Sew Crafy

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Groovy, baby!!

KATHRIN ESERYEL wins Challenge 1!!!!!!

The first clue wasn't an easy task, but sometimes that's just the way of first things; isn't it? But it's not hard for me to see how Kathrin's entry wowed the judges, spectators, and even many contestants! Honestly, when I saw her first picture, I thought - well nice evening dress, and I do think of that style as mod. But when the jumpsuit element was revealed, I was seriously hooked! It was then I even began to think her doll, in that outfit, reminded me of Ann-Margret in her heydey. Job well done, Katherin!! - a stunning design with perfect styling. A designer worth watching for sure!hooked! It was then I even began to think her doll, in that outfit, reminded me of Ann-Margret in her heydey. Job well done, Katherin!! - a stunning design with perfect styling. A designer worth watching for sure!

Another thing I have kept my eye on were the remarks made on the CDDC Board after the judge's scores were revealed. Yes, the judge's remarks did address construction issues and failure to meet the theme - but perhaps the most often heard comment was they felt garments needed to be ironed. Hum, this really got me to thinking! And my conclusion was one many may not like!! Face it, judging art is subjective. Some things, like construction and theme, could conceivably be a matter of taste. But not so ironing!! Here the judges only have the option of reporting exactly what they see. So, my best advice would be if we don't want poor ironing remarks, it might be best to step back and give our pictures the "iron test". This simply means - can you see where your garment still needs to be ironed? If you do, the judges definitely will. Let's fix the problem, rather than lamenting over it. Oh, and in case your iron isn't up to the task, you may want to consider using steam.........or finding a Dolly Dry Cleaners!?!

We want to have a fun competition, and lamenting over scores on the board is stressful for both the poster and those reading it. Yes, people seem to have been respectful for the most part, and I'd be the last person to suggest censorship on the Board. But, in my mind, it's generally best to do two things before any dissenting posts are made.

1. Take the time to really read what you're replying to, and make sure this is a cause you want to champion. Were the judge's way off base? Is this not an issue you need to address with the coordinator? Or, are you really spot on in your thoughts??

2. Take a day to consider if you really want to make that post. You know, a sharp critique is like a sharp knife. They both cut deep, but after the pain goes away, we can really look at who was responsible for the cut. Taking this day may decrease the need for a post at all.

We all want a happy competition - so let's not lose sight of the
power of play!! Let's all work together to make CDDC not only a happy place, but also a positive place - one where doll lovers will love being involved.! And remember, everything is being done to keep the entries anonymous - - so the judge's comments really are NOT personal!! Don't take them that way. Also, puhleeeeeeeze, don't be upset with the blogmeister. Remember any blog is written from one person’s point of view – but this one is sincerely intended to chronicle this challenge, and to help the contestants on their journey through it.

Now, let's look at a couple of the guest judges!

David Buttry - Integrity Toys

David has been a collector of fashion dolls since he was a young boy. He was exposed to the hobby early on because his sisters and mother collected dolls. Although he's been collecting for about 30 years, he only began customizing dolls about 5 years ago.

David got his Degree in Design from Southeast Missouri State University, and then worked as a freelance designer which led him to his job at Integrity Toys in 2006. He started as a graphic designer and later was added onto the doll design team working under Vaughn Sawyers and Jason Wu. Today he continues to do many design assignments for Integrity which include responsibilities that include illustration, design for ads and packaging, and even working with the doll design team.

David loves the Mod era and is very knowledgeable about it - perhaps you've noticed this in some of the lines he's worked on that include Misaka, Dynamite Girls, and most recently, Poppy Parker. David has been published in Fashion Doll Quarterly, and his design and illustrative work can be seen currently in Fashion Doll Quarterly and Haute Doll Magazine.

Joe Tai - Joe Tai Dolls

Joe came to the doll world in 1999 after buying his first collectible Barbie. His love for the doll prompted him to start designing outfits, and doing makeup and hairdos for dolls. His five first place BMAAs and his Reader's Choice Award confirmed the respect Joe had received from doll enthusiasts in just a short time. His fans were delighted when he began selling his OOAK dolls on eBay in 2000.

Then it wasn't long before Joe wanted to design his own brand name doll. Originally from Shaghai but having grown up in Taiwan, Joe would make southern China his home base for production reasons. His first endeavor were his popular transparent platform fashion shoes. He had to design, sculpt, and even find his own vendors. But over the years he has built up a studio ready to produce everything he designs including shoes, boots, fashions, accessories, wigs, and even his own 12" Ingrid and 16" Jo dolls. Joe Tai uses the finest vinyl to produce top quality, extremely limited edition dolls that have the look and feel of porcelain without the weight.

All his products have been popular, but the outstanding seller still remains his first - his shoes and boots. Many customers call Joe the Manolo Blahnik of the doll world and show their allegiance to his brand by the vast number of dolly shoe wear they own. From 2003, this entrepreneur has sold more than 35,000 shoes, boots, and outfits! Through all Joe's fame, he continues to appreciate all the supports of his loyal customers, is thankful for his ever-increasing new customer base; such support always gives him the biggest motivation to go on.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Go!! Go!! Go!!

..........but let's be challenged!!

The clue was given promptly at midnight PST September 6th as promised, and the designers were off and least those who were awake, and those that even understood the clue. It seems there was a bit of rumbling concerning this first clue! You mean it isn't easy to come up with a concept for this first challenge, as stated below???

The Challenge: Make Mine Mod - Jason Wu designed the Inaugural ballgown for Michelle Obama. Our guest judge (David Buttry) this week is from Integrity Toys too, but his designs favour a mod theme. Let's jump back 40 years and imagine that Austin Powers is the President of the US. Design an Inagural Ballgown for HIS first lady.

Hum.......methinks this is EXACTLY what the coordinator and the judges had in mind! No, I don't think Larraine actually sits around eating bon bons and thinking up methods to torture designers!!! Rather, she wants designers to create! She WANTS to CHALLENGE -- it's the concept of this competition -- and, hopefully, the reason one would sign up at all! But, considering this was the first clue - and the fact that some are still even quizzical about the direction our beloved Project Runway is taking this year, I guess a little trepidation is understandable at CDDC.

Towards a better understanding of this competition's concept, perhaps we can take some advise from the words of Amanda Hull regarding Project Runway on

You see, it seems Amanda isn't quite clear why straight sewing is the only thing introduced in the challenges on Project Runway so far! Where's the car parts, supermarket faire, and other unpredictable items designers have been told to use in the past, she asks?? She also says, "I want something that’s actually a challenge, that shows resourcefulness and creativity and the willingness to take a risk. So far, the only people to take risks have been kicked off. Bo-ring." It's that boring part I want to address here in this CDDC blog!!

The only way you can create, is to explore all your possibilites. Research, go into that wonderful brain of yours, and mine out some possibilities!! YOU CAN DO IT!! Also, consider the additional clues YOU got - do they ever give additional clues on PR?? I think not!!

However, in an attempt to clarify CDDC's current challenge, Larraine introduced more information about it on the CDDC Yahoo Chat Group. She told us you don't have to stick to a ballgown even! In fact, you can do a jumpsuit or mni dress!! Wow, that makes it easier - right? Well, yes and no. Your creation still has to be something appropriate for Mrs. Austin Powers to wear to an inaugural ball - ALWAYS keep that in mind. Hum......... and therein lies the kicker........and the creativity!

If you can make a jumpsuit or mini dress that will satisfy the judges - do it! But if you favor the original concept of the ballgown - do that! There IS NOT a simple solution to this challenge! Hooray!! - that's what makes it a REAL challenge. Hopefully they are all as interesting and challenging as this one! Now, let's stop the rumbling and get with it - time's a'wasting!!! I just know we all want to design something scrumptilicious any time we get a chance!!! Progress reports anyone??

Now with all that behind us, we begin a presentation of another kind. Over the next few weeks, we'll be introducing you to our Coordinator, our judges, and even our sponsors. All of these people are working towards you having a fun, rewarding experience! Our first to be presented is one of our resident judges, Judith Markich.



BAFTA (British Academy Award) Nomination for Costume Design - PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK

AFI (Australian Filrm Institute) Award for Costume Design - PICTURE SHOW MAN

SAMMY (TV WEEK Award) Award for Costume Design - CADDIE

Judith Markich has been involved in the fashion world for many years. How lucky was the doll world when she decided to change her focus from film and theatre design to our diminutive friends?

Story lines and adaptations fuel her doll couture passion, as well as her collection of vintage silks, laces, and other items collected during her period of designing for films and plays. She admits to some straight designing, but usually prefers to draw inspiration from themes; and even the doll’s own personality.

Judith's constructive analysis of the entries will be viewed with a knowing eye, because she has already been through what the contestants of CDDC are now experiencing. Being one of the twelve designers in the original Project Dollway competition, she rocked the runway, and ultimately achieved 2nd place - indeed no simple task!

Today she continues to wow us with her entries for charity events, and in smaller competitions. You can find her designs on her website at: