Local designer sewing up win in Martha Stewart contest

EUGENE, Ore. - Richelle Rudeen studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York before moving to London.

There she found her calling: Designing children's costumes.

"I had so much fun channeling my inner 7-year-old to do those designs and in love with just working with fabrics, everything was much more vibrant and colorful and crazy," she said.

Now the Eugene native and her Ella Dynae Designs are leading the pack in one of the categories of the Martha Stewart American Made Contest.

Her styles are costumes - the kind of clothes kids love to wear, she said.

"It's all about imagination and playing and make believe," she said. "They're not worried about the latest trends or what's in fashion right now. They put on a costume and they love it because of how ti makes them feel."

Fourteen-year-old Cyra Conforth, who models for the designer, couldn't agree more.

"It's fun to pretend to be young for a while," she said. "Relieves the pressure of teenage life, I guess."

Rudeen hopes to win her category in the contest - and expand her work.

"I would love to have a larger studio somewhere in america where we can employ other seamstresses and designers," she said.

You can check out her entry in the contest online.

If you want to vote, each email address can vote 6 times every 24 hours until voting ends at 9 p.m. on September 13.