Amanda...A Story of Creativity

Amanda's dress was made of re-purposed materials from the Goodwill.  It's from a boned bodice with smocking in the back that she knew she could make smaller. She has panels, and tulle and circles and layers, who knows? The flowers on the dress, (and shoes and bag) are attached to match.  Amanda likes "fancy".  Creating; twirly and fun.  (Full instructions on How-to below.)

Amanda's story is truly enlightening...

"I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 1994.  I was 9 years old.  Little did I know that the next 20 years would be so permeated with the weight of those words...and all the things having IBD carried.  My disease was moderate over the next ten years.  My symptoms were reasonably managed with oral medication, and until 2004, I'd never needed to be hospitalized other than when I had the initial diagnosis.  From then on, I was in and out of the hospital more times than I could count, and from 2008-2013 I had 7 surgeries, including an emergency surgery to remove my entire colon (large intestine), after it was discovered that it had essentially died during a surgery 10 days prior.  A couple of days in ICU and a month later I was finally allowed to leave the hospital.   My life has never been normal. Life has consisted of the lowest lows and the highest highs. 

Despite having this disease, I always made good grades and continued to pursue my ambition.  I've always loved clothes and illustration.  After a soul-searching chat with my Mom in my dorm cafeteria (3 years into college and still no major), she asked what I saw myself  doing in 10 years.  Fashion.  From then on, that was my goal: a fashion career.  After all, I WAS voted Most Likely to Become a Fashion Designer in 6th grade!  Unfortunately, this was punctuated with the trials of the  disease.  But I had my eye on the prize.  After being accepted to the fashion program at UT Austin, I went on to intern with Betsy Johnson in NYC.  Had I graduated on time, I may never have had that opportunity.  Even during my internship, I was struggling with a flare.  It was both an amazing and rough summer.  After graduating, I did a couple of more internships.  It took a year to fully heal from losing a major organ, so I had an ileostomy for a year and a half.  This made it extremely difficult to find clothes that would conceal it.  But my love of fashion lived on.  Two months after my final surgery in 2013, I was already sending out resumes.  I was still weak and only weighed 90 lbs, but I was not going to let that stop me.  In August 2013, I was hired as an Assistant Designer at an apparel company in Ft. Worth!  It was a crazy trip, but I made it here and absolutely loved the journey.  I can't wait to see where it takes me next!

Congratulations, Amanda!!   

I made a dress using re-purposed materials from Goodwill in a competition for Project Goodwill in Fort Worth, TX. It was a charity show supporting the causes of Goodwill. 

The first thing I decided was to use part of a boned bodice from a smocked peplum floral tube top. I removed the peplum because I wanted something that was more form-fitting. I liked that the back had smocking so that a closure was not needed and would ideally fit to whatever size skirt I chose. I took in the smocking a bit to better fit it to the size of my Fabulous Fit dress form. I cut the bust off of a pink prom dress and used the skirt that had a low back with a zipper. This way the lower back of the dress would be open, really cute. I cut the skirt off to be short and then used the excess fabric to add triangular panels to the skirt for a lot more body and volume. I love twirly skirts!

The next step was to add the layers to the skirt. I made a circle skirt out of fabric from a red prom dress and then also cut out and upcycled the tulle, again for added volume. I made two parallel basting stitches along the top edge of the tulle and gathered it to achieve the desired fullness and then stitched it to the inner layer. I then hemmed the pink and red layers and trimmed the tulle to the desired length. 

Lastly, I deconstructed the purse from one of the progress pictures. I used one of the leather straps as a cross-back asymmetrical strap and then hot glued the flowers from the purse along the front of the strap and down the dress bodice and skirt. I also added some of the flowers to these second-hand nude pumps to complete the outfit. Voila! An environmentally conscious, runway-ready look!!I made a dress using re-purposed materials from Goodwill in a competition for Project Goodwill in Fort Worth, TX. It was a charity show supporting the causes of Goodwill. 

Thank you, Sweet Amanda!