Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College
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Students create pink dresses for breast cancer awareness month

October 8, 2015

Students taking the Crafting Sustainable Communities design course this semester were challenged to again create wearable pink garments from recycled materials to promote breast cancer awareness.

"Breaking the Pattern" is a project the class undertakes every fall, and the designs never cease to amaze.

This year, selected dresses will be on display in the windows of Susie’s campus store at Stephens. Jennifer Zink used Chinese New Year envelopes and lotus flowers to create her skirt and top, symbolizing good health and well wishes to those fighting breast cancer.

Whitney Dixson’s piece, “The Whirl Wind” featured handmade pinwheels. Victoria Vitale’s dress, “It’s Just a Chapter” was made from torn book pages and survival stories she found online and printed. She said she wanted to show that survivors can continue to write their book and that breast cancer was just a chapter.

Students researched breast cancer and read stories of survival before beginning the design project.

“It brings an awareness about breast cancer,” Assistant Professor Maureen Lowary said. “Statistically, two of any 10 women will become victims.”

The project also requires students to learn fundamental design techniques. Some students in the class had to learn sewing and patternmaking, skills they did not have prior to the project. Others challenged themselves with materials such as etpy toilet paper rolls and seat belts. One student used tablecloth material to crochet a top.

“There’s a lot of problem solving that goes into working with non fabric materials,” Lowary said. “It creates all kinds of issues that have to be figured out along the way, and many times designs have to change when something doesn’t work.”

Some of the dresses could be selected to be featured on the runway of The Collections student designer fashion show this spring.

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