That’s just the challenge presented to students at Kent State University’s Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design. Dubbed the Rockwell/Coats & Clark Experience, the competition was designed to provide students with an educational opportunity and exposure to different products from Coats & Clark and affiliate companies. It also introduced them to career opportunities in the textile, needlecraft and sewing industries.
What was amazing is how these students transformed these materials, fabrics we look at in terms of piecing and blocks, into truly wearable fashions.
There was resourcefulness too. The corsage made from balls of yarn. Cheese grating your seams to create a fray, raw edged look. Using a zipper as an accent or broach to complete the collar on a dress. Hand stitching yarns all over a bodice to tie your two pieces of mismatched fabrics together. Crocheting trims as accents.
In the end, 22 students gave up their weekend to vie for a scholarship of $1,500 from Coats & Clark and a plethora of other prizes from some of our industries biggest names: a Babylock Sophia sewing and embroidery machine, Singer® Confidence 7470 sewing machine, Singer® CG754 serger, Electric Quilt 6 design software, the opportunity to create a pattern for BurdaStyle.com, free membership to Rowan International and gifts from Amy Butler Designs, Heather Bailey, CK Media, Interweave Press, Bernina and C & T Publishing.
First place scholarship winner was Kristy Howard, a junior fashion design major, whose pin tuck pleated sun dress included fabric she made by pin weaving yarn, crocheted matching trim, quilting and chenille details.
Carolyn Peters, a senior, won the Babylock Sophia sewing and embroidery machine with a “girlie with an edge” Capri and halter top outfit featuring beautiful top stitching details and a crocheted wallet chain.
The third place winner was sophomore design student Theresa Rietschlin who will design a pattern for Burda Style, an open source sewing community website. She meticulously hand-stitched looped yarn all over the bodice of her dress, carrying the detail through to the hemline.