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December 26, 2013

Taylor learns life skills through Make It With Wool program

DUNCAN — Most high school students don’t even own a suit, much less know how to make one, but that is not the case with Emily Taylor.

Taylor, a freshman at Marlow High School, is a Stephens County 4-H member and part of the Oklahoma Make It with Wool program. Objectives of the program are developing personal creativity while fashioning garments made of wool.

“I started sewing when I was around six years old with my grandmother,” said Taylor. “She told me I had a real talent, so I kept with it.”

When she heard about Make It with Wool, Taylor decided to make use of her sewing skills. Wool, she said, is an interesting fabric to work with and not many people work with it.

Garments can be entered into 4-H contest. Entries can be sewn, knitted or crocheted and must be at least 60 percent wool fiber. Taylor entered her first contest in 2009 at the age of 10 with a jumper she made.

“It was a really fascinating thing to make,” she said. “When I entered, I didn’t think I’d place. I just went out and did my best.”

This year, Taylor entered the District III Make It with Wool contest in November where she placed third in the teen division with her wool suit. It is fully lined and made of 100 percent periwinkle wool.

A long sleeved jacket is princess seamed and features a pleated peplum at the waist. It is paired with a lined straight skirt which has an invisible zipper on the side.

“It was my first time to line something, so that was the biggest challenge,” said Taylor.

Taylor qualified to go to the state competition this month, which was originally set for Dec. 7 but rescheduled because of weather. Because she could not make it to the rescheduled date, judges allowed Taylor to send in a video to competition.

“I didn’t place but I’m glad I got to enter it,” she said.

“Being in this program has helped me so much in life. It’s taught me to look my best and that I can go up in front of people and talk when most kids my age aren’t able to.”

During the contest, competitors model the garments they have made and speak to judges about how they made their outfit. Learning to be a speaker has translated over to other leadership areas in 4-H. Taylor is Stephens County 4-H vice president and a 4-H State Ambassador.

“More kids should join the (Make It with Wool) program because it teaches amazing things you can use throughout your life,” she said, as Taylor was the only member from Stephens County to enter this year.

Taylor plans to continue with the program in the future and is looking to make something more challenging next year, she said.

“I want to something that will push my limits, like a coat,” she said.

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