Duds to Dazzle Mock-Competition and Bilingual Sewing Class for Project Leaders held in Cameron County

Demonstration on making a T-shirt necklaceThirty-nine 4-H youth, adult project leaders, and parents participated in two workshops held concurrently on April 22, 2017, in Cameron County Extension Office in San Benito, TX, to teach about the Duds to Dazzle contest.

Because the average American throws away about 81 pounds of discarded garments, resulting in about 26 billion pounds of textiles added to landfills each year, the Duds to Dazzle workshops and contest help youth to think twice about trashing textiles. Participants in the April 22 workshops also learned about careers in the Clothing and Textiles field and about fiber characteristics of fabrics.

Demonstration on sewing a rolled seamGuidelines about the Duds to Dazzle project were discussed as 4-H members incorporated what they learned in a Mock-Competition. The elementary, middle and high school youth competed by recycling old clothes and by making a necklace from an old T-shirt. The youth formed teams and were given a clothing item and a specific design category. 4-H members had 45 minutes to sew and create a new item, using five items from the Duds to Dazzle Closet.  After the end of the competition, each team gave an oral presentation to the judges. Youth shared the importance of teamwork, explained their process for making their item, and the approximate retail cost.

In another room, the sewing project leader Zoee Escobar taught a bilingual (Spanish) class of six adult volunteers the fundamental skills of identifying parts of the sewing machine, threading a machine and sewing a usable project. These adult volunteers are parents of 4-H members and will use skills gained to teach 4-H members how to make a self-storing blanket.

All adult volunteers, 4-H members and others walked away with usable information on related careers, 4-H projects, and working with Extension staff.  They also gained practical skills in teamwork, public speaking, and sewing. The training was facilitated by Travis County Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Crystal Wiltz, Cameron County 4-H Agent Guadalupe Castro, and 4-H Program Specialist Joice A. Jeffries.


Here’s why we trash 26 billion pounds of clothing a year.  Retrieved from: http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/06/10/why-we-trash-26-billion-pounds-clothing-year/

Guadalupe Castro


Guadalupe Castro
Extension Agent, Cameron County
(956) 361-8236