Family and Consumer Sciences: Master Clothing Volunteers now being recruited

By Tamara Thomas Published:

Thanks to shows like "Project Runway" and "Fashion Star," sewing is enjoying newfound popularity. If you have a basic knowledge of garment construction, want to perfect your craft and help others learn to sew, you may find the Master Volunteer in Clothing Construction Program enjoyable and fulfilling. Recruitment for the next class of Master Clothing Volunteers is ongoing through the end of June.

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service Master Clothing program began nearly 22 years ago when many Kentucky schools began to remove classes in sewing and garment construction from their curriculum. Extension saw it as a way to keep sewing alive in the communities.

Recruits for the Master Volunteers in Clothing Construction Program should have a basic knowledge of sewing and garment construction. A master volunteer is an individual who takes the traditional volunteer role a step further. They are interested in receiving in-depth training and are dedicated to helping others learn their art.

The program is highly selective with only two individuals selected from each of the state’s 14 extension areas. Interested individuals should apply to the program through the county extension office.

A county committee will screen applicants and will notify them by mail about whether their application advanced to the area screening. An area committee will then make the final selections based on an interview and the individual’s sewing and communication skills.

Those selected to participate must attend a statewide training Oct. 9-13 at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Educational Center in Jabez to begin the certification process. During this process, candidates will receive training on the subject matter, record keeping, teaching and communication skills.

Master Clothing Volunteers will also make a written commitment to give back 100 service hours to Extension and the community within two years by leading educational programs in clothing construction and basic sewing. Once volunteer requirements are met, you will become a Certified Master Volunteer recognized by the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and known as a trained professional aide in this area. 

If you’re interested in becoming a Master Volunteer in Clothing Construction, you can get more information or an application at the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Service, 695-9035.

Source: Marjorie Baker, UK extension associate for clothing and textiles

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