Friday, January 11, 2013

Urban Stitches is Seeking Donations

Are you looking to de-stash sometime soon?  Consider donating some of your stash to Urban Stitches!
Urban Stitches is a youth sewing instruction program which serves Pittsburgh area teens aged 12-18.  Its mission is to satisfy the need for impressionable young people to receive arts training, gain life skills, and provide a safe environment for them to gather, learn something new, and have fun.  Spearheaded by Tameka Reed, a Pittsburgh native and former Clarissa School of Fashion Design student, the Urban Stitches program is designed to fill the void created by area schools when traditional home economics programs were cancelled. 

Sewing instruction in any school curricula these days is increasingly rare. Traditional home economics courses have been replaced by what are perceived as more critically needed subjects such as drug and alcohol abuse prevention, parenting skills and technology instruction.  However, the disciplines taught by learning to sew also extend themselves into other areas of life, including patience, the ability to follow instructions, math and mechanical skills, independence, self-confidence, and creativity.  Sewing also leads to the development of career skills such as tailoring, alterations, custom made clothing and home décor.

Over the last several years sewing and crafting have been on a steady comeback, and there is a constant demand for learning them. However, at present no area community or trade centers currently offer a structured youth sewing program at an affordable cost.  As such, classes are currently held free of charge for teens 12-18 at George Westinghouse High School in collaboration with the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. 

Ultimately, the goal of Urban Stitches is for young people throughout the city to have the opportunity to learn to sew irrespective of their family’s financial status, and its instructors are eager to pass on the love of sewing as well as the enjoyment of imagining, discovering and creating on to the next generation.

Tameka indicated that they are in need of anything and everything - sewing machines, notions, patterns, fabrics, zippers, buttons, etc.  Classes begin in February and they've already got 10 girls signed up for the first class!  They will soon have a blog so you can follow along and see what they are up to!  If you've got anything to donate, please contact Tameka - your generosity will help introduce a new generation to sewing!

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