Sunday, June 2, 2013

DW 2013 Fashion Design Challenge
Starts Today!!!

The 2013 Fashion Design Challenge is Starting!!

Put your thinking caps on designers!

This is a type of contest we started last fall.

You can see the original contest post here:

And the 2012 entries here:


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

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

If you participated last year you can participate again.
In fact, you really really really should.
You will just need to make two new outfits.

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.
We do not label the entries as newbies or pros publicly.

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. Take this opportunity to get your name out there. And feel free to sell the outfits you create for this contest. 
(We actually bought two of them from the 2012 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, Karito Kids,
Hearts 4 Hearts, Battat, Springfield, etc. that is okay.

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. ;)


The two outfits are not themed. 

They can be modern or historical. 
They can be couture, fancy dress, back to school, pajamas, costumes,
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.

See last year's entries for examples:

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.

You can use bought patterns for your outfit, like patterns from Liberty Jane or All Dolled Up -- or wherevs. Or you can make your own patterns. Shoes can be store-bought or handmade.

In Process Pictures do not have to be fine art. They just have to show the work in progress. :-)

Also, submission can be more than one image.

See last year's entries for examples:

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. Feel free to use props.

Include 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.

We expect more than one image for this task.

See last year's entries for examples:


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 this blog:
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 -- Both Due Dates are Sundays.

This Year We Are Having ALL THREE TASKS Due at Once.

First Design, Outfit in Process Pics and Complete Outfit Pics

Due on or before July 14th

So 6 weeks from today.

Second Design, Outfit in Process Pics and Complete Outfit Pics

Due on or before August 25th

So 12 weeks from today.

If you have something to do on one of those days -- be it a school thing, vacation, starring in a Broadway play -- 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.


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.
Feel free to attach the pics to the email or
if you want to send us links to Picasa, Photobucket, Flickr albums, etc. you can.
Youtube slideshows are also okay.
As long as ALL THREE TASKS are included in your album or vid.

Thanks for visiting us today!

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

You can use the comment box below or email us at


N said...

May I enter with a paper doll drawn to AG scale, or is this limited to plastic/vinyl dolls?

Kate said...

Yes! This is GREAT! I am already making my outfits.

Anonymous said...

Do we have to make the shoes and all of the accesories?

Shutter Dolls said...

My mom and I were wondering if we could enter together , I am the creative mind and she is the one who does the construction. We thought that it would be a good way to bond this summer. I understand if not but, thanks for reading!

Nora and Maple said...

Hmmm, I don't think we can include paper dolls -- as the final products need to be hand or machine sewn. So you wouldn't quite be able to compete in the same way. Sorry. :-(

You do not have to make the shoes. But you should make as most of the accessories as possible. You do not have to make all of your photo-shoot props.

You can enter as a mother-daughter team. That is perfectly fine and encouraged. :-)

Mimi Parkridge said...

YAY! I'm going to BEG my mom to let me enter. Super excited!!!!!!!!

Linnea said...

I'm going to enter this time around! So excited.

Christina L said...

If I am unable to finish my entries in time for this design contest, can I finish them later and use them next time you have a design contest?
Thanks, Christina

Nora and Maple said...

Yes Christina, you can submit them to the 2014 FDC if you don't finish them for the 2013 FDC. :-)

agrz123 said...

I already sewed something that would be nice for the contest, and I was wondering if I could enter that? (Along with the other pieces of the outfit WITH patterns) You could tell because I hand sewed it and the stitches are kind of crooked.

Nora and Maple said...

Yes, you can submit that outfit agrz123. As long as you have images for all three tasks. :-)

agrz123 said...

If I do shoes, can they be duct tape?

Nora and Maple said...

Yes, they can be duct tape shoes. :-)

Kate J said...

What do you mean by Realism?

Nora and Maple said...

Realism = How much a FDC entrant's outfit looks like it could be a human outfit. Items you would wear yourself, as a human being.

Anonymous said...

Did you announce the winners yet but I somehow missed it?

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