Mikayla Lewis, 18, was prepared to find the perfect dress for her senior prom the traditional way, like on the internet or at a department store. But thanks to her younger sister she got to stand out and wear something truly unique.
Courtney Lewis, 14, goes to art school and had been subtly hinting to her older sister that she wanted to make her something. However, according to their mother, Crystal Lewis, Courtney’s pleas fell on deaf ears.
“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 tells 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.”
When Mikayla decided to take her little sister seriously, the two started collaborating on what the dress could look like. And when Courtney created her first sketches of it back in November, both Mikayla and her mom saw Courtney’s potential.
“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 explains. “They went through several rough drafts [of the sketch] before they finalized one.”
From there, Courtney worked with her cousin Syreeta (she has her own line called Syreeta C Fashion), who became her mentor throughout the process. Crystal ensures though that when it came to the making of the dress, it was all Courtney.
“I was only around for motivation, transportation and to purchase supplies needed,” she says.
The motivation fron Syreeta and Crystal, however, was a crucial part of the process. Especially when Courtney was admitted to the hospital in both December and March as a result of having type 1 diabetes. Still, Crystal says that her younger daughter persevered to make sure that the dress was completed, and perfect, 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.”
Now, Courtney is already receiving recognition from people who have seen her design online, and is already thinking about 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!”
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