MOUNT VERNON — With this year’s theme, “I Got My Start in 4-H,” participants showed off their creativity at the pre-fair judging for the clothing projects on Thursday at Mount Vernon High School.
This year there were 81 youths signed up for the program from the ages of 8 years old, and in third grade, to 18 years old. Participants could choose from 19 different categories of fashion from making their own clothes to finding the best deals at bargain shopping.
“There were a wide range of things this year,” said Andrea Daubenmier, Extension program coordinator. “I noticed the colors have changed a lot with the projects, even from last year, but the quality is what has increased tremendously.”
Daubenimer said she could remember 15 years ago when the number of 4-H’ers who participated were low. It has been only within the past few years that the numbers have starteed to come back.
“It use to be grandma, mom and daughter all sewed, then it seemed we got away from that. Now we’re seeing more of it coming back. I don’t know if it’s due to the economy or if people are wanting to just learn the basic skills of sewing,” she said.
Many aspects of the project are included in the judging process.
“I look to see if they’ve met the requirements, how they made it, who helped them, and I see if it fits and is well constructed and pressed,” said clothing judge Faith Jaggers. “Most of the kids have done a great job.”
Jaggers has been a part of 4-H for many years as a participant and as a judge.
“The interview, I think, is the greatest thing,” she said. “This is a neat opportunity for them to sit down and interview and talk one-on-one with somebody. It’s great career skills. I just love this about 4-H because it gives kids that confidence to talk with a stranger and express themselves.”
Monique Adam of the Better Livestock 4-H Club was participating for the first time in the Sewing for Others project and this year she made a floral sundress with a purple bolero for a friend.
“I chose the colors because they were springy,” she said.
For Dean Kauble, 11, member of the Just Kidding Around 4-H Club, he enjoyed making his loungewear outfit, a brown robe with Indian summer pants, for his project.
“I like it,” he said. “I didn’t have any challenges. My mom helped. She watched us to make sure we were doing it right but we did the sewing ourselves.” Kauble’s brother, David, also participated in the project making a loungewear project of his own.