With duct tape dress design, Va. teen could win a national competition

For the "Stuck at Prom" scholarship contest, Christina Mellott, 17, made this dress out of duct tape. The dress can transform into three different looks by changing and removing the overskirt. It took 80 hours and 36 rolls of duct tape. (Courtesy, Nicole Mellott)
For the “Stuck at Prom” scholarship contest, Christina Mellott, 17, made this dress out of duct tape. The dress can transform into three different looks by changing and removing the overskirt. It took 80 hours and 36 rolls of duct tape. (Courtesy Nicole Mellott) (Courtesy Nicole Mellott)
In addition to the dress, Christina made matching accessories, including duct tape floral earrings and headpiece. The back bodice of the dress had a sheer panel that included her name (cut by hand) using iridescent tape. (Courtesy Christina Mellott)
In addition to the dress, Christina made matching accessories, including duct tape floral earrings and headpiece. The back bodice of the dress had a sheer panel that included her name (cut by hand) using iridescent tape. (Courtesy Christina Mellott) (Courtesy Christina Mellott)
Christina works with other materials, of course. This dress was made with sequin fabric, which added shine and sparkle. "The dress had fairy lights sewn into the dress with a remote control that could easily light up for that 'wow!'" Mellott said. (Courtesy Nicole Mellott)
Christina works with other materials, of course. This dress was made with sequin fabric, which added shine and sparkle. “The dress had fairy lights sewn into the dress with a remote control that could easily light up for that ‘wow!'” Mellott said. (Courtesy Nicole Mellott)
During Christina's sophomore year of high school, she made these dresses for herself and four friends. Each dress was based on a princess theme and tailored to match each girl's personality. (Courtesy Nicole Mellott)
During Christina’s sophomore year of high school, she made these dresses for herself and four friends. Each dress was based on a princess theme and tailored to match each girl’s personality. (Courtesy Nicole Mellott) (Courtesy Nicole Mellott)
For a theater event at the Kennedy Center, Christina made a one-sleeve red sequin gown. It was a last-minute creation she made in one day. (Courtesy Anna McDonald)
For a theater event at the Kennedy Center, Christina made a one-sleeve red sequin gown. It was a last-minute creation she made in one day. (Courtesy Anna McDonald) (Courtesy Anna McDonald)
Christina's friend Julia was the lead actress in their school play "Singin’ in the Rain." She made this dress with a light, flowy crepe fabric. Her low-waisted dress followed the popular styles of the 1920s. (Courtesy Christina Mellott)
Christina’s friend Julia was the lead actress in their school play “Singin’ in the Rain.” She made this dress with a light, flowy crepe fabric. Her low-waisted dress followed the popular styles of the 1920s. (Courtesy Christina Mellott) (Courtesy Christina Mellott)
This is one of the items Christina designed for her site. It's a fleece pink sweatshirt with a sequin stripe through the middle. Her mom Nicole Mellott loved it so much, it's now her favorite shirt. (Courtesy Christina Mellott)
This is one of the items Christina designed for her site. It’s a fleece pink sweatshirt with a sequin stripe through the middle. Her mom Nicole Mellott loved it so much, it’s now her favorite shirt. (Courtesy Christina Mellott) (Courtesy Christina Mellott)
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For the "Stuck at Prom" scholarship contest, Christina Mellott, 17, made this dress out of duct tape. The dress can transform into three different looks by changing and removing the overskirt. It took 80 hours and 36 rolls of duct tape. (Courtesy, Nicole Mellott)
In addition to the dress, Christina made matching accessories, including duct tape floral earrings and headpiece. The back bodice of the dress had a sheer panel that included her name (cut by hand) using iridescent tape. (Courtesy Christina Mellott)
Christina works with other materials, of course. This dress was made with sequin fabric, which added shine and sparkle. "The dress had fairy lights sewn into the dress with a remote control that could easily light up for that 'wow!'" Mellott said. (Courtesy Nicole Mellott)
During Christina's sophomore year of high school, she made these dresses for herself and four friends. Each dress was based on a princess theme and tailored to match each girl's personality. (Courtesy Nicole Mellott)
For a theater event at the Kennedy Center, Christina made a one-sleeve red sequin gown. It was a last-minute creation she made in one day. (Courtesy Anna McDonald)
Christina's friend Julia was the lead actress in their school play "Singin’ in the Rain." She made this dress with a light, flowy crepe fabric. Her low-waisted dress followed the popular styles of the 1920s. (Courtesy Christina Mellott)
This is one of the items Christina designed for her site. It's a fleece pink sweatshirt with a sequin stripe through the middle. Her mom Nicole Mellott loved it so much, it's now her favorite shirt. (Courtesy Christina Mellott)
Combine 36 rolls of duct tape with 80 hours of effort by a Loudoun County, Virginia, teenager and what do you get?

A one-of-a-kind prom dress.

“I’m really excited. I’ve been making dresses and stuff for a couple years now, but this is my first time working with duct tape. And it’s for a scholarship competition, so it’s been a really cool experience so far,” said 17-year-old Christina Mellott.

Mellott is a finalist in the Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest, which — after rounds of public voting — will award a winner with a $10,000 scholarship.

A rising senior at Freedom High School in South Riding, Mellott said she was 13 when she started sewing and designing clothes.

“I’d like to go to college and study fashion design and get into that as a career,” Mellott said.

So how do you go about making a dress out of duct tape?

“I stuck the tape to itself and started making it in rectangles and made the rectangles bigger and bigger and treated it like a yard of fabric,” she said. “It can be a little bit difficult when the tape sticks to itself or folds over in the wrong way or it sticks to my hands.”

Mellott’s creation has an adjustable and removable skirt that allows it to transform into three different looks. “I hope my chances are good,” she said. “I do like the sheer panel. It added an edgy, unique touch that I didn’t see anyone else had.”

Mellott has two siblings and lots of support, she said, from her parents.

“My mom will wear some of the things I’ve made for her,” Mellott said. “My dad will help me with my Etsy business and shipping things out.”

Indeed, the young seamstress has two businesses online. One features clothing designs, the other sells snuggle accessories for guinea pigs.

“We’re just really proud of her that she’s been able to do this. She’s always taken charge of things,” dad Ben Mellott said. “She decides what she wants to do and she just does it. … She’s just a wonderful girl.”

Everyone is welcome to vote for their favorite creation in the “Stuck at Prom” contest. You can vote once every 24 hours through June 28.

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