Image of sheep
January 28, 2011

For More Information Contact:
Marie Lehfeldt, MIWW Coordinator (406) 636-2731, or
Becky Talley (303) 771-3500, ext. 50, or
(Electronic photos available upon request)

Denver, Colo. – State-winning Make It With Wool (MIWW) contestants competed in the national finals and awards program in a “Fashion of Epic Proportion” style show during the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)/National Lamb Feeders Association Annual Convention on Jan. 22. The designers taking top honors at the 63rd annual national competition were Erika Waalkes of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Marcela Lopez of Lexington, Neb.

Waalkes won the title of First Place Junior 2011 Wool Ambassador. She chose to make a magenta, grey and navy dress with a coordinating jacket. The wool, cashmere and lycra skirt of the dress has eight gores that were made fuller for more flare. Waalkes added her own personal touch to the design of the garment by replacing the tucks on the jacket with darts and adding magenta ruffles. In addition to other prizes, Waalkes’ winnings included a $1,000 scholarship from Pendleton Woolen Mills and a $500 scholarship from ASI Women. The junior division was open to youth ages 13 to 16.

Lopez was selected as the First Place Senior 2011 Wool Ambassador by adding a few tailored touches to turn simple shape into something spectacular. She constructed a royal-blue wool coat that shows off her sewing skills with rows of slim tucking that shape the waist of the coat ending with inverted pleats that create a flared hem. Among other prizes, Lopez’s first-place winnings included a $1,500 scholarship from ASI Women. The senior division was open to youth ages 17 to 24.

Kylie Manville of Valley Falls, Kan., and Lucinda Vernor of Campwood, Texas, won First Runner-Up Junior Division and Senior Division, respectively. Manville constructed a navy blue pea coat with a fitted waistline and princess seams in addition to navy blue and off-white micro-checked wool pants and complimenting top. Vernor created black wool pants and shirt that coordinate with a purple and black reversible mohair jacket with a lamb wool collar.

Susan Smith of Burnettsville, Ind., was named the 2011 National MIWW Adult Winner with her three-piece ensemble featuring a full-length coat, skirt and cardigan. Smith added leather trim to the coat’s collar and sleeve bands and converted the pattern from double-breasted to a single-breasted style. As part of her winnings, Smith won an all-expense-paid trip to the national competition in Reno.

The winner of the Fashion/Apparel Design Award was Emily Parks of Bloomington, Ill., a recent college graduate currently working as a costume intern at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Her original design was inspired by the pale lilac fabric. Beginning with a simple bodice design, Parks used a flat pattern and draping technique to add a significant amount of detail to a simple silhouette and straight neckline and worked on a separate cut of fabric and marked a one-inch square pattern by hand for a basket-weave effect. The smocked piece tacked to the bodice uses hand beading of Swarovski crystals and semi-wide straps were added for stability. The peony-like fabric flowers were created with a raw edge and Swarovski crystals and attached by hand. Park’s winnings include a $1,000 scholarship for her winning outfit from the American Wool Council and an all-expense-paid trip to the national competition.

A total of 62 junior and senior finalists representing 31 states modeled their creations at the national competition. Some 883 contestants nationwide entered competitions at the state level and utilized more than 2,716 yards of wool fabric and more than 446 skeins of yarn to create their garments.

Other winners and their awards include:

  • Sarah Olson of Woodbury, Minn., $500 cash, Sew News Magazine Exemplary Construction Award; and $250 cash, Claire Shaeffer Pattern Award;
  • Tori Willis, Southaven, Miss., $500 cash, Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine Award; and $250 cash, Wild Ginger Software Pattern Award;
  • Vernor, $1,000 scholarship, Mohair Council of America;
  • Parks, $200 savings bond, Mohair Council of America;
  • Brittany Lippy of Manchester, Md., $100 savings bond, Mohair Council of America;
  • Kaitlyn Klair of Wilmington, Del., $50 savings bond, Mohair Council of America; and
  • Gabrielle Augustine, Palmerton, Pa., $75 scholarship, American Delaine Merino Record Association Award.

Marie Lehfeldt of Lavina, Mont., coordinated the event for the sixteenth consecutive year.

ASI is a national organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 82,000 sheep producers.

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