Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon
Sewing with Threads Podcast

Sewing for Competitions | Episode 13

Episode 13: Daryl Lancaster offers in-depth guidance for creating garments for competition, getting your work accepted by a jury, and enjoying the process, whether you win or not.

In the Sewing with Threads Episode 13 video podcast, guest Daryl Lancaster shares her experiences with designing, weaving, and constructing garments and fiber arts pieces for sewing contests.

Daryl has contributed numerous articles to Threads and maintains her own website at DarylLancaster.com. She travels extensively to teach hand weaving and garment construction.

We asked Daryl what her favorite sewing term was, and her answer was “grainline.” She traces her obsession with a fabric’s grain to her decades of work as a weaver and sewer, who understands that a fabric’s structure is the key to how it behaves. In her article “Essential Techniques: Prep fabric properly,” in Threads #184 (April/May 2016), Daryl explains how to straighten the grain on a woven fabric. You can view a video of this process at “How to Straighten Fabric Grain.”

Daryl has written about creating custom trims and constructing hand-woven garments. Find out more in these online articles:

“Learn to Braid a Japanese Cord for Unique Sewing Accents,” Threads #194 (Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018)

Crocheted Edges on GarmentsThreads #200 (Dec. 2018/Jan.2019)

“More Tips and Resources for Inkle Weaving”

Threads Insider members can also visit these pages:

Sewing with Handwoven Fabrics,” Threads #163 (Oct./Nov. 2012)

How to Weave Custom Trims,” in Threads #175 (Oct./Nov. 2014)

A hot topic in this podcast episode was how to promote your fiber arts and sewn garments through competitions and contests. Daryl has entered and won many contests, and exhibited her work at dozens of juried exhibitions. Her latest big win was at the Handweavers Guild of America, Inc.  Her advice is to keep entering competitions and applying to shows, and not to be discouraged by rejections. According to her, a ratio of six rejections to one acceptance or win is excellent. The best way to handle a rejection is to learn from it by visiting the show to see what kind of pieces did get accepted.

When entering a juried contest, it’s important to present your work in its best light—literally. High-quality photography is essential, and Daryl and the Threads staff discuss what makes a good garment photo. In addition to the photo tips we talk about, take a look at “See Your Creations on the Pages of Threads Magazine” for more pointers on lighting, backgrounds, and styling. These tips apply to any opportunity you have to show off your work, including in Threads‘  online Gallery. (Daryl mentions looking at the “Reader’s Closet” department in past issues of Threads for sewing inspiration; that department has been replaced with the Gallery.)

To hear more about what our authors and guests love about sewing, tune in to previous episodes of the Sewing with Threads podcast.


Daryl Lancaster. Photo Credit: Cari Delahanty


We have created a podcast survey to help guide our content. Please take a moment to answer a few questions.


Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. m_urie_l | | #1

    I have a question that may be treated in a next episode: When you attach cuffs, collars, buttonhole plackets (any plackets): do you start the attaching on the inside or the outside of the garment. It's important for the topstitching: is the 'loose' side on the public or on the private side. I'm not so good in topstitching, so I prefer to start on the outside so that that seem is nicely closed

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All