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December 6, 2019
 

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Bringing Christmas in July to the Ohio State Fair

“Arlene wanted a red dress like the one in the movie White Christmas,” Dellifield recalled. “She asked for the dress for months, so I finally decided to make it.”

By Barb Lockard
It all started with a 1954 movie, a request from a friend and a portfolio for college.  Ada High School senior Nora Dellifield brought a holiday flair to her 4-H competition at the Ohio State Fair on July 31.

More photos at bottom of story -

Now an accomplished seamstress, Dellifield was initially encouraged to sew by her grandmother.  “I went to a 4-H meeting and sewing looked like fun,” she added.  “My grandmother said she would help me, so I joined.” Nora makes some of her own clothes, but the category she chose at the State Fair this year was “Sewing for Others.” 

The backstory…. Ada elementary teacher Arlene Allison is a friend of the Dellifield family, and her children are in the Ada High School Show Choir with Nora.  When she discovered Nora’s sewing talent, Allison approached her about making a special dress.

“Arlene wanted a red dress like the one in the movie White Christmas,” Dellifield recalled.  “She asked for the dress for months, so I finally decided to make it.”

Since she intends to major in costume technology in college (possibly at DePaul University in Chicago, the University of North Carolina, or Ohio Northern’s theater technology program) Dellifield felt that the “White Christmas” dress would make a good addition to her portfolio.  The creation required seven different fabrics, including a 4-way stretch sparkle material and a knit satin lining. 

On the last day of July, Nora and friends traveled to Columbus with the festive red dress where it competed with nearly 30 other entries in the Sewing for Others category.  Judges placed her entry in the top 20 per cent and she received an “Outstanding” for her work.  In addition, she took second place in a sewing Skill-a-thon held the same day.  The Skill-a-thon tested participants’ knowledge of sewing and fabrics. 

Nora, the daughter of Jami and David Dellifield, Ada, not only excels at sewing, but qualified for State at the regional finals in the pole vault last year.  She credits her background in dance and gymnastics for her pole-vaulting finesse.  Sewing, performing, dancing and leaping over a high barrier…it all makes perfect sense to the busy high school student. 

As for Arlene Allison, she is thrilled to have her White Christmas dress and plans to wear it to Show Choir performances this holiday season. 

“She said she’ll be Mrs. Claus and give out candy canes,” laughed Dellifield. 

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