The Stitch Festival Dressmaking competition is open to all contemporary dressmakers who want the opportunity to share their creations. Whether you’ve been sewing for years or you’re a complete beginner, we welcome your entries!

This year’s competition will be judged by designer and dressmaking legend, Esme Young; Sew Over It’s Lisa Comfort, Nerrisa Pratt and Mark Francis.

 There are five categories to choose from this year, including a new Childrenswear category. We encourage you to be as innovative as possible and judges will be looking for personal flair as well as beautifully executed techniques, stitching and finish. You can use commercial patterns or your own design. You can adapt, hack or customise and of course, for the Upcycling category, we expect just that! The choice is yours.

Sponsored by


The categories


The winner of each category will receive a £250 voucher to spend with the category sponsor.

There will also be an award for the ‘Best in Competition’. The winner will receive an Adjustoform Dress Form.


The judging panel will consist of high-profile dressmaking experts including Esme Young, Nerrisa Pratt, Lisa Comfort and Mark Francis. Read more about the judges here.
Judging will take place on the opening day of the Stitch Festival (Thursday 3rd March).

sf22 dressmaking competition judges


  1. Only ONE garment per category may be entered (maximum of five entries per person)
  2. Competition is open to all adults aged 18+ (with the exception of Immediate Live employees and freelance personnel)
  3. Entries must have been completed within the last 24 months and must not have been entered into any other competition
  4. Submission fee is £7 per entry
  5. Entries can be made from a commercial pattern. The design does not need to be original but entrants must credit the source of the design or pattern where possible.
  6. Entries must be made entirely by the person entering, with no element of the piece having being stitched by anyone else
  7. Entries do not need to be a complete outfit (ie a skirt may be entered as one entry) but an entire outfit is welcome as one entry.
  8. The entry form with photos must be submitted online by Midday on Friday 11th February.
  9. You must state your level of experience on the entry form to ensure your piece is judged fairly.
  10. Shortlisted garments will need to be posted to the organisers by Friday 25th February OR delivered by hand to the Stitch Festival at the Business Design Centre on Wednesday 2nd March between 10am and 4pm.
  11. The organisers take no responsibility for entries lost or damaged when posted to us
  12. Garments must be labelled with the makers name, postcode and telephone number. Please ensure the label is inside the garment to protect anonymity during the judging process.
  13. Entrants will be required to either model the garment or provide a model to wear the garment entered on the runway as part of the Finalist’s Fashion Show on Sunday 6th March. This will be a fun and very informal catwalk! (tickets to enter the show will be provided).
  14. If entering the Childrenswear category, your child is welcome to model their garment on the catwalk but MUST be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times during their visit.
  15. The garments will be on display at the show in our Competition Gallery from Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th March in the Finalists Gallery.
  16. You will be able to collect and take your garments home after the Fashion show on Sunday 6th March. If you are unable to take your garment home on Sunday we will do our best to return your garment to you, but the cost of handling and postage will be charged back to you.
  17. The judges’ decision is final.
  18. Prizes will be as stated subject to availability. No exchanges or cash alternatives.
  19. The organisers reserve the right not to display entries for any reason, either in the static exhibition or on the catwalk.

View highlights from previous competitions...