Shadee Perry modeled a blue mermaid-style evening gown with an embellished bodice and coordinating scarf as she walked the runway Saturday evening. An aisle between cakes and quilts entered in competition at the Montogmery County fairgrounds may not have been the most conventional spot for a fashion show, but onlookers lining the runway didn’t seem to mind.
That morning, the blue dress was just fabric. Faith Patino, Shadee Perry and Kenya Perry, all from the Gaithersburg area, started sewing at 9 a.m. to finish their creation in time for the runway show at 6 p.m.
The trio was one of five teams competing in Project G Street at this year’s Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. Groups got a country music CD, fabric and nine hours to sew a complete outfit inspired by country music and the fair’s theme this year, “Country in the Air.”
For Christine and Emily Evans, who were on a team with their mother, Kathy Evans, a break-up song by Sarah Evans was the inspiration for combining a blue shimmery tunic and white capris.
“Our outfit is supposed to be for a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man,” Emily said with a laugh.
Christine said the team wanted to sew something with strong contrasts between the top and the bottom to project confidence. Her team was also the only group that made pants, rather than a skirt, for its outfit, but it was still meant to look grown-up and professional.
“It’s the opposite of cutesy,” Christine said.
The Evans family has participated in the contest in all three years it has been held, and Kathy said her daughters had progressed from her teaching them about patterns to them running the show.
“It’s been three years of growth in sewing,” she said.
When the results came in, Team Pin It to Win It took first place for a little black dress with a removable sheer overskirt inspired by a Martina McBride song. Shelly Geasler of Frederick County, who was on the team with her daughters, Bailey and Jamie Roe, said this was their first year in the Project G Street contest, but the girls had participated in 4-H in the past.
“Usually they do 4-H projects and I can’t help them,” she said.
In addition to the dress, the group made a coordinating necklace and hair accessory, which the judges said they liked.
“We were done early, but we kept working,” Jamie said.
For their first-place win, the team took home a $300 gift certificate to G Street Fabrics, which provided fabric for the contest. The runners-up also received gift certificates. The Evans family placed third, and Patino’s team came in fifth.
The fair runs through Saturday.