Modest Makeover: Sewing center helps students alter clothes and hone tailoring skills

Written by: 
Alyssa Walhood~Multimedia Journalist

BYU-Hawaii with the help of some service missionaries, opened a new sewing center, located at the Cannon Activities Center room 240, to help students create more modest clothing. The center is open six days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., said Alpha Harper, a volunteer missionary.

Jolene Smith, a service missionary at the PCC, said, “It’s a need. I do have a great passion for sewing and clothing. There is such a need in the world for modesty. You can improve what you buy and make them modest.”

Harper commented, “My heart and soul is in here to help everybody. It is hard as a student when you get here and maybe your clothes don’t match up to the Honor Code because it’s a strict one, but it’s worth it. The Lord’s blessings will come.”

The sewing center has six sewing machines and work stations for students to use for their personal projects as well as for class. “This is the only place where I can come and do sewing homework. This is a place I am able to focus,” said Aurie Sorenson, a junior in ICS-communications and entrepreneurship from Laie.

After a struggle with family sickness, Sorenson said, “I’d been praying about what the heck to do with the rest of my life, and it just so happens here comes Sister Smith; somebody who knows exactly how to do what I didn’t know I wanted to do. It’s been an awesome journey. I’m so excited to be here in the sewing center.”

Sewing is an important skill to have, said Smith, as nearly 50 percent of the world’s jobs are in textiles. After teaching pattern making and design for 35 years at BYU-Idaho, Smith definitely has the expertise to teach students sewing skills. “Hem your pants. Fix the tear in your skirt. Alter your things so they’re modest,” she said, “With your clothes you make a statement to your Heavenly Father, who really loves you.”