Each year, Threads Magazine challenges the members of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals to be innovative, creative and think "outside the box".
The annual Challenge is a juried competition. After blind judging, the winning designers are announced at the ASDP National Educational Conference, and later published in Threads Magazine. The Challenge is open to ASDP members only.
Here are some of the past challenges:
2012 Challenge: Innovative Lace
For 2012, Threads Magazine invited the members of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals to participate in the Innovative Lace Challenge.
The successful finalists were shown at the 2012 ASDP Conference, "Be a Part of it All" in Novi, Michigan, and the five winners appeared in Threads magazine. The challenge guidelines were as follows:
- Design a complete garment or ensemble with at least one piece exhibiting your mastery of lace. Create and use at least one innovative lace technique. Document the technique with a photograph and a 50-word or less description.
- The garment can be 100 percent lace or otherwise use lace as the major statement.
- For the challenge purposes, lace is defined as an open-worked, ornamental textile formed by a network of threads into patterns, and it does not include embroidered fabrics, such as eyelet. Well known laces include Alençon, Chantilly, Cluny, guipure, and others. The lace can be yardage or trim and can be new, repurposed, or fabricated (created).
- Fifty percent of the challenge is based on the presented garment/ensemble, and the other 50 percent on the lace use and innovative technique.
- The technique can be elaborate or simple—a unique way to sew a dart in lace, a new hem, or an original closure. The judges look for techniques that provide a solution to design or technical problems.
The winners were featured in an article in Threads Magazine Number 166, May 2013.
Best Overall - Susan Crane, "Black and White Inside Out"
Best Construction - Lena Stepanenko, "Inspired by Chanel"
Most Innovative Techniques - Kathy Levy, "In the Garden"
Unexpected Use of Material - Janet Blood, "On a Roll"
Audience Choice - Joi Mahon, "Fur-Flocked Lace"
2011 Challenge: Zero Waste
Threads Magazine's 11th design challenge to the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals membership was a venture into the world of zero-waste. The successful finalists were shown at the 2011 ASDP Conference "Fiber Footprints" in Portland, Oregon and winners appeared in Threads magazine. The challenge guidelines were:
- Design a complete garment with at least the main piece designed with 100 percent zero-waste. This means the garment will use all of the fabric without any leftover scrap.
- Fifty percent of the challenge is based on the pattern design and the other fifty percent on the finished garment design.
- Challenge solutions should emphasize the cut of cloth and the resulting three dimensional garment as opposed to surface design.
- The design should have a degree of fit to the adult human male or female silhouette.
- Both pattern and garment design are judged on achieving the best design solutions for the challenge in appearance, fabric use, assembly, and finish.
- The successful entry will include a digital picture or scan of the original pattern pieces, and the final sketch of the fabric layout. The design can be created either by patterning or draping.
The winners of this challenge were featured in Threads Magazine, Number 160, May 2012
Best Overall Design and Construction Patricia Robison for her bias dress and bog coat jacket
Best and Most Original Jacket Joyce Hittesdorf for her Nakamichi-inspired jacket
Best Engineering Sylvie Privat for her evening gown with full skirt supported by a peplum
Best Column Made from a Tube Debby Spence for her ombre silk georgette dress
Audience Choice Ann Vidovic for her silk chiffon gown
2010 Challenge: Suit Your Style
For 2010, Threads Magazine challenged the members of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals to redesign the same pattern.
Each entrant used Vogue 2898. The challenge was to take that pattern to a new dimension.
Entrants were invited to change the design by adding or subtracting seams. Change the hemline, modify the sleeves, draft structural changes or adaptations to the pattern. Modify the design ease, the closure techniques, the understructure, the entire silhouette. Show your design and patterning skills by taking a classic over the top. Choose any pieces from the pattern but make a complete ensemble.
Winners of the challenge were featured in Threads Magazine, Number 154, May 2011.
Best Overall Janet Blood for her denim duster and overalls
Best Combination of Design and Fabric and Audience Choice Monique Saviano for her silk charmeuse and chiffon gown
Most Dramatic Pattern Change Ruth Ciemnoczolowski for her one-pattern-piece wool knit dress, and mini-jacket purse
Most Innovative Design Ruth Ciemnoczolowski for her convertible coat/sleeping bag, t-shirt, top and pants for homeless people