So You Can.Org
So-You-Can is a non-profit division of So You…founded in 2009.
So-You-Can teaches urban youth sewing and garment construction.
So You… Can is to teach youth and adults how to sew apparel and fashion design, specifically youth in disadvantaged urban cities across the United States. We believe sewing is a discipline that helps develop self-esteem, confidence, independence, focus, patience, fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, interpersonal skills, problem solving, process thinking, creativity and self – efficacy. Sewing is also considered “soft technology” which gives rise to higher technological learning, STEM/STEAM. (Slate, 2015). It is our belief that urban youth, given the tools and instruction are equally talented and creative as other more affluent populations specifically entering into the fashion industry. It is our mission to empower these populations to express themselves through sewing and fashion design toward self-sufficiency and financial independence.
We believe creativity and creative expression are important learning modalities and are important in assisting in traditional academic curriculum. Sewing is no longer widely offered within the academic school calendar,other than in private schools such as Waldorf and Montessori Schools. Where it is offered, it is often offered as an elective typically at the end of the school day or school year.
Montessori learning philosophy states that lacing, stringing and weaving helps a child’s dexterity and manipulative skills. By using their hands the child has a more fully integrated learning experience. Rudolf Steiner, founder of the Waldorf schools, believed that creativity is innate in all human beings. By participating in creative opportunities , the child recognizes the capacity to become active participants in creating their future rather than be passive onlookers. Steiner believed that learning is interdisciplinary and true learning crosses between academics and other schools of thought. Sewing is not only a compliment to learning math, from basic counting and measurement but through geometry. Sewing teaches process, process thinking and process of completion, neither of which the importance can be overstated. Much of the use of computers are left brained activity, and without creativity in our lives, to the deficit of right brained function. Creativity is important to a well balanced human being.
Sewing and garment construction aids in the development of fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, spacial relations, and visualization. Life skills such as patience, focus, process thinking, problem solving, organizational development and compartmentalization are also developed. Garment construction and sewing directly and positively effect confidence, self esteem, self-efficacy and self-reliance.
We believe sewing and garment construction offers well needed balance . Sewing and Garment construction also is a vocation. In these economic times, it would be prudent to consider the choice in saving money for alterations and repair. Sewing and garment construction is also a means of earning income.
Sewing is also important for those that want to have a career in Fashion Design. It can take years to develop a skill set necessary in submitting your portfolio.We strongly suggest beginning lessons as soon as you think you might want to enter the Fashion business.
If you would like to learn more about soyoucan.org or make a donation please contact us. We accept all fabric, notionsas well as working sewing machines.