Construction Zone

Would you like to learn how to sew?  In this project, 4-H members learn to operate a sewing machine and serger.  You start by learning to sew a straight seam and smooth curves.  Then work your way up to casings, zippers, buttonholes, and more.  Besides making your own clothing, you can make lots of other things out of fabric—duffle bags, tote bags, pillows and other items for your room.  Sewing is for both guys and girls of all ages.  Learning to sew is a real life engineering and construction project.

Clinical studies have found that students who learned to sew a simple project showed elevated creativity after the activity. One study concluded that “children who sew today may have a real edge in the high-tech service economy of tomorrow where creative, flexible worker will be in high demand.” (Home Sewing Association, Guidelines Sew Creative!, 1997) In addition, these individuals who learn to sew may also be developing skills for a fulfilling, stress-relieving hobby. 

Special Opportunity: 2017 Sewing Expo, April 10-12, 2017, General Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton, KY  Registration Details...


Youth Project Books

For ages 9-13: Junior Sewing Project Books: Source: Kentucky Cooperative Extension

For ages 14-18: Senior Sewing Project Books: Source: Kentucky Cooperative Extension 
Senior projects may be completed in any order.

Unit 1 is for Beginning/Intermediate sewers:

Unit 2 is for Advanced sewers:

Volunteer Leader's Guides/Resources

4-H Sewing Overview: for volunteers working with youth on sewing projects; Source: Kentucky Cooperative Extension 

Skills to Learn: for Juniors--youth ages 9-13; for Seniors--youth ages 14-18; Source: Kentucky Cooperative Extension

Junior Unit 1 Leader's Guide for Drawstring Backpack: for volunteers working with Junior Unit 1 sewers; Source: Kentucky Cooperative Extension

Kit for Loan: Color Analysis: for volunteers working with youth ages 9-18; Kits are located in two counties in each district.  Contact your county's Extension agent for 4-H youth development well in advance to use it with your 4-H club.

Kit for Loan to Make Your Own: 4-H Sewing Skillathon Box: for volunteers working with youth ages 9-18; agents may request to borrow the state kit in order to make a duplicate for use in their county or district.  Kit must be picked up and returned in person (not shipped). Several counties have already duplicated the kit so discuss the need with your county's Extension agent for 4-H.  

Become a Master Clothing Volunteer: Do you already know how to sew but would love to learn high-level construction skills and teach others what you know?  Extension offers training for that!  More...


Related 4-H Events & Activities

Sew something!  Use a pattern to construct a garment or non-clothing items such as backpacks, travel bags, etc. 

      • :  In order to master basic sewing skills, select a pattern that includes the skills you are to learn in the unit.  This list may be helpful for beginning sewers. 


2017 Sewing Expo: April 10-12, General Bulter State Resort Park.  Registation details...


Fashion Revue: Many counties host a 4-H fashion revue or similar activity where youth involved in a fashion-related project can show the garments they made or outfits coordinated during the year.  Each county may select teens to represent the county in the State Fashion Revue.  The State 4-H Fashion Revue is the featured event on Wednesday evening of Kentucky 4-H Teen Conference in June. Throughout the year, the 4-H Fashion Leadership Board plans the stage decorations, writes the script and choreographs the show.  The revue culminates with the selection of finalists and a champion. 


State 4-H Sewing Skillathon:  A skillathon is where members put their sewing knowledge and skills to the test. County teams of junior members and individual senior members compete at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville in August.  More 2016...


County Fair or Exhibit Day:  In many counties, 4-H members have the opportunity to exhibit items they have made at the county fair or exhibit day.  Entries at the county fair that meet or exceed the standards may be selected for exhibit at the Kentucky State Fair. (See the 2016 State Fair Catalog--Sewing; see 2016 Sewing Skillathon)  Ask your county's 4-H agent for specifics on entries for your county's fair. 
Exhibits at the state fair are judged against a set of standards.  Wondering how your construction  is evaluated? Take a look...


Speech or Demonstration Competition: Would like to present a speech related to fashion?  Are you interested in showing others how to sew or another skill related to fashion?  Most county 4-H programs host communications competition sometime during the year. Contact your county's Extension agent for 4-H youth development for more information on county opportunities.


Achievement Program: Youth who are actively involved in 4-H are often tapped to serve in leadership roles.  If leadership or service to others is your thing, ask your county's 4-H agent about 4-H Achievement.


State 4-H Fashion Leadership Board: Is leadership your thing?  Each year, up to 16 teens are selected statewide to provide leadership to 4-H fashion projects at the state level.  More...


To learn how you might become part of the Fashion Board, contact your county's Extension Agent for 4-H youth development.


State Contact: Marjorie M. Baker, Extension Associate for Clothing and Textiles, 245 Scovell Hall, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 4-546; Phone: 859-257-7772; Fax: 859-257-7565Email: