Refashion Runway Season Five: Contestants and Challenges Announced Today

Finally! It’s the big announcement!

And let me tell you, this has not been easy. So many wonderful people applied for Season Five of Refashion Runway and I just couldn’t narrow it down to less than 15 contestants. I know that after you read about them or see their pictures, you’ll agree with me.

If you’d like to sew along with us, the challenges will be listed at the bottom of this post.

Let me now introduce our competitors for Season Five.

Meet Peggy Latta:

I participated in a sew along for the Boho Chic segment in 2015 and have been looking forward to perhaps having the chance to compete and…the time is now right! For 30 years, I have been a working textile artist enchanting brides with intricately detailed 11-inch tall replica miniature gowns. In the spring of 2020, I plan on expanding Heirloom Textile Art to include creative, one-of-a-kind and limited-edition wearable art. “textile hARvesT” designs will be curated from restyled thrifted garments and harvested details turning “second hand into new fashion”. In a world with too much textile waste, I plan to tackle the problem one beautiful piece at a time. I believe no effort to save the planet is too small. Throughout my sewing years, I have learned to “macgyver” and get creative in order to replicate the tiniest of details. Additionally, working with client’s cherished heirloom garments to design christening gowns and home décor has given me the courage to become fearless with scissors! These out-of-the-box challenges…and so many more… have prepared me to face the Refashion Runway as an artistic seamstress! If you want to see my up-to-the-minute works of art, please follow me at Heirloom Textile Art on Instagram.

Meet KT

I am a home sewist who loves to make clothes for myself and my friends and family, whether its is from scratch or from altering an existing garment. I like the idea of completing a sewing project within a specified timeline because so much more can be accomplished when there is a deadline. The competition would also be a great way to connect with fellow sewists and learn from them.

Meet Sandy Yates

Sandy has a wonderful sense of style and design and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us.

Meet Deana Budgell

I’ve been wanting to do something like this for awhile now. I fell in love with sewing watching my mom sew when I was a little girl and that love has just grown through the years. When I see fabric, I see the finished product already. I love what fabric can turn into and how it can make you feel when it’s complete.

You can see more of Deana’s work on her Instagram page, djewelss

Meet Summer Ashley

I have been refashioning for quite a while now and enjoy the the challenge and creativity that comes with each new project. I have kept up with Refashion Runway in the past and thought it looked like a lot of fun

You can find more of Summer’s work on her Instagram page, Refashion Diaries

Meet Amy Minster

I love refashioning, and I used to do it all the time. I was a frequent poster on Refashion Co-op. I loved seeing what the other posters came up with, and I especially loved the creative problem-solving involved in transforming a piece of clothing into something brand new. Then I got too busy with life to have much time for sewing. I’ve been meaning to get back into it, and joining this competition would definitely kickstart my creativity again.

Meet Rose Henegar

I was brought up sewing, (hand-stitching long before it was trending!) and as one of five kids, was quite used to makin’ it work. Hand-me-down Rose… It was the 60’s in rural northern Michigan, with our fabric selection coming straight out of the Ben Franklin Store. We made doll clothes, stuffed toys, and progressed to sewing on a machine in record time. Patching and letting down hems was less of a fashion decision, and more likely a necessity. We embroidered, trimmed, altered, and transformed our clothing as expressions of our budding personalities, but more likely to extend the life of the garment. Skipping ahead a few decades, and we still make it work on a tight budget. I’ve learned a bit along the way. I’ve taught nearly every art and craft skill (including martial arts!) and still enjoy the creating. I teach jewelry making, painting, and art journaling, but I’m still loving to upcycle. I can justify my second hand shop finds, when it breaks down to yardage, hardware, and a challenge to my creative brain. Every day it’s fiber therapy in some form. I knit, crochet, needle and wet felt, weave, and spin. And most days I attempt to produce a stitch meditation. It’s not about the result, but the process. I’m certainly up for the challenge, and will enjoy the influence of other crafty souls along the way.

Meet Diane Scarponi

I have enjoyed refashioning quite a few things – using both garments that were made from one thing into another, and home dec materials that were made into clothing. Sustainability drives a lot of my life. I live in an old house in Connecticut (recycled house – ha ha), grow lots of fruits and veggies in my garden, use public transportation or a bicycle most of the time, and buy lots of things second-hand – including a “new to me” Pfaff sewing machine. In 2019, I took the “RTW Fast” pledge to not buy any ready-to-wear clothing (except for things I can’t really make, such as socks and tights), and I almost made it! I needed to buy a few things on vacation because of unexpected weather problems. Otherwise, I am proud that all my new garments, bags and home dec items in 2019 were made by me! And I used lots of scraps and leftovers for charity projects. I am emailing to you pictures of a few recent refashions – a winter coat out of an old blanket from my college dorm days (30 years ago!) and a dress I made out of a tablecloth. It was nice enough to wear to a friend’s wedding, believe it or not! Who am I kidding? Of course you believe it – but no one else would! I’ll love being a part of “Refashion Runway Season 5”.

Meet Beki Biesterfelt

I’m a seamstress by trade, with a passion for upcycling and repurposing. My creative process incorporates pre and post consumer fabric and fiber waste into wearable art, accessories, and items for the home.

You can see more of Beki’s work on her Facebook page or at Beki’s Custom Sewing

Meet J.P. Choquette

Though I’m a writer by day (website ), I love to upcycle and refashion clothing by night. Two of my refashions were featured in “Altered Couture” magazine. And as a contestant in the 2016 STRUT! Fashion Show in Burlington, VT, I learned a lot about refashioning a cohesive collection. It received a great response!

Meet Sonya Blackstone

I am creative and I adore upcycling, plus I’m always up for a challenge! This competition just speaks to me! She’s So Creative doesn’t show as much of my sewing work as I would like because it’s still a baby site and I have been more centered on my crocheting site since I started that years ago. Even though I haven’t been able to showcase all of my sewing projects, I am a confident sewist; I learned to sew several years ago and have made hundreds of sewing projects (including garments). My crochet site is

Meet Diane Sladowski

 I make wearable and artistic garments from post consumer jeans to sell in my Etsy shop, I occasionally blog ( and will for this!) and I have a love for upcycling/recycling clothing. I always want to do more types of garments and fabrics, so this contest will give me a direction and inspire me in new ways.

You can see more of Diane’s work at Thoughts From a Seamstress

Meet Marisa Glied

Yes, Marisa and her beautiful smile and style is returning to us from Refashion Runway Season 3 and from Refashion Runway All-Stars. Her blog is called The Refash Stash 

I am a dental hygienist by trade but that leaves me longing to wear something with more personality than scrubs! I hope my little blog inspires you to change the way you look at outdated clothes by making you think outside the stitch!

What is refashioning, you may ask? To me refashioning is taking an article of clothing and making it into something completely new! This could be as simple as changing buttons on a shirt or making a suit jacket into a fabulous new purse! Refashioning is all about being creative! The best part is: There are no rules! Just go for it!

Meet Michelle Paganini

I live and breathe Upcycling/refashioning! I love the challenge of transforming old fashion into new. As some of you may know, I have built a business,, around selling upcycle sewing instructions to home sewists. I consider myself an expert Upcycler with a distinct point of view.

Meet Julie Kong

I stumbled upon the Renegade Seamstress four years ago. I was fascinated, excited and amazed at what she had created. All the endless possibilities started swirling through my head. Upcycling kept me occupied at a time when my children were leaving the nest, and money was tight. So I dove in and here I am today still Upcycling!

Let me introduce myself, I’m a school librarian who designs and upcycles on the side. I’d love to say Upcycling is my full time job, maybe one day I will. I’d love to have a local shop where all upcyclers can bring their creations to sell. And a meet up group would be a fantastic way to share ideas and inspire others.

I have four grown kids. I live in California. I love the outdoors. I love animals and most of all I love to create!

Now, I have to tell you, sewing makes me a little crazy. I’m not the best seamstress out there. I think I spend more time ripping out what I’ve sewn then actually sewing!!!  In the end, I work out all the bugs that could potentially happen when taking on an Upcycling project.

Oh, and by the way, the kids at my school love seeing what I’ve made. I’m always talking about Upcycling with them, even the Kindergarten kids. One day, a little 2nd grade boy was falling me around in the school library. I was wearing a wild tie dyed skirt with lace. He said he couldn’t believe that I made my skirt and that it was soooooo beautiful. He then proceeded to tell all the other little boys that I’d made my skirt and they were all in awe! Such a cute moment with those precious little ones. Surprisingly enough, I’ve actually inspired some junior high girls to try Upcycling. You know how they are about their clothes at that age. It sure made my heart happy!

I feel my designs are different and exciting. I like to create clothing that is more wearable art. Clothing that makes others stop and ask where you purchased your outfit. Not because it’s a designer brand but because it’s fun and different. My creations have no patterns. They are just creative ideas coming together to inspire others to reuse, recycling, and create something exciting. I really look forward to sharing my ideas with you. If you do take a peek at my website, that’s my daughter in all the pictures, not me. The clothes just look better on her!

You can see more of Julie’s work at Sugar Cane Sweet Designs

See what I mean, how could I say no to any of these wonderful seamstresses!!

So here’s a list of all the challenges:

Week One: Statement Sleeves

Week Two: 1970s

Week Three: Faux Fur

Week Four: Small to Large

Week Five: Southwest

Week Six: Kentucky Derby Hat

You are welcome to sew along with us and we’d love to see what you come up with for these challenges. Post your work to #refashionrunway if you have Instagram. Or send them to me at

The first challenge pictures will be posted on Saturday, January 25 and you’ll have a chance to vote for your favorite.

Until then,

Happy Refashioning!


About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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34 Responses to Refashion Runway Season Five: Contestants and Challenges Announced Today

  1. So glad to have found your blog – it’s amazing! Thank you for so many awesome ideas!

  2. Deb says:

    I’m so looking forward to seeing all of the upcoming challenges and results, all of the contestants so inspiring! 😊

  3. Deborah says:

    Ever so excited to see all of the results! Amazing work, Ladies! Lovelovelove.

  4. Hadassah S. says:

    So excited! Btw, I LOVE your book! Eep, so much! Just wanted to say thank you for everything you do! Refashioning is so much fun!


  5. maribeth merton says:

    Are you on Instagram? I don’t want to miss any of these.

  6. Michele W says:

    Such amazing work! Thank you so much for sharing — love what everyone did!!! And I am so glad I started following you!!! Everything you do is truly inspirational.

  7. shoes15 says:

    Wow! What a lot of talent in one place. I look forward to seeing what you make.

    • Yes, I totally agree. There was NO WAY I was going to be able to only choose 8. I can’t wait to see how they interpret each challenge, too. Stay tuned for January 25 so you can vote for your favorite Statement Sleeve Refashion.

  8. So exciting! You have chosen some talented and artistic folks here this year! My favorite thing about this season is that we have taken in David’s (my son-in-law) niece who is 10 years old. She wants to learn to sew and this sort of thing is perfect for her to learn what can be done with items sold at Thrift Stores. She had no idea what I meant by refashioning until you posted this — I can see the wheels turning in her head now — she is as excited as me!!

  9. kipaoh says:

    This is awesome ! Do you have any detailed instruction for the.challenges and if so could you link is up? I’d love to sew along !

  10. Katie Winter says:

    I just found this and I love the idea of a friendly sewing competition using recycled garments/fabrics!

  11. ELizabeth Boyens says:

    I took a class from Michelle and have been a fan for years! this will be exciting to follow!

  12. Pingback: Refashion Runway, Here I Come! – Distaff

  13. congrats everyone! I wish i had made it into the lineup, ill keep trying !

  14. Linda L says:

    I love this kind of creativity and can hardly wait to see what’s coming!

  15. Pingback: Exciting News! Refashion Runway is Back! – TheRefashStash

  16. Anny says:

    I’m so excited about your lineup! I say, “The more the merrier!”

  17. Pam Burdecki says:

    Julie Kong is a genius. That’s my vote. I don’t see how to vote except thru this comment box. Not very voter friendly.

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