Wyo representatives selected for national Make It With Wool contest
Casper – Seamstresses from around the state gathered to compete in the Wyoming Make It With Wool (MIWW) competition that was held on Dec. 4-5. State contestants presented a fashion show at the opening luncheon of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association Winter Roundup.
“MIWW is an annual youth-centered sewing competition to promote the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics, yarns and fibers,” says the National MIWW website.
Contestants in the MIWW competition must construct, knit or crochet their own outfits out of fabric or yarn that is at least 60 percent wool. They then model their outfits for the audience.
Entries are judged on multiple factors including quality of construction, creativity and suitability of style and fit for the contestant.
Participants first compete in district competitions held throughout Wyoming during October and November.
Over 60 contestants participated in the district contests this year. Wyoming has the largest number of contestants in the United States due to the district contests that are held.
All contestants at the state contest received 2.5-yard lengths of Pendleton wool fabric, donated by the Wyoming Wool Growers Auxiliary.
In addition to the contest, state competitors also participated in an educational workshop on the sheep and wool industry during the event that was taught by Wyoming MIWW Coordinator Lynda Johnson.
Lynda noted that the event was, “a very enjoyable time. We not only go through the contest, but we have a workshop, we also tie a quilt together and have some good activity time together.”
Five young ladies aged 13-16 participated in the Junior Division of the MIWW competition.
First place in the Junior Division went to Ashlynn Johnson of Encampment, who modeled a four-piece ensemble including a teal, green and brown bouclé wool coat, teal asymmetrical-style jacket, ivory shell top and tailored brown slacks.
Ashlynn also received the Outstanding Construction award for the Junior Division and the People’s Choice award for the entire contest.
Grace Belize Anderson of Devils Tower earned second place in the Junior Division with her pink dress and pink and purple plaid jacket.
The Adult Division boasted eight contestants at the state competition.
First place in the Adult Division went to Estella Munroe of Encampment. Munroe modeled a brown and black cashmere coat and a tailored brown wool and silk dress. She also received the Outstanding Construction award for the Adult Division.
Second place in the Adult Division was awarded to Cheyenne resident Cindy Todd, who modeled an ivory Chanel-style jacket and a gored skirt she designed to compliment the jacket.
Michelle Elser of Casper received the Creativity Award for her hand-crocheted dress with an owl design that revealed a cream colored underdress.
New this year, a “Judge’s Award” was given to Patty Swanson of Lingle, who has been a contestant in the wool contest for over 30 years. In her bio, the MIWW contest veteran commented that she wasn’t sure if she should continue to compete in the MIWW contest due to her age, to which fashion show emcee Lynda Johnson and the audience enthusiastically said, “Yes.”
Other divisions that were available at the district level but did not have representation at the state contest include the Pre-Teen Division, Senior Division, Made for Others and Wearable Accessories.
In addition to the main contest, participants from around the state entered their designs into state contests for quilt and wall hangings, afghans and a knitted or crocheted apparel competition.
Barbara Lahr received top honors in the wall hanging division. Deb Matlock was the award winner in the afghan division and Lynda Johnson won in the knitted apparel contest.
Ashlynn will represent Wyoming in the Junior Division at the national MIWW contest on Jan. 26-28 in Denver, Colo.
As the Adult Division winner, Munroe will send her outfit, photos and a video of herself modeling the outfit to a national judging committee. The national winner is then selected and the winner is invited to attend the National Convention in Denver, Colo.
For further information regarding the MIWW competition in Wyoming, please contact Lynda Johnson, State Director, at 307-399-6723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emilee Gibb is editor of Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at email@example.com.