Mikayla Lewis, 18, was skeptical when her 14-year-old sister, Courtney Lewis, asked to make her prom dress.
Courtney studies technical design and production at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. With her big sister’s prom coming up, the teen wanted to put her skills to the test and create a custom gown for Mikayla ahead of the big event at the Academy of Health Sciences in Largo, Maryland.
“My first reaction was like, ‘I don’t want to be mean and say no, so I’m going to say yes,’ ” Mikayla recalled to Fox affiliate KTTV. “But I will have a back-up plan of buying the dress.”
With that, Courtney got to work. It took her five months, or a “couple hundred hours” of work, to create the dress with some help from Syreeta Herbert, a family friend who owns Syreeta C Fashion, KTTV reported.
Mikayla also helped choose the fabric, the family told Good Morning America.
“I coached and guided her through the design and construction process from consultation all the way to completion,” Herbert told GMA. “Everyone was in love with it. I think it really captured Mikayla.”
And Mikayla loved it, according to her mother, Crystal Lewis, who told KTTV that Mikayla smiled and said she “felt like a princess” when the dress was revealed on April 26. Courtney was filled with pride.
“I saw her in the dress and, honestly, I thought that I was going to cry a little bit,” Courtney told the station. “Because I was like, ‘This is what I made.’ “
Crystal shared a photo of Mikayla dressed for prom on Instagram, explaining that Courtney made the dress by hand. The post quickly spread across the internet, and has amassed more than 8,000 likes. Last week, the proud mom shared a smiling photo of Courtney, revealing that the teen has gotten over 50 requests from people asking her to make a custom gown for them.
The sisters never expected their story to go viral, and Crystal tells PEOPLE she’s just happy to see her daughters working together.
“When Courtney offered to make the dress, and Mikayla said yes, I couldn’t have been more proud,” Crystal says. “It was truly a testament of the bond the girls had formed over the years. I felt relieved that I knew how much they meant to each other. It gives them a story to tell for years to come.”