Friday, August 24, 2012

Inaugural Fashion Design Challenge Contest

Sup peoples. 

We are starting up a new type of contest. 
A more difficult one. Hence, the "challenge" part of the title. ;-)

Of course calling it the 2012 Inaugural Fashion Design Challenge Contest over and over and over again will get a bit tedious. So we will stick with Fashion Design Challenge as the smaller version, and FDC for short.

So this is new. We have been thinking about it for awhile, as this challenge presents its own challenges for execution. But we might as well try it at least once. But brace yourself for a long post with lots of words.

The idea is to craft two doll outfit designs and actually create them - yourself. 

Doesn't sound too bad, right? 
AG Playthings does a Project Runaway type thing that is like this. But ours will just be two outfits for this first challenge, instead of a whole series of designs.

The contest will be open to anyone who wants to participate. 
Men, women.
Adults, children.
Elves, fairies.

If you are younger than 18 years old, please get your parent or guardian's 
permission to participate.

We will break the entries into two groups, newbies and pros. 

You can tell us what category you wish to be listed in, but Penny will make the final decision on that front. If your outfit looks like a professional job and you want it listed in the newbie section, then that isn't really fair. And vice versa.

So if you haven't been sewing, designing, and/or selling that much - you are probably a newbie. If you have been sewing, designing and selling for awhile - you are probably a pro. Hopefully you can judge yourself and know where you fall.

For sellers, this contest is basically designed to give you a venue for showing off your skilz, gifts, abilities, talents, ideas, awesomeness. The holiday season is around the corner. Take this opportunity to get your name out there. And feel free to sell the outfits you create for this contest.

Each category will have a top winner. 
So there will be two winners to this contest in total.

We are looking for AG-size outfits on AG dolls.
But if you want to do Journey Girls, Liv, or Karito Kids or something like that -- feel free to email us and we can discuss it further.

The two outfits are not themed. 

They can be modern or historical. 
They can be couture, fancy dress, back to school, pajamas, whatever you can think up. 
Express your creativity peoples.

But they DO have to be different from each other. You can't just do one dress pattern in two different colors, haha. If your second outfit design is too much like your first one, we'll blatantly tell you this and tell you to change it or be left out of the second outfit round. Yep, we'll go Tim Gunn on you. Well, we'll have Maple go Tim Gunn on you.

Each outfit comes with three tasks.

1) Outfit design

This can be a drawing, with your hand or on the computer, pictures of human clothing, a Polyvore-type mash-up thing, scan from a catalog, whatever you what to do.

But it has to clearly show your design. Identify types of clothing items, colors, and fabrics.

Also you should do a write-up for what you are planning. Use your words. Explain everything.

Try to be as complete as possible. The more complex the outfit, the better. And we don't mean it has to use couture sewing techniques and super-expensive fabrics. I mean start from a basic foundation and then go beyond that. Layers, outerwear, socks, tights, shoes, jewelry, a purse, etc. Do you go to the mall in just a tee shirt and shorts? Probably not. You at least wear shoes....

You can submit more than one image for your design for this task.

2) Outfit in process of being created

Show us your fabrics, the pattern, the pieces you have cut out, mock-ups, whatevs. Just as long as you show us your creative process. This way we see how you work and we make sure it is actually you who made the outfit.

Also, submission can be more than one image.

3) Outfit complete and modeled

This is where you should take out your best doll model, best camera, and best photography skilz.

Photograph your outfit as professionally as possible. Pretend you are doing a magazine or catalog shoot -- like you are trying to sell this outfit. Craft a photo shoot studio, make a doll-scale scene, or go outdoors. Or do all three.

The more convincing, human-ish, and realistic the shoot, the better. Doll against a white wall or doll on a tabletop is boring. We do that everyday. Make your pics stand out and extra, extra awesome.

We expect more than one image for this task. 

At least one shot of the whole outfit. And then detail shots and different looks for the outfit. Like with and without a jacket on, for example.

Given the awesomeness of the prizes -- 
you must submit images for all three tasks for two complete outfits.

The two top winners will only be chosen from people who submitted all three tasks for two different outfits. Not really sure how to say that more clearly.....You have to participate in the WHOLE CONTEST if you want to win it. This rule isn't in place to be a pain in the butt, but to be fair to all participants.

We will be posting your designs and pics on The Doll Wardrobe Blog after each due date.

So don't send us pics of humans nor of things you don't want on the internet.

There will be a week of reader voting after each complete outfit is shown to y'alls. 

Then Penny will be tallying all of the votes (from both outfits) at the end of everything. 

From the top 50%, she'll pick one winner from each category, newbies and pros.

Penny's judging will be based upon several factors. 

They are ranked by order of importance:

1) Quality of craftsmanship

2) Realism

3) Fit

4) Creativity

5) Wow Factor

By "Wow Factor" -- we mean overall perfection of the outfit. 
Is it eye-catching? Do all of the pieces go together? 
When you see it do you immediately say: "I want that!!"


Each winner will receive either a brand spanking new AG doll or an AG gift card for the equivalent of a doll. That way international people can enter. We'll purchase the doll and send it to them. And locals can use the AG gift card anyway they want to.

Schedule -- All Due Dates are Fridays

First Design Due on or before September 7th

First Outfit in Process Due on or before September 21st

First Complete Outfit Shots Due on or before October 5th


Second Design Due on or before October 12th

Second Outfit in Process Due on or before November 2nd

Second Complete Outfit Shots Due on or before November 16th

If you have something to do on one of those days -- be it a school thing, vacation, landing a rover on Mars -- don't give up now, just work on your designs and outfits ahead of time and send us things in advance.

No need to give up before you have even tried.

Our first due date is 2 weeks away. 
So put your thinking caps on designers!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.

You can use the comment box below or email us at

All images for all of the tasks should be sent to
Images measuring 500 pixels wide or wider are best.
Again, try to make your images the best quality they can be.

Thanks for visiting us today!

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Anonymous said...

Hi Nora!

I was wondering if we have to make the shoes, or can we use store bought shoes?



Nora and Maple said...

You can use store bought shoes. Or you can make them. Up to you on that one, as shoes can be rather difficult to make. We will pretty flexible on the shoes front.

Rachel Nicole said...

Can we use LJ patterns, or do we have to design our own patterns?


Cinnamon - LJC said...

Such a fun idea! Can't wait to see all of the creations :)

Nora and Maple said...

You can draft your own patterns if you want to.

But you can also use bought patterns, from LJ or anybody else.

You are not required to draft the patterns yourself.

Madeline said...

I read this wonderful book, and it described a really 'chic' outfit. Could I make my own pattern and use it for my entry? :)

Nora and Maple said...

Sure, you can create the 'chic' outfit from the book. You'll have to create a drawing or something visual for the first task though so we have a clear idea of what it will look like. And be sure to include the description from the book and anything else you want to explain about it. Hope that makes sense.

Nikki O. said...

can i use my Battat doll for my model?



Nora and Maple said...

Yes, you can use a Battat doll as your model.

Lena Grace said...

Can you use accessories that you have already handmade but want to use for this contest? (i.e. a scarf, bag...)

Nora and Maple said...

We would prefer it if the scarf, bag, etc. were new creations specifically for your 2 new designs.

But if really, really need to use them, and if they were handmade by you, then it's not really that big of an issue. You can use them.

The key is that they have to be handmade by you, so we can see your own design skills and creativity.

Veelana said...

I have made a doll with the measurements of an American girl and I would love to use it because I think it would be a really good opportunity to show my design to a new group of doll lovers - i'm a waldorf dollmaker, but I usually let other people make my doll clothing :-)

Nora and Maple said...

Sure Veelana, as long as the doll is mostly comparable to AG size and dimensions.

We just don't want Barbie body and BJD style dolls because comparing them to AG style dolls isn't exactly apples to apples, more like apples to orange juice. ;)

Anonymous said...

When the designs are submitted, do we need to state exact fabric choices, or can there be an element of suprise left for the final pictures on certain items?

Nora and Maple said...

Well the design submissions should be pretty clear about your ideas. But you can also do an element of surprise.

You could say "plaid scarf" but of course, the color is still up in the air.

You could say "black and white patterned shirt" but that could be polka dots, stripes, zebra print, etc.

You could say "grey pants" -- but decide later whether they will be leggings, jeans, or chinos.

See? You can be descriptive, but leave yourself room to work in surprises.

Hopefully that makes sense. Let me know if you have more questions. :)

Emily said...

Could you give us some design and in progress examples because I don't really get it.?

Alisha said...

Can we make costumes? For example, a costume based on an outfit from a movie, cartoon, etc. Or does the outfit have to be either modern or historical?

Nora and Maple said...

Emily -- We'll post some examples from our own custom orders for you to see.

Alisha -- You can make costumes. It can be a costume from a movie, cartoon, etc. It doesn't have to be either historical or modern. The outfits can be whatever you want them to be. :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like so much fun,don't have enough tme at the moment

Kristy said...

Hi I'm so excited, just a couple of questions before I get ready to submit my ideas. Is it ok if our in progress shots are not very good. I was just taking pictures each step and not thinking about sharing them. They are just clothes and patterns laid out on the floor. Also, Can we use a human sized bracelet for a doll belt if we add a ribbon tie or is it not hand made enough? Can we use props in the pictures that we didn't make or do we have to make them too? Thanks, I'm so excited to get started.

Nora and Maple said...

Answers for Kristy:

Yes, it is okay if your in-progress shots are not very good. We really want the finished product shots to be the ones that make your outfits shine.

The in-progress shots are just to show how you worked on them.

You can use the human bracelet with a ribbon tie -- we'll call that up-cycling. :) Just as long as the rest of the outfit is mostly handmade. :)

You can use props in your pictures. You can make your finished products pictures whatever you want them to be. Just make sure that there are some shots that have an unobstructed view of the complete outfit.

Thanks for entering!

Ammie said...

Yay! I just sent an email with pics of my design! I am SO excited! This is too much fun. I've never done a contest like this before.

Anonymous said...

If we win can we pick a bald doll?

Nora and Maple said...

Yes, if you win you can pick a bald doll.

Amy Bray said...

Would a flickr set be a good way to send the photos for the crative process? My email does not handle too many photo's at one time.

Nora and Maple said...

Sure, you can email us a link to your flickr set/gallery with your photos. :)

Alexis said...

I'm so disappointed that I missed this haha! Are you guys going to do another one?

Nora and Maple said...

If we can do this one successfully, we'll try it again next year, haha.

So far so good. :)

Marie said...

Hi, So who won this contest? Ive been scanning your blog for more than 15 minutes and I cant find any info about that..

Nora and Maple said...

Winners were announced here:


Meghan said...

Can I enter the 2014 entry? I missed this one :/ and if yes can you show me the post? Thank you soo much!

-Meghan at

Meghan said...

Please do another one! I would so enter!

Meghan said...

Yay! I'm a fairy! I think I'm old enough to enter too! I'm 162,058,474,475 years old! I think I'm past 18. ;)

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