Fabric of Fun: 4-H students increase sewing skills at camp

Published 1:22 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County 4-H students enjoyed honing their sewing skills by making reversible tote bags during the Sewing II Camp on July 31 at the Chilton County Extension Office.

The Sewing II Camp was for students who had some sewing experience.

“These kids are amazing,” instructor Paula Blevins-Russell said. “They soak it up like sponges, and they get really excited about what they do.”

Student Natalie Ford said she enjoyed the opportunity “to make things that we never made before.”

Getting the stiches straight and in the right place was a bit challenging, she said.

She plans to use her tote bag when shopping or for carrying books.

“I like the fact that we got to learn new things and been able to work on the machines,” Jazzmine Hicks said.

Hicks said she also enjoyed spending time with her friends at the camp. She recommended the camp to other 4-H students.

The ironing and sewing straight presented some challenges.

Hicks said she would probably use the bag for school “because it’s really, really cute.”

“I like the detail that they teach in the class, how to use the sewing machine,” Madison Chrishon said. “They provide the materials and a lot of resources to make it really good for you to go home and practice what you have learned.”

At first, Chrishon had trouble finding one of the setting buttons needed, then she realized she had the right button but was not pressing it hard enough.

Chrison said her bag has a beach theme, so she hopes she can go to the beach and use it to carry her things.

A compilation of donated, purchased and borrowed sewing machines meant most of the students could use their own, rather than having to share with another student.

In preparation for the Sewing Camp, Blevins-Russell said she begins looking for ideas on the internet for simple patterns that are available for free.

She then takes a few ideas to the Chilton County Extension Office staff to make a decision.

This year the team focused on having a project that girls and boys would enjoy since there were a few boys in the class.

Students chose from a variety of pre-cut fabric for the projects. Colorful prints with owls or foxes were favorites.

Extension Agent Gay West said camps, such as the sewing camp, are a way 4-H offers a variety of opportunities to students that are shorter than the in-school clubs.