Golden Sewist Challenge

Sponsored by the Barony Beyond the Mountain

Link to East Kingdom Event Listing

The Barony of BBM invites you to show us your costuming skills. The seamstresses and seamsters of the East will take up the challenge to create a complete set of garments, from the skin out, in twenty hours. Teams of from 1 to 6 active members are to start at 8PM Friday and continue to 4 pm Saturday. Team members are expected to remain on-site during the competition at all possible. If there is a legitimate reason that this is not possible please contact the autocrat and we will work something out.

Teams Competing

  • Number of teams that the site can accommodate is 6.
  • If there is a waiting list of teams and if no one from a team is there by 8 PM and you have not told us you will be delayed, your team s spot will be given to a team on the waiting list. Waiting list teams: don’t panic, There are usually last minute cancellations.

Registering a Team:

To register a team, contact the autocrat (49908@members.eastkingdom. org)with the following information:

  • Team name
  • Number of team members and names of members
  • Category and level you wish to compete at
  • A brief description of your intended project
  • Any special activities your team wants to attempt ie casting buttons, weaving on a warp weighted loom, making armor, etc.


  • We encourage Laurels to attend as participants on teams or team sponsors.
  • Laurels may make themselves available for at-large consulting to teams.
  • Costuming, Textile or ‘ringer’ Laurels (you know who you are, you multitalented people!) count as two people on Advanced and Master Teams.


We’re sorry, this is not a child friendly event or site. Children are welcome if they are a model or part of team, but be aware that unless you keep them busy there is nothing for them to do. Please make sure your children are supervised at all times by someone who is not working on a team.


You will choose one level and one category to compete in:


  • Patterns should be drafted in advance or purchased patterns may be used
  • All underpinnings should be made in advance.
  • Sewing machines are allowed
  • Accessories may be made in advance or on site, subject to safety and site restrictions
  • Laurels (in costuming or textile arts or a  ringer ) not permitted on teams.
  • 50% of members on the team must never have won previously.
  • Be prepared to discuss why you did what you did. Books and pictures alone acceptable. You may provide written materials created specifically for this project to explain and/or vindicate your choices.


  • Patterns may be drafted in advance. Commercial patterns discouraged.
  • Underpinnings may be made in advance.
  • Sewing machines are allowed
  • Accessories may be made in advance or on site, subject to safety and site restrictions.
  • Each Laurel (in costuming or textile arts or a ringer ) is counted as two people on the team.
  • Be prepared to discuss why you did what you did. Written materials to explain and/or vindicate your choices created specifically for this project are suggested and should describe how it was researched and made. Books and pictures alone are acceptable.


  • Patterns drafted in advance are allowed but points will be deducted.
  • Underpinnings may/should be made in advance.
  • Sewing machines are allowed. All visible edges must be done by hand.
  • Embellishments and accessories- we encourage these being made on site, subject to safety and site restrictions
  • A Laurel (in costuming or textile arts or ringers ) is counted as two people on the team. Be prepared to discuss why you did what you did. Written materials are necessary and should describe this project and how it was researched and made. Materials must include SPECIFIC details regarding any deviations from period practice. (It was on sale is not an acceptable excuse).


  • Early period – 600 to 1100 (i.e.: Byzantine, Saxon, Viking)
  • Middle period – 1100 to 1450 (i.e.: Burgundian, Houppelandes, Cotehardies)
  • Late period – 1450 to 1600 (i.e.: Renaissance, Tudor, Elizabethan)
  • Any other category will be judged separately if there are at least 3 entries: non-European (i.e. Middle Eastern, Oriental), horse bardings (horse need not be present!), armor, etc.

The Facilities

  • You must bring everything that you need no last minute runs to Joann’s or deliveries of materials after the competition begins.
  • Trading or borrowing of supplies between teams is allowed.
  • Nothing may be placed or put on the walls   if it needs to even lean against a wall, please bring something to protect and cushion the wall surface.
  • Unlimited number of electrical appliances allowed, but power may be restricted.
  • Ironing Boards and irons may only be used at designated ironing stations. You may bring your own iron, but it must be used at one of the ironing stations. Too many irons on at once guarantees tripped circuit breakers!
  • Some power strips will be available, but bring your own if you like.
  • Standard hall tables/chairs are available. You may bring your own if you prefer.
  • You are responsible for cleaning up your own area. Bring a broom. Please do not leave pins on the floor.
  • Bring bedding if you wish to nap in the quiet room overnight.
  • All bedding must be put away by 10 am on Saturday.

Special Safety Note

Processes that require flame or heat, generate fumes, or consume more electricity than the iron must be cleared with the autocrats *before* the event and may be permitted only outside the building.

The Scope of the Project

  • Garb must be made for a specific person – the model
  • Garb is top to toe, from the skin out
  • Includes underwear, corsets, hoops & bum rolls, hats, shoes, pouches, etc. (which may be made in advance at all levels of competition)

The Team

  • There is a six team limit, pre-registration highly recommended.
  • Maximum number of team members is 6 Costuming/Textile Laurels count as two people on Advanced and Master Teams. If the model assists the team, they must be counted as a team member
  • Models do not have to be part of the team and counted in the maximum number.
  • No age limits, either end, for team members. In some cases children or young teens may be counted as half a person. Please contact the autocrat in advance if you wish your team to include children.
  • Registered teams will be given the autocrat’s cell phone number for emergency contact or you may let us know in advance if your travel plans make it impossible for you to be there by the 8 PM starting time


Must be flat and unmarked, may be prewashed or sized.

Accessories Rules

Fabric accessories

  • Accessories made from fabric, especially at the advanced or master levels, are encouraged to be made on site.

Special cases:

  • Corsets, hoops, and other period underpinnings may be made in advance. No penalty for making them in advance at any level.
  • Gloves – May be made/purchased in advance, but are encouraged to be embellished on site
  • Socks – commercial is acceptable, or may be made in advance

Non-fabric accessories:

  • Accessories not made of fabric may be done in advance (Shoes, buckles, buttons, purse hardware, belts, etc.) or purchased.

Judging Show

  • Each team will present their final outfit to the judges and populace on stage at the end of the day. You will be expected to show all layers in as expeditious and succinct a manner as possible. Additional presentations are welcome but will be done while judges are sequestered after the show.
  • All teams and team members will be out front to be able to watch the show.
  • There will be a time of 10 minutes for explanations per team if we have a lot of teams participating.
  • Not only will the Judges be able to ask questions of the team while they are explaining their outfits, but people from the audience will be allowed to ask questions too.

Judging Guidelines

20 points per category

1. Creativity
2. Fit
3. Scope
4. Workmanship
5. Completeness

Special points:

25 – Inspiration & vindication of how/why you did what you did, written (should be done in advance) or oral
25 – Accessories made on site
50 – General WOW factor of what you tried to accomplish

Total Possible Points: 200

Additional Awards:

Baronesses’ Choice

Autocrats’ special recognitions