This is a really exciting decision to reveal! But HARD. Man this was hard! This years challenge, I think it’s fair to say, has captivated people’s imagination, creativity and ingenuity more than any series before it. Maybe it’s because we ALL have old pairs of jeans that we keep meaning to “do something with” and this challenge has given us the impetus to actually get on and do it. Maybe it’s because denim is such an awesome, versatile and timeless fabric. Maybe it’s because jeans themselves throw up so many challenges that the only option is to take the ingenuity up a gear in order to overcome them. Maybe the inspiring makes that have been appearing all over this blog & the various social media channels has opened our eyes to the potential in old pairs of jeans. That jeans refashioning is NOT inevitably going to end up looking all “Becky home Ecky” (unless you want it to which is equally fine of course!). Maybe, just maybe, it’s a combination of all of those things. This years challenge has achieved everything I wanted it to….and then some!! I have been FLOORED by the amount of time, thought and creative energy that has gone into everyone’s makes. Which of course has made it all the harder to arrive at this decision. But arrive at a decision we must. So without further ado…
This dress by Messy Essy had me (well, all of us) floored from the moment we saw it. The sheer AMOUNT of work that went into this is almost enough on it’s own. That intricate central panel of quilt pieced cubes itself took days of painstaking work. When I first saw that on it’s own (before it became a dress!) it occurred to me that you could frame it and put it on a wall as a piece of art in it’s own right. Add to that the careful thought and placement of the various hues of blue to achieve not only a 3d cube effect, but an ombre 3d cube effect!!! Hello!! Then, add to that the way it sits perfectly as part of the overall design of the dress, brilliantly executed and perfectly suited to the wearer. The simple elegance of this dress when worn, belies the intricacy and skill needed to make it. All of this making “the cuboid dress” a worthy winner of the first prize.
You can read more about Essy’s process and thoughts on the challenge here.
Our special recognition prize goes to Selmin for this awesome denim sweatshirt. The general consensus is that it was just so well executed, so wearable. Edgy, bang up to date, makes clever use of the original seams. The colour blocking is so well considered and the subtle sashiko detailing acts to tie all of those blue hues together even further. I’ve heard it said that many people prefer their refashions not to look like they were made from jeans. I don’t think this does, but it does subtly nod to the garment’s original incarnation, and denim’s workwear history; and plays a little homage to the way clothes used to be repaired rather than thrown away. Yet it does all this whilst looking modern and, more importantly, really reflecting the wearers individual style. And I just love it for all of those reasons. (And actually would like to steal it for myself!!)
You can read more about Selmin’s process and thoughts on the challenge here.
It has honestly been astounding, and at times quite emotional (I know I’m a sop) each time a new entry popped up. And to read all of your blog posts and hear what you have gained from this challenge. That it was hard, but you were glad you did it. That it made you realise that if you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you realise how much more you are capable of. In many instances that this refashioned garment is your proudest make to date. That you will never look at a pair of old jeans in the same way again. That you’ve caught the refashioning bug despite having never really considered it before. Seeing all of those makes and hearing all of your thoughts on this challenge, has made me so proud. Proud that I set the ball rolling on this challenge. But the truth is, I am not responsible for all of this. You all are. I just set the scene and lit the touch paper. And just LOOK where our sewing community took it. THAT I am proud to be a part of.
Thank you to everyone who lent their energy to this years challenge. And while you may not have won “the big prize”, you have inspired me. And you have inspired your fellow sewers. And you have proven yet again how amazing our sewing community is. Hopefully you will have taken new things from this challenge that you never knew about yourself and about refashioning. And those are all wins. Bigger ones in my book. So thank you.
Question is……what the hell do I come up with to top this next year????!!!!