Skip to main content

Resource Library: Area Fairs and Farm Shows.

It is Fair Season here and I am super excited! 

When I first learned how to sew I entered my projects into the Lebanon Area Fair each year. I would search the pages of the fair book to find the maximum amount of crafts I could make to enter. I needed to have all of my bases covered! My mom and I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning the day before I had to submit my final entries. I could not wait to get to the fair the following day to see what awards my projects won!

Did you know that fairs are not just for kids?
Adults can enter too! 
So last year I did just that! I entered a few of my sewing projects and drawings. 
And just like I did when I was little, I ran to the fair the next day to see what prize ribbons hung from my garments.

Over the years of sewing and entering my projects I have received a lot of feedback on my work. 
The judges often write little notes on the back of your prize cards to tell you what they liked about your work and what you could have improved. 


Here are a few things that your garments might be judged on:

Creativity: How is your project unique and inspiring? Did you try something new?

Craftsmanship: How well is your project executed? Did you manage your time well and complete your project? Did you finish all of your seams and hand sewing? Does it look well made and polished? 

Difficulty: Did you challenge yourself with the project? Did you opt for a dress with sleeves and fit over a shapeless smock with straps?

Suitability: Did you use appropriate fabric for your pattern? If more than one piece, do they work well together? Does it look natural or forced? 

Attractiveness: Most of the time garments will be judged on hangers. Therefore you will have to think about how your piece looks on a hanger. Does it look sad and lifeless? Or does it look fun and vibrant? Would you pick your dress out in a store to buy just seeing it on a hanger? 

If you have a chance to model your piece, make sure that it fits well! Some fairs allow you to share photos of your garment. Consider taking some nice photos of yourself in the garment to show its fit if it will only be judged on the hanger. Or maybe some photos of different ways to style your pieces. Don't get carried away though. Judges only have a few minutes to spend in each category and will not have time to look through a scrapbook of images of you wearing your suit. Keep it to one or two images.



The fair is about having fun! 
So even if you don't win and you think that the dress that won over you is ugly and you wouldn't wear it bed, do not fret about it! 
Sure there are things you could probably work on to make it better next time. Or maybe you can enter that item into another local fair and try to win a better prize. But don't get discouraged. Remember, there are people judging the work and everyone has a different opinion.
So just because the conservative women at one fair don't understand your colorblocking does not mean that a different group of judges at another fair will not think it is fresh and modern.


Why should you enter your pieces into local fairs? 
Entering your garments into a fair is fun competition. You get to receive feedback on your work from other seamstresses.You can see what others did with the same challenge and get inspired. You can challenge yourself to become better or try harder projects. Maybe do more projects or different categories. And you can win prizes! I mean, everyone likes prizes. 


Didn't get a chance to enter any fairs this season? 
Don't worry! There is always next year! Go visit your area fair and see what categories they have to offer. Look at which projects won and try to be the judge and determine why one skirt won over the other skirt.
Get inspired! You can begin planning your projects for next year!

Not sure how to find out about local fairs near you? Keep an eye out for them in your local newspaper and merchandiser. Or try looking online by searching for area fairs or farm shows.

-Kaitlin

Comments

  1. Interesting article. I'd love to see some of the pieces you entered!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Date Night looks for Valentine's Day

Happy New Year! I am excited to be back blogging in 2023 with Fabric Mart.  Over the past few weeks, I spent quite some time reflecting on what truly brings me joy and a personalized form of self-care. Sewing was on the top of the list and I truly enjoy making my own clothing.  During the winter break, I wanted to create some basic looks that I can jazz up for a wedding or rock on date night.  When I read Johanna’s  blogpost and came across the Vogue 1835 pattern that she made last month, I saw endless possibilities with the pattern.  I knew it was perfect to hack to make a mini, midi or maxi dress and a staple pattern to have. My original plan with the lycra foil printed knit ( here ) fabric was to make a formal infinity wrap dress that I saw on instagram.  I will be attending a formal event later this month and felt it was perfect. Knowing that I would only wear the infinity wrap dress once or twice per year, I decided to make separates that I can dress up or down and maximize the w

Made by a Fabricista: YouTube Edition | Marty - Let's Make Some Activewear!

Do you ever see a fabric, and it reminds you of a fabric in your stash, so you just have to combine the two and like... annoy the world? Now I'm not saying that these colors are horrible together, but I definitely feel like a high visibility vest while wearing them. The neon orange and hot pink are just that striking of a combination. And I still can't get over the pocket detail I did on the color-blocked pair. Along with everyone else I set a New Years goal to be more healthy. To improve my relationship with food, my body, and the world around me. And these leggings bring me so much joy. Not, go run a marathon in July joy. But maybe some Yoga and outdoor adventures in August kind of joy. From beginning to end, figuring out these legging patterns has been a lot of fun. Before this, it had been almost a decade since I had worked this seriously with knit, and I think I need to do more, to be honest. I apologize for the awkward photos. I just finished a cross-country move and am s

Made by a Fabricista: Youtube Edition | Dee & Dory

YouTuber's Dee & Dory are back on the Fabric Mart blog today with their most recent Fabricista Makes. Make sure to click play on the video below to hear all about their fabric choices & how their projects turned out! Dee Simplicity 9189 was the pattern used for the wonderful ponte knit of polyester lycra.  This is a medium weight fabric, perfect weight for cooler weather wear or layering when it is colder.  The fabric sews up easily and there were no issues with working with this fabric.  It also launders well. I used cool water and in the dryer a medium temperature.   Wrinkles were not an issue.   A great choice if you need a medium weight stretch fabric for a garment.   This fabric can be dressed up or down, looking chic with a pair of jeans or a topper for a dress. Do be careful though if the pattern calls for the reverse side showing, as the wrong side of this fabric is white! Dory I found this ITY Knit 58” wide perfect for Kwik Sew 3873.  It’s such a flowy fabric, 4 wa