Abigail Teske took home the grand champion in the construction category of Friday’s Iroquois County Fashion Revue at the Iroquois County Fair.

Members from various 4-H clubs showcased their creations or ensembles at the competition.

Teske, who also took home top honors in the STEAM 3 Construction category, won a gift certificate sponsored by the family of Lois Teske, an avid seamstress, as well as a pair of scissors sponsored by the Buckley Creative Homemakers.

Teske’s passion for sewing and creating clothing came from growing up around her grandmother, who the certificate was presented in memory of, and learning from her.

“She was always a seamstress, so I just kind of grew up around it and it’s something I always wanted to do,” she said.

Asked what the first item she made was, Teske said she thought it was a pillow when she was five or six years old.

Teske made a jacket for her entry in this year’s fashion revue, stating that she wanted to make something practical that she would like and use.

“I just knew I would like it because most of the things I make aren’t things I get much use out of,” she said.

Teske estimated the jacket took her two weeks to make.

Teske said it felt good to be named grand champion after so many years of competing.

“It feels really good,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time.”

This was Teske’s ninth year competing in the fashion revue.

Asked if she planned on continuing sewing, Teske said she planned to continue and encouraged others to take up sewing.

“I definitely would recommend it to anyone, anywhere,” she said.

Beyond sewing skills, Teske said the practice helped her hone her time management skills and develop a better sense of patience when working on projects.

“What’s rewarding is being able to say ‘I made this,’” she said.

Sandy Wilken presented Aubrey Wagner, of the Country Kickers 4-H Club, with the Reserve Champion in Construction award.

For being named reserve champion, Wagner received a pair of scissors from Wilken in memory of Wilken’s daughter, Janie.

Wilken encouraged the 4-Hers to continue their work with sewing and pushed others to get involved.

“So keep sewing,” she said. “I double-dog dare some of you to invite other people to sew.”

Miss Iroquois County Fair Erin Anderson is no stranger to the fashion revue.

Anderson, who spoke near the end of this year’s show and helped hand out awards to the winners, said she loves to talk about the fashion revue and the fashion board whenever possible.

“I talk the fashion board and the fashion revue all the time,” she said. “I talk about it all the time because it definitely gave me the confidence to compete for fair queen and it was just such a great experience when I was up here. This is actually my first time sitting in the audience and watching it in a while. It’s a very fun experience for me to watch all the girls up here as they model the clothes they made and bought.”

Prior to announcing the award winners, Barb Schumacher, one of the event organizers, took a moment to speak to all of the 4-Hers who took the stage during the fashion revue.

“I am so proud of all of you,” she said. “You guys did great.”

Schumacher said she relished the chance to have the 4-Hers back at the fair in-person after last year’s in-person fair was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year was just hard on everybody,” she said. “It’s so much fun to be up here again. To see what the girls have made and just reconnect.”

Schumacher also praised the 4-Hers for seeing their projects through to completion.

“You started something, you set some goals and you completed them,” she said. “That in itself makes you all winners.”

Schumacher also thanked all of the family and community members who supported the 4-Hers in seeing their projects through to completion and pointed out how working on these projects can help youths develop a positive attitude.

“This isn’t just prancing around this stage,” she said. “Erin is proof of that. We’re creating an attitude here. We’re learning lessons. We’re gaining confidence. And that is so important.”

The winners were:

- Champion Junior Model: Ashlyn Schmid-Fountain Creek Stitch n’ Do

- Champion Senior Model: Anna Anderson-Fountain Creek Stitch n’ Do

- Champion Shopping in Style: Kalyn Alberts-Ashkum Go-Getters

- Shopping in Style State Fair Delegates: Kalyn Alberts-Ashkum Go-Getters and Morgan Sinn-Fountain Creek 4-H Producers

- STEAM 1 Construction: Lily Heaton-Fountain Creek Stitch n’ Do

- STEAM 2 Construction: Jessalyn Eisenmann-Fountain Creek Stitch n’ Do

- STEAM 3 Construction: Abigail Teske-Prairie Champions

- State Fair Delegates in Construction: Abigail Teske-Prairie Champions, Aubrey Wagner-Country Kickers and Taylor Kaeb-Fountain Creek Stitch n’ Do.