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Threads/ASDP Dallas Challenge: A Closer Look

Get an up-close look at the inspiring details from the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals' winning challenge entries.

Threads has a years-long tradition of posing a design challenge to the members of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (ASDP). For the association’s 2018 conference in Dallas, Texas, we asked the designers to create garments inspired by the city’s mid-20th-century history of innovation in technology and fashion.

The five winning ensembles are described in Threads #203 (June/July 2019), but they had more details than could be covered there. Here are a few more elements that impressed us.

Best Overall: Helen Haughey, Rhapsody in Black and White


Helen chose a stunning, reversible fabric with a large repeat. She then pieced the fabric to bring the zigzag points together according to her vision, and set the pieces on the bias.


Best Construction: Debby Spence, Digital Delight


Debby applied hand-worked understitching at the one-shoulder top’s neckline to prevent the lining from rolling to the garment’s exterior.


An underarm gusset is a quintessentially 1950s detail that provides ease and range of motion on a sleekly fitted dolman sleeve.


Debby’s skirt is lined with organza. The edges are perfectly sewn and pressed, so the organza stays close to the outer fabric and doesn’t billow below the hemline.


A total of five hooks with hand-sewn loops close the skirt’s waistband securely and discreetly.

Most Innovative: Denise Severson, It’s a Wrap! Jumpsuit


Denise constructed hidden pockets in the waistline seam. The pockets accommodate a phone, crucial cards or cash, and a lipstick, and close with invisible zippers.


French seams and machine-stitched narrow hems at all edges keep the jumpsuit light, flowing, and cleanly finished.

Best Example of 1950s Luxury: Jennifer Phillips, Paris Mon Amour


The voluminous ballroom skirt required multiple layers of integrated petticoats for support. Each layer was different and varied from striped taffeta, with wide lace trim, to embellished blue netting, with a sparkly black trim.

Audience Choice: Terri Tipps, Sophisticated Glamour

The brightly patterned skirt closes at center from with magnetic fasteners. This way, the skirt can be folded open to show the coordinating pink satin pants, giving the ensemble the look of a  1950s hostess pajama set.


Terri included hidden pockets in the skirt. There was no side seam, so she set them in carefully in order not to disrupt the plaid pattern.


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  1. User avater
    alicat2621 | | #1

    I want this dress!
    Best Example of 1950s Luxury: Jennifer Phillips, Paris Mon Amour

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