Goodwill Vintage Fashion Design Challenge

Becky Chaffee Makes Whimsical Cello Outfit Design

Becky Chaffee, Owner of Violettes By Becky has been chosen as one of six designers for Goodwill Fashion Design Challenge, one of the company's biggest fundraisers of the year in Knoxville, TN. The Thursday Sept 21 event is typically sold out with over 400 in attendance. Many are unaware that Goodwill gives classes to help folks become employable with food service cleanliness training, nurse assistant training, computer classes... In addition to the training, folks receive certificates which also help folks become employable.

The evening includes shopping at a visiting high end boutique, a dancing group, and dinner at the downtown Knoxville Holiday Inn. Here is the link for tickets.

The Goodwill Vintage Fashion Design Challenge show will present designs by the chosen 6 to be voted on during intermission by the audience. The popular vote is only one sixth of the points to win and unknown prize. Additional criteria include:

  • 2. Incorporation of repurposed materials from Goodwill Industries-Knoxville (minimum 90%)
  • 3. Level of complexity
  • 4. Attention to detail and finishing
  • 5. Functions for runway show (not inappropriately sheer or fragile, model can walk, not prone to “wardrobe malfunctions.”)
  • 6. Creativity (interpretation of theme, unexpected or nontraditional use of materials)
cello End Pin, Cello Lessons, Goodwill Fashion Design Challenge end pin above the model's foot.

Becky has chosen a design in keeping with the "In Living Color" Theme for this Year. A list of material reuse is at the bottom of this page. Here are sneak preview of the cello entry with a list of materials reused below.

Note that we have made cello purses with re-purposed goodwill materials in the past, as some of the bling is not even available at local stores, and if they were, the prices are much better at Goodwill.

Goodwill Vintage Fashion Design Challenge - materials listed below.

  • Two Pairs stiletto shoes: used a stiletto heel and silver strip from shoe soul for end pin at back center of dress. Large jewel strips are from both pairs of shoes for cello end pin on leg, cello string ornamentation on top front center and rest as bling décor. Use all straps from shoes for cello strings on hat, note stems, and to hold tail piece on leg.
  • Hangers – to curl the ends of scroll and scrolls on cello purse and to hold back of cello “shawl” in place. Used a complete hanger in “shawl” for shape. Also used a hanger for the cello bow.
  • Corrugated hose –front of dress cello curves (Bottom part of cello shape)
  • Rubber hose fit perfectly into corrugated hose, but is stiffer, so it is use to continue edges of cello “shawl” up the back.
  • golf green for stiffener in purse, head piece scroll, tuning pegs on hat, some music notes and for green frog on bow.
  • record to support scroll in hat
  • bicycle Helmet – used helmet padding for hat to protect head. The padding is under the belt buckle glued to bottom of hat to balance it on head.
  • Jump rope is used for cello neck “strings”.
  • 3 Belts, 2 black and one yellow--Yellow belt to hold fascinator hat on. --2 black leather belts – used two leather ends of belts for: one belt buckle for model leg as cello tail and end pin piece and buckle piece for cello fingerboard dress front center.  Other belt buckle is to balance record on head for fascinator hat. Elastic Belt Centers -- to close back of dress.  -- and remaining elastic was cut into strips to hold tail piece of cello onto leg, to hold notes onto shoe and for ring.
  • two purses – beads from one purse are used on f holes and as center front décor. Used magnetic snap from one purse and strap from another for cello purse.  Used strips from both purses for note stems. Leather strips from purse for note stems. Used strips of one for inside back cello lining under gold netting.
  • Pillow – used thin case for lining of corduroy, and stuffing for stuffing of the yellow corduroy dots and some of the music notes.
  • shell necklaces – smashed shells and sprayed them silver to glue onto notes on back. The silver notes on the back top and silver of the stiletto heel end pin needed to be tied together for the eye to move across the dress.
  • Buttons from coat for notes - I have replaced all the buttons on this coat and returned to Goodwill including the broken button.
  • Car Floor padding – used to help with stiffness and shape of back of cello “shawl”
  • Four different curtains were used for fabrics: burgundy, gold, brown, and white sprayed gold

It was a fun experience, but I do not own a form to build the outfit on, so my model visited once a week for about 5 weeks. The style and method that I chose for this piece was a time consuming arduous task. I pulled 5 all nighters because I have trouble stopping when I am in the middle of art. In addition, I changed my design plan ideas several times during the making.

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