Beyond the Bell: So, Sew Easy - The Lost Art of Hand Sewing

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Beyond the Bell: So, Sew Easy - The Lost Art of Hand Sewing
Posted on 03/13/2018
Authored by Desiree Bowden

Did you learn how to sew in Family and Consumer Science class, or under the watchful eye of your mother or grandmother? Generations ago, it was not only common but required that children learned the art of sewing and knitting. Clothes were made from hand. While your child will rarely need to create his or her own wardrobe, there are real benefits to learning basic sewing skills such as sewing on a button, hemming a pair of pants, or sewing a hole in your sock.

Kids are never too young when it comes to learning how to sew, especially students who attend Snow Hill Elementary CARE Afterschool Academy. Every Wednesday, during the Winter Session, Mrs. Jackie Brown’s Sewing Club engages in fun activities and projects that teach basic sewing skills. Students learn to thread a needle, tie a knot, and produce a running or wrap stitch. With these skills, her students make puppets, ornaments, and purses. These ten 1st through 3rd graders are surprisingly adept at these fine motor skills!

One of the things missing from our busy daily schedules is time for peace and stillness. These seamstresses have moments of unprompted silence as they are focusing on their stitches! What a joy to see ten children so engaged in a useful activity in a relaxed environment. Children are naturally helpful, and in this club, there are plenty of opportunities to help a friend problem solve as they thread a needle, untangle a stitch, or find the place for the next one.

Mrs. Brown has shared that one of the things enjoyed by all is sitting around completing projects that can be given as gifts, or taken home to use for play. The club has even sold some of their creations at Parent Night to raise money for the SHES Student Council’s philanthropies!

SHES’s afterschool CARE program is funded through 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants. You can support local afterschool programs like this through volunteerism, advocacy and in-kind donations. For more information about or to offer support for WCPS afterschool programs, contact Tamara Mills at

Beyond the Bell: Afterschool Success Stories is aweekly web featurette showcasing the opportunities offered to students through afterschool programs across the county. Beyond the Bell is published every Tuesday.