Iron Tailor

Teams will battle using needle and thread, hot glue, and a variety of tools to create a stunning steampunk outfit from thrift store clothing, cloth scraps, and ingenuity. The winning outfit will show both creativity and craftsmanship. Points will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams.


Any team of 3-4 people (aged 12 and up) are welcome to participate in the competition. The teams will determine their Design Engineer Officer (DEO) who will be their leader and whose decisions will be final for their team. One ticket per entrant is required to compete. Anyone under 18 must have the permission of a parent or guardian.

Equipment Needed:

  • Any thrift store clothing or materials that will be placed on a community table. You may not keep these items for yourself, but may choose them in the picking rounds.
  • ONE portable basic sewing machine, if your team chooses to use one. Note that this must be a basic machine—No sergers or embroidery machines. Extra Consideration awarded if the sewing machine is actually powered by steam.
  • Basic sewing materials (needles, pins, thread, scissors, etc.).
  • Any other crafting tools you think you may use such as hot glue guns, duct tape, jewelry pliers/tools etc. Some of these items will be present on the community table, but not enough for every team to use. In general, prepare to bring a kit of the tools you may want to use.

Iron Tailor Rules:

  • Only crafting tools may be brought for personal use. All components, material, clothing or jewelry brought must be placed on the community table for use in the picking rounds.
  • Teams will be given a box of five items by the judges. Each team must use at least three of the items in the box in their costume. Not using three items will disqualify your final costume.
  • Teams will take turns picking items for their creations from the component tables.
  • The order in which the teams will choose will be determined at random. One at a time, in order, the teams will start from their start area and have a very limited time to choose a predetermined number of items from the tables. Items not completely brought back to their start area must go back to the picking tables and may be picked up by other teams. The number of items that may be picked up in each round will be predetermined by the judges in each round.
  • The number of choosing rounds will be determined by the judges.
  • When the Iron Tailor begins, teams will be given one and a half hours to craft a costume, including accessories, from the items in the box and from the community table.
  • Your model must be one of your team members. No outside participants can be used during the competition.
  • Throughout the competition, the judges will be walking through and viewing your creation process.
  • Judges may award The Panache Award to something that most impresses them. Possible Panache achievements include but are not limited to “Grace Under Stress,” “Most Improbable Non-Electric Powered Sewing Machine,” “Fabulous Accent”; basically that which demonstrates flamboyant confidence of style or manner in the minds of the judges. A prize will be awarded for the Panache Award.
  • All points are awarded to the team, not to individual members.
  • During judging, teams will be asked to describe their costume: what was created, how it was made, any theme to the costume, and the mandatory items from their box that were used.
  • Outfits will be displayed on Saturday at the Fashion Show.


  • 1st Place Winner
  • 2nd Place Winner
  • 3rd Place Winner