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.
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.”
“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.”