Sewing is one of the many timeless skills that the 4-H program teaches to its youth participants. In a world of technology, it’s great to see 4-H members taking a step back to remember the basics of textiles. This year, Merrimack County held its annual 4-H Sewing Showcase. Formally known as the County 4-H Fashion Revue, 4-H members sewed a variety of items for all aspects of life. This popular event had not been held officially since 2019 due to COVID-19.

The 4-H participants started their work for this project far before April. Clubs held project meetings which allowed youth to work with a mentor on the project of their choosing. As 4-Hers get older, their project difficulty increases. Many of the youth shared their stories of frustration ripping out seams or having to remeasure fabric so that the item came out properly.

This year, the Sewing Showcase had some changes to allow 4-H members to expand their projects. Traditionally, the Fashion Revue only included garments, but this year participants could enter quilts, knit and crocheted items, and anything else that had a sewn component, in addition to the garments. The 4-H members took this opportunity and ran with it. They entered a variety of projects like aprons, pins cushions, flannel shirts, winter hats, pillowcases, and more. Their creativity and pride in their projects shined through in all the thoughtful little details.

The first part of the showcase included judging. The 4-H participants stood in front of judges to evaluate their work. They had to answer questions about why they made certain parts of their project the way they did and took away feedback to improve their projects for next year. All of the judges were impressed with the top-quality work from all of the 4-H members. Their resiliency throughout the pandemic showed through in their work.

The second part of the event was the showcase. 4-H members wrote scripts about their items and then modeled them in front of an audience. They showed off their special details and how the skills were practiced in each piece. From this event, 4-H members who qualified for Eastern States Expo were chosen. The 4-Hers needed a score of 85 (out of 100) and higher and to be 12 years old to join the other New Hampshire 4-H representatives. Merrimack County had several individuals who stood out to fill these roles. Every member who participated in the Sewing Showcase in Merrimack County is invited to participate in the Artisan Showcase at the 4-H Makers Expo on May 7th.