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Morgane Orcutt, 10, of Concord works on her dress during Project Fashion Camp at Kimball Jenkins Estate School of Art in Concord Tuesday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

Girls work on their style at Project Fashion Camp in Concord

CONCORD — A group of girls huddled over pattern pieces were cutting fabric and pinning edges together Tuesday.

The girls, 9 to 12, were attending Project: Fashion Camp, a week-long session for girls being held at the Kimball Jenkins Estate School of Art.

"I always look good in blue," said 10-year-old Morgane Orcutt of Concord, who was making a summer dress.

The week passes quickly for the campers, with inspiration portfolios created on Monday, patterns made and fabric cut Tuesday, sewing Wednesday, knitwear and accessories on Thursday and the photo shoot, fine-tuning of "the runway walk" and preparation for the Friday night Fashion Camp Fashion Show.

Maria DeLisi-Minichiello, a Fashion Institute of Technology graduate, said she started Fashion Camp because there was nothing like it here. Fashion camps elsewhere are aimed at teenagers interested in getting into the fashion business, she said.

DeLisi-Minichiello's camp is still a camp, with the first week for youngsters 7 to 9 years old.

This week, it's the older girls. Concord resident Meaghan Nyhan, 11, brought a cake to camp to share with her fellow campers Tuesday because it was her birthday.

She said she has sewn before, but her mother was the person who heard about the camp and suggested it. Nyhan recruited a friend.

"We dance together," said Nyhan and now she and her friend will have another skill to share.

Goffstown resident Georgia Schill, 10, said: "I'm learning how to do pinning and draping and patterns."

Schill's dress is pink, with ruffles under the skirt and lace on the top.

Emma Williams of Concord, who will celebrate her 12th birthday Thursday, is among the students who have some experience sewing. Her career choice? "I want to be a fashion designer," she said.

Tall and slender, Williams said it's not always easy to find clothes she likes that fit, especially pants, so sewing is a useful skill.

"I sew by myself," she said, but added: "My grandmother helps with dresses."

She said her mother told her she wasn't going to buy Williams school clothes this fall, but was going to buy her fabric and let her make her own.

"I think she was joking," said Williams. "I hope so."

Williams is going to miss the Friday night fashion show. She was cast as Little Inez in the Derryfield Repertory Theatre production of "Hairspray" Friday night and Saturday in Manchester.

The girls practiced the runway walk Tuesday. With music blasting, they took turns being the audience and the models. There's a few minutes left for a dance party, and DeLisi –Minichiello leads the group, including staff, on a conga line to end the day.

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