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Baby Lock Sponsors Event For Rising Stars

Baby Lock winning garments
Models wearing winning garments.

First place winner, Cheryl Zemke
As first place winner, Cheryl Zemke of Riverview, MI, won a Baby Lock Symphony sewing machine. Pictured with model in winning garment and Steve Jeffery, president of Baby Lock USA.

Second place winner, Michael Kawa of Pontiac, MI,
For second place, Michael Kawa of Pontiac, MI, won a Baby Lock Eclipse DX serger. Pictured with model in winning garment and Steve Jeffery, president of Baby Lock USA.

Third place winner, Mila Pershyn of Bloomfield Hills, MI
Third place winner, Mila Pershyn of Bloomfield Hills, MI, won a Baby Lock Anna sewing machine. Pictured with model in winning garment and Steve Jeffery, president of Baby Lock USA.

Audience winners with Steve Jeffery, president of Baby Lock USA
For the past two years, Baby Lock has matched the winners' prizes in a special audience giveaway as well. This year's audience winners with Steve Jeffery, president of Baby Lock USA.

Joi Mahon, Angela Wolf, Kathy Ruddy… these are just a few of many successful designers who have participated in the Baby Lock sponsored Passion for Fashion Event. Each year, thousands of people gather for the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI. There they can shop, attend sewing classes, and participate in contests such as the Passion for Fashion. Emceed by President of Baby Lock, Steve Jeffery, this runway contest asks sewing enthusiasts to demonstrate their skills and creativity in a race against the clock.

Baby Lock has sponsored Passion for Fashion every year since its beginning in 2007. "Baby Lock is very honored to be the leading sponsor of the Passion for Fashion Event," said Jeffery. "The challenge that is presented to these designers and their awesome creations are simply remarkable. There isn't much time to think or plan; they just jump in and let their creative designer talent soar. It really is an awesome event and as I said, Baby Lock is very proud to be a part it."

As the official machine sponsor, Baby Lock provides the machines each contestant uses to construct his or her garment. Additionally, first, second and third place are each awarded a Baby Lock machine. For the past two years, Baby Lock has matched the winners' prizes in a special audience giveaway as well.

According to Janet Pray, president of the American Sewing Expo, Passion for Fashion contestants range from the very young to the more experienced designer. From the many entries the contest receives each year, judges choose 11 to participate in the contest. When the contestants arrive at the American Sewing Expo, they meet their mentor and get oriented with the Baby Lock machines they will use. The next morning, the challenge is presented. This year's inspiration was drawn from images of insects. Each contestant chose an image and got to work on a "fashion forward" garment with little more than basic sewing supplies and their favorite pattern book. They were also given $100 to shop for additional supplies in the expo.

Contestants can enter the contest up to four times, unless they win first place before the fourth year. This prevents the same person from winning every year.

"Many people use the first year as learning experience," Pray said. "The winner often participates for four years. Several people want to come back for the experience."

Some winners took less than four years to wow the judges such as Joi Mahon. Mahon won Passion for Fashion her first year entering. Soon after, she partnered with Baby Lock to launch the Love of Fashion program. Other designers have found success after winning the Passion for Fashion contest such as Angela Wolf, host of the PBS television show "It's Sew Easy", Kathy Ruddy, Linda McGhee, and more.

This year's winners were Cheryl Zemke of Riverview, MI, Michael Kawa of Pontiac, MI, and Mila Pershyn of Bloomfield Hills, MI. As first place winner, Zemke won a Baby Lock Symphony sewing machine. For second place, Kawa won a Baby Lock Eclipse DX serger, and third place winner Pershyn won a Baby Lock Anna sewing machine.

"This contest has a huge impact on their careers," Pray said. "It stretches their sewing expertise." Based on success of past winners, professionals in the fashion industry may want to keep an eye out for Zemke, Kawa, Pershyn and future winners of Passion for Fashion.

About Baby Lock:
Baby Lock has been a leader in the sewing industry for over 40 years. Today, the company offers a full line of products that enhances the love of sewing, including technically advanced sewing, quilting and embroidery machines, sergers, accessories and industry-leading Gold Standard service and support.

In addition to supplying sewers, quilters and embroiderers with easy-to-use, state-of-the-art products, Baby Lock is determined to provide incredible service. That's why Baby Lock products are sold exclusively through independent retailers. As a part of Baby Lock's commitment to retailers the Tacony Achievement Center, a St. Louis, Missouri training facility, was launched to help independent retailers accomplish the most from their businesses.

Baby Lock is a major underwriter of the popular PBS television shows "Sewing With Nancy", starring national sewing authority Nancy Zieman, "Quilt in a Day", starring national quilting authority and hall-of-fame inductee Eleanor Burns, and Fons & Porter's "Love of Quilting", starring Marianne and Mary Fons. For more information or to become a Baby Lock Retailer, call 800-298-8810.

Reprinted from SQE Professional, February 2013

 

 

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