Central junior wins contest with dress made from dryer sheets

04/29/2014 11:18 AM

04/29/2014 11:19 AM

Central High junior Felicia Murray wanted to make a dress like no one had ever made before.

As part of the school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) group, Felicia knew that a unique fashion design could win her awards.

One day while doing laundry, she examined used dryer sheets and thought, “I could make a dress out of these.”

More than 60 hours of work later, she had a dress that won the Recycle and Redesign contest at the Texas FCCLA conference earlier this month in Corpus Christi. Now she advances to the national conference in July in San Antonio. For her state winning entry, Felicia won a $3,000 scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.

As part of her project, Felicia researched dryer sheets and found out most are made from polyester polyethylene, a non-biodegradable material.

To collect enough used sheets, she put up a sign and collection bin at the B&B Laundry coin-operated laundromat in Keller. In just five days, she had more than 1,000 used dryer sheets.

Felicia used 587 dryer sheets for the skirt and decorative strap on her dress. Each sheet had to be ironed, cut into a circle using a template and folded into a rosette. The top is the silver lining from a cat food bag that she washed, adding a felt backing for comfortable wearing. All in all, she spent $4.19 for the dress, most of it for a ribbon that went around the waist and turquoise dye for the shoulder strap.

Lana Nissen, Central teacher and FCCLA sponsor, said that Felicia won on her first try.

“I’ve never had a student who hadn’t competed before do that well,” Nissen said. “I gave her the rubric, she asked some questions, and then went off on her own and just nailed it.”

In addition to creating the dress, Felicia had to give a 10-minute speech with facts about the dress and recycling.

Felicia will have some company at the national conference. Fellow Chargers Sydney Davis and Jessica Furniss advanced with their joint project in Interpersonal Communications on how to help children better deal with ADHD. Central student Jared King won first place in Job Interview.

Nissen said that the last time a Central student advanced to the national level in FCCLA was three years ago, so to send three entries in one year is a huge achievement for the club.

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