There aren’t many sewing events in the world. That is why I try to time my visit to the state fair with the fashion sewing competitions, at my fair called a Style Revue. The Style Revue is a competition where live models walk a runway displaying homesewn garments for judging. Ohio is my home state and the runway show has both children’s and adult categories. It isn’t a large show as there are only a few contestants; however these ladies know how to throw down when it comes to sewing.
Seeing that fur vests were fashionable again, the seamstress pictured above pulled out some remnant fabric left over from a coat she had sewn in the seventies. But the remnant didn’t provide enough fabric for her vest. Undaunted she pulled out the original project and stripped it for parts! Not only do we seamstresses never throw any fabric away, we never throw our old projects away either, because you never know when you might need them.
As you can see, the garments are lovely and I am always inspired when I see other home-sewers who have honed their
skills to such a high level. Unfortunately, as sewing has gone by the wayside in the world, even places like state and local fairs, which largely represent farming communities where sewing held on longest as a valued traditional skill, have seen decreased participation in all levels of needlework and crafting competitions.
If you are a sewer or crafter I want to encourage you to visit and participate in either your county or state fair. If you are too timid to walk the runway you can enter a project for display.
There is usually an entry fee that covers the entry of several items, so it makes sense to enter more than one item.
Categories are listed in a document called a Premium Guide. The Premium Guide is essential information for entering a fair competition. However, most fairs no longer print off a gazillion copies for participants. In order to find your categories and deadlines you will need to go online and print one off for yourself. Do this in the spring.
State Fairs have early summer deadlines for entries. The Ohio State Fair’s deadline is mid-June. That means you have to have a good idea what you want to enter long before the deadline. And it must be completed by the drop-off day, which can be pretty far ahead of the fair’s opening day.
There isn’t any manual to walk you through the process step-by-step so expect your first year to be a learning experience.
Tips for visiting your State Fair
Go online and determine price of admission and the real kicker, the cost of all day ride passes. The fair is fun, but not cheap.
See if the fair has posted their events online. It may take some looking for the fashion sewing competition.
Remember cash is king at these venues. Hit your own bank’s ATM so you don’t need to hunt down a machine on the grounds or pay fees.
Take a gander at the fairgrounds map if it too is posted online. Some fairs are so large that it pays to orient yourself before entering. For example, the first year we parked in the lot farthest from the Creative Arts Building and had to book it to get there on time for the competition. Don’t underestimate how large a state fairgrounds might be. It will take more time than you think to walk across.
Just enjoy yourself. There really is something for everyone. My family and I always love going.
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