BUIES CREEK - A Campbell communication studies major won the national "Make it Cool With Wool" contest in Scottsdale, Ariz., recently after creating a three-piece outfit that took her an entire summer to fashion.
Marisa Linton, a staff writer for The Campbell Times, the University's campus newspaper, was among the few in this year's competition to have already won nationals, taking the junior division in 2009. "Make it Cool with Wool" contestants are required to sew a garment out of fabric that is at least 60 percent woold or other animal fiber, such as mohair or camel hair.
She competed against 30 others in the senior division (ages 17-24) in January in the three-part contest that required speaking in front of judges, having her work critiqued by those judges and showing off her creation in a fashion show.
Along with the title of National MICWW Senior Ambassador, Linton also won the Mohair Award, $2,000 in scholarships, fabric, a sewing machine, a garment bag, an expenses-paid trip to next year's national contest in San Antonio, Texas, and one trip to promote the contest of her choosing.
"I feel honored and so incredibly blessed to have been able to simply be able to compete, much less win,” said Linton. “It is amazing to see one's efforts rewarded."
Linton has been sewing for 11 years and was taught by her grandmother.
"I have slowly learned new techniques and gained new skills," she said. "It has allowed me to become closer to my grandma, too. Sewing has definitely become a passion for me."
Linton's award-winning outfit this year consisted of a dress, jacket and overcoat in pink and black. It took Linton all summer to make the ensemble and over 130 hours.
As the ambassador she is now responsible for promoting wool, the sheep industry, sewing and the annual contest.
"Serving as ambassador is amazing," Linton said. "I love explaining to people that wool does not have to be itchy. It can be soft, light weight, and even sheer. It is so versatile. It's also a wonderful American product."
She said the event has been the highlight of her life, and she looks forward to sharing it with others. Competing each year has allowed her to travel the country and visit places she'd never seen before.
"It has allowed me to meet so many new people, travel, explore my creativity and sewing skills, and create some tremendous memories,” she said. “It has encouraged me to raise sheep and participate in the full process of wool production from shearing to spinning to actually sewing the fabric. God has certainly blessed me in giving me this passion and allowing me to succeed in it.”
By Emily McIntosh, The Campbell Times