Our contestants are wrapping up their Round Five Cascade Duffle Coats for our Super Online Sewing Match! We’ll share the finished coats on Saturday, and next week we announce the winner of the Grand Prize Package, a Janome Skyline S5 Sewing Machine and the Janome 1110DX Pro Serger!

We asked Shannon, Teresa and Leah to tell us what they’ve learned about themselves and their sewing in the contest. Find the challenger questions for each round in our big Super Online Sewing Match page. You’ll find links there for our Community Match too; you can play along to win!

Leah from Sew Spoiled

    “When I started to reflect, I realized how much I have grown throughout this competition. I narrowed it down to these three points; goals, confidence and finding my fit.
    I have learned that I love to be challenged and given sewing goals to achieve each week. I will try to continue to set goals for myself, perhaps each week or bi-weekly, sewing up new patterns. I have learned so many new sewing skills by having a set goal or date to complete it by. I have also learned how to go with my ‘gut feelings.’ At first, especially in Rounds One and Two, I felt hesitant about my fabric choices and adding any extra ideas into each pattern. However by Round Three, I began to feel more confident and free. I ordered my fabric without one worry or second guessing my choice. This competition has definitely given me more confidence.

    Upon reflection the last thing I have learned about myself is how to make my wardrobe fit my petite frame better. In the past, I would overlook the lengthen/shorten line and just hem the end of the garment up 2″-3″, some times more. This is a horrible way to try to adapt a pattern for a petite frame because it does not change where the waistline falls on your garment. After making many test runs of each of the patterns in Round 1-5, I finally figured out the best way for me to adapt the pattern templates. I take the paper template and fold it at the lengthen/shorten line and tape it (then I fold over the paper at the edges if it is not smooth). This way if I shorten it too much, I can go back and refold at the lengthen/shorten line. This also helps when you have multiple templates to adapt. Like with the coat, for example, there are eight templates (outer shell and lining) that needed to be shortened. Since I folded the front upper body template 1.5″ up at the lengthen/shorten line I did the same technique to the other seven templates so everything would fit together. It makes all the difference in the world! Now and forever I will adapt my pattern templates so they fit me.”


Teresa Behr from Dandelion Drift

    “This sewing competition has taught me so much– a little bit about myself, but more about my family and friends. First, let me tell you about myself. I love sewing, and this competition has highlighted that. I love the details that go into sewing. I definitely prefer to sew a more intricate project than a quick sew. Well a quick sew is nice to throw in the mix every now and then, but I do love all of the details you have to think about when sewing. Now my bigger learning experience from this sewing competition: my family and friends. I have an amazingly supportive group of people around me. On Monday when we found out that our challenge for this last round was a coat, I had a little panic moment (maybe a big one) that I couldn’t possibly handle a coat. You see, we have had a family vacation planned for the middle August for some time and I really wanted to be able to go and have no project looming over my head. Josh (my husband) and a few great friends stepped in and helped encourage me, watch my kids and they gave me design advice to make it possible to complete a coat in three days (yep, three days) so I could go on vacation with my coat done and complete! Whew! This has been an incredible experience that I will remember forever!”


Shannon from Adventures of a Young Seamstress

    “This has been a summer of huge personal growth for me in many ways; I moved out of residence to live on my own, I worked my first full-time job and I competed in this contest. Oddly enough, I’ve called sewing and knitting my ‘creative outlet’ since picking it up again just over two years ago, but I’ve never considered myself a very creative or artistic person. At school I’ve always been strongest in math and science, and that’s exactly what I’m studying at university; the most creative course I’ll be taking next year is computer programming!
    That being said, this contest has made me realize how creative I can actually be. I felt a little like the underdog in this contest, being the youngest with only a couple years of ‘serious’ sewing under my belt, but it has really pushed me to branch out, try new techniques, change designs to suit my style and make the highest quality garment I can. It’s given me the incentive I needed to break out of my habit of making more knit tops and dresses! I never knew if anything would work out but everything so far has, and because of that I’ve become so much more confident in my sewing.
    I’ve also realized how much I love hand sewing, which I’ve always seen as a finishing touch, usually to make the finishing of a garment less visible. My Marianne dress was my first project where my hand stitching was visible on purpose, and I loved it! I can’t wait to experiment with other hand embellishments… Next up is learning some hand embroidery!”

Photo credit: Lauren Konken Photography

Round Five of the Super Online Sewing Match is sponsored by Fabric Depot. Each contestant receives a $100 gift certificate! Fabric Depot is one of the largest, most complete, independent and family-owned fabric stores in the U.S. FabricDepot.com stocks a wide selection of apparel, quilting and home decor fabrics, as well as sewing notions, quilting supplies, books and patterns. Free shipping is always available on orders of more than $100 and local sewists can take advantage of in-store pickup.