A stitch in time saves nine, or at least a button or two…
Eighth graders at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School are in stitches over their new Life Skills course.
“Last week, the button fell off my uniform shirt. This week, I can sew it back on myself,” said Aaron Grassi, as he and classmate Derick Charles stitched away at their practice cloths.
Moments later, Grassi was snipping out his stitches, having sewn his snap on upside down.
“You need to start over, my friend,” chuckled middle school instructor Patricia Lyon, “That’s how we learn.”
Lyon said she came up with the idea for the class after noticing a definite need for basic life skills. The course includes three six-week sessions, including basic sewing techniques, food preparation (nutrition, meal planning and budgeting) and etiquette — how to set a formal table, making introductions and table manners.
Years ago, such courses were mandatory for girls and eventually open to boys. Today, courses such as home economics are a rarity.
“Most of these skills are becoming a lost art,” said Lyon, “but these are important things that will really make a lasting difference in their lives.”
The four girls and two boys in the elective course agree.
“The others didn’t take it, now they regret it,” MaKayla Conner said of her classmates in band, chorus and TV production. “It’s the best class ever. Everyone says I’m an old soul because I love sewing and cooking.”
Most of the students admitted they had done little or no hand sewing prior to the class.
“The pocket ripped off my jacket last year. My mom fixed it, but now I would be able to do it myself,” said Charles, who shared his favorite is the running stitch because it is stronger and more reliable than others.
Like the sewing circles of years past, the group enjoys catching up on the latest middle school topics of interest while practicing their new skills with an occasional giggle. And they take pride in their workmanship.
“I’m really pleased with the response and the results so far,” Lyon said. “They love it and they’re fast learners. They keep me in stitches.”