Omaha Fashion Week has come and gone, but a big fashion show takes place Thursday. Sew In Style features the work of students and combines the principles of service and learning.
Students from Omaha North and Omaha Central high schools started their mission at Goodwill headquarters. They got a limited budget to shop around and then it was on to the sewing room to turn their finds into one-of-a-kind looks, learning to find value in otherwise unwanted stuff and make it brand new.
"I consider it like a fairy dress almost,” says North High senior Ruby Bless, almost finished turning an old strapless gown into a walking work of art. "It's a much more personal project for me."
Her work, along with her classmates, is part of UNO’s P-16 Initiative, pairing up college students with younger learners to work toward a common goal centered around a community organization.
“I decided with Goodwill nearby and the kids like to remake their clothes and it helps with the cost, too, teach them be thriftful,” says North High consumer science teacher Susan Witty. "It's fun to see them budget. I can get these three items for the $10 or I could get this."
With just the $10 in hand, the students found their fashion show materials inside a Goodwill thrift store. "I always head toward the dresses first ‘cause I always end up getting dresses for like $1,” says Bless.
They also took a tour behind the scenes, getting to see how Goodwill works and why its operation make a difference in the community. “They reuse everything and it doesn't go to waste."
Back in class, UNO public relations students put their own studies to the test, helping their younger peers write a script to accompany their design in the show. "It's really cool what these kids have been able to change just everyday Goodwill stuff in to,” says UNO junior Rani Potter. "I think it's really great that they have the opportunity to do this kind of thing. I never got to do this kind of thing when I was in high school. It was just kind of like, get your schoolwork done and get out, but I think it's really cool that they get to try something that they want to do potentially for the rest of their life."
"It's actually really exciting to see all our things go down the runway and I think everyone has a good time ‘cause they get to see all their hard work pay off,” says Bless, who plans to study business after high school so she open her own shop with all handmade and re-purposed items.
You can check out Bless and her classmates’ designs soon as they'll go into display windows at Goodwills across the metro.