BYU-Hawaii students said the Sewing Center provides them with an opportunity learn how to sew, create their own costumes, and to socialize with the friendly senior sister missionaries.
Elliot Hardy, a junior from North Carolina studying applied mathematics, said he goes to the Sewing Center on a regular basis. “I go there two to three times a week. I often can’t find clothes in my size, but I still can get it cheap and tailor it myself.”
Hardy said he appreciated the service of the volunteer senior sister missionaries at the center. “I learned so much. The sewing machine might look scary and intimidating, but it’s not as you learn more. It doesn’t matter how much you know, [the sister missionaries] will teach you.”
Yui Chayama, a sophomore from Japan studying anthropology, added, “I came to make a costume for Halloween. The sister missionaries are so nice and patient to teach us. They make sure that we can do it on our own at the end.”
The Sewing Center has sewing machines, fabrics, and other tools students can use under supervision. “Even though the students don’t know how to sew, the sister missionaries will kindly instruct you step by step,” said Chayama.
The center can help someone who already has sewing knowledge, she added. “I had sewing experience back in elementary school, but I haven’t sewed for a long time. The Sewing Center gave me the opportunity to refresh my memory.”
Sister Mcaffee, a senior sister missionary from Utah, volunteers fulltime at the Sewing Center and said she has had an enjoyable experience working with the students. She said, “I didn’t take sewing classes myself, but it’s been an extension of education for me. I love the experiences here, especially when I see the guys get excited because they realized that they did it and it worked.”
Alpha Harper, a volunteer from Canada who is a senior interdisciplinary studies major, expressed, “It’s important for the students to bring the sewing knowledge home. We reinforce the Honor Code and help the students to be more modest and follow the school standard.”
Besides sewing, some students even found it comforting by chatting with the sister missionaries while sewing. Harper added, “Sewing brings people together.
Students can come and talk about their families, especially when they are far away from home. It’s so nice to have someone to talk to, someone you can trust.”
The Sewing Center has become a more conducive place to gather, said Hardy. He said before it was located in the Aloha Center, it used to be on the second floor of the CAC and was hardly noticed by students.
Hardy said, “In the past, there was only a piece of paper on a small door to show it was the Sewing Center, along with a creepy staircase when walking in. Now it’s better and bigger. And more importantly, it has windows.”
Harper added, “With the windows bringing in the lights, it’s a lot better for us to see, especially when it comes to sewing.”
The Sewing Center is located in room 152 in the Aloha Center and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.