Riverside Clothing II Class learning and giving back to the community

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Riverside Clothing II Class, under the direction Tracey Haas, is taking their skills to the next level of helping others.

Riverside Clothing II class made 35 baby burial gowns for babies. The gowns will be donated to Share Hope, March of Dimes, and local hospitals to be given away when needed. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Ms. Haas helped write the framework for the pilot Clothing II and Riverside is one of six high schools offering the Clothing II course in Arkansas.

"This class has gone beyond what I thought," Ms. Haas said. "The Clothing I class was not ready for the projects they have completed this year. They are eager and ready to go to work and they have certainly been successful in projects such as taking prom dresses from yard sales or donated and making them beautiful for young girls to wear to the prom."

The GT teacher asked about creating bags for orphanages in Africa and within three days, 36 beautiful bags embellished with buttons and other decorative pieces were ready to be filled with tablets and pencils. One of the students, Lauren Weaver, has been to Africa on a mission trip and was especially pleased to be able to help fill the need working with her classmates.

Guests share sewing tips with Riverside Clothing II Class.

Brenda Buerkle, Riverside business teacher, asked the girls about cutting out fleece hats to be given to a local resident undergoing cancer treatments. The class did more than cut out the hats, they created a variety of fleece hats for the pink room at Clompton Clinic.

"We were at a FCCLA meeting and the guest speaker was a representative from the March of Dimes and spoke about hats that would be needed. My girls looked at me and said we're on this," Ms. Haas said. "We began to look on the internet for measurements for hats and came across an article about making burial gowns out of wedding dresses. We contacted the March of Dimes and Share Hope and Jill Crews from Share Hope NEA spoke to the girls and gave them an idea and even a model baby doll for sizing."

One of the student's stepmother gave the class their first wedding dress. The class received a small pattern donated from the Stitchn' Post.

When word of the Riverside Clothing II project of making baby burial gowns, they received a donation of 31 gowns. The girls decided to try on the wedding gowns before they started cutting and sewing.

"The wedding dress was so beautiful, I had to shut my eyes to make that first cut. We got 17 dresses out of the first bride's gown," Ms. Haas said. "I was talking to a lady when I was visiting in Mammoth Spring telling about our project and she gave me a wedding dress with a long train. We got 18 dresses out of the second gown. The girls used lace, ribbon, buttons, and made the little gowns very special. Diane Powell, a secretary here at Riverside, crocheted blankets for us to match with the gowns. This has been a community project."

They also received a gift card from one parent to purchase accessories. Lace and ribbon was contributed from the Caraway Senior Citizen's site.

The garments will be placed in zip lock bags and will be distributed to Share Hope at NEA and March of Dimes for St. Bernards to be given to parents who have lost their babies.

One student said they made them in different styles and colors so the mothers can pick out what they like.

The girls said if they find some darker colored prom dresses such as chocolate they could turn them into burial gowns for baby boys if parents wanted something other than white.

The word was out on their projects and they had 89 year old twins, Marilyn Holmes andAliene Simmon, share their sewing experiences and showed projects they were working on. They also donated satin material for the students to make more gowns.

Deloris Miller donated her wedding dress that had been stored for 50 years.

Another great gift was from T.L. Horton with the golf umbrella store in Jonesboro. He brought them 31 bridal gowns.

"We couldn't believe it," Ms. Haas said. "We never thought about getting 31 wedding gowns this quickly."

The class now needs white and off white spools of thread and yarn to make the hats.

Ms. Haas said this has been a successful first year for the Clothing II class. There are 14 students enrolled.

"They have been great," Ms. Haas said. "They come in and they go to work. They help each other."

Students in the class are Miranda Denton, Marlana Coatney, Haven Crews, Kylie Colums, Chaney Mclean, Lauren Weaver, Kayla Zamora, Deshayla Gatlin, Natalie McCormick, Skye Booth, Ashlynn Davis, Morgan Johnson, Ashley Holt, and Megan Boness.

The class received two more wedding dresses and three prom dresses over the weekend.

"We do appreciate all of the donations we have received," Ms. Haas said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: