Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

September 20, 2010

Flying the flag

The following is going to dent my pride. (But as they say: there is no such thing as bad publicity ... or bad blog material. Its all good.).

If you have followed recent entries here, you might know that I entered a couple of sewing categories in the Arts and Competition at the Royal Melbourne Show. You see last year, the garment categories were remarkably quiet - and some were empty. I thought it a bit sad that dressmaking languished in the shadows cast by other burgeoning crafts such as quilting.

Next year, I said to Mr HB, I will fly the flag. I'll enter something.

It would be worth noting that at the time he asked (some would say unkindly) as to how I might feel if I was the only entrant and didn't get a prize?


But, as it turns out he was on to something. There were three entrants to Class 79 Childrenswear. One received a prize. Third prize. Needless to say it wasn't me.

I know judging would have been to very high and exacting standards. I wonder if I was disqualified? Was it the press studs on my little girl's blouse (pictured above)? Or the machine (not hand) sewn continuous binding on the plackets? Did I break the rules ... or was I way out of my league (read: frankly rubbish)? I guess I will never know.

At least I can say I gave it a go. I flew the flag ... even if was a little bit tattered and at half mast.

Looks like neither Sheeps Clothing nor I got a brass razoo in the scone category either. Rats.


  1. Well, I for one would say that show judges need to pull their collective fingers out. In one breath they will complain about a dying art, in the next they'll disqualify (or not even acknowledge) someone using new or modern techniques. Sewing machines are able to do buttonholes now, better than I would ever be able to. So run with it! /rant

    And, I think your little shirt is pretty and would look adorable on me.

  2. At least you had a crack...and that is the main thing!

    What do judges know! ;)


  3. That's disappointing. You'd think you could have some feedback ... sad that entries are dwindling.

    I liek your fabric ... and for that you deserve a pick-me-up punch in the arm.

  4. WHAT? I don't like that at all, nor do I understand it, if there were 3 entries, should they not judge which was the first, second, and third best of those in the category?! Way to discourage peeps from bothering with entry fees & registration & whatnot. Pfft. Goes without saying you're a winner in our eyes...!

  5. You are so brave for trying, i would never have the nerve....and how rude to not award you third, I agree with Vic

    I love what you made! xx

  6. Goodness, no feed back?? How on earth can you improve/ follow strict rules if you don't know?? Don't be discouraged, your work is delightful. Sorry no prizes in the scones either, must visit Sheep's Clothing to see if Stacey admits defeat too?? Love Posie

  7. No kidding, OMG, my word verification was . . .
    scrona - pretty damn close to scone!! It's a sign, better luck next year, but do enter, love Posie

  8. Bugger. Should we don ninja masks and go find wear the judges live?

  9. I reckon you're a winner!
    hehe, good idea Trash!

  10. I think it looks lovely and I can't believe your scones didn't win. Feel free to bake some for me anytime

  11. Well, that sucks. How to stomp the enthusiasm out of someone really quickly. :( Bah to them.

  12. But I do have to ask- what did hubby say? And did you kick him really hard?

  13. How very frustrating and disappointing. I think it was incredibly brave to enter in the first place - I chickened out in the end. But to not get feedback on why? I think that's very silly and suggests a rather major lack of foresight on the part of the judges. Sniff. Don't stop sewing, and don't stop baking scones, either!!

  14. What the????
    We used to show horses back in our younger days, and it didn't matter how many competitors, all places were always given.
    My sisters horse even won champion brood mare at one show (she was the only one in the category)!

  15. That's frustrating! Particularly as they didn't actually give you any useful feedback. I think that blouse was lovely, and I can't believe it didn't win!

  16. I think you could probably get in contact with the judge/s of your category to ask why they chose not to allocate prizes, unless the entry conditions say 'no correspondence entered into' etc. In my category last year there was first, second and third awarded, and third was simply shocking. I would have understood only 1st and 2nd being given. Comparing that to a category where all the work is solidly good I don't see why they wouldn't give a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. If work was disqualified I don't understand why they'd put it on display!

    Hope you're able to get an answer.

  17. Were you category 0079? These are the results on the RMS website:

    0079 GARMENT/OUTFIT. Made for children from Birth to 12 years.
    1 Mary Dale: T/F CLASS 149
    2 Mary Dale: T/F CLASS 149
    3 Karyn Gottschling:

    I checked the schedule and Class 149 is PATCHWORK HAND OR MACHINE PIECED AND QUILTED BY EXHIBITOR. Maybe someone made quilted children's clothing and entered the pieces in both categories? Or they initially entered it in one category and transferred it to the other? Either way, it looks like a first and second place WERE awarded, they just weren't on display in the same case.

    So my guess is that the judges didn't think the entries weren't up to standard, and if you're on display you weren't disqualified. They've just made it look that way, to the detriment of the competitors' self esteem. Well done you on being exhibited, I bet there's plenty more entries that didn't make it into the glass case.

  18. Jennie, you're right! I was competing in Class 79. The competition catalog shows numerous pieces of Mary Dale's work entered in Class 149, but none in 79. Maybe you can change your mind about the category you're competing in, after entering?

    Oh well ... ce la vie! There's always next year :)

  19. Further to Mary Dale's change in class, the judge can actually move your into another class. Same thing happened to me with a baby blanket which the judge felt was better in the bedspread section. Seemed ridiculous to me at the time, especially when I won second place for a "bedspread" that barely went over a knee cap!!

    That's a bugger about your entries. I can only assume that the list of things you are supposed to do, like buttonholes and hand sewing plackets is on that secret website that no one, except judges, has the password to. Same thing happens all over the place. And they wonder why entries are down?

  20. Well you've inspired me to have a go and enter something in a show somewhere.

    You'll always be a winner in my mind.

  21. Oh that's such a shame - it would be helpful if they didn't have hundreds of entries to give people a little 'report' of what, if anything, was not right.
    Don't be disheartened - have another go next year.

  22. Aw. Glad to read the explanation of the other two mysterious entries, that makes a teeny bit of sense, but really only a teeny bit!

    I do think that either you (or maybe your dressmaking teacher as a non-competitor) could ask how you could have improved your work. Is their goal to put people off or get more entries for next year??

    I think a first prize is not worthy of you. I give you a GOLD medal! With another one for effort. And other one for courage. And a tea party is required so proper people can judge your scones (some still in the freezer!?). Shame I can't come to the latter.

    Melbourne Show...The Fringe???


  23. I am just so proud of you first of all for submitting your work and secondly for blogging about it.

    You are extremely talented.

    Well, I speak for all of us, and we think you're a winner!!

  24. Good on you for flying the flag anyway, and there will always be next year!

  25. How bizarre. Not winning, that's one thing, but given no feedback or info is just strange and very frustrating.

    I've thought of entering my sewing into our local county fair but haven't yet. I did go to the fair this year and check out the entries, so I think I could at least not totally embarrass myself next year.

  26. That's crazy! Yay to you for flying the flag in the first place. And make sure you enter again next year, don't let them get you down!

  27. You get an elephant stamp from me :)

  28. Who would know that there is so much involved with entering your work? I love the fact that you had a go - congratulations Liesl.

  29. Don't even get me started on judging criteria. It drives me mad. Nobody tells you till it's too late that a jar of 'pear chutney' for example doesn't only have to taste gorgeous but it has to be in the right jar with a perfectly aligned label, filled to just the right level and with no air bubbles visible. Apparently the poor judges just can't be expected to taste everything and so they can eliminate half of the entries before they even start. Boo hoo... Not fair.

  30. was hoping u would at least do well int he scone category this year. Oh well 2011 is not far away

  31. Oh thats just plain wrong. what blighters! I thought it looked fabulous. And poppers are fine & easy for kids. You have done some amazing stuff, especially considering you haven't been sewing long. You have totally gone for it & been much braver than I am (and improved much much more!). Bah humbug to snotty judges.
    As you can see I am stil reading your blog & have even got round to starting one of my own at long last! Keep on sewing & laughing!
    love Jacs x (UK)
    btw - glad I am not the only one who despises alterations!

  32. Ha! my word verification was Swriz. Well it was a real swiz wasn't it.
    Jacs x

  33. Errr.....ummmm.....definately a pity on both counts, but perhaps I need to try your scones to satisfy my curiosity regarding your scone making credibility and melbourne show worthiness? My calendar is flexible.

  34. Bugger! I reckon they should always give encouraging remarks and hints as to what they're looking for to every exhibitor. That, to me, is the mark of a good judge.
    Keep trying though, I admired you so much for entering!


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