Sew Crafy

Thursday, May 10, 2012



I'd like to remind everyone that this year's competition does NOT include an overall winner on purpose.  This was waived in the interest of presenting a competition where all levels of designers would feel comfortable that they were going up against people in their own skill set, and that each category named would have a winner.  The divisions were outlined in my initial February 8, 2012 post just in case someone didn't get the memo.

I mention this lack of a necessity for an overall winner because I've seen a few comments online insinuating there should be one -- some of these comments were even on a well-read blog.  Don't get me wrong - it's great to get mentioned on other blogs IF they check their facts before they post.  Remember, dahlings, this is the ONLY OFFICIAL BLOG for CDDC, so if in doubt, always come by here for the definitive word for all things CDDC.  The judges worked hard, and did a great job in picking all the winners we needed.
From Beginners to Professionals with an Intermediate category in the mix, too, the designers signed up and named their own category. Prizes are nice, it's true; but most of our competitors seemed more interested in the challenges in this type competition than they were interested in the prizes - these are the type artists who thrive and develop competitively!  

Anyway, after choosing a category the designers cleaned off their work areas and prepared for the challenges.  Larraine with some help from Judge Rob on one particular challenge, then came up with challenges she hoped would push all of the designers to present something unique - and it's easy to see from the designs that resulted, that these challenges were a success!!  Thanks to Larraine and her very professional crew for another wonderful presentation on CDDC.  Here are the winners!!     


 Her prize include:  All six of Anita's designs will be featured in an upcoming Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine. Anita also wins from Couture Doll Shops a six month rent free shop. Finally, from the Tonner Doll Company, she wins the Freedom for Fashion Sor Aiko doll.

Now that we've outlined the winner and what she won, we are going to have some fun - first we'll look at a run down on how Anita got here, and then I'll tell you a bit about her. I'll be doing that for all three winners - so be prepared for some good reading.

 Here are the challenges, her designs, and a partial description of her design process for each one.  All of her designs were made on the diminutive darlings of the fashion world.


Challenge One - Be a Sport  WINNER

I got the inspiration for this outfit in a flower shop when I was looking at my favorite flowers - orchids. They are beautiful and tempting, and I was trying to capture that in my outfit, and combine those features with comfortable, sporty elegance.  Modeling is Vanessa Fashion Royalty.


 Challenge Two -  Angry Birds: Gamer

This outfit was inspired by Minecraft. All the world of Minecaft and everything within is made of cubes and squares. So is my outfit. The dominating colors are gold and brown – the colors of the earth, which is the core element of the Minecraft world.


Challenge Three - Mash Up   WINNER

I have mixed Chanel and Dolce&Gabbana styles.  Jacket is characteristic for fashion of the leading creator of all - Coco Chanel.  Skirt is inspired by this year's  Dolce&Gabbana. This is a brand that arouses desire, sensation and continually provokes. It is determined by the ability of breaking conventions and going beyond cultural boundaries. Dolce&Gabbana offers also a joy with contrast, passion and femininity.


                                                   Challenge Four - Old Hollywood 
                    I hope Irene would like the Hollywood gown

Challenge Five - Say Konichiwa To Fashion       

No information given - I would suppose she let her garment do her talking.

 Challenge Six - Avante Garde for Ga Ga 

Avant-garde ecodesign clothes. Most parts are made of used materials. Decoration on the head is made of packaging paper,  jumpsuit - bubble wrap and used tea bags. Lady Gaga has already been wearing a lot of strange things and I think that she wouldn't mind to show up also in my project.

There you have it; featured together here they show a quirky yet interesting, well made group of clothing that this designer should be proud of.  She clearly loves fashion and design work as she has participated in all of the Couture Doll Design Challenges to date.I found it quite interesting that most of her ensembles included hats, and this appears to be no coincidence.  Judging from the large gallery of hats on her web site, this accessory is one she excels in making.  She is prolific in making her one of a kind designed dolls, also, and has orchestrated Exhibitions called "Little doll - Great star" that include over 200 dolls clothed with miniature wear. The exposition shows extraordinary composition of fabrics, textures and colors in conjunction with tailoring, but minimized to a doll’s size. It impresses not only with precision of performance, but also shows some tricks of miniaturized dressmaking.

All this came from her desire to make some nice doll clothing for her daughter's doll.  Who could have guessed she would embrace her passion for designing and making doll clothes so much that it would lead her to study Art at the Silesian University in Cieszyn.   Here she had an opportunity to deepen her knowledge and perfect her skils.  She also loves art photography, most specifically for dolls.

                CONGRATULATIONS, ANITA!!

  We at CDDC are very happy for your success, and look forward to you selling your wonderful designs at our sister site, Couture Doll Shops, if you so desire.  Hats off to this wonderful Polish designer for winning in the Professional category.

Now on with the other two winners - what fun!.  BUT here I'd also like to put in a note.  In a last minute decision, Couture Doll Shops decided to offer a free six month shop to all of the designers because they were so impressed with all winners; look to see this indicated in the following packages as well.

 His prize package includes:  Three of Cholo's designs (Designer's choice) will be featured in an upcoming Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine. Cholo also wins from Couture Doll Shops a six month rent free shop. Finally, from Angelic Dreamz, Cholo will received the beautiful Platinum Cami Basic doll.

Here's the totally novel approach Cholo took to each of the challenges.  He continued to crush the competition in his category right to the end.

Challenge One - Be a Sport  WINNER

He gave no description; it appears he just let the photos of the doll take  this win.


Challenge Two -  Angry Birds: Gamer 

"I was inspired by the premise that if Super Mario had a sister, Maria, and while they where running around the pipes, catching Toadstools, 1 ups, and making King Koopa's life extra miserable... Maria stumbled upon a golden pipe leading to the backstage of one of Paris Fashion Week's Haute Couture Show, and the rest was history.

Challenge Three - Mash Up   WINNER

For this challenge, I'm compelled to do a mash up between two of my favorite fashion houses, Chanel with its classic, elegant and utterly lady like sense of aesthetics, and the body hugging lines of Americanized French label Herve Leger. I used Chanel's tweed and Leger's signature stretch bandage to create a design that could hold on its own.


Challenge Four - Old Hollywood   WINNER

Since Old Hollywood glam is such a vast space to fathom, with regards to the stylings of Irene, Adrian and Edith, I kinda imagined a dream client coming into my abode and wanting the ultimate gown for her movie's premiere.

Challenge Five - Say Konichiwa To Fashion  WINNER

"I totally love this challenge since I generally love Orientalia and  anything Asian. I created a double updated kimono meant to be worn together over a sheer tattoo printed dress. The first Kimono is structured, almost like a suit, and the other, soft made of silk and held together with a leather, reptile design obi.

Challenge Six - Avante Garde for Ga Ga   WINNER

Of all the challenges this was probably the hardest one to conceive since we are supposed to create a look for THE Lady Gaga. In the vastness of the possible looks, I remembered that The Lady herself will be coming to my country to have a big concert next month, so I imagined myself designing for her opening number here and what more could express my country's national identity more than the Terno, a butterfly sleeved formal dress, and the Kalesa, a horse carriage that is decorated with  colorful flaglettes and other blings.

Cholo is a very talented accessory designer who has also worked as a couture finisher for local designers. He uses his skills on human couture then scales it down to one sixth for dolls; he also pays special attention to keeping everything in proper scale.  He doesn't seem to have a website or a blog, but some of his current jewelry work can be seen on a friend's blog set up to help showcase his work,  There is also a link to an interesting tattooed creation of his - caution doll nudity.

He has loved dolls from childhood, and embraces his work with a passion whether he is designing fashions, doing detailed tattoos on his dolls or creating his mini versions of his jewelry for them.  In fact, his repainting skills actually came from years of experience as a part time make up artist during his college days.  He may not be active in doll boards but his OOAK ability and creativeness well surpasses the liability of less dolls being available in his native Phillipines.

Cholo appears to have brought to this competition the whimsical way he has tackled challenging propositions all his life.  It started with childhood and continues today.  For example: Because there was a limited amount of toys during his childhood, his frustration led him to be more innovative and inventive in making his toys. Since he couldn’t afford Lego blocks, he made gasoline station dioramas out of cardboards and old boxes, and paper dolls in place of vinyl ones. We're lucky indeed that perhaps now through CDS we can help him develop a website for display and sales of his creations if that is his desire.  His passion for doll design seems fully awake, and now that he's finally realized he can afford the dolls he has longed for, specifically Fashion Royalty dolls, there seems to be a whole new world of design just waiting for him to embrace.  



 He'll receive this package:  Kevin's choice of one design will be featured in an upcoming Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine.  Kevin also wins from Couture Doll Shops a six month rentfree shop. Finally, he will receive from Tonner Doll Company, Galadriel.

Being a beginner can have its advantages and disadvantages.  Sometimes if you don't know how to do something, you push past conventional ways of doing things and accomplish your design any way you can.  It works sometimes; sometimes not so much.  But if you're like Kevin, and brave enough to try, you'll get feedback from the judges, anyway, and can perhaps conquer doing your vision more easily the next time.  He made it work as you will see as you read how he tackled each challenge.

Challenge One - Be a Sport

I heard sporty and instantly wanted to do a Varsity Jacket. To make it a bit unique I reversed the letter, used diamonds for buttons, cut out a star on the back and overlayed it with lace, which also shows off the back of the tee, and then decorated the sleeves with pearls. ... I did not use any patterns.

Challenge Two -  Angry Birds: Gamer

As a gamer myself, I was super excited about this challenge. I have so many games to be inspired by but ultimately I went with one of my favorite series, Silent Hill. I used elements of the game such as the rusty environments and the creatures for my look. I wanted to do something Ive never done before again so I decided to try painting fabric and I hand painted the tights.


Challenge Three - Mash Up 

I chose Albert Elbaz (Lanvin) and Christopher Bailey (Burberry) for my inspirations. The model wears a riding cap adorned with a pom pom, "studded" gloves, a leather and plaid bag (the fabric was painted with magic markers! lol), a floral slip on dress belted with a neon orange belt, black and electric blue heels with beaded details, sheer socks and a studed peplum trench. I am aware of the issues with the fit and construction of the jacket but decided to not abandon it all together as a)It took me forever to make and b) I would love to get some good feedback and tips on constructing a 1/6 scale jacket.

Challenge Four - Old Hollywood 

I don't really make gowns so I wanted to do something a little different and by that for me was choosing a new model. This is the first outfit, ever, that I have made for a doll that is not Misaki. I decided to go with black as its a bit forgiving and the velvet is streatchy so that helped too.


Challenge Five - Say Konichiwa To Fashion  WINNER

When I think of a kimono I think of decadence, layers and a overabundance of prints and accessories. I wanted to stray from floral fabrics so I went with some African and safari prints. I also threw in a little Japanese folklore with an Oni mask and Tengu getas...Sculpting the little oni mask was a fun challenge.    

Challenge Six - Avante Garde for Ga Ga   WINNER

Not being totally familular with Avant Garde, I did some research and found myself drawn to examples that were colorful, over the top, played with mixing patterns and texutres, knitwear, interesting silhouettes and featured some volume. Since our client has been wearing lots of black and simple clothing lately, I decided to make her a party dress that was not only avant garde but young, fun, flirty and not so serious.

Kevin Roberts says he's from a very small the United States, I think, but he could live on the moon for all I know because my research didn't really uncover anything about him.  Here are things he did reveal in his initial interview.

Kevin has always been involved in art, particularly animation and character design.  Starting to sew was like a lot of other things Kevin has tried - it was just natural to try it out.  However, his skills as he began were very limited, and he did not use a sewing machine, and he wasn't sure how his outfits would turn out; but he knew they would be OOAK as they materialized and he went through the process.
Mikasi is his muse, but he collects many kinds of dolls so he was happy to change up muses for the challenges.  He was also trying to learn about fabrics and what works best for his 1:6 scale dolls.  This was also his first opportunity to push himself to actually sew a garment and line them.  Looks like he pushed through his problems just in time to win the two final challenges, and secure the overall Beginner category win!

He has no intention of selling his work because he likes his independence, so Kevin may or may not be up for developing a website to promote his dolls - so we'll have to wait and see.  Whatever Kevin does, I am sure he will succeed; just as he did tackling and then winning challenges on CDDC.



 Julia will receive In Focus: Digital Photography for the Doll Collector by PaHenry. Donated by Pat Henry.


This year it was decided to keep the photo element in the competition, so those competitors who wished to turned in digital entries took extra, special  pictures for this event .  There was no critique for these entries because we had no photo experts among our judges.  This vote was 
more subjective, and was motivated merely by the esthetics of each entry.  In the end, the winner, Julia Peshkova, had a nice collection of photos.Julia Peshkova was in our Intermediate category although she's only been sewing for about 3 years.  A love of fashion from childhood has driven her to the hobby of doll collecting because she likes to make doll clothes for her divas.  Since she began she has worked to improve her designs, and she only uses patterns she makes herself.  She also likes to make OOAK dolls - they have less parameters regarding clothing so she is free to make up any total look for her doll. If you're interested in Julia's dolls or photography work she has a Facebook page where you can friend her and be able to watch all new items as they are posted.


With this blog we conclude CDDC4.   We sincerely hope you've enjoyed it, and if you have, it would be great if you'd drop Larraine an email and let her know - just use this link.  Then perhaps she'll be inspired to do CDDC5 - if so, see ya then!  

Until then, you're  always welcome to get a fashion fix by following the events going on at CDS; they are all reported on their blog.  Make it work, fashionistas. 


1 comment:

  1. Facts and opinions and individual reality are often different things, DAHLING.

    I don't insinuate; I come right out and say.

    Discussion and diversity of opinion is a good thing. It creates interest and develops minds. I posted the link you sent on the "well-read blog."

    It was fun. Y'all did a good job.