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

Conversational Threads

Project Runway Levis 501

galligator | Posted in General Discussion on

Did anyone else get ideas from the Project Runway season 4 Denim Challenge?  The levis.com website opened a separate challenge  called Project 501 & will produce the highest rated design. (I think the submission & voting is open for maybe another week) I rarely join groups or post anything online, but I went ahead and submitted a couple of designs that I ‘woke up with’ since watching the show.  Very unlike me. Don’t think there’s much chance I’ll make the top 25, since most of the popular designs seem styled for a size 3 (which I have not been since junior high), but it’s a learning experience for me. I definitely need to see how thick my skin is to criticism.  It helps to remember that everyone has different style & tastes.

There’s also some really cute stuff that I didn’t draw, but would love to make & wear.

Main page: www.levis.com

My drawings: http://www.us.levi.com/ProjectRunway/blogLink.jsp?SubmissionID=1457


Thoughts, opinions?

Night for now.


  1. RhettaRic | | #1

    Well, they're BOTH great entries, but my daughter would absolutely LOVE that bikini!  Good luck

    1. galligator | | #6


      I really got a love it or hate it response on this so far.  So many styles and figure types.

  2. MaryinColorado | | #2

    I think the "swimsuit" style is excellent!  Your "bathingsuit" style would be great for going to lakes and hotsprings, rafting, boating, fishing, beachwear.  Too many designers seem to think only of how tiny and full of lycra they can make a suit just to look at while the stick figure stands still or poses.  Many people prefer "natural fabrics.  That's why you see so many wearing cut off jean shorts and tee shirts instead of bathing suits.

      Perhaps Levi's would be more receptive to the idea if you called it a "playsuit".  They have a staid concept of what swimwear "must" be.   In my youth, I wore halter tops and denim shorts, this reminds me of how comfortable they were.  May I suggest also, a cami type top for those wishing to cover the midriff? 

    In one of the " Levi's comments" someone mentioned "felted" rather than flat felled seams, could this have been a misunderstanding on thier part? 

    I hope you pursue this style further, would love to see it available in retail!  (Even though I am too "mature and round" for this style personally).  Thanks for sharing.  "make it work" 

    1. galligator | | #7

      OK, Tim.

  3. jane4878 | | #3

    Cut-off's are a must for water-skiing (unless you like enemas :^)) Those are more stylish than plain old cutoffs.  You may want to push that angle.  I like the one's with the cuffs the best.  The dress is really cute as well.

  4. scrubble4 | | #4

    Hi:  I like the playfulness of your design.  Everyone knows denim isn't fun wet it just binds and chaffs, so I never thought of yours as anything but a playsuit for grownups.  Instead of a swim suit and t-shirt coverup, you can just stick with the style inherent in the playsuit.  Great idea. 

    I went through all the designs.  I think lots of the designs young folks will like.  I kept thinking how comfortable they would be to wear, such as walking, squatting, kneeling, sitting.  Many of the designs didn't appeal for those reasons. 

    Thanks for introducing us to this site.  Scrubble4

    1. galligator | | #5

      Thanks for the peak - and the 5 'rivets' ... I am in my 30's and could never even think of wearing a number of the styles shown. Anything so low I have to find a waxing parlor is a big clue ... I know I'm not shy with the cleavage on the pic I put up, but I really was still trying to keep up full coverage & support without sacrificing a little bit of grown up flirt.

      Anyway, not sure how long the site will have all the photos up, so it really does seem like a good creative source, at least temporarily, for folks like us. I can only guess that once I get out of my hotel to a real internet connection that maybe I can stop getting load errors on my computer & get a better look at some of them.  Nothing gets me drawing more than a fashion magazine or show.

      Also, does it seem like a lot of designers have no idea about actual construction realities, or maybe just ignore it for a fantstic fashion sketch? Admittedely, so many things are achievable in fabric when you think of it in 3-dimensions, but some things you see in design sketches do not translate into a wearable garment. One of my biggest drawing issues is wanting to see on paper how the pattern will feel and work.


      1. scrubble4 | | #9

        gailligator:  I agree that many of the designers did not seem to understand the notion of "hand" regarding denim.  Many of the designs looked like they were thinking chambray or even lighter.  I made the comment on a few designs that I thought they had chosen well for the weight and stiffness of denim.  I tried to go with positive constructive critisim.  Many I just didn't comment on at all, but I looked at all of them.

        The poured into it designs just don't appeal to me.  One thing I really liked about your sketch was the "real human" figure rather than a stick figure.  As I have said on other Threads here, I think clothes look so much better on real figures rather than extremely thin folks.  I guess that is my prejudice, but I am sticking with it. 

        I also liked that I could easily see your design from the postage stamp size preview.  Even once into the full picture, many of the designs could not be understood because there was no pen sketch to highlight design lines.  I guess these are all things that you learn in a competition like this one to apply on the next one.  I encourage you to enter more of these.  I am old enough to know that life has many speed bumps and giggles along the way.  These are both just ways of saying when our perspective is changed we learn.  A competition can sometimes heighten our listening, observing and learning.  Go Girl


  5. starzoe | | #8

    Someone else asked this same question: "felted seams"? In denim?

    1. galligator | | #10

      Felted Seams? In Denim...

      Remember, a lot of these folks want to be 'DESIGNERS'.  They probably have no idea how much ignorance of techniques & terminology show when they speak.  The one line on PR this season that constantly drives me crazy is "I'm a designer, not a dressmaker".  It shows an interesting disconnect between the ideas and execution.

      I never want to forget that Madelaine Vionnet always referred to herself as "Just a Dressmaker" (Albeit later in life she did say at least once say something to the effect that she was the bes dressmaker in the world - Of course, if you're lucky you can see some of her designs in a museum, so there's a certain amount of evidence to back up her claims).


      1. galligator | | #11

        That last sounded a lot more catty than I would wish. Sorry.

        1. MaryinColorado | | #12

          I didn't think it sounded "catty", although many of the contestants on Project Runway sure are!  I can't stand that young man who did the brown prom dress, he blew it, then blamed the teenage girl for his lack of maturity.  He complains and whines all the time.  I know the unique personalities add to the entertainment value of the program, but sometimes I pity thier lack of communication skills.

          Sometimes they are such primadonnas, then make excuses rather than accept the criticism gracefully and learn from it.  Being too snobby to meet thier future clients needs could cost them dearly one day. 


  6. Teaf5 | | #13

    Interesting links--thanks for the heads-up! Starting in the 1960s, I've made lots and lots of things from 501s (four brothers and lots of male friends who wore nothing but 501s) but never thought of any of those.Your romper suit would be a nice option for younger women with curves and the need for support in a bikini top. Your cheongsum is delightfully detailed; not sure I could walk in it, though!

    1. galligator | | #14

      If I decide to ever go into more contests like this, I'll probably have to work out a more traditional croquis model. It would have been nice to have access to color, but I'm trying not to clutter up my hotel with any more things (5 people & toys for 3 kids for a month) ... I did close on my house yesterday (but managed to miss project runway) but it's still going to be almost a week until I get all of my household goods delivered (and I'll have to check on that, too since the main pass to my city is closed for 'avalanche control').

      Does anyone know if Christian is still on? No, don't tell me, I need to find a repeat.


      1. Ralphetta | | #15

        In my area it was a rerun. There was no episode.

  7. Lilith1951 | | #16

    I loved your swimsuit, as well as a few of the other designs....just a couple of them. I particularly loved the bottoms with the fold down waistband.  Very cute.

     For those of you who believe denim won't work for a swimsuit--many people don't really swim in them, they just sunbathe, which will cause the denim to fade, but that's what denim does.  Anyhow, for the record, back in the mid-70's when I had a figure that would actually fit into a bikini, I mail-ordered a pattern/instructions for turning old jeans into a bikini.  I did it and it looked very nice, indeed.  I did not wear it into the ocean (I was afraid the bottom would be heavy enough when wet to get pulled down by a rogue wave), but I did wear it for backyard sunbathing and a few trips to the local pond with the kids, where I mostly just got splashed.  No serious swimming.  Stretch denim would make it a little safer, but we didn't have that 70's.

    My husband absolutely loved that suit and still recalls it fondly.  I haven't worn any kind of bikini since that summer, but my recycled denim one was a hit as far as I'm concerned. :-)


  8. rodezzy | | #17

    I went back to see your designs after reading so many interesting conversations concerning this Project Runway Levi's 501 competition. 

    Your designs are great.  I love the Denim Cheongsum and Manga dresses.  They are sexy and innovative.  I can wear them myself.  I also love that all of your model sketches look more like real women and not stick figures.  CUDOS to you for your wonderful sense of real people and designs for real people.

    Edited 2/7/2008 2:32 pm ET by rodezzy

    1. galligator | | #18

      It's nice getting positive feedback from 'regular people'.  The comments I have had on the Levi's site have been pretty much either hot or cold. 

      Maybe the fact that most of us 'sewers' are used to looking at technical pattern sketches rather than 'fashion sketches' changes the way we look at design and fabric.  I have difficulty drawing something too exagerated because I want to know how it will look on me, a mother of 3 kids with a figure a bit on the fuller side than when I wore my 1st pair of 501's.  I don't usually join contests like this, so this was unusual for me.   At this point, so many designs on the site don't even have comments, I figure I'm doing pretty well to provoke any response at all.  I  think I did this whole thing partly to take a step outside my comfort zone & partly in response  to the fact that at last year's state fair I had one of those 'I can do better than that' moments at so many of the handcrafts displays.

      Now that my youngest is over 3, I'm getting more sane time back to myself, so I'm trying to get back more involved in things that seem to have been put on the backburner - like design, sewing, painting.  I want to get some of that 'I'm artistic' side of me back, I guess.

      Oops, I ramble.


      1. rodezzy | | #19

        No problem, rambling is good for the soul.  I do it all the time, helps process thoughts into action. 

        You're young yet, but as an older woman, do what you do while you can do it, because getting old is not an option, it's a reality.  Don't want regrets for not doing what you could have when you could have.  Sometimes you can't do it all, but you can very well try.  And a try feels better than not trying at all. 

        Good luck to you in all of your endeavors.  You are all that and more!!!!

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

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

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All