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By Michael Doran

 A chance sewing lesson booked four years ago has sparked an award winning passion for Yarra Junction’s Chiara Thompson-Stokell.

“Mum booked a sewing lesson when I was 10 and I didn’t know anything about making dresses,” she said. “It all just clicked from day one and now it’s my passion.”

In last month’s Royal Melbourne Show, Chiara won First Place in the Junior Competition – Formal Wear category, with a dress she designed and made.

The award winning dress was Chiara’s first entry and is an example of the classic styles she is drawn to. “I like the cleaner colours and making elegant pieces,” she said.

Asked about where she gets her inspirations for designs, Chiara said “They just pop into my head, I draw it down and then go make it.”

“I have made a couple of pieces for friends and really enjoy having a design, creating the dress and seeing it worn.”

“Fashion is something I would really like to try and make a career in and that’s what I want to study after secondary school.

Chiara works with mentor, Anneke Schagen, at Crumbz Craft in Healesville and finds the craft based environment a “fun place to learn in.”

It seems that the combination of talent, mentoring and enthusiasm have set Chiara on the path to success in the world of fashion.

A path inspired by that surprise lesson mum, Janine, booked for her a few years back.

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