Tayloring It Up: Junior Designs Her Own Prom Dress

Natalie Wapniarski and Julia Govan, Staff Writers

Ask any 17 year old what they want to be when they grow up and you probably won’t receive a definite answer. But junior Kendal Taylor isn’t like most 17-year-olds; she is an aspiring clothing designer.

Taylor’s dream came about after she began messing around with her mother’s sewing machine as a kid. Though she admits the pieces were unidentifiable, they got her to where she is today: creating everyday clothing items and even taking upon the task of designing and sewing her own prom dress.

From a young age, she always liked seeing the red carpet stars in their couture, designer gowns. And because of her love for fashion, it only made sense that she would be led to the designing world.

“I remember thinking how cool it would be if when the celebrities were asked who they were wearing they’d say ‘oh you know, it’s a Kendal Taylor,’” Taylor said.

She began crafting her skills at Sew Now, a sewing studio where lessons or fashion design advice are available, and has since completed every class offered.

“I finished level 101, where the basic skills of sewing are taught, to level 601, which gives you almost free reign on what you want to design and sew,” she said.

After she had exhausted all the classes possible, she decided to step up her involvement with Sew Now and became a summer employee. “It was a fun experience,” she said. “I was able to teach younger kids about sewing and improve my own skills along the way.”

Thus far, she has designed and crafted countless clothing pieces, including, most recently, a robe, pajamas, and an embroidered apron.

Taylor gets her inspirations from multiple magazines and media sources, like Women’s Wear Daily and Project Runway. Taylor admits there are advantages and disadvantages to sewing.

“You have to be really patient, which I’m not,” Taylor said. “It’s also necessary to be really precise with your measurements and pins before you can even think of going to the machine. But I feel like the pros outweigh the cons,” she said.

Her latest project, which is still in the making, is her prom dress. She just received her fabric and hopes to be done by March 24.

“I don’t think it matters whether someone buys their dress or makes it, but it’s nice to have it fit perfectly to you and to be completely original and different from anyone else’s.”

“The total cost of my dress will be around $100, which is actually way less than most people’s, but I feel it’s more rewarding,” said Taylor.

She has actually had the dress in mind for two years, basing it off of one of Emma Watson’s red carpet dresses. Taylor plans on using purple silk and tulle to fashion her dress.

“The best part about sewing is having the roll of fabric and knowing that I can turn it into something.”

Taylor is keeping her dress secret for now, but she will reveal it at J-prom. Check out www.mhsmirador.com to see our photo coverage of J-prom, including pictures Taylor’s dress.