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4-H students learning to stitch in time

Pint-sized sewers in the Lincoln County 4-H’s “Mom and Me Sewing Class” won’t have to worry about ripped hems or falling-off buttons.
The students spent two days learning the basics of sewing, something many modern people don’t know.
“I think it’s just a dying art,” said April Dillon, an extension agent with 4-H.
The three-student class worked with thread, needles and sewing machines to create pockets, skirts and shorts. Each item was one of a kind.
“They can make whatever they want, and nobody else will have anything like it,” Dillon said.
Matthew Lutz, 9, chose to make a pair of shorts. His stepmother, Sheldon Lutz, accompanied him to the class.
Matthew had watched his stepmother sew before and expressed an interest. Sheldon encourages both him and her 13-year-old son to learn the basics of sewing.
“Boys need to know how to take care of themselves,” she said.
Matthew proved quite adept at handling a sewing machine.
“They don’t get to learn this in Boy Scouts,” Sheldon said.
His classmate, Brielle Palmer, 7, worked on a skirt. She enjoyed sewing because “You get to pick out fabric.”
Brielle comes from a long line of sewers, and her mother, Kim, daydreams that one day she’ll sew her own prom dress “so she can have her own personal style.”
There’s just something special about clothes made by hand.
“You own them – they’re yours. You value them,” Kim said.
On Tuesday morning 8-year-old Alexis Cespedes chose to warm up by sewing together a pink pocket. She planned to also make a skirt out of pink-and-white, polka-dotted fabric.
“I picked that out because it was beautiful,” she explained.
She loves to sew, although she could do without being pricked by needles.
All the students in the class will have the opportunity to show off their new clothes at the 4-H Fashion Show, which will be held 7 p.m. Tuesday at the James W. Warren Citizens Center. Students from all over the county will participate in the program.
4-H volunteers believe children who sew learn many basic skills – how to follow directions, presentation and hand-eye coordination.
“They’re learning a skill they can use later on in life,” said Emmy Bullin, a volunteer. “They might even choose that as a career.”
That goes for the boys and girls both.
“We know there are some excellent tailors and designers out there who are men,” Bullin said.
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Want to go? The 4-H Fashion and Talent Show will take place 7 p.m. Tuesday at the James W. Warren Citizens Center.
by Sarah Grano

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