Sewtherapy offers festive scarves for our feline friends and canine companions


Natalie Ann Rebetsky

Elizabeth Rajnik and Scott Hummel, iron and cut fabric that will be made into scarves.

by Jacob Blue, Managing editor

On any given PREP day, 5 – 10 students are busy with an iron, three sewing machines and a variety of donated fabrics, scissors, pins and supplies to sew items for charity.  The Sewtherapy club mees in C203, and anyone can join, no experience necessary.

Like other craft based activities, sewing increases dopamine in the brain, making us feel happier.

So not only is sewing a fun activity to do, it also has health benefits. Students who are feeling overwhelmed and stressed from their school work are encouraged to join the Sewthreapy club. Currently, during Sewthreapy, students are making make scarves, toys and stockings for dogs and cats for faculty and students. The scarves and stockings are being sold for $6.00,  and the proceeds benefit the Frederick County Animal Control (FCAC).

The scarves make for great holiday gifts, and come in many festive styles and fabrics. 

Mrs. Rebeteky’s dog Joey shows off his scarf sewed by Payton Johnson.

To order a scarf, email [email protected] and Sewtherapy member will visit you and help you select a fabric and size for your custom dog scarf. 

The first scarf recipient, Elizabeth Anderson said, “It was really easy to place an order. I just had to let Mrs. Rebetsky know and she had me pick out the size as well as two different fabrics for the scarf. There is a wide variety of patterns and designs. I received the scarf at the end of the day and it turned out great! It fit my dog’s collar perfectly and looked great on him. I didn’t have to pay until I actually received the scarf, just in case it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.”

The Sewtherapy club was unintentionally started by English teacher Natalie Rebetsky worked on Ryan’s Case for Smiles with her journalism class in May 2019.  After the participation for Ryan’s Cases for Smiles exceed their expectations, the group started running low on materials. Rebetsky later then went to purchase more fabrics and supplies, but by the time she acquired everything, the school year was over. 

With the constant stresses that come with life, high school students can sometimes find themselves burned out. According to an article from MiNDFOOD, sewing has been proven to be a stress relieving activity. It encourages mindfulness while reducing anxiety. Concentrating on a specific task enables teens to become fully immersed in the craft and begin to unwind. 

The next year, Rebetsky was left with more fabric then she knew what to do with and a broken sewing machine. When Mrs. Rebetsky expressed interest in obtaining used fabrics and new sewing machines, Assistant Principal Andrew McWilliams, graciously provided to functioning sewing machines, and many other members of the community donated fabrics and twine. The club had its foundation, now it was time to build.  

This isn’t the first time lancers have done animal aiding fundraisers. Patricia Beachy, has been running these sorts of fundraisers with her pre-vet and small animals classes for years.

“I felt it would be a great opportunity for the students of LHS to develop an awareness of the number of animals in Frederick County that are found of given up and need care and homes” said Beachy.

Beachy would have the director of the FCAC Linda Shea, come speak to her students on all of the benefits the FCAC provides to the community. Shawn Snyder, who is a volunteer coordinator for the FCAC, would accompany Shea, and would always bring an adoptable dog with him to show to the students. Snyder now comes in with a dog and a volunteer to discuses volunteering and service opportunities with the FCAC.

Sewing improves hand-eye coordination. Focusing on the attention to detail sewing requires helps encourages coordination and can soothe physical pain. 

The pet scarves unique design has it so that the scarf won’t hurt or constrain the animal by wrapping the scarf within their collar. The scarfs two fabric designs has it so that the look of the scarf can be interchangeable throughout the year. Having a holiday design in the winter and a sunny vibe design in the summer makes the scarves truly unique and special. 

Sewing involves being creative, which aids the brain in creating new nerve cells. As the mental state worsens as a loss of connections between neurons, sewing promotes mental health growth.

Besides scarves, the Sewtherapy club has been working on Christmas stockings that will be filled with chew toys and other pet goodies. The stockings have a velvety felt, as well as a snowflake stitching that exclusive for the stockings.

The Sewtherapy club is open to all.  No experience necessary.  New students can sew simple pillowcases for Ryan’s Case for Smiles. It’s an easy way to learn.  Contact [email protected].