Urban Stitches is a youth sewing program for Pittsburgh area children and teens. The idea came about purely by chance when I recently inquired about sewing classes at my alma mater. Since I love teaching and I love working with kids, I thought I would put my bid in when the sewing teacher at my former school decided to retire. To my surprise, I discovered that Pittsburgh Public schools have discontinued sewing as part of their Home Economics program!
Unfortunately, students are very limited in their exposure to the arts after grade school, and I have discovered that a genuine opportunity still exists for creative learning in a setting where students feel less intimidated than in a formal classroom. So, I started thinking: “How can I re-introduce sewing as a hip, cool activity for young people in our area?” Not only is sewing SUPER fun, but it brings out your crafty side, incorporates disciplines like math and mechanical skills, patience, independence, and the ability to follow instructions, too. Sewing also gives your self-confidence a boost!
Urban Stitches' mission is to satisfy the need for impressionable young people to receive arts training, gain encouragement, and learn life skills, as well as provide a safe environment for them to gather, learn something new, and have fun! The Urban Stitches program will run for two hours per week for eight weeks. There will be no more than eight students in each class. Classes will run consecutively throughout the school year.
To keep the program going, once the students complete the class, I plan on having them arrange a fundraiser (i.e. a small fashion or craft show), to present what they have created as well as generate funds to purchase supplies for the next class. Students who have become proficient at sewing once they complete the program may also volunteer to assist incoming students.
Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (October 2012)