Description

Sewing, like other bodies of knowledge, is full of terms, symbols, techniques, parts and notations. The Sewing Skill-a-thon is a fun way to test the knowledge and skill of 4-H sewers.  Youth ages 9-13 compete in teams of two or three members and senior members (ages 14-18) compete individually.  To test their knowledge, stations are set up in Cloverville for 4 out of the eight possible categories: 1) machine parts identification, 2) identification of tools, 3) identification of supplies, 4) judging of finished garments, 5) pattern and fabric coordination, 6) pattern notations, 7) sewing technique identification, 8) fabric identification, and a skill challenge using a sewing machine. The skill challenge is designed to be a relay event in which junior teams or senior individuals follow written instructions to sew a specific item which they have never made before within a limited amount of time. 

Kentucky 4-H believes that all youth should have opportunities for positive youth development in our four guiding concepts:  mastery, belonging, independence, and generosity.  This event fosters mastery by learning to identify fabrics, sewing equipment, tools, sewing techniques, to complete a variety of sewing skills using a sewing machine, to read a pattern and instructions, and coordinate the garment design and fabric, belonging by working as a team and by being part of a group with similar interests under the leadership of caring adults, independence by creating a sewn item from start to finish and learning to made decisions throughout the process, and generosity by creating and sharing items with others.


 

Logistics

  • August 26, 2017
  • Check-in: 9:30am ET; Competition begins: 10:00am ET
  • Kentucky State Fair in Cloverville, Louisville, KY
  • Eligible participants: Junior members (ages 9-13): teams of two or three youth ages 9-13 from one county: Senior members (ages 14-18): compete as individuals
  • Contact your county extension office for information regarding deadlines and fees (link). 

 

Registration

  • 4-H members must register through the county Extension office where they live. 
  • Personal Information & Enrollment Form (PIEF)
  • Agent Resource Guide (password protected - link)

 

Additional Information

  • Fair description 
  • Each junior team must take the following to the competition: a clip board for each team member; a sewing machine, in good working order and familiar to youth; basic sewing equipment that includes pins, scissors, hand sewing needles, and tape measure. (A rolling cart is extremely helpful in getting equipment from the parking lot to Cloverville.)
  • Rules for Junior teams: 
    • Juniors will compete in four of the eight possible categories. The four are selected each year by the 4-H Skill-a-thon Committee. 4-H'ers will not know the categories until the event. Each team member will draw and compete in a separate category. Each category must be completed in 15 minutes.  If time permits team members may compete in all four categories and a combined team score will be used.
    • Teams will also participate in a sewing skill challenge, using a sewing machine to create a specific sewn item. Items constructed are later given to a charity for distribution.  
    • Scoring will be based on accuracy. In the event of a tie, time will be the determining factor.
        
  • Rules Senior Individual (Ages 14 to 18):
    • Each senior member must take the following to the competition: a clip board; a sewing machine, in good working order and familiar to youth; basic sewing equipment that includes pins, scissors, hand sewing needles, and tape measure. (A rolling cart is extremely helpful in getting equipment from the parking lot to Cloverville.)
    • Seniors will compete in all eight (8) categories as individuals.
    • They will also participate in a sewing skill challenge. Items constructed are later given to a charity for distribution.
    • A fifteen (15) minute time limit will be given to complete the category.
    • Scoring will be based on accuracy. In the event of a tie, time will be the determining factor. 
  • To prepare for the competition:
    • A good resource is the 4-H project book: STEAM Clothing 1: FUNdamentals and STEAM Clothing 2: Simply Sewing. These books are helpful but not required.
    • Tools and supplies identification: See pages 12-17 in STEAM 1.  Visit businesses that sell sewing supplies. Look through the notions department.  Learn the name and purpose for the items seen.  Visit with volunteers and family friends who sew; ask them to go through their sewing and tools and supplies and name and explain the function of each.  
    • Sewing machine parts identification: See pages 34-39 in STEAM 1.  Learn the parts of a sewing machine.  Since sewing machines don't all look exactly alike, Visit stores that sell sewing machines and practice identifying the parts of several different models.
    • Pattern notations: See pp. 75-84 in STEAM 1. Open up and study several purchased patterns. Compare them to each other.  You will begin to see similarities in terms, markings, and layout.  Ask an experienced sewer to explain the markings to you.
    • Pattern and fabric coordination: See pp. 18-26 in STEAM 1 and pp.13-19 in STEAM 2.  
    • Sewing technique identification: See STEAM 1 and 2.
    • Judging of finished garments:  Ask an experienced sewer to help you evaluate the construction of several garments. Flip the garments inside out and look closely at each area of the garment.

 

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Volunteer Position Description: volunteers need to know how to sew; Volunteers needed to serve as county coaches; for the state skill-a-thon: assist with set-up, time keeping, and judging.

State Contact:  Marjorie Baker | marjorie.baker@uky.edu | 859-257-7772