Her dress is ‘sew’ special

Sara Studebaker made her own prom dress which she wore to the proms hosted by London High School and Tolles Career & Technical Center with her boyfriend, Nick Miller, at her side. Studebaker is entering the dress in the “Evening Gowns” category for 4-H judging at the fair.

(Posted July 12, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Sara Studebaker had dreamt for a while about making her own prom dress. Late last year, she got the idea to make it a two-for-one effort–a dress for prom that doubles as an awesome 4-H project.

“I have liked princesses for a long time and knew I wanted to make a Cinderella or Belle-style dress–something poofy,” said the 17-year-old who will be a senior at London High School next year.

She found a pattern that suited her but didn’t find the emerald green fabric she had envisioned. So, she pivoted and went with a black dress as the base with an overlay that looks like gold fireworks.

“I got the fabric in December and started sewing in February. Prom was April 22. I finished the dress on April 22!” Studebaker said. “It was a little nervewracking, but I got it done.”

She not only wore the dress to London’s prom, but also to the prom hosted by Tolles Career & Technical Center in May.

She said she loves the way it turned out. Along the way, she learned some new skills, including how to make an invisible zipper and how to properly put a skirt and a top together to make a dress. In June, she was completing finishing touches to make it “4-H ready”for judging.

Studebaker is not new to sewing.

“I’ve been sewing ever since I was little. I would sit on my grandma’s lap and sew with her,” she said.

She likes sewing because it’s not a typical hobby these days.

“When I tell someone I sew, they are surprised that people still do that. I think it’s very important that everybody know how to fix your own stuff and sew a button on,” she said.

Active in 4-H for nine years, Studebaker has taken everything from quilts to dresses to the fair. She also has tried her hand at sheep, archery, and cooking projects. She is a member of the Prairie Raiders 4-H Club and has worked with Daphne Hedgecock, Madison County’s 4-H key leader for sewing projects.

Studebaker served as the Madison County Fair’s special interest ambassador the past two years. This year, she plans to run for fair queen.

The Junior Fair Clothing & Nutrition Awards & Style Review is set to take place at 7 p.m. July 12 in the Della Selsor Building.

The 2023 Madison County Fair runs through July 15. For a schedule of events, visit Madison County Fair.

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