New Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show competition puts dressmaking and upcycling skills to the test

18 October 2019

Could you put your dressmaking skills and green credentials to the test?  The Knitting & Stitching Show Harrogate has a brand new competition for skilled, eco-minded seamstresses and tailors.

With a focus on sustainability and environmental awareness, the exciting new competition has three categories, all using recycled fabric and materials.

  • Category 1 is A Dress from your Stash in which entrants must make a dress from an old pattern using unused fabric from their home stash, remnants from a previous make or from old household fabric like curtains or a tablecloth.
  • Category 2 is Go Green in which entrants must enter a garment made from non-traditional materials like paper, bubble wrap or plastic bottles.  Entrants are encouraged get their creative juices flowing with some wild, wacky creations.
  • Category 3 is Upcycle an existing garment into something wearable with entrants challenged to transform an old item or items of clothing into an entirely different garment.  For all categories, final competition pieces must be a wearable garment.  All will need an accompanying back story that includes details about the materials and pattern used and the inspiration behind it.

Entries will be on display throughout the show (28th November-1st December).  Finalists will be invited to take part in a fun, informal catwalk at The Creative Living Theatre on Sunday 1st December with garments modelled by the maker, by the person the garment was made for or by an alternative model.

Judging will take place during the catwalk show, after which, each category winner will be announced.  Judges include author, TV presenter and sewing teacher Wendy Gardiner and The Knitting & Stitching Show’s Event Director, Anna Baptiste.  An overall winner will be voted for by visitors, based on votes cast throughout the show. Each category winner will win a top sewing prize.

To enter The Knitting & Stitching Show Dressmaking Competition, entrants must complete an application form, available on the show website, and submit it with images of the finished garment by midday on Monday 28 October.  Finalists will be contacted in early November with shortlisted garments to be sent to the show organisers by 18th November.

There’s also a live, daily Upcycling Challenge in the show’s Creative Living Theatre.  Teams of contestants will compete to transform an old item of clothing into something new in 45 minutes.

Show visitors will select their favourite garment and the winning team will take home a fabulous sewing prize.  Sessions take place at 2pm on Thursday to Saturday and 2.45pm on Sunday.

Entrants can enter as a team or individual by emailing with their name, age, preferred session  and experience level.


Anna Baptiste, Event Director for The Knitting & Stitching Show, said:

The fashion industry has become synonymous with poor environmental and ethical behaviour.  Designing and making clothes by hand using recycled materials is the antidote to that and the Dressmaking Competition and Upcycling Challenge at The Knitting & Stitching Show Harrogate will be a celebration of creative, ethical craft and dressmaking talent.

We look forward to some exciting entries.



The Knitting & Stitching Harrogate takes place at Harrogate Convention Centre from 28th November-1st December.  Show highlights include: Textile Galleries by acclaimed contemporary textile artists and groups from all over the world; The Learning Curve programme featuring over 250 workshops; a dedicated Dressmaking Studio (sponsored by Vlieseline Freudenberg) offering beginner to expert-level classes; Knitworking drop-in knitting and crochet lessons with volunteers from UK Hand Knitting; Artists in Action, where practising artists will be demonstrating their techniques in a live studio environment; The Craft Village featuring small boutique craft companies and comfortable places to sit and relax; the Innovation Station (in association with Baby Lock), featuring live demonstrations of the latest craft products; and over 250 exhibitors selling essential craft supplies.

Standard adult tickets for The Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate are £15.50 (concessions £14.00).  A wide selection of ticket options is available at or by calling 0844 209 7325. A £1.95 fulfilment fee applies per order for Print at Home tickets and £2.50 for postal tickets.  Full Terms and Conditions are available on the show website.


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