Tennessee 4-H members use sewing skills to help others

May 19, 2014

LEBANON, Tenn. (RFD-TV) An age-old tradition is still a great learning tool for youngsters in modern times.Sewing teaches a number of important skills and even saves you money when you can make your own clothes.

Tennessee 4-Hers are also using their sewing skills to make gifts for other kids.

Sewing, an exercise in patience and challenge to master, is being embraced by younger generations.

The 4-H Sewing club in Wilson County, a group of young ladies from grade school to senior high, gets together once a month with needle and thread in hand.

“The first thing I ever made was a pillow case. And the day I made that I was really excited and brought it home and my parents were like ‘Oh my gosh, you made that!’” said Autumn Walden.

Club members sew their own dresses for proms and banquets, as well as home decorations like silk spring flowers.

But what’s really created here is a sense of accomplishment.

“It is also a good way to increase their confidence because they start with these pieces, and when they finish, they have a completed project that they have made themselves,” said Amanda Woody, with the Wilson County UT Extension, who helps instruct the group.

Her teaching shows there’s also an economic side too.

You can keep more money in your pocket and boost your wardrobe through sewing.

“Some of the girls have learned how to make their own clothes. They learn how to read the pattern, how to cut out the pattern pieces, cut the fabric and then sew the skirt or dress or whatever it is they’re making. They’ve learned how to save money by doing it,” said Woody.

Sewing teaches creativity, concentration, and even hand eye coordination. But the main lesson here is about giving your time to help others.

The sewing club made bags for games that will be given to children with autism at a nearby school.

Nancy Temple likes that she can use her skills to improve the lives of other kids.

“To me it makes me feel good because I’m actually helping other people, and also we’re giving these kids a chance to be able to do something, and also learn things from these games they’re using,” said Temple.

The club plans other charitable projects where they’ll donate their sewing skills and what they produce.

When the final stitch is in place, they’ll piece together more kind-hearted and thoughtful good deeds.

The Wilson County 4-H Honor Club was also involved in this project.

Youngsters in that group made the games donated to the school.

This report is from our partners at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.