Fashion for less

Monica Lieblong, a UCA instructor in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department, divided her “Consumer Problems in Clothing” students into groups for the project.

“All of the students were sent out in the community to work at two different secondhand clothing stores – St. Joseph Flea Market and the Salvation Army Thrift Store. They all volunteered for a few hours working with the clothes,” Monica said.

“They also selected an outfit and purchased it for $8 or less. They had one seamstress in the group and were responsible for altering or reconstructing the pieces into a wearable and fashionable complete outfit.”

In addition to the seven groups that transformed garments, an eighth group, as their project, made 40 recycle bags to sell for $20 each, with proceeds benefitting Candlelighters of Central Arkansas, a group that helps families with children suffering cancer. The project was undertaken in honor of Riley Townsell, daughter of Mayor Tab and Donna Townsell of Conway. Riley colored patches that were incorporated into the design of the bags.

When the projects were completed, the class hosted a “Fashion for Less Show” to display their final garments. As the finished products were modeled, students gave a brief description of the garment as well as their thoughts and reflections on the assignment and their volunteer work.

Guest evaluators selected one garment as the winner to be featured in 501 LIFE magazine. Members of the team included Joanna Hagan (model), Anna Morgan, Brandy Brady, Laura Fields and Jeremy Brewer.

“Our group took an older style, long sleeve black and teal flannel dress and turned it into a short sleeve modern style dress.

We cut off the sleeves and some of the length as well,” the group stated. The extra fabric was fashioned into a scarf and used to dress up a black purse. “We added our own long sleeve black top and black belt to add to the more modern look. Also, the black tights and black boots make the overall look more modern and more in style.”

Monica was pleased with the students’ work, especially that they stepped out of their comfort zone for the learning experience while giving back to the community. “This is a movement that our students and society are moving toward and a cool project that promotes some great resources we have in our community.”