After learning how to sew two and a half years ago, this 38-year-old Maplewood woman is getting ready to launch her first clothing line.

"Fashion Designs by Melelani Perry," she calls the clothing line.

It all started after Melelani began attending Weight Watchers.

"Started to lose weight," she said.

Her clothes were too big for her and she wanted to learn how to take them in, so she learned to sew at Living Arts Studio.

Gina alvarez, Executive Director of Living Arts Studio and VSA Missouri, said, "We have a focus on artists living with disabilities."

Melelani said, "First time, they teach me how to sew a skirt."

Melelani's passion for fashion didn't stop at alternations.

"We just encouraged her to keep making and keep making," Gina said.

Melelani said, "Dresses, handbags."

Gina said, "And all of a sudden we realized she had a whole bunch of clothes."

One of her most creative pieces is made out of a pair of pants.

"It usesd to be pants, this way right, and now it's a shirt," Melelani said.

Gina said, "We saw her cutting the middle out of the pants and we were like, 'Melelani what are you doing?' She told one of her interns to try it on and it was amazing."

Melalani's favorite piece is this red and white striped dress.

She said, "This one is called candy stripper."
Reporter: "Not candy striper, candy stripper?"
"No...yeah, candy stripper," she said.
Reporter: "What do you like about it?"
Melelani: "Sexy, beautiful, and it will really attract men."

Melelani will debut her fashion line on Friday at Maplewood's annual Bastille Day festival called Let Them Eat Art.

Gina said, "We thought it would be a great opportunity to have a fasion show for Melelani."

Melelani will have pieces for sale at $5, $10, and $15.

The fashion show is taking place at 2814 Sutton Blvd, Maplewood on Friday at 7 PM. For more information, visit