October 11, 2011 10:00 PM

Courtesy Pillsbury

What’s cooking? For three former
Project Runway
stars, a lot! Althea Harper, Kara Janx and Carol Hannah Whitfield were all commissioned to create cute, classic aprons for the upcoming Pillsbury Bake-Off, held in late March in Orlando, Fla.

The ladies were given the competition’s standard logo, then tasked to “make it work,” allowed to add colors, prints, trims and more to the classic cover-ups.

“It felt like a Project Runway challenge, but it was much more fun and much less stressful,” Whitfield, a season 6 alumna, joked to PEOPLE on Monday. The designer’s apron (above, right), trimmed in blue and featuring an exaggerated floral print on the bottom, was “inspired by the Bake-Off logo itself,” she said. “It’s very bright, colorful and fun with flowers and shapes, so I just wanted to accent that with a little bit more color.”

Harper, also of season 6, went in an opposite direction with her apron (above, left), adding a print from her fall 2011 collection to the background. “It’s supposed to be for both sexes, so I thought it was a good way to incorporate the flowers with a masculine touch with the blacks, grays and creams in it,” she said.

Season 2’s Janx (below) added pockets to her look, in an effort to “keep it really functional and really smart. I was thinking about the process of cooking,” she said. “I wanted to keep it clean … and emphasize the colors and patterns.”

Courtesy Pillsbury

Though none of the designers spend too much time baking themselves — “New York has such small spaces,” Janx lamented — one apron will make it to the Pillsbury Bake-Off in March. Through Monday, Oct. 17, Pillsbury fans can head to the brand’s Facebook page and vote on their favorite design. All 100 Bake-Off finalists will wear the winning look during the big event this spring.

Contest manager Onju Sturlaugson called all of the designers “amazing and talented,” and said she hoped their looks would spice up the competition. “We’ve had a Bake-Off apron for every contest since the first one back in 1949,” she shared. “We knew these designers would bring some fun, fresh ideas to the garment.” Vote for your favorite apron now at facebook.com/Pillsbury.

–Kate Hogan


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