Tricia Frederick (left) and Kim Stanton-Cummings help Mankato East High School senior Kimberly Tiemann try on her prom dress at Encore in Mankato.

Most people wake up in the middle of the night and fret about things they either need to do or forgot to do. That is not the case for Tricia Frederick.

When Frederick wakes up in the middle of the night, her mind turns to creative ideas. Frederick, who took up sewing four years ago, woke up one such night a few months ago with the idea of taking donated prom dresses and refurbishing them so they are tailored to their new owners — all at no cost to the girls.

Frederick has her own line of clothes and has had a fashion show at the Red Sky Lounge. Sewing has become her passion, and she said her favorite thing to do is make clothes fun, which she’s been enjoying in spades with the new program Creation 180.

“We are going to take an existing dress and then ‘funk it out’ and make it a one-of-a-kind, unique gown,” Frederick said.

If a girl has her heart set on having a pink or purple dress, Frederick might start with a purple dress and add pink fabric or pink accents, or start with a pink dress and add purple accents. The point of the program is to make each dress as individual as the wearer.

“The sky is the limit,” Frederick said. “We can really do anything.”

Assisting Frederick with the project is Kim Stanton-Cummings, the organizer of the duo. Nothing makes her happier than to make lists and come up with solutions to problems.

Both women work with “at risk” girls through their jobs and wanted to find a way to help young women who have limited resources or other barriers that might prevent them from attending formal dances. Frederick and Stanton-Cummings decided on the name Creation 180 because they plan to take a dress and do a complete 180 on it, turning it into whatever its new owner wants.

“Everything came together in such a way that we felt it was meant to be,” said Stanton-Cummings.

Since the program is brand new, the two women hope to help up to 20 girls for this year’s area proms, but they plan to continue the program next year for both the Jobs’ dance and the proms at all the local high schools.

“The proms are earlier this year,” Stanton-Cummings said, “but we’ll help as many girls as we can.”

Along with getting an original prom dress, the girls will also be invited to share in movie-star treatment the day of the dance. They will have their hair done at the Cosmetology Training Center thanks to owner Nancy Buckingham and her students, and the Educational Cooperative High School in Chaska will be sending students to help with make-up on the big day.

Dresses have been donated to Creation 180 by Encore consignment shop’s owner Diane Volden, but donations are welcome, as Frederick and Stanton-Cummings want to be able to have dresses for anyone who wants one. For accessories, Abigail Helget has donated jewelry for the girls to keep.

Frederick and Stanton-Cummings appreciate all the help and community support they’ve received from local high school counselors as well as the businesses who have donated their time and services.

“Working with so many generous people on this project is just another reminder of what a great place Mankato is to live,” said Stanton-Cummings.

If anyone is interested in donating dresses to the program or would like to take part in it, they can call Stanton-Cummings at 380-8675 or 345-6563.

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