4-Hers demonstrate fashion skills

4-H'ers enrolled in the fashion project learn there is more to fashion than just what looks good. Throughout the day Monday, they showed what they knew to the judges before ending the day with a fashion show at Emmanuel Church.

Jill Martinson, Dickinson County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development, said they model their outfit for a judge, whether it is an outfit they made or purchased; have a conference with the judge; and present a cost per wear and a clothing plan.

"The clothing plan shows how that outfit fits into their wardrobe, care of the garment and where they plan on wearing it," she said. "It's about making smart consumer decisions on their part."

While the attendees to the fashion show may have been impressed with the handiwork of the children, a fair amount of skill also went into the production of the show.

Jessyka Barten, 15, said the planning committee chose to play off the original fair theme when they came up with "Where Fashion Crosses the Rails, Trails, and Tales."

The stage where the fashion show participants will show their handiwork reflects the pieces of the theme with a covered wagon on one end, a railroad crossing in the middle and a rocking chair where someone can sit back and tell tall tales.

"We usually struggle over the theme, but we came right up with it this year," she said. "(Lindsey Anderson, 16) did an awesome job on the backdrop, and the covered wagon came out great. Everything came out the way we wanted it to."

Several 4-Her's strutted across the stage and showed outfits they purchased while others showed off their skill at the sewing machine and with crochet hooks.

Micayla Stika has been crocheting for 12 of her 19 years.  She said she has enjoyed crocheting every since her mother "decided I needed to learn how."

This is her last year in 4-H and Stika said she "wanted to go out with a bang."

She designed and crocheted a pair of black shorts. Crocheted shorts have spiked in popularity over the past several years, but the ones she liked were way too expensive, so she decided to make her own.

"I've tweaked patterns before, but this is the first major thing I designed myself," she said

It wasn't a project free of challenges. It took about a month to complete and several times she needed to take out stitches and redo it to make them fit just right.

"Sizing was the most difficult," she said.

By themselves the shorts are rather see-through. Rather than sewing a liner into them, Stika chose to make them so they can be worn with spandex underneath so she can change the color of the spandex to match different blouses.

Even though it is Stika's last year in 4-H she'll probably continue crocheting.

"I think it is becoming a lost art. There are not a lot of people doing it anymore," she said.

As Stika is ending her 4-H years, Makenzie Hall, 8, is just beginning hers.

She has been sewing since she was 5 years old and showed a reversible dress she made this year — one side is a dark blue with white dots while the other side is white with colorful butterflies.

"It is so pretty," she said. "I like the butterfly pattern and the colors."

To complement the dress, Hall made a red belt to make it fit better and a necklace from the fabric she used on one side of the dress.

Her handy little ripper was put in use as she did have to rip out stitches a few times, but the most difficult part of the project was the pinning of the pattern and cutting it properly.

"It was a hard project," she said.

Now that it is done, it looks and fits well enough for her to wear to church or maybe on the first day of school.

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