Tuesday, August 6, 2013

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

1 comment:

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

    ReplyDelete

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