Sewing and Needle Arts

Project Area Photos

Use your sewing skills and creativity to make clothes, pillowcases, horse blankets, or anything else you can stitch, knit or crochet!

  • Learn to create clothing or other items for yourself and others
  • Learn about fibers and fabrics
  • Apply design elements and art principles to your constructed item
  • Learn how to safely use sewing equipment

Ideas for Project Area Learning

  • Learn to use your sewing machine, its attachments, and other equipment (cutters, needles, scissors, etc.)
  • Sew on a button by hand
  • Learn to read care labels on fabric items
  • Learn to knit, crochet, or hand-embroider simple project
  • Explore the properties and care techniques for different types of fabric
  • Install a zipper, add a pocket, or use other embellishments
  • Design your own pattern, using design elements and art principles
  • Compare cost of ready-made vs. homemade items
  • Design and make a furnishing accessory you can sell, and market your product

Share What You Learn with Others!


  • Make a poster explaining how to read care labels
  • Interview a local business owner
  • Do a presentation on evaluating construction quality of purchased sewn items

Civic Engagement

  • Make pillowcases to send overseas
  • Organize your group to knit mittens for a local shelter
  • Organize your group to sew something for a community facility (ex: curtains, pillowcases, etc.)


  • Organize a club field trip to a fabric store to learn about appropriate fabrics for various sewing projects.
  • Lead a working exhibit for your club on embellishing techniques
  • Organize a prom dress exchange service at your school.

Exhibit Ideas

  • Explain how woven fabrics differ from knit or felted fabrics.
  • What are some new fabrics and why were they made? (bulletproof vests, antibacterial, wicking, etc)
  • Why do we use detergent and how do stain removers work?
  • Different ways to remove different stains.
  • Develop a porfolio, poster, power point or notebook of your sewing leadership project.

Other Resources

  • Interested in a college education in the area of apparel, merchandising, design or production? Schedule a visit with Iowa State University College of Human Sciences or College of Design to explore their majors.