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4-H Youth Development

Construction Techniques & Patterns

This section contains techniques and patterns. As of 2014 the 4-H patterns are not mandatory for project sewn for fairs. Members are free to use their own pattern.

This section includes some Grab 'n Go technique sheets and free 4-H patterns written to teach good technique, as well as age appropriate skills.   See Sample Technique Cards for more technique details.

As of 2014 the "4-H patterns" are not mandatory for project sewn as fair exhibits.  Members are free to select any pattern (4-H pattern, commercial or draft your own pattern) which incorporates the techniques and skills to be learned in their age division.  See Skill Mastery Sheets.


Beginning Level

Intermediate Level

Advanced Level

All Ages

Project Guide Sheets New guide sheets developed in 2014 to assist in learning knowledge and skills necessary in the construction of new categories introduced at the fair.

Careers in Design and Construction - Explore the opportunities for making your 4-H project a life-long profession.

Design Portfolio - A portfolio is an accumulation of documents, photos, and reflections that summarizes the apparel design, interior design and/or hobbies and textile design work done during your 4-H career, as well as being a valuable source for ideas for future project work and resources. Each year, the member may add to the portfolio.

Elements and Principles of Design - Resources for learning the elements and principles of design.  The elements and principles of design make the finished product visually appealing and unique. They are just as important as the skills being using to consturct the project.  Think of them like a recipe to create your work. The elements are like the ingredients and the principles are the instructions. By using elements, you create principles, such as "By repeating lines (the element) I created rhythm (the principle).”

Historic or Cultural Influences on Design and Construction - The purpose for these projects/products is for youth to research the various definitions of culture (ethnic, anthropological, pop, climate, religion, region, etc.) and/or history (past and present) and explain how its application influenced the design and construction of the project.

Leadership in Design and Construction - The primary purpose for this project is to grow and enhance your skills as a teacher and/or facilitator. The presentation should demonstrate the use of a lesson plan, experiential learning, teaching and learning styles and 4-H life skills.

Multi-media Presentation - Resources and guide for developing a multi-media presentation.

Recycle and Redesign - and redesign brings together concepts of design and construction in apparel, interiors, hobbies and textiles. 4-H members are encouraged to recycle an old fashion, home interior item, textile or other product into a new end product. The finished product might be the creation of a brand new item or embellishing an old.

Scientific Discovery - Projects and guides for applying Science to the design and construction projects.

Service-Learning - Service-learning is more than "citizenship." Citizenship is only one piece of the total learning experience. Service-Learning intentionally integrates and emphasizes both service and learning. Youth engaged in service-learning not only provide direct service to the community, but also learn and grow in their knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Effective service-learning has benefits for young people, sponsoring organizations, communities, and society.

Storyboard - A story board, sometimes called a mood board, is used to organize ideas. A story board is a collage that uses pictures, drawings, and photographs to communicate an idea, process or emotion. These images will help guide the content of your apparel or interiors project.

Design Elements and Principles in Project Work - Art is created through experimentation using a variety of tools and organizational strategies. The tools of art are not just brushes, paints and palettes, hammer and wood, but rather elements of design. How the tools or elements are used or organized creates the principles of art and design. Elements of design and principles of art are the core vocabulary to art. Think of them like a recipe to create your work. The elements are like the ingredients and the principles are the instructions. By using elements, you create principles, such as ‘By repeating lines I created rhythm.”

Other 4-H Curriculum Resources

  • Nebraska 4-H
    • STEAM Clothing:Beyond the needle
    • STEAM Clothing 1: Fundamentals
    • STEAM Clothing 2: Simply Sewing
    • STEAM Clothing 3: A Stitch Further

Other Pattern Resources