Project Runway Episode 11: This Is For The Birds

November 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm (Project Runway)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a  quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“The Raven”, Edgar Allen Poe

There have been a couple of times this season when I thought the Project Runway people were a bunch of cuckoos (The Stilts Challenge). So it should have come as no surprise that one of the challenges quite literally was for the birds.

“We begin with our fourth Advertorial Challenge (but who’s counting!). This one is different. For starters, it’s L’Oréal. Second, there are birds waiting for the designers back at Parsons as their next challenge is announced: they must create a high-fashion runway look inspired by a cockatoo, a parrot, a raven and (if you look closely …) an owl!” [Former Project Runway Contestant Nick Verreos’ Blog]

I was drawn to the raven and unlike many of the challenges before, I knew exactly what I was going to design before the episode was over.

Many months ago at a high end fabric store in Miami, Rex Fabrics, I found a black embroidered polyester fabric, which I fell in love with. Since then, I have found comparable fabrics at a fraction of the cost at Mary Jo’s Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC and even Joann’s Fabrics.

What I love about this fabric is its wavy texture, which gives the cloth an almost feather-like appearance (hence, the raven).

Fabric in hand, I set out to create an oversized clutch. I have played with the wristlet and evening bag clutch shape and size, but this time wanted to make something even larger.  The end result is a rectangular bag measuring 17 ” x 9 ” with a chainmail strap and white satin lining.

I have to say I love this bag and realized this past Friday night during the First Friday Gallery Walk in Downtown Raleigh how far my sewing and design skills have come from the first challenge.

For the Birds Purse -- Project Runway Episode 11

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So, one challenge to go. Until the next post (which I am hoping will be towards the end of this week), auf wiedersehen.

Hosted by supermodel and fashion maven Heidi Klum, the hit reality series Project Runway provides budding designers with an opportunity to launch their careers in fashion, under the watchful eye of mentor and Liz Claiborne Chief Creative Officer Tim Gunn. In August, Lauren Van Hemert launched her own version of Project Runway in Studio 109A (her Downtown Raleigh Artspace Studio), in which week after week she is creating accessories inspired by each of the Project Runway Season 9 Challenges.

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