Red Hot Mess Challenge

What do you do when you receive a donation of a LARGE bolt of red knit fabric and a TUB full of tape measures? How about a challenge?! Our Special Events team created a fun challenge to find ways to incorporate both into any kind of project our members could dream of. Time is up and now ….


Of course, the intention was to do this reveal in person at our annual luncheon, but since Covid has sent all thing skittering into the virtual world, the BIG REVEAL is right here on our website. We know you will enjoy looking at the things our creative member minds have come up with! And as a special “thanks for participating” reward, the team decided to give each person a $25 gift card.

Now sit back and enjoy seeing all of the creative expression from all of the participants!

Angie Wilson

I have to confess I have not yet come up with a good idea for the tape measures. I didn’t want to use them in clothes because I couldn’t figure out how to wash them. It also took me awhile to come up with an idea for the red fabric. Then I remembered I had two yards of this nice (I think Lillestoffe?) striped cotton knit that I won around 7 years ago. I had wanted to make pajamas but needed to get some red to go with it. TA-DA!! Now I had it, two yards of the stripe and two yards of the red.

I had the pajama pattern Simplicity 9020 (recommend), so decided to use up as much of the fabric as I could. I was able to make everything: the short sleeve top, the long sleeve top, the shorts, the long pants, two eye masks and a scrunchie. All the fabric left was basically strings, and it will not be wasted: when I have collected enough scraps I will make a ClosetCore pouf.

Yes, these are like adult versions of GARANIMALS (remember those?), and my 19-year-old son who was my photographer said “You look like a 5 year old!” when he saw me and we both burst out laughing. But these are super comfortable, I love the fun mix-and-match, and they are way better than my holey T-shirts I often use as pjs. Plus I think pajamas are perfect for our Covid Times. So, I am very happy with my RED HOT MESS project!

Anna Marie Moran

I have this recurring, pleasant dream in which someone gives me a large quantity of fabric and I can do whatever I please with it. It is the happiest dream. When I was given the red knit fabric for the red hot mess challenge, I felt like I was living my dream. It was so much fun to unleash my creativity and see what I could come up with. And that unleashed creativity dreamed up 2 versions!

1.  Pattern V8817 is a pullover tunic top. I added a few favorite scraps of fabric to accent the mostly hot red garment. I ruched the sleeves and added a lettuce leaf hem finish. I also appliquéd a leopard to the side. 

2.  Pattern M7688 has multiple views. I did my own twist to the hooded version of this pattern and think it turned out to be a pretty fun look.

Thanks to ASG for making this happen!

Carol Hamilton

For my creation I used Pattern B5354. I used a special stitch on my machine for the hem and sleeves then made a flower out of the tape measure for an extra bit of bling! 

Christine Bilton

The skirt is self drafted with an elastic waist. I just tested which way the strips curled and worked with it. The waist is darted, offset on the under and over fabrics to reduce bulk at the waist. I used my old UK reader’s digest book for how to add the stitched in elastic waistband. Unfortunately, having tried it on, it must have stopped the elastic shrinking back to what was quite a tight fit… hence I needed to add belt loops!  The beads were from a bulk pack I bought at Michaels plus more from my stash. 

My work in progress is a tote bag made from the tape measures. The tape measures are being woven on some red ripstop nylon as a lining which will be stitched onto some ‘Soft n Stable’ batting for added body then lined with additional ripstop. Handles will also be constructed from the tape measures. I’m using some washy tape to secure the tape measures temporarily while I work.

Cindy Vance

This is my finished bathmat. I cut 1” strips of the red knit then cut 1/2” slits in each end so I could weave all the strips into one long piece. Because I cut them crosswise, when I pulled them tight, they curled into a tube.  I rolled it up into a big ball and started knitting with size 19 needles. I hope you enjoy seeing the “in process” pictures as ell as the end result. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and glad to have this project completed!

Debby Bowles

Face mask time. My son with his red knit face mask at Torchy’s. I made 12 for the employees. They all have red ties. I think it goes well with the Torchy’s decor!

Donna Simpson

I made the bag using my own design shortly after I got the fabric.  I used 4 tape measures for the straps. 

Then I made myself a tunic. My tunic is a combination of a Cashmerette  Concord T-shirt pattern (because they know how to fit the plus size woman) and the bib and sleeves are from The Tunic Bible. Don’t know if you can see, but the bag lining is the same as the accents on my tunic. 

And since I still had red fabric, I made a T-shirt for my great granddaughter using my trusty Stretch & Sew t-shirt that I’ve been using for years. I just added a  yoke front and back. 

And I still have a pile of red fabric!!

Joanne Jensen

I am not a great fan of sewing knit fabrics, unless they are very stable, therefore the Red Hot Mess project proved to be quite a challenge for me. Red knit fabric? Really?  I got to thinking about the color red and red objects, and thought of the sewing tomato pin cushion. We all have at least one, in varied forms and sizes.

My entry for this year’s Challenge the Red Hot Mess, is a floor cushion poof. I cut the fabric pieces from a rough template I drew after seeing and measuring floor poofs in local stores. I fused the red knit fabric onto sturdy muslin using Quilters Select Free Fuse Powder (purchased at “Must Love Fabric” in Grapevine) so it would hold its shape better. Once stabilized, it was easy to sew the seams together, and I incorporated some of our ASG tape measures into seams. I’m calling my entry “One Ton Tomato.” (Whenever my brother-in-law, Bill, hears the song “Guantanamera,” and it gets to the refrain, he sings out, “one ton tomato” instead of Guantanamera.)

When it came time to fill the poof, I had lots of fabric scraps that I always save to make doggie/pet beds. Then I was sewing masks for ASG Plano, and had small pieces of cottons to add to the tomato’s innerds. But the poof needed additional filling, so fiberfil was added and pushed to spots for more support. I added more tape measures on the outside with hot glue, and cut out a top leaf piece and a bottom closure from green felt (hot glued).

Markita Hall Gumble

I used McCalls 8047 for my red hot challenge.  I was inspired, as it was the May #sewyourview.  I added a plaid knit as a ruffle and cuffs.   I think I made a matching belt, but couldn’t find it for the photos ; ) 

I think we can all agree that these Red Hot Mess challenge creations are quite creative! Your creativity never ceases to amaze and inspire. Well done to all and thanks to all who participated!

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5 thoughts on “Red Hot Mess Challenge”

  1. Ladies,

    You did a remarkable job. I love your creativity and how each one is different. Even though I can no longer be active, I love reading about what everyone else is doing. You are an inspiration.

  2. Everyone was so creative! That’s why I love this challenge. There are never any two alike. Congratulations to all of you who entered.

  3. How fun! There was nothing alike! I love everybody’s, but the most unusual to me was Joanne’s big tomato pincushion pouf❤️. I look forward to seeing the finished tote bag. I do still have a lot of tape measures, so I am thinking of copying Carol’s pretty pin idea. Thanks for sharing these?

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