and wear them in at least 4 different combos, your entry will qualify.

Choice of garment types and styles is entirely up to you!

Optional Storyboard -You may include a storyboard, or plan, showing the planned garments and the minimum quantity of outfits. See additional notes entered below the Rules for help with how to make a Storyboard.

Required reviews -Entrants must do an individual review for each pattern used (can update previous reviews). The actual contest entry review is the "composite review" for the mini-wardrobe itself. The composite review must have links to the individual reviews. (If all items are from one wardrobe pattern, one review will suffice.)

What is a Composite Review? You write your comments for your contest entry and include links to all 4 of your individual garment reviews.

Pictures are required for voting. There must be a photo for each of the 4 looks. Explore the suggestions and links for photos in the Head Start section written below the Rules.

Final garments may be pictured on a dress form or worn by the garment's intended owner. Please consult with the contest moderator if neither of these is feasible for you, and options will be discussed.

This wardrobe/ensemble may be created for men, women, or children. Doll clothing is not admissible. Accessories do not count as one of the 4 items, but may be made and showcased with the mini-wardrobe.


First Prize: $100 Gift Certificate from Fashion Fabrics Club

Second Prize: $50 Gift Certificate from Fashion Fabrics Club

General Rules for all Contests

1. All reviews must be entered for submission by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the last day of the contest. It is suggested to start your review as a Work In Progress (private or public) so that you can get any bugs ironed out prior to the deadline. Although Contest Managers and Contest Committee will help with technical issues, they may not be available at the end of the contest so be sure to allow adequate time to post your entry before the contest ends.

2. Fabric may be pretreated before the start of the contest.

3. Patterns MAY be muslined prior to the start of this contest however; fabric for contest garment may NOT be cut prior to the start of the contest.

4. Items intended for sale, or for which you were or will be paid to make, do not qualify for any contest, but items made for charity are welcome.

5. Unless otherwise stated in the rules, all reviews written for a contest entry must include a picture of the entry, preferably on a live model.

6. Interpretation of rules is subject to the discretion of the contest manager and the contest committee.

Contest Eligibility:

***Rule #1 is changed for 2013
1. Any member of Pattern Review, either paying (FoPR) or non-paying, who is a registered member on the site before the contest begins is eligible to enter.

2. Any member of Pattern Review, either paying (FoPR) or non-paying, who's been a registered member on the site for 90 days prior to the end of a contest is eligible to vote in a contest.

3. Any member who's won first place in a contest on Pattern Review that ended in the previous four-month period is ineligible to win another contest (during that four-month period).For this contest, first-place winners from the following contests are NOT eligible to win:
Accessory Challenge
Jeans Contest
UFO Contest
Fabric Stash
Sewing for Men
Sewing for Children

Voting Guidelines:

1. The first, second and third place winners will be decided by member vote. Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place winners.

2. Each member can vote on up to five entries.

3. Because of the high quality of the garments we're seeing entered in PR Contests, we're setting forth some guidelines that may help you choose when voting. Consider how well the entry fulfills each of the following criteria in order to narrow down your votes:

Does the garment clearly reflect the pattern's line drawing?
How well does the garment fit the criteria stated in the contest rules? How well does it fit the spirit of the rules?

Are the construction methods, including but not limited to seam finishes, lining techniques, etc, well suited to the design? To the fabric?

Is the fabric choice well suited to the design? Are the lining and interfacing choices appropriate?
Is the review complete and well written?

Taking into account the stated ability level of the entrant, how well does the garment fit?
Creative points. You may choose to give extra credit here for an entry that reflects additional creativity (embellishment, fabric choice, etc.) while staying within the nature of the original pattern.

Complexity of the project. Relate this to the skill level of the participant. If a participant is a beginner then a princess seam may get the same complexity level as an underarm gusset gets for an advanced sewer. This is purely subjective, but a complex garment might garner more points than a simple one if a tie-breaker is needed


What can I do before the contest starts to plan and prepare?

Do you hesitate to join a Sew Along or a Contest that involves the words Mini-Wardrobe or Capsule Wardrobe?

--I cannot coordinate the clothes to make outfits.
--I don't know what I want in my closet.
--I do not wear the blazer and matching skirt, like they show in all the capsules.
--I never can finish before the deadline.

Sound familiar? It does? Then, join me as we get a Head Start on this year's Mini-Wardrobe Contest. The contest starts Sept 1, 2013. All through August, we can discuss problems, solutions, and the tasks that we can do before the contest starts. On Sept 1, we can be ready and start to sew.

*Reminder: Patterns MAY be muslined prior to the start of this contest however; fabric for contest garment may NOT be cut prior to September 1.

You may be an expert at many of these things and not need to do every one of them.

1. SCHEDULE your time and tasks -This is the hardest step for me. I cannot think of a single thing I do that could be a basis for a routine. I will give my partner permission to nag me (on this one thing for this one month only).

--CREATE A ROUTINE that works for you
------Assign Day(s) of the week.
------Assign a Time Block: 2 hours and do nothing else. Do not get distracted.
------Use a Mini Time Block: your commute to work, lunch break, or while watching television.

--CREATE A TO DO LIST each week
------Select 2-3 tasks per week. Break the large tasks into smaller steps.
--------Head Start steps: schedule; organize; collect; plan; measure; shop.
--------Test garment: cut; markings; baste; fit and adjust; transfer adjustments to pattern.
--------Contest garment: cut; mark; interface; sew seams; hand work.
--------PR Review: photo; text; post.

2. ORGANIZE your materials and resources

--CREATE A PROJECT BOX or basket for the materials you will need for the garment you are currently working on: pattern, thread, handwork needle, trim, zipper, buttons, fabric, interfacing, specialty notions, measure tape.

--CREATE A NOTEBOOK or board to quickly put away magazine clippings, sketches, or notes you want to save and review later for ideas and inspiration.

------Be inspired by your on hand materials or get rid of them.
---------Donate patterns and fabrics to a charity resale shop or offer them in the PR Classifieds.

------Store it, so you can find it.
---------Fabrics, Notions, Sewing Gadgets
---------Paper & Computer Files
----------- Measurements, Plans, How To articles
----------- Clippings and articles from magazines

3. COLLECT YOUR IDEAS -Use a notebook, poster board, or your computer to save images and textures of anything you like. The image does not have to be just clothes. It can be a scene, animal, plant -anything that gives you pleasure when you see it. Sketch or photograph your favorite clothes in your closet or looks at the stores. When done, you will be looking for the common elements in your collection.

-----Colors: favorite colors, bright or soft or grayed colors, bold or soft contrast? solids or patterns?

-----Lines and shapes: Swirly or geometric lines? Angles or curves?

-----Silhouette: tight top with loose bottom? loose top with fitted bottom? structured suit? layers?

--SAVE TIME by analyzing, sorting, and culling once a week and not every time you find something.

--TRY THE 5 MINUTE EXERCISE -For 5 minutes, without second guessing or thinking about your lifestyle, size, or shape, write down descriptive words or phrases about the clothes you like . You may find ways to incorporate the things you think are not for you. For example, you seldom go any where and live in a rural area; but your wish list has silk on it. How about a silky camisole under your cotton camp shirt? A silky pocket lining? A silky kimono robe for the weekend mornings?

GET INSPIRED by outfits put together by others.

--Inspiration from previous year contestants. Search the PR Message Board for mini-wardrobe

--Inspiration from Search for 'capsule wardrobe'. When you start typing the search words, you will see suggestions like 'capsule wardrobe vacation' or 'capsule wardrobe career' that may help you narrow your results.

--Inspiration from bloggers. Inside Out Style Blog -professional style consultant, Imogen Lamport; Sew with A Plan -Core 4 -professional consultant, Nancy Nix Rice.

--Inspiration from shopping at your favorite retail store. Take photos or make sketches of the garments you love.

--Inspiration from your favorite on-line store. Many clothing web sites have a link to Look Books or feature links to showcase the newest looks as complete outfits. ConnieBJ suggested Jockey Person to Person and many members agreed it is useful. You are given a set of coordinating items; then you can click the different tops and bottoms to see each outfit.

--Inspiration from magazines. People donate fashion magazines from the past 2-3 months to our library and they sell them for 10 cents each. Clip out and save the outfits you like.

--Inspiration from video with mix and match outfits for men - Fall 2013.

4. CHOOSE your 4x4x4 garments
4 garments you can combine to create at least 4 looks and that you can cut and sew in 4 weeks.

-----Your notebook or poster: Repeat of colors or combination of colors? Repeat of design elements?
-----Your personal style: What role do you want to play? How do you want others to perceive you?
-----Have alternatives to your chosen colors, just in case your special shade of pink is not available.

----From Scratch wardrobe: covers most of my activities
----Lifestyle wardrobe: at home, at work, hobby, casual outings, dressy outings, formal affairs
----Vacation wardrobe: climate, activities, nation's culture

--SIMPLIFY YOUR CHOICES to save sewing time.
-----Can you use a pattern that you have made before and already resolved the fitting issues?
-----Can you opt for a simple style -quick to sew and fit?
-----Can you sew your choice in an easy to sew fabric?
-----Can your outfit be made to look fabulous with an easy to apply embellishment or trim?

--EXAMPLE of COORDINATING 4 items to make 4 outfits.

A. plaid flannel shirt, vest, graphic T-shirt, pant
Flannel shirt + pant
T-shirt + pant
T-shirt + pant + vest
T-shirt + pant + vest + flannel shirt

B. Dress, pant, top, cardigan
dress alone
dress + cardigan
pants + top
pants + top + cardigan

C. charcoal trouser, emerald skirt, silky water color print top, dove gray sweater. Both tops can be worn with both bottoms.

D. hoodie, stripe knit top, pant, chambray shirt dress
top + pant
top + pant + hoodie
top layered under dress
dress alone or dress + hoodie

5. Make a STORYBOARD, a visual image of your final wardrobe plan. You can use it as a guide as you shop, sew, or choose accessories. You can use it to show your friends here on PR what you have planned.

There are many different ways to make a storyboard.

---A poster board or cork board with images and fabric swatches pinned to it. Take a photo and upload the photo to share your storyboard.

---I discovered some nice examples of drawing your storyboard by hand. To share it with others, take a photo or scan a copy on to your computer.

---Create a single composite of several images on your computer. Search PR for the keyword: Storyboard for some tips. Or, try ConnieBJ suggests, another free on-line service for making the photo-collage.

---Jenna created a tutorial on her blog called Creating a Custom Storyboard Using Your Patterns and Fabrics. I tried it and it worked perfectly.

6. MEASUREMENTS and/or fitting any test garment
See PR member, SewingSilly's, fitting series posted in the PR Techniques section.

Take your current measurements to prepare for the pattern shopping and adjustments. You can make a test garment called a fitting muslin ahead of time for any items you are unsure of the fit. These are basted test garments and are not used as finished garments for the contest.

7. ENJOY YOUR SHOPPING TRIP with your shopping notes, coupons, eco-friendly shopping bag, and comfortable shoes. Stop for a treat on your way home. Take a friend or shop alone? I do better shopping alone when it comes to fabric selection. I once bought the cutest blue gingham fabric because my friend convinced me it was what I wanted. My notes said I wanted a flowing, draped fabric in a dark shade of blue. Maybe you are more apt to believe in your plan than I am.

Before shopping, be sure to read the PR Membership Benefits. If you do join, you can access the PR Deals Corner for members.

Edited 8/10: MadBadger reminded us to launder our contest fabrics before the contest starts.

8. PRACTICE for better photos -Take a pose for your Review photographs. Put several photos into one image, as if to show all your outfits for the contest photo.

--How to Pose for Photographs -Inside Out Style blog by Imogen Lamport

--Sample Poses for Women -by Modern Photography School web site

--Posing Guide for Men -by Digital Photography School

--For Your FINAL CONTEST PHOTO, you will want to put several photos together as one image to show all your outfits. In a post written 7-11-2013, Deepika said, "I love Go to efficient>> collage. Choose your layout and simply drag and drop photos there."

-- Edited on 9/14/13 1:38 PM --
-- Edited on 9/28/13 4:01 AM --

Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly. ~Epictetus

Sew Whatever
Sew Whatever  Friend of PR
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Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 7/31/13 10:32 AM

wow! this is pretty awesome! I hope a lot of people get on board for preparing.

At the moment, I think I am going to sort through my fabric to see what goes together and what might need to be added to make a complete mini-wardrobe.

Sandy in the UK
A practitioner of the Chop, Chop, Sew, Sew method of sewing
(otherwise known as Make It Up in Your Head!)

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Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 7/31/13 10:51 AM

What an amazing post! You have so many good suggestions and tips ~ plenty to get us moving in the right direction! Thank you so much for doing that.

It looks like I will be home most of September and I do need clothes for fall/early winter, especially for the concert season. It is very likely that stash could provide most of what is needed... Thinking, thinking...

Need to get sewing room ready...was that jacket a new Vogue pattern? much stash, maybe this time...Hmmm, maybe shoe shopping to see what the garments need to highlight? So many decisions to make in not so much time!

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

peaceykeen  Friend of PR
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Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 7/31/13 2:26 PM

I agree this post is the best!! Good principles for sewing contest or not. This contest is one of my favorite ones on PR even though I've never participated. Hopefully I can get my act together this year with those tips.

3 sewing machines, 2 sergers, 1 passion!!!

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Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 7/31/13 5:29 PM

Are any of you familiar with Jockey- the home party clothing line? I'll be the first to say that I am not a fan of this kind of selling, but the Fall Lookbook is really Wardrobe planning friendly. It's set up like those kids flip books where an elephant head can be put on a pigs body. Many pants and top combos that make ones mind start to work!
-- Edited on 7/31/13 5:29 PM --

Connie Bontje
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Desperately trying to keep ahead of my pattern, fabric and dressform collection!

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Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 7/31/13 5:45 PM

Some great ideas there (and some that would be counter productive for me, lol).

But I'm wondering (I may have missed it), where are this years rules for the contest? It seem like every year there are slightly different rules for how many pieces and how many outfits they must make (and how they need to coordinate).

Also, are we allowed to incorporate any RTW items? Previously sewn items?

I'm really bad at making pants, and don't wear skirts very often - so this is really important! Although I do have a couple patterns that include pants I would like to try....
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In reply to ConnieBJ

Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 7/31/13 7:11 PM

Thanks for that tip!!! I'd never heard of Jockey, but I googled their website & you're right, they do have a great Fall Lookbook for Wardrobe planning


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Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 7/31/13 9:40 PM

This is a really early early posting of this contest and the rules are not ready yet.
Since you've got a whole month to before the start why not work on pants muslins and perfect them before the start time. Even if the rules aren't stated yet, you will always need a bottom or two and pants fit the bill.
I love all of the suggestions for planning and time management. I often start and never finish this contest.


Dale C
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Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 8/1/13 2:30 AM

Thanks for the wonderful head-start post! I might join the fun if I can get my act together and prepare. This will help me a lot.

"ACK! I'm having withdrawals! Get me to a sewing machine... NOW!"

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Subject: Mini-Wardrobe Contest Head Start Date: 8/3/13 3:06 PM

Donna, I am happy to see you laughing and understanding that all the items on my list are not for everyone.

Nancy is correct to say the PR Committee is not quite ready yet with the rules. Do not worry. The committee members are sewers with busy lives, just like you. They will not leave you holding your breath until the very last minute.

For now, collect your ideas and look for the common threads in color, fabrics, shapes, styles, occasions and activities. Start with your Wardrobe ideas. Then, when the rules are announced, you can pick specific mix and match items to meet the contest criteria.

Example Day Hike mix and match choices: 2 shorts, plaid shirt, graphic T-shirt, hoodie.

Example Airport mix and match choices: medium gray knit pant and jacket; dove gray shell; pink and white stripe 3/4 sleeve T-shirt; medium pink button front dress with cap sleeves.

Nancy's suggestion to make a muslin to test your fitting adjustments is a very good use of your time before the contest starts. I need to do that task also.

Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly. ~Epictetus

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