Cool Kid Melody Hellard gives back to her Newbury Park community through sewing

NEWBURY PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- Melody Hellard works, sleeps and dreams fashion.

"There's no limit to what you can do," she said. "I love creating things and I love working three dimensionally with fabrics and different materials."

Not only does the 17-year-old junior at Newbury Park High School volunteer creating costumes and puppets for her school's theater productions, but she also has been busy this month creating prom dresses and tuxedo jackets for her fellow classmates.

"I think it's really cool," said one of Hellard's friends as he tried his new prom jacket on. "I'm really excited to wear it!"

Hellard is an honors student, who started learning to sew when she was just 8 years old. She took sewing lessons from her grandmother and starting picking up techniques.

"My whole family is really artistic," Hellard said, "So I feel they all help me in different ways with choosing fabric, or designing fabric, or color pallets."

Her high school clients also help pick out their fabrics and attend fittings. She lines their coats, adds pockets and also covers jacket buttons. Hellard even found time to make her own special prom gown this year.

"She really works so hard and is so passionate about what she does," said her brother, Michael Hellard. "She's just an unstoppable force."

Hellard encourages other artists to follow their dreams and plans to continue her passion for fashion well beyond graduation.

"I hope to go to fashion school right out of high school and keep working and designing," she said. "(I hope to) be a professional designer someday."
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