For her senior prom, Mikayla Lewis, 18, was prepared to shop for her prom dress like most do — online or at a department store. But thanks to her little sister — she was able to sport a look that was custom designed for her.
14-year-old Courtney Lewis had been hinting to her older sister how she wanted to make her something but according to their mother, Crystal Lewis, Courtney’s requests were pushed to the wayside.
“Courtney has always been interested in the arts. She attended a performing arts middle school as a theater major. She’s done make up for a mega church theater production. So it was no surprise that Courtney would ask to take on the task of making her sister’s dress,” Crystal shared with Yahoo Lifestyle. “I was worried at first because of the lack of experience in dress making. Courtney had only made a few pillows and skirts prior to the dress.”
But when Mikayla began to take her little sister’s word — the two began to collaborate on what the dress could look like.
And back in November – when Courtney first created her sketch – both Mikayla and her mother saw the potential for Courtney.
“Courtney first sat with Mikayla and looked at different types of dresses that Mikayla liked. She wanted to get a sense of what style appealed to Mikayla,” Crystal shared. “They went through several rough drafts [of the sketch] before they finalized one.”
It was from there that Courtney worked with her cousin Syreeta (who has her very own line called Syreeta C Fashion,) who mentored Courtney throughout the process.
But Crystal clarified that when it came to creating the dress — it was all Courtney’s doing.
“I was only around for motivation, transportation and to purchase supplies needed,” she says.
The motivation from Syreeta as well as Crystal was at the crux of the process—especially so when Courtney was admitted to the hospital in December and March due to having type 1 diabetes.
But Crystal says that her youngest daughter pushed on to ensure that the dress was completed by April 26.
“The dress came out more beautiful than I could have imagined,” Crystal says. “We had about 25 people at our house on prom night, and when Mikayla walked up the steps the family screamed in excitement. We think her date was even taken a back.”
Courtney is now getting noticed from people who have seen her design online and is already planning out her next project.
“Courtney is going to keep doing what she loves,” Crystal says. “I’m glad to see that her time has finally come!”
Feeling like designing your own dress for the next big event in your life?
If you do decide to design, it is important to remember these tips:
A custom dress will likely be costlier than buying it off the rack, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Secondly, start thinking about what your dream dress will look like at least six months before the event.
Also, it will help if your measurements are taken by a professional dressmaker or seamstress.
If you are not sure where to begin in the whole process, you can look for inspiration in stores by trying on dresses as well as getting a feel for different fabrics.
Last but not least, sketching or collecting pictures for inspiration will help you create a clear vision for your dream dress.
For more info on how you can become your very own designer, click here.
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