New competition calls on aspiring designers

Youth Advisory Committee member Jessica Garbrick demonstrates the kind of apron contestants will have to create during Project Grange Fair.
Youth Advisory Committee member Jessica Garbrick demonstrates the kind of apron contestants will have to create during Project Grange Fair. Photo provided

This year at the Grange Fair, attendees of all ages can look forward to participating in a new addition to the fair: an impromptu sewing competition featuring aprons. An endeavor of the Youth Advisory Committee of the Grange Fair, Project Grange Fair will be held Saturday at the Rec Building.

Sewing machines, scissors, bins of fabric and thread and notions will be provided. Contestants will have one hour to make an apron, and they must do so without bringing a pattern with them. The apron can be any style they wish but must be completed within the hour.

“Our designers can show their creativity as they step up to the challenge to create an apron from the supplies we will provide,” said LeDon Young, Grange Fair secretary and chairwoman of the Youth Advisory Committee.

The inspiration for the contest is the reality TV series “Project Runway,” where designers are given challenges each week for a period of eight weeks to design women’s clothing, such as a gown or a cocktail dress.

“Our Project Grange Fair allows those who sew to engage in a contest where their design and sewing skills can come into play,” Young said. “Many women and a few men in our area still create their clothing, quilts or other sewing projects.”

The contest is open to people of all ages, with as many as 18 contestants. Registration begins at noon and judging at 4 p.m. There will be three time slots during which to compete: 1, 2 and 3 p.m, with six sewing machines and six contestants each hour.

“We expect to see a mix of those who have been sewing for years, and those who are in 4-H and are just starting,” Young said.

In the role of Tim Gunn on “Project Runway” will be the contest’s mentor, Marjorie Korman. The aprons will be judged by Nancy Wagner, Dorothy Houtz and Mona Bowmaster. Prizes will include season tickets for the 2017 Grange Fair, as well as sewing notions.

The aprons will be available for purchase at the Emporium at the conclusion of the contest, and the proceeds will go to the Youth Advisory Committee activities.

“This is the first year for this program, and we are very excited,” Young said. “We are considering other articles for future contests, including an infinity scarf, a table runner or perhaps place mats.”

The Youth Advisory Committee planned the event to engage people in activities at the fair — a contest that not only presents patrons a challenge, but also allows them to use their talents and abilities.

“If you don’t throw horseshoes, or ride an animal that wears horseshoes, this contest will give you a chance to showcase talents and designing skills,” Young said. “We expect to have participants who have fun with this challenge, who create lovely aprons that we can sell, and we expect the prize winners will enjoy their free admission to next year’s fair.”


  • What: Project Grange Fair
  • When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Rec Building
  • Info: www.grangefair.com