The Honorable Judges of Spring Top Week

I am actually a little floored at all of the talent represented here on our Spring Top Week judges panel.  I’m thrilled they said yes and that they are so excited to peruse/score your tops!  Our ten Spring Top Week judges are, in no particular order:

Astrid of Denmark from Connecting the Dots, the winner of Spring Top Week 2009!
Ashley of Film in the Fridge, quilting extraordinaire who also designs great garments when she’s not making gobs and gobs of quilts
Whitney of Darling Dexter, one of my all-time favorite design-bloggers, who also happens to be a fabulous wedding photographer and fashion designer
Juliette of Chickpea Sewing Studio, pattern designer for Bernina’s Sewing Republic and another amazing quilt designer, has the enviable advantage of being French and therefore possessing inborn style sense. 
Kristena of Thimbly Things, who is currently working through Cal Patch’s pattern-drafting book and does the most amazing refashions from thrift store nightmares, and who sadly missed last year’s Spring Top Week submissions by just an hour (Would she have won?  We’ll never know!)*
Jamie of Pretty Ditty, owner of Phat Fabrics online store and designer of Jamie Christina Patterns
Dana of MADE, my partner in crime from The Boy Month who owes me big time for making me work so hard in February, but more importantly can make absolutely anything, specializing in children’s garment design and refashion.
Meg of Fashioned By Meg, a blog and pattern-shop on Etsy, and one of last year’s Spring Top Week finalists
Deborah of Whipstitch, owner of Whipstitch Fabrics in Atlanta and online, pattern designer and author Kelli of Presser Foot, one of the most hip sewalong blogs, who also happens to be one of last year’s Spring Top Week finalists.

So, what will they be looking for?  The goal here is for you to create wearable (read: not haute couture) tops for your own wardrobes.  To create something you’ll find yourself grabbing over and over when you’re getting dressed.  With that in mind, when it comes to scoring judges will be operating on a would-I-wear-that basis as well as looking at things like good construction and fit and keeping an eye out for unique ideas or designs or creative use of use of color, pattern or embellishment.

Many people have asked me if the tops need to be self-designed, and the answer is no.  Using a commercial pattern is fine as long as you give credit where credit is due.  With that said, those tops using commercial patterns will have to be judged on different merits than those that are self-designed.  Since you didn’t create the design, now it’s up to you to marry the perfect combination of pattern and fabric or add other details to make the top unique. 

And one more thing I’d like to add:  I’m really thrilled that most of you are doing this more as a personal challenge than a competition.  It makes me so happy to hear from all of you who are taking this challenge as a chance to sew for yourselves for a change or even the very first time!  Sometimes simple can be good too, no?  So no pressure, and have fun with it!

Would you join me in giving our judges a big THANK YOU?  They are lending us their time and style-sense, and it’s going to be great.  When they’re done scoring the entries we’ll take their top 50 and showcase those on the blog during Spring Top Week for reader voting (and I feel it can’t hurt to remind you again: voting will happen for 24 hours only for each group).

*those of you who’ve had me for a teacher know I’m a stickler (to a fault) for deadlines.  Come on, I know you guys are stalking my blog. Might as well back me up here.

Spring Top Week Submissions…OPEN! (4/30: Now closed!)

UPDATED (4/30): THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!  Thank you to everyone who submitted tops!  Tune in next week to vote for your favorites!!!

I AM SO GEEKED about Spring Top Week! Not only have the Spring Top Week Sponsors (see them over there to the right?) provided a fantastic prize package for the winner (more on that later this week), but we also have ten ridiculously talented judges to help us narrow down a finalist. You are going to be SO impressed.  Am v. pleased w/ self and am patting self on back even as I type this.  My tops are coming along, slowly but surely.  I’ve got a bunch (four) cut and ready to sew and another one is finished but I’m not sure I like that one enough to post it anymore.  Meh.

Soooo….I’m really excited to see what you guys come up with.  I can’t wait to see the entries. To enter your tops, maximum FIVE tops per person, you’ll need to add a photo of the top to our official pool (see link below).  You may only add ONE PHOTO OF EACH TOP.  And would you please read this post through before submitting your top?  Thanks!

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT TOPS:  Friday, April 30, 8 PM EST

YOUR PHOTO:
Ideally, try* to pick a photo that:

  • is square (it will really, really help us with the mosaics if you can crop your picture to a square before uploading)
  • is well-lit and not blurry. If possible, photograph it in lots of natural light, either in a well-lit room or outside in non-direct light (early evening is best for this).
  • shows the top either on you or a dressform (do your best here, I understand this isn’t always possible but remember that it’s tons easier to get the full effect when it’s ON someone!)
  • UPDATED:  The judges have expressed a strong desire to see the top ON YOU if at all possible; I will not disqualify dressform pics (and some of you who are pregnant have emailed about having a sister or similarly-figured person model it, and that’s fine) but do understand that it is harder for judges to judge if they can’t see it on you.  Thanks!

  • the top occupies a large % of the picture.  Think about picking a photo where the top is shown close up instead of a full-body shot (which are fun, but make it harder to see detail on the actual top).

*I say “try” because non of these things are required, just suggestions/hints on helping your top make the best impression possible!

YOUR ENTRY:
Once you upload your photo to Flickr, you’ll have the opportunity to edit the photo.  You MUST do the following before adding it to the pool:

  • Give it a title that includes your first name or screenname (example: Striped Boatneck Top by Kathleen)
  • Tell us where the design came from (pattern? and if so which one? your own original design? anthrocopy?) in the description
  • Tell us about the fabric (thrift store? vintage? recycled? designer, if so who? can you still buy it somewhere?) in the description
  • This is NOT required, but recommended if possible: if possible, link to your blog, website, or Flickr set where we could see more pictures or read more info about your top. That way you can post more pictures (besides the one you’ve entered) of your top so everyone including judgeswill be able to see them.  I’d encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to “sell” your top.  If you upcycled another top to make your new one and have a “before” picture, this must be linked here. You can always add links later if you need to, so don’t feel like you need to have a whole blog post ready to go before submitting the top.  And oh, remember to put “http://” in the web address so it will be recognized as a link by Flickr.

THEN CHECK THAT IT GETS ENTERED:
One of the pool moderators or me will comment on your picture to let you know that it has been officially checked/entered. This should happen within a couple days of adding it, so you don’t see this after a few days, please email me to check on it.  This is our way of checking and “stamping” your top, and if this doesn’t happen, it will not get scored by a judge, so please double check for us.

SCORING AND VOTING:
The judges will be scoring the tops starting in mid-April until May 1 (so there’s an advantage to having your top in early!) and we will take the tops with the highest scores and post them on my blog for reader voting during Top Week.  Specifically: the reader votes will take place on a new batch of tops each weekday, Monday through Friday, May 3-7, 2010.  Each batch will get voted on for JUST 24 HOURS, so you’ll have to watch closely to see if your top goes up so you can vote for it.  Those finalists will go on to the final round.

I really like having you guys vote for the winner, but last year there were SO many tops (and this year I expect even more) that I just don’t think I can handle having reader voting for every single top.  I think this system will provide a good balance between judge scoring and reader voting and help keep it fair while at the same time preventing the massive amounts of work it takes to get every single picture up on my blog in a measly week.  I honestly haven’t decided yet whether the final round will be determined by judges scoring or reader votes.  I’m leaning toward reader votes but don’t want to give Monday’s finalist an advantage over Friday’s, you know?  So I’ll keep you posted on that.

Are you ready to submit your top?
May the best top win!!!

Elliot is three.

Elliot’s birthday was yesterday so I’ve been busy celebrating that (and making super-hero capes during naps instead of spring tops) and eating cupcakes.  I wish I could give you a beautiful birthday party spread like Jess complete with diggers but really we just had a few chaotic mornings filled with playing friends, lots of drumset banging and chasing up and down the hall.  Trying to pretend there was any sort of theme besides cupcakes would be misleading.

 one day old
In fact am not sure I can sit down and finish this post (UPDATED: I didn’t, had to write it in two tries).  The main problem is that there is so much sugar pulsing through my veins from the massive quantities of cupcakes I’ve consumed in the last 24 hours that my hands are shaking.  The other problem is that Thing One is supposed to be napping but instead is in his room screaming “NOOOO!” over and over and now Thing Two has woken up too.  At least she’s talking calmly to herself.  And I wasted the first half (?) of naptime looking for the pants in this post, which are completely lost and gone forever.  I am certain my Closet Eats Things.  Let’s just say this is not the first time, and that I’ve had my suspicions for some time now.
at one

Anyway, back to the main thing here.  My little tiny baby Elliot is three.  Waaaaaah!  OK, lame I know.  We’ve all read the “my baby is NINE…bwaaah” and “my baby is TWENTY…waahahaha” posts.  But seriously, it’s still hard (and yet wonderful) to watch your baby grow up, even when he’s only three. In fact, I remember thinking in the hospital “I can’t believe he’s already a DAY old!” and at the same time it felt like we had known him forever. 

at two

At three Elliot is just such an exuberant, energetic, hilarious little guy.  He loves to sing at the top of his lungs, dance, drum, yell, count things.  He says all these funny things that only sound really cute to his parents, so I won’t type them here.  “M is for FRENCH FRIES!” is one of our favorites though (think about where french fries come from if you don’t get it).

 at three
{please do not use pictures of Elliot without permission}

OK, but now Clementine has moved into phase two: crying.  Gotta go.  Have a happy weekend!  I’ll be back soon with more on Spring Top Week 2010, specifically: PRIZES!!!

Posted in at home
23 Comments

CELEBRATE THE BOY ARCHIVES

C E L E B R A T E   T H E   B O Y  2 0 1 3

Celebrate the BOY 2013

celebratetheboymosaic

Celebrate the BOY Wrapup

kneepads 3 ways

Kneepads – 3 Ways!

PIPINGbutton

Piping Improves Everything.

tic tac toe

Tic Tac Toe Shirt + Piping How-To

neon moustache

Fun Trend Alert: Mustaches!

City Pant

City Pants

Tuxedo Stripe pant

Tuxedo Stripe Pant

PRINTSbutton

Say Yes to Bold Prints!

Fox Tee
Fox Tee

Celebration Garland
Celebration Garland

stripesbutton

stripes rule

show your stripes turtleneck

show your stripes turtleneck + how-to

Little Bit of Color Hoodie Tutorial

little bit of color hoodie how-to

little bit of color hoodie

little bit of color hoodie

COLORbutton

More Color!

Saffron pants

Saffron Pants

CELEBRATE THE SUMMER BOY 2011

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
C E L E B R A T E   T H E   B O Y  2 0 1 1
2011 TUTORIALS





2011 BOY PATTERN REVIEWS

2011 GIVEAWAYS

C E L E B R A T E   T H E   B O Y  2 0 1 0
2010 TUTORIALS
2010 ROUNDUPS

Free! Baby Tights Pattern

Well I thought I might have to throw the printer out the window trying to get this pattern to print correctly, but I didn’t.  It’s here, now, and it works.  And that’s what’s important right?  By the way, page two is just there to taunt me.  So just print page one.  Take that you stupid pattern!?!  OK, am really losing it.  Just talked to a digital file.  Just talked to a digital file.

We have spring fever here.  It’s so warm and breezy and lovely this week.  And as I type this I’m sitting in my car outside my house because both my kids fell asleep on the way home from hanging out with friends in Ann Arbor this morning, and rather than try and haul them inside and hope for more napping, I parked outside our front door and grabbed my laptop.  So here I am, in the car, typing.  UPS guy just drove up with a package for Elliot (thanks Grandma H!) and said “this your new office?”  He has no idea how right he was.

The pattern is size 3-6 months, but I added the modifications I made for a 6-12 month size too, and I’m sure you could extrapolate a 12-18 month or 2T size from that too somehow.  And you know what?  You never know ’til you try.  I’ll let you know if I do (so please don’t ask me how much to enlarge for a four year old.  I have no idea).

click on the image above to download the file, then right click to save or print]

And for those of you who just arrived, this pattern goes along with this great fantastic non-troublesome tutorial for baby tights, where you can find the instructions for constructing them.

Tutorial by Rae: Make baby tights

This tutorial will show you how to make a pair of tights by tracing another pair.  Don’t have a pair on hand to trace?  I’ve made a PDF baby tights pattern in size 3-6 months (with 6-12 months size modifications) that will be available soon (UPDATED: PATTERN HERE)! These baby tights can be sewn with either a serger OR a regular sewing machine.  Stretchy knit jersey or old t-shirts make the best materials, and you’ll also need some 3/4″ wide elastic.  I’ll talk about fabric selection, needles, and sewing techniques, so here we go…


Step 1: Get some fabric

For baby tights you’ll need very little fabric. An 18″ square of fabric will probably do it if you’re making tights for an infant, obviously more if your baby is larger.  The type of fabric needed for these tights is lightweight knit jersey with lycra/spandex.  Jersey is different from interlock as it does not look the same on both sides and tends to curl on the edges.  Interlock is the same on both sides, doesn’t curl or stretch as much, and will not work as well for this project. Some ribbed knits might work, but most ribs tend to stretch mostly in one direction. When you select your knit, make sure it is thin, it is very very stretchy, and that it stretches in both dimensions (called 4-way stretch).  This is why the addition of lycra/spandex is helpful.  One way to tell if a fabric will work is to take the fabric in your hands and try stretching it widthwise and then lengthwise.  It should feel pretty stretchy both ways, even if one is a little less than the other.  If it is significantly less stretchy in one direction, it’s probably not a good choice for these tights.

So where can you find such a fabric?  One of the easiest places to get it is from stretch t-shirts.
Most t-shirts from the major brands (JCrew, Gap, BR, Old Navy) are made with lots of stretch so recycling your old t-shirts is a great option.  Notice I’m not talking about the traditional screen-printed “beefy-Ts” which are too thick and won’t have enough stretch.  Here’s the tag from the grey t-shirt I used for the grey tights I posted yesterday so you can see the ingredients (a cotton/lycra blend):

And just in case you’re wondering, here’s what I used from left to right in the top photo:

  • aqua: bamboo/spandex blend jersey from Joann (worked great! very stretchy!)
  • red stripes: cotton jersey knit from Pacific Fabrics (wasn’t quite as stretchy as I wanted, but pretty good!)
  • grey: old Banana Republic stretch t-shirt (worked great! very stretchy!)
  • green stripes: cotton jersey knit from Pacific Fabrics (pretty good!)
  • sky blue: thick cotton knit t-shirt (this really did not work well…too thick, not very stretchy)

If you don’t have t-shirts you can recycle, look for knit jersey with cotton/lycra or bamboo/lycra blends.  Here are some places online that I found bamboo-blend jersey:
Fabric Fairy, Pacific Fabrics (they don’t have the striped cotton jersey online but you might be able to call them and order it?), Field’s Fabrics (I have some of that peach, it’s dreamy), Sewzanne’s, and Hart’s.

Of course, you don’t have to use bamboo blends, cotton/lycra blends will work fine too.  Here’s a nice cotton/lycra red/pink stripe at the Fabric Fairy that looks like it’s got lots of stretch.

Step 2: Check/change your sewing machine needle

You need to use a needle that will work with knits.  I use Schmetz Stretch needles which work with all of my machines (Bernina, Singer, Brother).  Sew a small sample of the knit before you begin.  If there is any thread catching or wonkiness going on inside your machine, DESIST and CHANGE YOUR NEEDLE.  It’s not going to get better the longer you try.  You’re just going to get more frustrated and emit swears/big fat baby tears.  You might need a stretch needle for a different weight fabric too (like size 11 instead of 14).  If ballpoint or stretch needles aren’t working, try using a basic Universal needle.  You might be surprised at what works.  I do not use a walking foot for sewing knits because I am cheap and the walking foot for my Bernina is expensive ($150), but I understand that can also help.  By the way, I do not change the needles on my serger, just my sewing machine.

Step 3: Make your pattern

Trace around the outside of the tights 1/4″ from the edge (for seam allowance), ending at the center seam.  Make the outside edge as straight as possible even if the tights “turn”.  Yes, my real name is Rachel.  Isn’t it fun what secrets you learn when you read the whole tutorial?

and then connect the center seam line:

And add 1″ to the top of your pattern for the waistband (shown in next photo for Step 4).

If you’d like to make a pair of tights the next size up from the ones you have, add 1-2″ to the bottom of the foot and 1″ to the top to size it up.

DON’T HAVE A PAIR OF TIGHTS TO TRACE?  My tights pattern for 3-6 months is here for you to download.  It’s got modifications for 6-12 months, but that’s as much as I can help you with.   It’s finished, but I’m having some printing size problems with my new version of Adobe Reader. Argh. I’m giving up for now. Will work on it tomorrow.

Step 4: Cut out your fabric

Place the long edge of the pattern on the fold of the fabric and cut out your fabric.  You’ll get the best results if the stretchiest dimension of the fabric goes top to bottom on your tights.

Hint: The first pair of red-striped tights I made ended up being a little too small because the striped jersey didn’t stretch as much as I expected.  If you don’t have a super-stretchy jersey, add an inch or two to the top and bottom of the pattern.  You can always make them smaller, but not larger.  And remember to line up stripes if you’re using striped fabric!

Your pieces should look like this:

Step 5: Sew the center seams together

I did this on a serger, but you can also use the overlock stitch on your regular machine (I’ll show you that in just a minute).  Place right sides together and sew only the center seam using a 1/4″ seam.  DO NOT KEEP SEWING DOWN THE LEG!



Step 6: Sew Inner Leg Seam

Open tights up and line up center seams.  Starting at one toe edge, sew the inner leg seam together, again with 1/4″ seam.  On a serger it is helpful to pull the legs apart like they’re doing the splits as you cross the center seams.

Here’s what it looks like if you use the overlock stitch on a regular machine (the stitch that looks like a combination between straight and zigzag stitch). I backstitched a few times at the crotch (sorry!) to strengthen the seam there.  That’s where they’re most likely to split apart.

Not as pretty as a serger, but it’s going to be on the inside so don’t sweat it.  I’d recommend using matching thread though; when Clementine wears these they look slightly bumpy along the seams and the white thread shows a little.  Oh well, they still look great.

Step 7:  Turn tights right-side out and try them on your baby.  Make adjustments as needed.

As I mentioned in Step 4, after I tried the pair on the left on Clementine I realized this fabric wasn’t going to stretch as much as real tights, so I added two inches to both the bottom and the top, and tried it again (right).  If you use jersey blends with spandex or lycra, you shouldn’t need to do this.


Step 8: Cut and sew elastic waistband

Take a 3/4″ strip of elastic and cut it a half inch larger than your baby’s waist.  Clementine is 7 months old and her waist is about 16″ so I cut a piece 16.5″ long.  I used knitted elastic because it’s more stretchy than woven but I’m not sure it’s really that important.  Overlap the ends by 1/2″ and use a zigzag stitch to secure ends together.  This makes the elastic slightly smaller than their waist, but I find it stretches out when you sew it in the next step.

Step 9:  Pin elastic to tights

Find the center of the elastic and pin it to the inside of the front center seam, folding 1/4″ of the fabric over the elastic.  Pin the overlapped part of the elastic to the center back.  The tights are still right-side out, by the way.

Step 10: Stitch elastic to tights

This part’s a little tricky, but it’s not going to show.  With the 1/4″ of fabric directly under the needle as shown, place the back center seam under the presser foot.  Pull that pin out so it won’t get in the way of the needle.  Sew the jersey-elastic-jersey sandwich together with a zigzag stitch, stretching the whole thing as you go.  I use my left hand behind the needle to pull the elastic through and my right hand to fold the knit over the edge of the elastic and stretch it out.  It helps to stop and restretch/refold as you go.

It will look like this when you’re finished:



Step 10:  Zigzag around again.

This will hide your elastic entirely.  Fold the elastic under once more and zigzag around the whole thing again, stretching as you go.

Finished! Huzzah. Now go take a picture of that darling baby in her new tights and send it on over!

And still more blah-blah…
I’m really curious to see if this sort of thing works for bigger tights (non-baby sizes).  It would really depend on whether the material selected had the same amount of stretch as real tights.  Definitely comment if you experiment with this; I’m sure others would love to know as well!

I’d also like to refer you to Built By Wendy’s Sew U Home Stretch if you don’t have much experience with knits.  I found this book immensely helpful (and it has great patterns in it) and much of this information probably came from her in some way.

Thanks for reading this whole thing.  I realized after I started it that even though this is a really simple project, there are so many tricks for working with knits that I’ve learned over the years that I felt needed to be explained.  I hope despite it’s length that it will make sewing baby tights simple and easy for you!

Pierrot Dress for Clementine

The baby tights tutorial is finished, but just decided yesterday that I’m going to include a tights pattern with it which isn’t quite finished.  So that will be up tomorrow or Thursday, for all of you who responded so exuberantly!  I’m so excited that you’re excited!  It’s such a fast and easy project, I know you’ll love it.

During naps today I completely ignored my growing pile of emails and frantically whipped up this baby dress.  In my defense: a) it was in my head and needed to get out, b) the grey tights needed something to go with them.

The pattern came from a vintage baby pattern that I heavily modified (as in: only used the neckline and underarm lines, redrafted everything else), and the fabric is from Joann.

Now I’m going to subject you to more baby pictures (universal groan, I know).

{please don’t use pictures of Clementine without permission.  thanks!}

My only bit of sadness is that her little red Minnetonka moccasins don’t fit yet to complete the outfit.  Size 2, why do you taunt me!?!

Next post will be the baby tights tutorial/pattern, I promise.

Baby Tights Madness

I’ve been in serious baby-clothes-sewing withdrawal.  Sooooo…look what I made this weekend:

 {please don’t use pictures of Clementine without permission — thanks}


Oh and I may have gone a little crazy and made a few more.

{Striped recycled cotton jersey from Pacific Fabrics}

And guess what?  I took pictures, so a tutorial’s on the way.  Fun, fun, fun!!!

Posted in baby
69 Comments

More about Spring Top Week.

What is Spring Top Week?
It’s a week-long showcase of tops here on my blog and a contest for Best Top.  It started last year as my own “selfish-sewing” challenge that I invited others to join, and again my challenge this year is to make five new tops for myself for spring (I will not compete).  So, I invite you to challenge yourself to sew something new for yourself that you’ve never done before. Then enter it in the Spring Top Week 2010 pool between March 30 and April 30, 2010 to be entered in the challenge.  There will be voting during top week (voting will be held May 3-7) to help us narrow down the finalists, and a final vote to determine a winner.  *UPDATE: Judges scores will also determine a second winner, so we will have two winning tops* And although winning is pretty cool, I think what’s even cooler is seeing all the new ideas, patterns, and fabrics that everyone has to contribute to this project. 

 
Some of my 2009 tops. oh yeah: and i was 6 month preggers at the time…

When is it?
Top Week is May 1-7, 2010, but that’s just the week that tops get posted here on my blog.  The first day to ENTER a top is March 30, and the last day to enter is April 30, 2010. 

Can non-US crafters enter their tops?
Anyone in any nation of the world who has an email address and the ability to put pictures on Flickr may participate. 

Are there any restrictions on the tops that can be entered?
All tops must be made after March 1, 2010 and must be sewn for oneself (ie it must be “selfish-sewing”).  They may be from patterns or self-designed.  Your top may not be sold or used to advertise for a shop or business. You can submit up to FIVE tops total.

What counts as a “top”?
A top is defined as anything that would normally be worn with shorts, pants or a skirt.  YES: shirts, blouses, tunics, sweaters, jackets.  NO: Dresses, bathing suits, underwear, coats.  Use your own judgment here or enlist the opinion of others; I’m not too concerned with what qualifies as a top, except I don’t really want to see anything inappropriate.  And dresses, well that should be its OWN week, no?

Can I make a top out of another older top (upcycle or refashion)?
It’s fine for you to recycle/upcycle/refashion, but it’s very important that you provide a “before” picture link to it when you enter your photo of your top so that everyone, including judges, can see how much of the original top carried over.  You will must also explicitly state that the top was made from another top in your design description.

When and how can I enter my top(s)?
You can submit your top(s) by putting one and only one picture of each in The Spring Top Week Flickr Pool.  The pool will be open for submissions beginning March 30 and closing April 30, 2010 (NOTE: this has changed from last year, all tops must be submitted BEFORE top week begins this year).

UPDATE: If you are ready to enter you top, please read this post first

What is the prize please?  
Um, the glory and pride that comes with knowing that you created this years BEST TOP?  Hello???  Oh and also we’ll try to have some other cool stuff.  So I need some sponsors to help out.  See below. 

last year’s finalists!

How will voting work?
So far this is my plan (which may change, you know): Each day of top week a batch of tops will be featured on my blog along with a poll that will stay open for a mere 24 hours.  Last year we had 100 tops featured.  And I almost passed out from exhaustion at the end of the week.  I can’t imagine if we had, say, even 200 tops this year what it would take to make that happen, so I can’t/won’t promise each and every one will make it onto the blog.  I will find some way to keep voting to a reasonable number. At the end of the week the winners from each day will be either voted on or scored by the judges.

Another thought:
I’m toying with the idea of having a separate competition for the people who submit FIVE UNIQUE TOPS. Because that’s extra-hard.  Let me know what you think about that. *UPDATE: We will not have a separate competition for five tops*

Any other questions?  I’ll try to add them to this post if you’ll leave them in the comments section.
Oh, and one more thing:

HAAAAAALP!

I need to be completely honest here:  I love this challenge and this week is so much fun, but I really can’t make it happen on my own.  Although this blog has a small business component to it (um, patterns if you haven’t noticed, feel free to purchase one!), my real (and favorite) job is taking care of and entertaining two really adorable kids. I’d really like to take them to the park, to friends houses and the library even if I’m hosting this challenge in my virtual world in the meantime.  I’ve really been encouraged by those of you who’ve participated in the past and enjoyed it too.  So, I’m shamelessly going to ask for a lot of help:

Needed: COMPILERS (UPDATED: THANK YOU!  All set here!!!)
If you have a little experience with mosaics and think you would be able to help me out by putting together a Flickr mosaic for one batch of tops just ONE day of Spring Top Week, email me an example (see left sidebar) with the subject “I can make a mosaic!”  If you aren’t sure you can but want to give it a try, dink around with this mosaic maker for awhile.

Needed: MODERATORS (UPDATED: THANK YOU!  All set here!!!)
If you think you would be able to moderate the entries in the Flickr pool, email me with the subject “I can be a photo moderator!”  This would mean making sure the tops in the pool are actually meant to be there (you’d be amazed), properly labeled, and that the creator leaves proper contact information.  

Needed: SPONSORS (UPDATED: THANK YOU!  All set here!!! click here to see the prizes for our winners)
Even though Astrid (last year’s winner) was really gracious and seemed really happy with her prize package (a couple of patterns and a few other things I made and let’s face it, I think her Spring Top Crown is really responsible for the fame and fortune she enjoys today…hee), I think it would be pretty cool if we could round up a sweet prize package.  So I’m going to offer sponsorships for Spring Top Week.  Each sponsor would be able to place a banner advertisement on my blog (until Spring Top Week is over) in addition to providing a prize for the winner.  Ideally the prizes would be related to top sewing (fabric? patterns? books? sewing machines? dare I dream?).  Please email me if you are interested in rates with the subject “Please send sponsor info” and I will get back to you as soon as I can. 

That’s all.  If you read all that, picture me throwing free fabrics like confetti into the air for all of you (pretend, will you?).  Now get sewing.  I’ve got one top almost finished and another almost cut.  How about you?