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Sewing resurges in popularity


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  While there are a plethora of extracurricular activities for kids to do today from sports to music lessons, and everything in between, one nearly-lost art may be making a comeback, at least in Henry County.

(Back, third from left) Laura Allen and one of her Just Sew Fabulous classes show some of the projects they’ve been working on. Allen has been sewing since she was a teenager, and she now teaches out of a design studio in McDonough.                Photo by Melissa Robinson

  For some, especially young people, the art of sewing may have gone the way of the peace sign, but Henry County resident, Laura Allen, is inspiring the next generation with her “Just Sew Fabulous” sewing classes.

  A licensed sewing instructor, Allen said she has been sewing since she was a teenager, learning the art from her mother. She said she was prompted to sew more out of need than anything else.

  “I couldn’t find an Easter dress, so I decided I would make one. My mother helped me lay out the pattern and she taught me how to sew.”

  Allen began teaching her own children when her oldest daughter was just 7. Both of her daughters, Victoria, 15 and Olivia, 12 are still sewing, making everything from purses to pillows to clothes.

  The basement turned into a sewing room in the design studio is adorned with brightly colored fabric and handmade items in pinks, purples, polka dots and more. On any given afternoon, the room is abuzz with activity of humming, sewing machines, chatter and oohs and ahs over the latest creation.

  Kathy Lane, whose 11-year-old daughter, Morgan, is in the class, said she found Just Sew Fabulous online, and although she knows how to sew, she thought her daughter would do better learning from someone else.

  “She already knew how to sew a little, and she’s been making doggie clothes for about a year,” said Lane. “Sewing is an art and she has always had a creative side. She’s not really into sports, so this is something she can feel proud about and have some self-esteem in.”

  Chris McNeil, said her daughter Melody has only been in the class a short while, but has picked up sewing quickly. She said that her daughter may even teach her to sew.

  “I guess what compelled her is an interest in fashion and she thought it would be fun to make her own clothes,” said Chris. “She has made clothes for her American girl dolls and she is artistic in other ways as well.”

  Tray Scarzafava, one of the few guys in the class, can hold his own when it comes to creating something, although he doesn’t go in for the bright colors and frilly patterns like some of his classmates. His latest creation is a giant foot-shaped pillow, made from a fabric featuring the ever-popular sock monkey.

  Student Catelyn Maness, 12, said she wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up, as evidenced by showcasing an outfit she designed and sewed, complete with skirt, top, purse and accessories, all in black and gold.

  “I love the class and I love sewing,” said Jasmine Song, who has been in the class for a few months.

  She has already created a messenger bag that she uses for school and a decorative pillow case.

  Allen said her students are enthusiastic and enjoy expressing their talents, not only by creating beautiful items, but by picking the fabrics and patterns. She said learning to sew also utilizes other important skills, such as problem solving, measuring and math, as well as hand-eye coordination.

  She said teaching children has been rewarding and feels she found her niche.

  “I have a heart for it, and I love teaching them and watching their creativity come through,” said Allen. “And there are no mistakes, just learning opportunities.”

  Allen said classes are $65 per month and she supplies the patterns, machines and tools. Students just have to bring their fabric and their imagination.

  For more information, visit or contact Allen at 678-432-9920 or



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