Winning Ways with Wearable Wool

by Marie Bogan, Staff Writer

Teal Lake Park Kim Vogley models her top-ranked ensemble

In yet another example of the talent that abounds in our area, Kim Vogley of Quilcene has won the national Make It With Wool competition. It’s an event that has been promoting the appeal and wearability of wool since 1947. Before entering the countrywide contest, Vogley had to qualify and win first place at the state level. Her top-ranked entry in both events was a double-breasted wool coat and dress of her own design.

In addition to creating and fabricating the cream-colored ensemble, Vogley modeled it at the national wool-inspired fashion show in San Diego. It will also be photographed for an article in Threads Magazine, which features sewing projects, couture garment-making, and basic to advanced construction techniques.

Criteria for the judging, Vogley said, included embellish- ments that showcase the breadth and versatility of wool, as well as design cohesion, execution, and proper fit. Her two- piece outfit was selected from a field of 21 state finalists. She said her inspiration for the coat was the one First Lady Jill Biden wore to the 2021 inaugural ball.

Vogley, who is self-taught, said she is a “huge fan of wool.” She is also, apparently, a huge fan of sewing machines, currently owning five of them. She explained that they each serve a different purpose, and then offered this anecdote: When her husband raised an eyebrow at her latest sewing machine acquisition, she reportedly pointed to the various tools in his shop, asking him, “Do you not have a band saw, drill press, radial arm saw, table saw, planer, and jointer?” She quipped that he quickly appreciated her point of view.

A woman of varied interests and talents, Vogley has done landscape architecture, wood-turning, geese-raising, egg- decorating with carving, needle-felting, and therapy-dog work. She also enjoys powerboating in local waters.

The state Make It With Wool contest was sponsored by the Washington Wool Growers Auxiliary and the Washington State Sheep Producers. The national event was sponsored by the American Sheep Industry and the American Sheep Industry Women.

For others interested in pursuing a creative passion, Vogley advised honing skills to enhance competence, asking for help when needed, and expecting lots of trial and error. And for anyone feeling hesitancy, she urged, “Do it!”