The School of Family Life labs provide a setting where students can interact with others who share their passion and receive instruction from professors who have many years of experience and specialized training. Student teaching assistants provide valuable help and are also trained to be independent instructors through a faculty mentoring process.
The skills and attitudes students develop in the classroom and as teaching instructors will be assets in a wide variety of ways such as entrepreneurial employment in the clothing industry and home and community settings. These skills will assist families to be wise and provident as they feed and clothe their families and be useful tools in and of themselves throughout life. Cooking and sewing skills contribute to fulfilling personal development needs and bring art, culture, and enjoyment to others. They produce joy in the simple act of doing them for the individual who loves them. They provide avenues for income generation or serve as a stepping stone for employment. They enlarge abilities to gather, nurture, teach, and model. They expand and protect the nature and sanctity of family life.
State-of-the-art sewing labs give students opportunities to learn and hone sewing and pattern design skills as they create apparel for children and adults. Each student has a large desk with a computerized sewing machine, Bernina super-steam iron, cork surface for pattern-making, rotary cutting surface, and pressing surface. In a variety of sewing classes students learn specific skills and values related to clothing:
- Basic construction techniques and how to sew simple items like a pull-on skirt or pants, a skirt with a zipper and waistband, a shirt, and another project of choice
- More advanced projects and fabrics requiring more skills and special handling
- Flat pattern techniques and how to create patterns for women's apparel
- Custom and commercial tailoring techniques for women's apparel
- Textiles and their application to the home.