Piper Michalski models her dress in the Jimmy John’s shop that started it all. (Photo courtesy of Piper Michalski)
Piper Michalski models her dress in the Jimmy John’s shop that started it all.

Photo courtesy of Piper Michalski

Under The Monocle: Piper Michalski Makes Jimmy John’s Runway Ready!

September 3, 2020

What do most people see when they finish their Jimmy John’s sandwich? Probably a crinkled wrapper with lettuce remains, headed straight for the trash can. Junior Piper Michalski’s dress made from Jimmy John’s paper certainly shows us that for her, this is not the case. 

“I started sewing when I was seven years old,” Michalski said. “I’ve been taking lessons for years now; I take some of the fashion classes at York, and I don’t know; I just really enjoy sewing, making clothes and having a lot of fun with it.”

All of Piper’s fashion endeavors made her into the designer she is today. She sews, alters and creates costumes for York Drama productions. She is also on the board of Fashion Club and takes weekly sewing lessons at Joann Fabrics and Crafts. 

“I have an amazing teacher, and we just work on projects and whatever I feel like making,” Michalski said.

Michalski’s latest fashion and recycling project, her Jimmy John’s dress, was constructed for her AP Art class. She knew the prompt “self portrait” would be difficult to depict in a dress; she combined two things she loves: fashion and Jimmy Johns. 

“So, this summer with me and my friends, it became a thing to get Jimmy John’s and go sit in the park,” Michalski said. “I kind of had this idea to use the sandwich paper for one of the projects for AP Art since I have been working on that [AP art project] around the same time we were getting lunch.”

Junior Piper Michalski models her dress in the Jimmy John’s shop that started it all. (Photo courtesy of Piper Michalski)

After weeks of working on her piece of wearable art, Michalski’s dress came together. She first chose the pattern and made the entire base of the dress from muslin. Then she glued each sheet of sandwich paper over the base, folded the paper into butterflies and flowers to glue on top, and  Michalski had a finished product. 

I have had the pleasure of having Piper [Michalski] in my Fashion Construction 1 and 2 courses over the last couple of years,” Fashion Construction teacher Sarah Marik said. “Piper is amazing at selecting beautiful and unique fabrics and putting them together in creative ways. She is always modifying garments to put her own personal style on them. The Jimmy John’s dress she created is out of this world and just shows how talented she is. The fact that she could add amazing design details and get the dress to fit so well is amazing! I feel privileged to be able to watch Piper to continue to construct amazing work.”

Junior Piper Michalski displaying her summer garment she completed as another art project. (Photo courtesy of Piper Michalski)
While cuddling her dog Blu, junior Piper Michalski shows off her two piece tye-dye set. (Photo courtesy of Piper Michalski)

Michalski’s dress has been reposted on local students’ Instagram stories and the official Jimmy John’s account itself, receiving 2000 likes. 

I was in contact with Jimmy Johns before they posted the photo to get the sandwich papers I needed for the project,” Michalski said. “I was super excited that they posted the photo! What I was surprised about was all the really nice feedback from the people who saw the dress. It was so nice that everyone was so appreciative of the work I had put into the dress, and it was really nice that Jimmy Johns posted the photo for people to see!”

Michalski’s dress is unlike any other photo on the Jimmy John’s official Instagram account and one of her art project posts on her account @piperosesewing. 

“It’s called fashion, ever hear of it?” the official Jimmy John’s Instagram caption on Michalski’s dress said.

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