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Have you ever thought about designing and making your own clothing? Learn the basics of sewing construction and how to make simple clothing and accessories. Develop skills in design and fashion illustration, business and marketing, technology in sewing, and learn about careers in the textile industry. And, learn how Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) are used to create clothing and other textile products. Don't forget our 4-H Shopping project. Who doesn't love shopping? Shopping in Style manual is used for all six levels of the project. Here's what you'll learn in each level!

STEAM Clothing 1

  • sewing notions & sewing machine
  • color
  • body types
  • fabrics
  • basic sewing skills

STEAM CLOTHING 2

  • fitting patterns
  • sewing with different fabrics
  • testing fabrics
  • sewing darts and curves
  • making buttonholes
  • inserting zippers, interfacing, and pockets

STEAM Clothing 3

  • sewing with sergers
  • using pressing tools
  • caring for fabrics
  • inserting a lining
  • sewing with specialty fabrics
  • practice advanced techniques

Shopping in Style Level 1:

  • create your personal style
  • learn about first impressions
  • explore cultural identity
  • learn about fashion vs. fad

SHOPPING IN STYLE Level 2:

  • determine your body shape
  • select flattering colors
  • use design lines to enhance
  • learn how color and fabric affect design

SHOPPING IN STYLE Level 3:

  • learn to mix and match
  • complete a clothing inventory
  • determine wearability
  • learn to recycle garments

SHOPPING IN STYLE Level 4:

  • stretch your clothing dollars
  • evaluate advertising
  • become a secret shopper
  • learn about buying with cash vs credit

SHOPPING IN STYLE Level 5:

  • learn clothing care
  • learn how to remove stains
  • learn how to repair clothes
  • make a clothing first aid kit

SHOPPING IN STYLE Level 6:

  • understand the purpose of cosmetics
  • learn your facial palette
  • select undergarments that enhance
  • present your outfit confidently 

Resources to help you learn

  • STEAM Level 1: FUNdamentals: Suggested for ages 8 – 10
  • STEAM Level 2: Simply Sewing: Suggested for ages 10 – 12
  • STEAM Level 3: A Stitch Further: Suggested for ages 12 and up
  • All Levels: Shopping in Style: Suggested for Grades 7-12

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Each county may submit 3 STEAM entries total from 50151 a-c, 50152 a-c, 50153 a-c; 2 shopping entries from 50154, 50155, 50156; and 1 Ready4Life entry from 50157.

All exhibits entered in the clothing and textiles area will be judged based on their construction and fit (if applicable). Exhibitors bringing garments should not wear their garments when they arrive for judging The garment will be reviewed by the judges for construction first. Exhibitors will be asked to change into the garment as the second step of the judging process. If the garment was constructed for another individual, that individual must be present to wear the garment for the judge. (Only the exhibitor who made the garment is eligible for ribbon and premium.) Construction and appearance will both be considered during judging. If a pattern was used to make the item, the pattern instructions, either written or electronic, are to be included with the exhibit. Exhibit tags should be attached to the garment, not to the hanger.

Members wishing to exhibit knitted items should enroll in Visual Arts and exhibit in Fiber (if original) or Heritage Arts (if made from a pattern). Members who enroll in Clothing & Textiles with the intent of pursuing quilting can exhibit in the non-clothing exhibit category in STEAM Clothing 1—FUNdamentals. Quilts exhibited in the Clothing & Textiles area will be judged using a rubric that evaluates the sewing skills and construction of the item. All work on the quilt MUST be completed by the 4-H member. You cannot exhibit a quilt that was quilted by someone else. Quilts can be hand OR machine quilted as long as ALL work is completed by the exhibitor.

SEWING

STEAM Clothing 1 – FUNdamentals: (SF 50151a, 50151b, 50151c)

Exhibit one of the following in either the Non-Sewn, Non-Clothing, or Clothing exhibit divisions:

Non-Sewn Exhibits (SF 50151a) Exhibit one of the following:

  • Clothing Portfolio – Complete at least three different samples/activities from Chapter 2 and/or Chapter 3 of the project manual. Examples of samples you might include: How Two Magically Become One, pages 85-86; No Fear of Fray, pages 93-95; Two Sides of the Moon, pages 97-99; On the Flip Side, pages 101-104; Basic Hand Sewing Skills, pages 106-108. The Portfolio should be placed in an 8 ½ x 11, 3 ring binder. Include an appropriate cover, dividers, and table of contents. NOTE – additional pages can be added each year but must be dated with the year. See pages 9-10 of project manual for portfolio formatting.
  • Fabric Textile Scrapbook – Must include at least 5 different textile samples. Use Textile Information Cards template on page 41 in project manual to identify fabric swatches. Completed textile cards should be placed in an 8 ½ x 11, 3 ring binder. Include an appropriate cover. See project manual, pages 42-74, for fabric options and fabric science experiments.
  • What’s the Difference - What’s the Price Point – Exhibit may include a notebook, poster, small display sharing a project comparison and price point. See activity, pages 118-120. Exhibit should include PHOTOS; NO actual PILLOWS.

Sewn Non-Clothing Exhibits (SF 50151b) Exhibit one of the following:

  • Pillowcase
  • Simple Pillow – no larger than 18” x 18”
  • Bag/Purse – no zippers or button holes
  • Other non-clothing item using skills learned in project manual

Sewn Clothing Exhibits (SF 50151c) Exhibit one of the following:

  • Simple top
  • Simple pants, shorts, or skirt – no zipper or button holes
  • Simple Dress – no zipper or button holes
  • Other – other wearable item using skills learned in project manual (apron, vest, etc.)

Beginning Sewing Exhibits – exhibits in this class must be made from medium weight woven fabrics that will sew and press smoothly, flannel/fleece is acceptable. Solid color fabrics or those having an overall print are acceptable. NO PLAIDS, STRIPES, NAPPED or JERSEY KNIT. Patterns should be simple WITHOUT DARTS, SET-IN SLEEVES, and COLLARS. Raglan and loose flowing sleeves are acceptable.

50152    STEAM Clothing 2 – Simply Sewing: (SF 50152a, 50152b, 50152c)

Exhibit one of the following in either the Non-Sewn, Non-Clothing, or Clothing exhibit divisions:

Non-Sewn Exhibits (SF 50152a) Exhibit one of the following:

  • Clothing Portfolio – Complete at least four different samples/activities from Chapters 2, 3 AND/OR 4 of the project manual. The Portfolio should be placed in an 8 ½ x 11, 3 ring binder. Include an appropriate cover, dividers, and table of contents. NOTE – this can be a continuation of a Portfolio created in STEAM Clothing 1. Additional pages can be added each year but must be dated with the year created. See project manual, pages 9-11 for portfolio formatting.
  • Expanded Textile Science Scrapbook – Must include at least 10 different textile samples. Use Textile Information Cards template on page 39 in project manual to identify fabric swatches. Completed textile cards should be placed in an 8 ½ x 11, 3 ring binder. Include an appropriate cover. See Project, pages 40-82 for fabric science experiments.
  • Design Basics – Understanding Design Principles – Exhibit should include a learning experience that demonstrates the design principles and elements involved when selecting fabric for clothing and accessories. See project manual, pages 17-20 for design suggestions.
  • Entrepreneurial Sewing – Exhibit should highlight items you made for sale online. Create an exhibit that displays products you made and posted online. Refer to the project manual, pages 161-167 for information on how to analyze the cost of similar purchased items to determine pricing of your products. The exhibit may be a notebook, poster or small display.

Sewn Non-Clothing Exhibits (SF 50152b) Exhibit one of the following:

  • Recycled Clothing Accessory – Create a clothing accessory made from a used item. The item must be changed in some way in the redesign process. The finished accessory must reflect at least one skill learned in the project and exhibitor should be able to identify the skill used. A before picture and a description of the redesign process must accompany the exhibit. Clothing accessory may include: hat, bag, scarf, belt, etc.
  • Non-clothing item OR Clothing Accessory – Create a clothing accessory using at least one skill learned in this project. Exhibitor should be able to identify the skill used.

Sewn Clothing Exhibits (SF 50152c) Exhibit one of the following:

  • Recycled Clothing – Create a garment from used textile based items. The original used item must be redesigned (not just embellished or decorated) in some way to create a new wearable piece of clothing. The finished garment must reflect at least one skill learned in this project and exhibitor should be able to identify the skill used. A before picture and a description of the redesign process must accompany the exhibit.
  • Constructed garment – Any garment with facings or curves. Should use at least one skill learned in this project and exhibitor should be able to identify the skills used. Garment should be appropriate for the age and experience of the member.

STEAM Clothing 3 – A Stitch Further: (SF 50153a, 50153b, 50153c)

Exhibit one of the following in either the Non-Sewn, Non-Clothing, or Clothing exhibit divisions:

Non-sewn Exhibits (SF 50153a) Exhibit one of the following:

  • Clothing Portfolio – Complete at least four different samples/activities from Chapters 2, 3 AND/OR 4 of the project manual. The Portfolio should be placed in an 8 ½ x 11, 3 ring binder. Include an appropriate cover, dividers, and table of contents. NOTE – this can be a continuation of a Portfolio created in STEAM Clothing 1 and/or STEM Clothing 2. Additional pages can be added each year but must be dated with the year created. See project manual, pages 11-13 for portfolio formatting.
  • Expanded Textile Science Scrapbook - Must include at least 10 different textile samples. Use Textile Information Cards template on page 29 in project manual to identify fabric swatches. Completed textile cards should be placed in an 8 ½ x 11, 3 ring binder. Include an appropriate cover. See Project, pages 39-52 for fabric science experiments.
  • Advanced Entrepreneurial Sewing – Using knowledge gained in project manual, Chapter 5, display one sample product with a business plan that includes a business ID and logo. The Exhibit may be a notebook, poster or small display.

Sewn Non-Clothing Exhibit (SF 50153b) Exhibit one of the following:

  • Recycled Clothing Accessory – Create a clothing accessory made from a used item. The item must be changed in some way in the redesign process. The finished accessory must reflect at least one skill learned in the project and exhibitor should be able to identify the skill used. A before picture and a description of the redesign process must accompany the exhibit.
  • Non-clothing item OR Clothing Accessory – Create a clothing accessory using at least one skill learned in this project. Exhibitor should be able to identify the skill used.

Sewn Clothing Exhibit (SF 50153c) Exhibit one of the following:

  • Recycled Clothing – Create a garment from used textile based items. The original used item must be redesigned (not just embellished or decorated) in some way to create a new wearable piece of clothing. The finished garment must reflect at least one skill learned in this project and exhibitor should be able to identify the skill used. A before picture and a description of the redesign process must accompany the exhibit.
  • Constructed garment – Any garment constructed by the member which is appropriate for the age and experience of the exhibitor. Should use at least one skill learned in this project and exhibitor should be able to identify the skills used. Possible examples are wool garment, dress or jacket with set in sleeves and zipper or buttons and button holes, suites evening gown or sport outfit.

SHOPPING

Exhibit one of the following options that align with the Shopping in Style level. If a garment is part of the 4-H exhibit, exhibitors should put the garment on PRIOR to their judging time. Shopping in Style: Members are encouraged to spend more than one year involved in this project so they have time to learn what clothing styles look best on them while they also gain skills in building a versatile wardrobe and staying within their budget. Each year enrolled in Shopping should build on previous year’s learning experience.

Shopping in Style: Beginning (SF 50154)

Choose one of the following activities from Unit 1 or Unit 2 of the project book

  • Exhibit should consist of a garment that reflects your personal style along with a poster or report that 1) explains how this garment reflects your style and how it influences what others think of you; OR 2) how your personal style either aligns or contradicts what is considered to be “in style” today. OR
  • Exhibit should include a garment you purchased along with a poster or report that explains or illustrates how this garment is either 1) a modern version of a fad or fashion from an earlier decade; OR 2) how this garment reflects a different ethnic or cultural influence. Exhibit should include garment you purchased along with a poster or report that provides 1) a body shape discussion and how body shape influences clothing selections; OR 2) a color discussion that provides an overview of how different colors complement different hair colors and skin tones and how that influenced garment selection. Poster or report may include pictures from magazines, the internet or actual photos of garments. OR
  • Exhibit should include garment you purchased along with a poster or report that 1) explains how this garment uses the principles of design lines to create an illusion to alter appearance; OR 2) explains how color and texture of fabrics can complement or enhance appearance. Poster or report may include pictures from magazines, the internet, or actual photos of garments.

Shopping in Style: Intermediate (SF 50155)

Choose one of the following activities from Unit 3 or Unit 4 of the project book

  • Exhibit should include two clothing items that were previously a part of your wardrobe that still fit but you don’t wear anymore and pair them with something new to make them wearable again. Also include a report that explains why the garment was not being worn and what you did to transform it into a wearable garment again. OR
  • Exhibit should include at least five pieces of clothing that exhibitor can mix and match to create multiple outfits. Include a poster or report that includes a clothing inventory AND describes what you have learned by completing this activity. OR
  • Exhibit should include garment you purchased along with a poster or report that 1) includes a wardrobe inventory which indicates why you selected the garment you did, clothing budget, and cost of garment; OR 2) explains how advertising influences clothing purchases making a distinction between wants and needs; and how the purchase of this garment compliments and/or extends your wardrobe. OR
  • Exhibit should include garment you purchased along with a poster or report that 1) describes a cost comparison of this item completed by the exhibitor when purchasing the garment; should include variety of shopping options and/or price tracking at stores over a period of time; OR 2) provides a quality comparison rating the specific clothing item purchased based on care, construction, cost and unique features; should include construction quality details, design features that influenced selection, cost per wearing, and garment care.

Shopping in Style: Advanced (SF 50156)

Choose one of the following activities from Unit 5 or Unit 6 of the project book

  • Exhibit should include garment you purchased along with a poster or report that summarizes care requirements not only for this garment but also for garments made of other natural and synthetic fibers; exhibit should also include a care cost analysis for garments of different fibers. OR
  • Exhibit should include garment you purchased which you have repaired or altered along with a poster or report that provides a clothing inventory list which includes cost savings for repaired items as compared to purchasing replacement garments.
  • Exhibit should include multiple garments you purchased along with a poster or report that provides plans and commentary for a fashion show that that would capture the attention of an audience.  Fashion show plans should identify target audience, include show venue, purpose of the show, and logistical plan for the fashion show. This should also include a financial plan. Exhibitor should be prepared to demonstrate modeling skills.

Sewing & Textiles Ready4Life Challenge (SF 50157)

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Sewing & Textiles project. Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.

Clothing Maker (SF 50400)

Counties may submit 3 entries TOTAL combined from all Maker exhibit divisions.

Exhibits in this category are designed to be multi-disciplinary in nature, innovative, and must not fit into any other exhibit category. To qualify for this category, your project MUST abide by the following guidelines:

  • Exhibits must be an object or device that has an intended purpose and uses technology in either a mechanical way, digital (computer) way, or combination of the two.
  • The device must be something that can be used in everyday life by multiple people (a target audience), and MUST be manufactured/built by the exhibitor (If not fully manufactured by the exhibitor, the device MUST be modified structurally or be reprogramed to perform a different function other than what it was designed to do
  • Exhibit MUST be able to interact with the outside world. (e.g. an on off switch, input sensors, feedback, etc.)
  • Exhibits MUST include a detailed build log with instructions on how to make or build the exhibit, AND contain either a 3D rendering or detailed and labeled sketches of the device/product.
  • All parts and software used in the design/build MUST be listed in a detailed Bill of Materials including cost per item and total cost. Total time spent on the build must be documented in your build log.

In addition, exhibitors are HIGHLY encouraged to use tools such as 3-D printers, laser cutters, routers and/or other hand/power tools to help in the manufacturing process (NOTE: Simply 3-D printing or laser cutting an object without the other specifications does not qualify as a Maker Project). It is also HIGHLY encouraged that exhibits use Open Source Software and/or Hardware in the build.