University of Vermont

4-H Sewing Clinic Fosters Creativity

Mirabelle Hamilton, Middlesex (left), and Allesandra Hoffman, Milton, use conductive thread to sew LED lights on their projects to make them shine. The two girls were among the dozen participants in the Dec. 1 sewing clinic sponsored by University of Vermont Extension 4-H in Orange and Washington Counties. (photo: Allison Smith/UVM Extension 4-H)

Berlin--A dozen young people gathered on Dec. 1 for a sewing clinic at University of Vermont (UVM) Extension's office in Berlin.

The clinic was coordinated by UVM Extension 4-H in Orange and Washington Counties and open to both 4-H'ers and non-4-H members, ages 8 to 18. Projects and instruction were based on level of sewing experience.

The intermediate and advanced sewers worked with Chris Pratt, Bradford, and Betty Hammond, Barre, to design and create their own bags from scratch. They drafted sketches, learned how to make their own patterns and measured and cut their own fabric to sew a custom-designed bag.

Novice sewers explored the inner workings and functions of the sewing machine through a fun exercise in which they were given a list of parts and definitions to try to identify parts of the machine. They also worked on several simple sewing projects.

With Cecile Johnston, owner of Jumping Raindrops Sewing and Design in Montpelier, they sewed quilt block potholders. Sally DeCicco, also from Montpelier, worked with them to make no-sew dog chew toys and holiday stockings out of jean pant legs.

Several participants worked on their own creations, repurposing old clothing such as t-shirts, ties and jeans into accessories and other new items. Others learned how to use conductive thread to sew LED lights into their finished products, which included a wristband bracelet and dog bandana with a light for visibility.

Taking part in the clinic were Hannah and Lucy Badger, Lessa Dreimiller and Ella Reynells, all from Waitsfield; Sieanna Forkey and Cassie Richland-Pizano, both from Waterbury; Nadia Gongleff-Doolittle, Calais; Mirabelle Hamilton, Middlesex; Corinna Hobbs, Hinesburg; Alessandra Hoffman and Hannah Smiley, both from Milton; and Adam Messier, Braintree.

The Washington County 4-H Foundation helped sponsor the clinic, including purchasing materials. Allison Smith, 4-H youth learning experiences coordinator, and Molly McFaun, 4-H educator for Orange and Washington Counties, assisted with the event.

To learn more about the 4-H sewing project in Vermont, contact the State 4-H Office at (802) 656-8343 or (800) 571-0668.