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La Cañada teen wins Project Runway competition

Grace Rickert
Sixteen year-old Grace Rickert shows some of the designs she has created, at her home in La Cañada Flintridge on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Rickert recently participated in the Lifetime TV show Project Runway: Threads.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

Locals who watched La Cañada teen Grace Rickert win “Project Runway: Threads,” a competition show for young fashion designers that aired Thursday on Lifetime TV, can congratulate her in person during her upcoming appearance at Pasadena’s Sewing Studio.

On Nov. 16, The Sewing Studio in Old Pasadena will host a meet-and-greet with Rickert. The 16-year-old, who took sewing lessons at the studio, was there in the summer of 2013 when she learned the show was hosting auditions.

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FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Grace Rickert will appear at The Sewing Studio in Pasasdena on Nov. 14. She will make her appearance on Nov. 16.

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“Once the auditions began, I encouraged all of my students to try out,” Sewing Studio owner and fashion designer Cynthia Harvey stated in an Oct. 30 release issued by the company. “Grace took the initiative and went for it.”

Rickert was just 13 when she enrolled in Pasadena studio’s five-week Teen Fashion Series but had been sewing since kindergarten. 

Now, the La Cañada High School sophomore balances making dresses and costumes for herself and friends with a part-time job and participation in varsity tennis and choir. She also teaches sewing classes at Pasadena’s Door of Hope for homeless families in transition as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award, according to her mother, Peggy Sheridan.

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Sheridan also appeared on the Oct. 30 episode of “Project Runway: Threads,” assisting Rickert as she crafted a Descanso Gardens-inspired dress in a competition that asked contestants to create pieces that celebrated their hometowns.

“As we did it, I really appreciated that she’s very talented,” Sheridan said in an earlier interview of her experience appearing on the show. “I looked around and thought, ‘She might win.’”

As the winner of her competition, Rickert will receive $10,000 to be used at any Jo-Ann Fabrics location and a scholarship to the summer program of San Diego’s Fashion Institute and Design & Merchandising (FIDM).

In an interview with the Valley Sun before the episode’s debut, Rickert -- careful not to give away the results of the show prematurely -- speculated what she would hypothetically do with her winnings.

“I could make so many dresses with that,” she said, delighting at the thought of creating a home sewing studio and purchasing her own dress form. “I wouldn’t ever have to go to the mall to buy dresses anymore — I’d have enough for the rest of my life.”

The free meet and greet takes place Nov. 16, from 1 to 3 p.m., at The Sewing Studio, 107 S. Fair Oaks, in Pasadena. For more information, visit www.4theloveofsewing.com or call (626) 795-9494.

 


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