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Jul, 2021

Shelia Howard-Baker wants sewing to be creative

By John Davis

Community Relations Director

 

Sewing doesn’t have to be bland or boring. In the eyes of Sheila Howard-Baker, utilizing fabric is an art form that can show personal expression, and creativity.

Howard-Baker is an Oxford native who grew up around quilters and in the atmosphere that was surrounded by those who knew how to sew.

She was further exposed to sewing through home economics when it was a school requirement.

“I took a lot of those things for granted, the needle point, the sewing, all the areas that have to do with it like putting fabric together,” Howard-Baker said. “It’s definitely a lost art but it’s coming back. There is mixed media art and so many different ways of putting fabric together. From hemming a pair of pants to putting a quilt together, there is a lot of ways to express your creative ability.”

Because the art of sewing wasn’t being passed down to the next generations like in other decades, Howard-Baker was motivated to start a class, and provide others with some of her knowledge. Her first target were mothers who were at home and looking to fix up a nursery.

“I talked to mothers who wanted to decorate the nursery with receiving blankets or with curtains,” she said. “They wanted to go all out but they didn’t know how to sew. I try to tell women that they still have to start at the beginning. I know a lot of people will watch You Tube but it’s not as easy as everything they show you on the video.”

The goal of the new Beginners Sewing Class that will begin on July 10 and run through July 31 on Saturdays is to provide a support group in a setting where everyone can accomplish something.

“You want to try to find out where everybody is and then you try to get everyone on the same project like a pillow,” Howard-Baker said. “You want to build the confidence level first of all. I want them to leave with one project finished. I would like to do one project each session. Something very simple, but creative. I love the history of fabric. I know a lot of people around here like to entertain, and they can make something like a tablecloth or a napkin or apron. Sewing doesn’t have to be expensive, it can be a fun hobby.”

One other great point about why signing up for a sewing class makes so much sense is the practicality of being able to take care of simple projects like placing a new button on a pair of paints.

“I know when I run into women at Wal-Mart and we talk about Peggy’s alterations and how she hasn’t opened back up since the pandemic,” Howard-Baker said. “People have wondered what they’re going to do and the answer is you learn yourself, you learn the basics. Maybe you can’t do all the extensive alterations, but at least basic things like hemming a garment, just things where you don’t have to go and find someone to do it for you.”

Registration for our class with Howard-Baker is available at oxfordparkcommission.com. The class will begin on Saturday, July 10 and run through Saturday, July 31 from 10 a.m. until noon. Cost to attend is $75, and there will be some costs associated with the projects made.

Contact

Oxford Park Commission

396 Price Street 
Oxford, Mississippi 38655

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 662-232-2379

Contact Us

Oxford Park Commission

396 Price Street 
Oxford, Mississippi 38655

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 662-232-2379

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