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story.lead_photo.caption RACHEL DICKERSON/MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS Children learn to sew by hand using doll dress patterns made from newspaper at the New Bethel School near Anderson.

A group of mothers and children recently attended a sewing class at the old New Bethel School near Anderson.

Karen Almeter, director of the New Bethel School Preservation Association and a sewing instructor for the class, said instructors were teaching mothers to sew with machines and children to sew by hand.

Children were learning to make stitches with a needle and thread. Mothers brought their own sewing machines, had learned to use them and were busy cutting out patterns.

A dry-erase board outlined several objectives for the class. They were: Clean and oil your machine, thread the machine, sew a button on, sew a hem by machine and by hand, take up a hem or lengthen a hem, recycle (re-purpose) a sheet or another garment, follow a simple pattern.

Melissa Howerton of Noel was one of the mothers who came to the class. She was cutting out pieces for a dress for her five-year-old daughter.

"I just wanted to learn to be self-sufficient, learn how to make stuff," she said. "My grandma is an expert seamstress. She makes a lot of quilts."

She continued, "Last week we made a pillowcase. The first thing we learned to do was how to use our machine. That took, like, half the class."

She said she inherited her machine from her husband's grandmother.

Stacey White of Anderson was helping with the children's sewing class. She is a home-school mom, as are the other mothers in the sewing class, she said. She said the class got started when Almeter called her and asked if anyone would be interested in a sewing class.

Almeter said the first week the children hand-stitched pillows. The first lesson for the children was simply stitching a piece of cloth, she said. For a more advanced lesson, she made a doll dress pattern from newspaper.

Almeter said she has been sewing since she was a child and probably learned in 4-H.

"A lot of what I sew is costumes for living history -- old-time sunbonnets. My mother sewed. She sewed a lot of our clothes for my brother and me. My mother made me a poodle skirt when I was a child, and I liked it so much, when I outgrew it she made me another one, and when I outgrew that one she made me a third one."

Laura James of Anderson was teaching the children their lesson. She has been sewing since she was about eight, she said.

"My grandma taught me a lot of things, and my mom sewed all my clothes when I was a little girl. She was always at the sewing machine. All we bought at the store was socks and shoes. I don't sew many clothes now. I mainly do blankets or curtains."

She asked White if home economics is still taught in the schools. White said it is optional.

"It's too bad if they don't teach (sewing) in the schools because it's a skill that will die," she said.

Ashley Abernathy of Anderson was working on a pair of Bermuda shorts. She said she wanted to learn to sew so she could teach her daughters. She thought it would be cool to make her own clothes, she said.

"Most people in this generation don't know how to sew, so it's neat to keep those traditions going," she said.

General News on 07/12/2018

Print Headline: Sewing Class Held At New Bethel School

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