Merge 2022

Design firms from the Sacramento area compete to create stunning fashions out of architectural materials in an over-the-top fashion show, this year at the Sacramento Zoo.

All proceeds benefit the IIDA Sacramento Student Design Award. Thais’ company, LPAS, participated and I was on their team. Unfortunately, Thais couldn’t attend, but she did get me an extra ticket. The venue on a perfect fall evening with various animals making noises in the background:

One of my neighbors and friend I met through bicycling, Terri, came with me. We found a bench in a shady spot and claimed it. A perfect place to watch everyone check out the table with the design boards.

The LPAS design board:

Along came Marcie — I think she was the master designer and executor of the LPAS entry. Lots of people had input and prepared materials, but Marcie made it happen — and Sedonah, our model.

Marcie’s mother, Terri, joined us:

Terri, me, Terri

Some members of the LPAS team:

Jamie, Jenny, me, Shelly

A few of the 10 fashions.

This model took off her turtle-shell hat and attached it to a “torch” to make a parasol:

LPAS won the category of Most Wearable:

The winner from HY:

Such a fun event.

More Merge progress

By Sunday evening, the rest of the team had created this. My bodice piece was still needed. Marcie also created the beginnings of a wrap and headpiece. Our runway model is Sedonah:

By Wednesday, the embroidered bodice was attached and the headpiece had evolved.

A perfect fit! Well, of course.

Very nice, but the wrap had also evolved into something quite unique. This will make for a great reveal on the runway.

The gray “fur” section is crescent-shaped pieces of carpet glued to the base so they stand up plus there’s an ombre effect from front to back.

A completely different look with the “fur” section up.

And, the wrap could easily be reversed. Marcie pleated this “fabric” with gold strips stitched to the top edge of the pleat on this side.

I think we’re ready for Friday’s Merge fashion show at the Sacramento Zoo.


The team got together at Marcie’s Friday afternoon, but I had everything I needed for the embroidery planned for the bodice section at my house. Thais put yarn lines on the “fabric” (1/8″ thick and quite dense) for the parallel lines but I had to figure out how to create a chain that spread out evenly from front to back.

The red sparkly thread was quite frustrating and I broke quite a few needles trying to go through the fabric. I was getting nervous about being able to complete the project, things weren’t going well. Finally, LATE Friday night, I figured out I needed to make a hole in the fabric with a hammer and nail in order for the thread go through smoothly. While the red sparkly thread was not very cooperative (I hope never to work with this thread ever again), the black floss made up for my frustration. On Saturday morning (after teaching a morning bicycling class), I began making holes every 3/8-1/2″ along every line front and back. And I sacrificed my cutting board.

By Monday at noon, I was finished. Front

and back:

On Tuesday, I drove to Marcie’s with the finished pieces and stayed for a couple of hours to add some snaps to the fringe sections that need to cover the zipper.

The rest of the LPAS team has been working collaboratively on the rest of the garment. Next for me: finish the outfit I’m going to wear on Friday, specifically a pair of pants.

Merge afternoon

Thais, Carson and I went to Marcie’s house to join the LPAS team work on this year’s creation.

Today six of us cut samples of furniture fabrics into 1/8-inch strips to make fringe

while Marcie drafted a pattern. No pre-made patterns are allowed.

Carson sorted and counted the finished pieces.

Merge 2019

A “Creative Collaboration Event” where local designers from the top architectural and interior design firms in Sacramento turn architectural materials into fashion. Over the past two weeks, 13 teams have designed and created wearable fashion from plastic laminates, carpet, textiles, paint chips, wall coverings, tile, etc. Tonight one model from each team walked down the runway in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Materials boards:
At right is the board for our team – LPAS:
None of my pictures of the fashion show turned out (darnit). So these pictures are from Southaphone Phommalinh who works at LPAS. When I first met Southaphone, she explained how to pronounce her name, “like sit upon a chair.” Here is the first of thirteen entries. From ATI:
On the way back down the runway came the reveal:
CSUS students:

HGA/KBM Hogue:
Lionakis, also Casey Wong, winner of the Best Model:
The reveal included a wig removal:
LPAS. We won Best of Show! Our model, Isabel, was great!

A close-up of the earrings, made by Heston who also cut all the vinyl flooring pieces on a band saw.
Williams + Paddon:
Thank you Southaphone for the great pictures. This was so much fun! I loved every minute of the evening and all the preparation. What a great group of young creative people!

Merge on Wednesday

The last evening to make final touches. After I whip-stitched the facing onto the waist band, other team members poked holes and added brads.
Wrapping the wrap-around skirt on our model, Isabel.
As it turned out the brads at the waist band came apart easily, so they were all removed in favor of small grommets. Practicing the skirt flipping reveal:

Merge on Sunday

More triangles of vinyl flooring were added and the carpet circles were attached with brads.
Use your imagination: the model walks down the runway wearing a little black dress and a circle skirt …
and unwraps the circle skirt and flips it around to reveal:


Fingers are crossed that this actually works the way it’s envisioned. The skirt is really heavy and unwieldy.

Merge on Saturday

Inside, drafting the “little black dress”:
Arranging the long narrow trapezoid pieces of vinyl flooring – except they go on the (white) wrong side of the circle skirt, not on the black side.
The circles were cut from a carpet square. It was decided additional triangles of vinyl flooring were needed to fill in the gaps.

Merge on Friday

IIDA (International Interior Design Association) Northern California is presenting the¬†9th annual MERGE 2019 Fashion Show. FIT FOR FUTURE! Thirteen design teams will use commercial interior products donated by sponsors to create wearable, futuristic fashions. Proceeds from the event go toward student scholarships. ¬†Thais’ company, LPAS, is competing and I was asked to participate. Yay! We met at Marcie and Michael’s house on Friday to figure out how to create Marcie’s design idea.
The beginning of a circle skirt using two kinds of vinyl fabric. There wasn’t enough of one fabric so the pieces had to be patched together.
Marcie has an amazing sewing/craft room with tons of storage. I could have written an entire blog post about this room, but I leave you with just one picture:
When there isn’t enough room on the clothesline: