Clothing & Fashion

Are You Into It?

This 4-H project is designed to help you explore the world of clothing. Fashions fade – learn to make your style your own and timeless in the clothing project. Discover what looks best on your body, how to make it, where to buy it, and how to care for it.

  • Express yourself through creating and planning an exciting wardrobe
  • Develop skills to purchase and make clothing
  • Learn how to use equipment to make and care for your clothes
  • Make clothes for yourself and others

Here’s what you can do all year!

Starting Out Basic / Level 1

  • Learn sewing machine parts, sewing tools, and how to sew on buttons
  • Examine the cost savings of buying new versus used clothing and accessories
  • Discover your own style with color and line
  • Understand how fabrics are made from fibers
  • Learn to do laundry on your own

Learning More Intermediate / Level 2

  • Learn how to sew garments using patterns and the elements of design
  • Discover your personal image through clothing and accessories
  • Shop and sew for your body type
  • Compare different fabrics, yarns, and finishes
  • Discover how to take part in a fashion show

Expanding Horizons Advanced / Level 3

  • Discover how to sew garments integrating the principles of design
  • Learn the pros and cons of different types of retail sales, various methods to pay for clothing, and techniques for assessing product advertisements
  • Understand the differences between natural and manmade fibers
  • Review personal care tools for skin and hair

Take It Further

Clothing and Fashion Hot Sheet (color pdf)
Clothing and Fashion Exhibits Tip Sheet  (color pdf)
Design Elements & Art Principles Tip Sheet (color)
Poster Exhibits Tip Sheet (color or B/W pdf)
Exhibitor Fair Information Form (Word or editable PDF)
Exhibit Evaluation Form (pdf)
Awardrobe Clothing Event
Clothing Selection: Outfits may be selected and/or purchased from any source.
Fashion Revue: A garment or outfit constructed by you!
The $15 Challenge: Purchase an outfit costing $15 or less, not including shoes, accessories or undergarments, that represents your intended use.
Volunteer to help with the 4-H Clothing Event
Use this Color Wheel Tool to help you experiment with different types of colors!  The cutouts fit right over a regular color wheel. (4H 0633)
Here are other opportunities to explore Clothing:

  • Contact your County Extension office to participate in local clothing camps, workshops, or county/ regional fairs
  • If selected to represent your county at the Iowa State Fair Awardrobe Clothing Event, you would participate in one of three categories: Clothing Selection; Fashion Revue; The $15 Challenge.  
  • Create your own sewing/tailoring business
  • Create a pattern turning an outgrown article of clothing into a reusable item for yourself or your family
  • Help family and club members learn which colors and clothing styles look best on different body types
  • Attend annual ISU student-run The Fashion Show
  • Attend Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and participate in workshops, listen to motivational speakers, and participate in a community service project; bring ideas back to your club and community
  • Interested in a college education in the areas of apparel, merchandising or design?  Schedule a visit with Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences and the AMD Program

Stitch This!
4-H Sewing Project

Step It Up

Pass it on! Now that you know how, share it with others. Here are ideas to get you started.


  • Design a poster identifying sewing machine parts and proper care of a sewing machine
  • Create a 4-H video demonstrating how to sew on a button
  • Teach others how to use a sewing machine to create decorative pillows
  • Make a poster showing the steps in fabric dyeing process--either at home or in a manufacturing environment


  • Complete a Service-Learning project
  • Collect teen sized jeans and donate to a local shelter or Goodwill store
  • Volunteer to sort and clean donated clothing at second-hand stores
  • Organize a community clothing drive


  • Make a stain removal chart for your family's laundry area.  Collect and organize all items needed in the chart to make stain removal easier for your family
  • Assist family members in going through their closets to recycle no longer worn clothing
  • Bring your family together to organize a clothing garage sale

Exhibit Ideas

  • Create a poster showing the pros and cons of alternatives to caring for clothing that says dry clean only on the care label
  • Evaluate cost per wear of various outfits
  • Select multiple fabrics and compare what the fabrics are made of, durability, wrinkle resistance, absorbency, colorfastness, and proper care
  • Use kitchen products as at home dyes. Show in a display what is most effective on natural fabrics versus man made fabrics.
  • Show how to make basic clothing repairs with a needle and thread
  • Demonstrate how different accessories compliment an outfit
  • Identify the pros and cons of shopping at various types of stores (boutique, department, discount, consignment, outlet, and online)
  • Illustrate how integrating design elements and principles can flatter body shapes and positively impact peoples’ first impressions
  • Create a poster identifying the quality of fabrics based on type of fibers, yarn, construction, finish, and coloring methods
  • Describe process of sorting laundry and the effects of water temperature, detergent, bleach, and softener on fabrics
  • Rate the effectiveness of different stain removers on various stains
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