ELKHART — For some students, competing in the fair is just a hobby. For Krista Orange, it’s a passion.
Orange has entered in the clothing construction competition at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. Judging for the competition was Tuesday, but winners will not be announced until the first day of the fair, July 20.
Krista, 16, also planned to participate in Friday’s Fashion Revue. Winners for that program will be announced today, July 14.
Krista has been sewing since the third grade. Her older sister, Alicia, has also participated in clothing construction competition, but Krista has far surpassed her. She has won the competition before and placed second in state that year.
This year there were 161 contestants in clothing construction, including 38 high school students.
Krista’s made herself more than 10 items, not including what she’s made for her siblings and friends.
“I love that I can make myself clothes,” she said.
The high school sophomore hopes to be a seamstress one day. Most of her work is done on a sewing machine, but there are some stitches she has to do by hand. She sews at home, or if things get too busy, she goes to the kids’ room at her church, His Place Worship Center, at Concord Mall.
She goes to Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts to get ideas and pick out fabric. While she uses pattern books, sometimes she mixes and matches patterns to create her own designs.
“I just kind of make it up,” she said.
Contestants can enter only one category in clothing construction. For Krista this year, it’s dress-up wear. She made her own prom dress and will enter it as part of the fashion revue. The dress took her 10 days to make and includes a full tulle skirt. The teal green and blue dress could be something out of a ’50s pattern book.
“I love twirling around in it,” she said.
She tries to sew every day if she’s working on a project. She’s made Easter dresses for her little sister and pajamas for both of her older sisters. When strangers tell her that they like her clothes or ask where she got them, she can proudly say that she made them. She hopes to make her own wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses one day.
“All I know is that I want to make clothes,” she said.