I’m getting antsy for a little selfish sewing. It’s time to sew new tops for for ME! Who’s with me? Anyone?
The Spring Top Sewalong (previously Spring Top Week, but it’s not really just a week so I’m changing the name) is a now annual event I hold every spring in that hopes that we can all get eachother inspired and excited about sewing new tops for ourselves. And that last word is key: there’s no sewing for anyone else allowed here, it’s time for a little self-indulgence. Time to buy the fabric you’ve been lusting after or pull out that pattern you bought years ago thinking you’d make it sometime. What better time than now?
Here’s what I’m thinking: we’ll have about a month to find a pattern and some fabric, sew it up, and enter a picture in the pool (link below). As you enter your tops we’ll enter them in a spreadsheet and send them off to judges (will introduce later) to be scored and narrow them down into a batch of finalists, and in May we’ll have a round of voting here on the blog to find a winner. We’ll have prizes for the two best tops (Reader’s Choice and Judges’ Choice) and prizes!! But really it’s not about the prizes, it’s just alot of fun!
Spring Top Sewalong Rules
- Selfish sewing only: Your top must be sewed FOR you and BY you.
- A top and not a dress meaning it covers the majority of your top half but not the majority of your bottom half.
- Sewn this spring: no hauling out something you finished last summer; to qualify for the contest your top must have been completed after March 1, 2011.
- Photographed on a person: preferably on you, but I know that can be difficult so do your best here.
- Is entirely made by you: this year we are not going to include embellished tops in the contest because it’s too difficult for our judges to see how much of the top was made by you and how much was pre-made (like if you purchased a shirt from a store and added ruffles for example). You may upcycle an old or thrifted garment as long as you harvest the fabric from the shirt (i.e. cut the old garment apart) and then construct the shirt so that it the majority of the new seams/elements are sewn by you. See FAQ below.
- One photo per top: Pick one photo of your top to enter in the contest. If you have other pictures of the top that you’d like the judges to see, please feel free to add a link to the rest of your photostream in the description.
- Is a square image: crop it to a square before uploading it to Flickr
- Is mostly of the top: your top should fill the majority of the picture so the judges can see it clearly; this means full-body shots of you wearing the top are probably not the best.
- Should be text and AD-FREE: We understand that you want to protect your work; however, if you become a finalist we will be posting your picture here on the blog and cannot have any text on that image. If you decide to use a watermark, it must be extremely subtle (clear and small) or digital/invisible.
- Is added to the 2011 Spring Top Sewalong Pool sometime between now and 8 PM Eastern on Monday May 9th, 2011 (link below)
- Has a title with your name in it: The title of your top should contain your name (Ex: “Daisy Tunic by Martha”)
- Is labeled: in the description area of your top, please include your NAME (yes again), the PATTERN you used, the FABRIC you used (describe or provide as much information as you can about it (name/type/designer), and — if you would like — a LINK(optional) to your website where we can see more (this can always be added later). Please feel free to write more in the description area if you would like!
- Is “ENTERED” by a moderator: As the tops are entered in the pool, a moderator will check your photo to make sure it contains the necessary information, add it to the judging spreadsheet, and then put a comment underneath it that says “ENTERED.” Please let me know if you do not receive this comment within 48 hours of adding it to the pool; sometimes we miss one or two and we don’t want it to be you!
To see previous years’ contests, click here.
Yes. All tops must be completed sometime after March 1, 2011. If you started something last year and then set it aside and want to finish it this year for the contest, that’s perfectly fine, I just want to avoid “old” entries, if that makes sense.
May I embellish a pre-made or purchased top?
No, unlike in previous years we are not going to accept tops that are embellished versions of a purchased or pre-made top, since it is too difficult for our judges to distinguish how much of the top was made by you and how much was made by someone else. Your top should be made entirely by you (see exception in the next line)
May I upcycle another top into a new one?
You are welcome to recycle fabric from another garment to make your top, but please make sure that any details retained from the original top are minimal. For instance, you might decide you want to keep the hem from the old shirt or the button placket. The rule of thumb is that you should be sewing the majority of the seams and other elements of your new shirt. Also: you MUST divulge all elements that you did not design or sew yourself in your photo description when you enter it in the pool.
May I design my own pattern?
You may use or adapt any sewing pattern or design your own. If you use a pattern, you must provide the pattern information in your photo description when you enter it in the pool.
We will begin entering tops on Monday, April 18th, so don’t be alarmed if your top doesn’t get a moderator comment right away. The pool will close at 8 PM Eastern time on Monday May 9th so that we can finish scoring and get the top 40-60 put together for reader voting on the blog. (please enter your tops as early as possible to make it easier on our judges)
UPDATED: We have extended the entry deadline to MAY 10 (Tuesday) at 8 pm eastern!
As I’ve mentioned in previous years, this contest is a huge project that I cannot possibly pull off all by myself. So I’m going to shamelessly beg for help. Here’s what I need some assistance with:
PHOTO MODERATORS Updated: All set, thanks everyone!
If you think you would be able to moderate the entries in the Flickr pool, email me with the subject “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. I’ll send your email to Amber, who is in charge of the moderating this year so she can put together a schedule (you can sign up for the days you’re available) and let you know when/how you’re needed. Generally though the time requirement is about a half hour to an hour tops each day you moderate, you just need to check in a few times or even just once at the end of the day to check the pool for new entries. The majority of tops get entered during the last week, so availability between May 2-9 is helpful but not required.
I am looking for one or two people who would be willing to hunt down prizes (meaning emailing people to ask if they’d be willing to donate them, and let me know if you have ideas here!) and put together a nice list of the prizes along with descriptions and links for me to post on the blog. Email me with the subject “help with prizes” if you think you could do this.
PRIZES Updated: All set, thanks everyone!
If you have a shop or business that could offer something relating to sewing tops (I’m thinking fabric, sewing patterns, notions, books here or even accessories? sewing room art? a sewing machine?) to our prize packages (there will be two winners), please email me with the subject “potential prize for Spring Top Sewalong” and let me know what and how many you would be willing to donate. Links and photos are a must, so please be specific. Your shop/business will be featured in the prize package post along with a link to your website. You do not have to be a sponsor of this blog to donate a prize.
GET THE WORD OUT
Whether you’re going to be sewing along, entering tops, or just participating as a voter or spectator, please help me spread the word by putting up a button (copy and paste the button code in the box for easy application). The images at the top of this post are larger files (400px) and the ones at the bottom are smaller (200px). I couldn’t decide if I liked the yellow or the green better. So I went with both, hee.
To get the button above, copy and paste the code below into a sidebar html widget/gadget or directly into the html editor of a blog post. It will automatically link to the spring top posts.
Thanks everyone! Let’s get sewing!!!