Sewing class builds life skills

Posted on: May 15, 2019

From mind-boggling math problems to thought-provoking language arts themes, students at Delano High School get plenty of mental exercise during a typical school day.

They also have the opportunity to develop some physical, hands-on skills that will serve them well in the years ahead. From the hum of shop class machinery to the quiet stutter of sewing machines, those pursuits provide students variety as well as utility.

“It’s relaxing,” said senior Michaela Paskach during a recent “Sewing Experiences” class in the Family and Consumer Sciences department. “If you have a hard course load you can come here and this is a nice break.” 

What might serve as a break in a purely intellectual sense is, in fact, a challenge of a different kind. Students in the class taught by Darcie Pemberton recently finished sewing their own aprons. The project required students to measure and draws their own patterns, pin the patterns on, cut them out, finish edges and assemble the parts.

“People in the Delano community donated the fabric that we use for this apron project,” said Pemberton. “It’s actually fabric from the 1980s that was originally intended for home decor use. The colors and prints are out of date and the fabric fiber (polyester) isn’t what most would choose to use for aprons. However, because of the generosity of people in Delano, the kids get to make an additional project without any cost. Actually, the kids love their aprons and get to try the ‘reuse, recycle and reclaim’ idea.” 

After aprons, students in the class also construct duffel bags or book bags, then pillows. Along the way they learn embroidery, cross stitching, quilting and more. Paskach and fellow senior Emily Olson were engaged in constructing nylon bags in their college colors during a recent visit to the class.

“At first it was a little intimidating because it seems like if you make a mistake it’s permanent, but you can fix anything you do,” said Olson. “(Ms. Pemberton) definitely makes sure everyone gets something that will actually work for them.”

Both students were relatively new to needlework, having only taken one additional class in the subject, but said they were confident that what they had learned held lasting value.

“Now we know how to fix certain things,” said Olson. 

Post Categories: High School