Archived Story

Fashion school gives back

Published 8:09am Thursday, April 10, 2014

The name of Dowagiac’s Sew Can You Fashion Design upcoming fashion show, “Fashion it Forward,” is more than just a creative play on words.

Like the concept of “paying it forward” the title references, half the proceeds the school collects from the event will go toward feeding Cass County families in need, as the money will be donated to the ACTION ministry network’s food pantry.

The show, which will be held at 2:30 p.m. and at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at the ACTION Center in Dowagiac, will feature the school’s students and their fashion creations. The school will also be holding a bake sale and raffle prizes during the two shows that afternoon.

For Sew Can You Owner and Instructor Karla Arndt, this collaboration with ACTION wasn’t in her original plans when first devising the fashion show a number of months ago, she said. Instead, she met with members of the organization while looking into using the space inside the ACTION Center for the event.

“They had told me that no one had rented it before,” Arndt said. “The space just seemed to be perfect for what I needed.”

In the course of discussing her plans with them, the sewing instructor learned that the collation’s pantry was in need of additional food. It costs ACTION around $400 to feed 50 families, Arndt said.

“I thought if we are going to have this thing here, with this many people, we might as well have them donate money or food to the pantry as well,” Arndt said.

There will be donation box at the show as well, where visitors can drop off nonperishable food items for the pantry.

“It’s our neighborhood duty to keep the food pantry going, especially now, when so many people are hurting,” Arndt said.

Arndt’s students have spent the last several months sewing and stitching their creations for the show. Among the items that will be showcased are dresses, shorts, pants, pajamas, shirts, skirts and sweatshirts.

Many of the amateur sewers have put in extra hours to finish their items in time for the show, Arndt said.

“They’re so excited,” she said. “They’re all very understanding about the giving portion of the show. I think it makes them feel good.”

Tickets for the show cost $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors. They are currently available at Sew Can You, which is located at 111 Pennsylvania Ave. in Dowagiac. Tickets will also be sold at the door on Sunday.

For more information, contact the school at (269) 788-4241.


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