Mary Ann Van Osdell, Giroir, Tanya A.Walker
News Release Distributed 01/26/10
POLLOCK, La. – One hundred campers from across Louisiana gathered around their sewing machines to create several items at the annual 4-H Fashion Camp Jan. 23-24.
Since summer, 21 state 4-H fashion board members worked to prepare projects for the event held at the Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center. The projects included making a placemat sewing caddy, a felt needle holder, fleece flip flops, a zipper makeup bag, a quilted pillow and flannel pajama pants.
Tanya Walker Giroir, 4-H instructor, kicked off the event with safety lessons. “Don’t stick fingers where they don’t belong,” she said. “Be safe with irons. They will burn you. Steam will burn you.”
Giroir also instructed the participants in safety with scissors and around cords.
For an ice-breaker event, each participant brought eight 2-by-13-inch strips of fabric to exchange to get acquainted. The strips were later used to create a quilt-top pillow.
Colored scarves distinguished groups of girls who were helped by leaders.
Abby Dupierre of Cut Off was there with three generations – her grandmother, Mary Thibodaux, and mother, Lisa Dupierre, who was serving as the camp nurse, were with her.
“This is an experience I will use throughout my whole life,” Abby said. “My grandmother helps me, but I worked by myself here.”
Abby’s mother said she was looking forward to her daughter teaching her what she learned. “It’s probably going to take a lot,” Abby said with a smile.
Nathan Hoffpauir, 12, of Lafayette Parish, was the lone boy in attendance. “I love to sew,” he said. “I have climbed on my mother’s lap (while she was sewing) since I was two.” He has made aprons, boxer shorts and a game board. Nathan wants to be an astronaut.
Caroline Kobia, a graduate student in fashion merchandising at LSU, gave a lesson on fashion avatars and was gathering data from the participants. Her research involves online role playing games with dolls and dressing them up to see how girls’ fashion behavior is affected.
Kobia mentioned the Web site www.stardoll.com as one of the online communities for girls to create their own avatar, go shopping, dress up, express themselves creatively and socialize with each other.
Tiera Harris, 17, of Claiborne Parish, was one of the fashion board members who helped put the event together. “I hope they do the projects and see our leadership and take it back to their parish and demonstrate the leadership skills we have here,” she said.
Mary Ann Van Osdell