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Teen crafts prom dress from newspapers

Posted 12:02pm on Monday, May. 23, 2011

Brieana Peacock spent two fruitless months searching for the perfect prom dress.

The 18-year-old had grown tired of looking when a classmate at Joshua High School mentioned a story about someone making a dress entirely from duct tape.

That's when an idea struck. Peacock would make her own dress, but she turned to newspapers for inspiration.

"I'm an artsy person, but I had never made my own clothes," said Peacock, who lives in Cleburne. "I figured I would give this a try."

Peacock recruited her mom, Shana Peacock, who admits that she was somewhat dubious.

"Honestly," she said, "I thought, 'How in the world would she pull this off?'"

The two of them started collecting newspapers, including the Star-Telegram, Cleburne Times-Review and the Keene Star. The Joshua Star donated bundles of back issues.

Peacock headed to the mall to buy a plain skirt and simple bustier-style top, then borrowed a mannequin from her grandparents, who own a sewing manufacturing company.

Every night for three weeks, she and her mom worked on the design, cut newspapers, hot-glued layers and sprayed fabric stiffener, creating a fitted top with full black and white skirt.

When Peacock finally tried the dress on, she was crushed. The skirt was too small.

"I had no idea it would conform to the shape of the mannequin, which was smaller than me," Peacock said. "We had to tear it up and start over with a bigger skirt."

That meant more glue, more fabric stiffener, many more hours. But it fit perfectly the second time.

At the April 30 prom at the Sheraton Hotel in Arlington, girls dressed in glitzy, glamorous dresses to go with the Las Vegas theme.

Peacock, in her black and white paper dress, stood out. Everyone wanted a photo. Even the limo driver snapped a few shots.

"I loved it," Peacock said, adding that she does not plan on a career in fashion design.

"But it was more work than I thought it would be."

For now, the dress is still sitting in her home.

"I have no idea what to do with it," she said. "I don't think it's the kind of thing you can wear again."

Sarah Bahari, 817-390-7056

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