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Welcome to Sewing Stadium! Home of the Top Stitcher sewing challenge, and the jaw-dropping creations of the most imaginative minds in the sew-blogging world. You're in for a real treat. Go get inspired!

{stylist} Spirit Animal

I'm going to do you a big favor and make this a very short introduction.  Then I'll get out of your way so you can see the amazing, anamorphic Spirit Animals in today's sew down.  Just be sure to leave wolf whistles and cat calls, er I mean FEEDBACK for these lovely ladies because they really deserve it!!

When early explorers met the Ojibwa people, they were fascinated (and inspired) by the Ojibwa belief in spiritual guides, the animal forms they took, and their obvious impact on Ojibwa attire. Honor this rich animistic tradition! Pick an animal you most identify with, and represent their personality, appearance, and overall presence in a complete, high-fashion ensemble.
— Spirit Animal prompt

Judges will carefully consider your strategic use of materials, structural elements, overall silhouette, as well as your photo styling and venue.


Brianne's Entry

So you wanna play with magic
Boy, you should know wahtcha falling for
Baby do you dare to do this
‘Cause I’m coming at you like a dark…..CAT

I have always known my Animal Spirit is the cat.  I love everything about cats-their bad@$$ attitude, their craziness, their independence, their warmth, and their lovingness.

The day after being given the prompt, I was in the car taking my girls to school and my oldest requested the song Dark Horse by Katy Perry. BAM! Inspiration struck.  Once home, I watched the music video.  While there is not actually a cat in the video, it did help me decide on the Egyptian Cat.

My fashionista outfit need to be sleek, sophisticated, and sly-just like a cat.

The dress is DMKWoman Innocent & Sexy Draped Tunic.  While it is a basic pleated dress, I feel it fits the Egyptian Cat profile perfectly. Cats are simple yet majestic; that’s how this dress makes me feel. 

Cat Characteristics - Outfit:

  • Sleek - Medium-Heavy 4 way stretch black rayon knit fabric with a light sheen
  • Sophisticated - Classy and understated gold accents
  • Simple - simple boat neck, dolman style pleated pattern
  • Sexy - It’s a little black dress, what more do I need to say?
ts3-2c-1024x907.jpg

The bag is the beautiful SisBoom Scalloped Shellie Clutch. So many ideas rushed through my mind on how to create the clutch.  Machine embroidery, hand embroidery, hand sewn sequins and jewels were all options.  In the end, I chose a simple, clean, yet very classy gold polyester for the exterior.  I love how the simple fabric shows off the scalloped flap, plus the bag is a blank slate and can be used for many future outings. (birds and stones, my friends!)

The headband is stretch sequin trim that I turned into a 30 second accessory, I have a quick tutorial on my blog so you can make one too!

Finally the necklace.  I spent no less than one hour in the Hobby Lobby jewelry section staring at the endless options.  I don’t know the first thing about making jewelry.  I was scared to even attempt.  I even struck up conversation with another lady in the same aisle who appeared to know what she was doing in hopes she would give me guidance.  She walked off saying “good luck”.  Total failure. Eventually I picked up my chain and pieces and went home to create this necklace.  It’s a bit austere, I admit.  But so am I.  I’m pretty proud of my necklace none the less! 

If you would like to see a few more photos of my fashionista outfit and/or view the headband tutorial, please come check out my own blog post.  You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram

A very special Thank You to Sewing Stadium for having me in Season 3 of Top Stitchers.  I adore being accompanied by all of these talented seamstresses.


Teronia's Entry

Hi! I'm Teronia from Crazy Crafty Haute Mama and I'm so excited to be participating in Top Stitchers Season 3. The Spirit Animal prompt was right up my alley with the twist of making our pieces "high fashion". My biggest challenge was narrowing it down to just ONE animal, but after much debate I prevailed and here we go!

First, I'd like to start by saying that no peacocks were harmed in the making of this dress. In my mind these colorful birds are stately, elegant and look fussy, but their silhouettes are really simple lines. I tried to mimic this all the way down to looking fussy, but being simple. When closed, their beautiful tails trail behind them barely touching the ground. 

I have been obsessed with peacocks a few years now. Probably because I'd been hoarding a bolt of this gorgeous fabric from Joann Fabrics. My fabric choice was easy, but pattern? Now, that's a different story. This dress was built from the tail up. I started by figuring out the best way to add a train and decided that a godet was the best way to go. A godet is a triangular piece of material inserted in a dress, shirt, or glove to make it flared. I also knew that having a godet that started up high made buttons and zippers nearly impossible. This led me to fall back onto the old tried and true of PDF patterns - an elastic casing for the back waist. 

Next, I wanted to capture the overall shape of a peacock and decided on a Hi-lo hem styled after the Bluezette Dress by Love Notions. This almost perfectly mimicked the dragging tail.

In order to keep the front as smooth as possible I did a flat front and then it was time to complete the bodice. I went to the runway for inspiration and I stumbled upon, Madeleine Vionnet, a French designer who became famous for free-flowing simple designs. After looking at some of her work I decided on a triangle top halter. Easy and no concrete pattern needed. For an idea of how to do this you may look at the Create Kids Couture Lexie dress. Actually, I highly recommend that you utilize some sort of a set of measurements for the top or yours may come out a little...vivacious, as mine did.

The second biggest challenge for me was definitely trying to embody the character of a peacock. With a little instruction and the suggestion of my wonderful photographer Elizabeth of  Elizabeth Anne Photography we were able to spread my tail feathers in that iconic image of a peacock.

Hopefully, I did these beautiful birdies some justice. Thank you and Happy Voting!!


Before you give your ratings, here's a quick refresher of the rules!

  • You will rate rate each challenger, and every category. Max of 5 stars, 5 is highest.
  • Challengers will receive an average score for each category, and an average score overall. (You can see an example here) New to Season 2 - 50% of the vote will come from 3 Top Stitcher Alumnae who volunteered to judge this season's creations!
  • Your feedback helps each challenger recognize areas that they can improve their craft, and celebrate those areas that they already excel. 
  • As such, please submit your feedback for each contestant only once. Admittedly, I cannot enforce this, but the objective is for each contestant to receive a thoughtful rating, not skewed scores. 
  • It is SUPER DUPER NERVE-WRACKING to put work on display for others to judge, so let's remember to leave some love and encouragement for our challengers in the comments!
  • YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PICK A FAVORITE! Any week, any sew-down, you are welcome to reward both sewists with the highest scores. Or one sewist higher than another in different categories. This is a contest against each contestant's personal best, not against one another.

Brianne's Technique *
Technique) Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Teronia's Technique *
Technique) Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Brianne's Creativity *
(Creativity) Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Teronia's Creativity *
(Creativity) Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Brianne's Presentation *
(Presentation) Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Teronia's Presentation *
(Presentation) Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Brianne's Degree of Difficulty *
(Degree of Difficulty) Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Teronia's Degree of Difficulty *
(Degree of Difficulty) Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Feedback for the lovely ladies? *
(Leave some love!) Let this week's challengers know what you liked best from each look!