A glittering gown made almost entirely by a Maryland teenager is turning heads months before her big sister wears it to her prom.
Courtney Lewis, 14, decided to give her older sister Mikayla, 18, something unique for her big night out to celebrate the end of dual enrollment college prep school. It was a tailor-made, shimmering dress.
“[Mikayla] felt like a princess when she saw the finished gown,” mother Crystal told Fox5, adding the young adult could not stop smiling even though she is usually a quiet and reserved person.
MADE WITH LOVE! This Maryland teen showed up to prom in a glittering dress created by her little sister, which made the night much more special. “I felt like a princess.” ❤️ THEIR STORY: https://t.co/pJ1Exb1iRa pic.twitter.com/Xq2tYaw3I0
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) May 1, 2019
“When I saw the dress on Mikayla, I was a bit emotional. I’ve always had confidence in Courtney’s talent but to see it on my oldest almost brought me to tears,” she said.
Mikayla will graduate later this year and hopes to join the animal science pre-professional program at the University of Maryland College Park.
Courtney came up with the idea in 2018 when she wanted to give something that would make Mikayla’s night a bit more special.
Courtney began sketching the design in November and three months later was satisfied enough to begin work on it, although her mother admitted Mikayla was “understandably hesitant” initially when she learnt Courtney wanted to make the gown herself for such an important moment in life.
“She told us she was going to create her sister’s prom dress and I looked at her funny. That’s a major event,” Crystal said in an Instagram post dated April 27. “I even saved money to the side, for just in case. And then I decided to have faith in her ability and used the money for something else.”
She revealed Courtney’s dream has always been to design clothes and uploaded photos showing highlights of the end result.
“My 14-year-old daughter tells people that she wants to design doll clothes when she grows up. People look at her funny because it seems like an odd career choice,” she said. “But I know my child, she’ll design doll clothes and she’s going to be great at it.”
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My 14 year old daughter tells people that she wants to design doll clothes when she grows up. People look at her funny because it seems like an odd career choice. But I know my child, she’ll design doll clothes and she’s going to be great at it. She told us she was going to create her sisters prom dress and I looked at her funny! That’s a major event. I even saved money to the side, for just in case. And then I decided to have faith in her ability and used the money for something else. The video highlights the journey. Have faith in your ability! Don’t let anyone dictate the outcome of your journey and destiny because it sounds odd to them. Dress: Courtney Lewis (with help from @syreetacfashion) Make Up: @tattedupmommy Hair: @1stladydw_ 📸: @eitb_blog
Crystal approached her relative Syreeta Herbert, who owns custom fashion store Syreeta C Fashion, to mentor Courtney throughout the challenging process to ensure Mikayla loved the garment and felt great while wearing it.
“She believed in Courtney’s ability and was more than happy to coach Courtney along the way,” the mother told Fox5.
Courtney, who also has two younger siblings Amari, 9, and Kennedy, 3, found the most difficult part was understanding how to work with the sequin fabric on the dress which “requires a lot of patience,” the mother said.
“Have faith in your ability. Don’t let anyone dictate the outcome of your journey and destiny because it sounds odd to them,” she said.