Thursday, March 28, 2013

Press! Capital District Parent Pages

Same article, more readers!

Embroidery Freestyle

I am learning a lot of new embroidery stitches. They are so satisfying to do in bright 5 strand thick floss. Making felt items are so forgiving too because it is easy to pull the stitches out and start over again without much wear on the floss or felt. Though you can transfer a pattern onto your fabric to stitch over, I have been doing these designs free-hand. You have to develop a good eye for placing patterns within the fabric space but otherwise you have to let the uniqueness of each stitch be the point and the beauty of hand stitching.
One of my many work spaces around the house - end of dining table.

This is a wallet I am making for my 6 year old godchild and niece Audrey who is trying very hard to make Chicago a little bit more glamorous as only a 6 year old could. I did her name in a Split Stitch and decorated it with Lazy Daisey's. I "doodled" with the Lazy Daisey stitch and tried to make a lightening bolt. May need to actually trace a pattern for that one.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

PRESS! Spotlight News Bethlehem

I had the good fortune of being interviewed by Marcy Velte at Spotlight News about the sewing classes.  It was very fun to see my son's face on the cover of the paper and Marcy asked a lot of interesting questions.  I hope it reached a lot of the local readers!
link to article:

— To costume designer Amelia Dombrowski, cultivating the imagination is an important building block in a child’s life.
With two young kids of her own, she understands their need to create unique materials that aren’t mass produced, and she strives to help innovate their perception of reality.
“My son is going through the typical phases and right now, he is in the superhero phase,” she said of her 3-year-old, Declan. “He loves Spider Man, but doesn’t really understand who he is or that he’s a part of a million-dollar marketing campaign. He just wants superhero things and I think a lot of kids can come up with ideas for what they’re into in a much more unique way than what a toy company could create.”
In April, Dombrowski will start offering beginner sewing, crafts and fashion classes for elementary school students at least 8 years of age, and for preschoolers with an adult present. The classes will take place at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Delmar as a spring break activity from April 1 to 5.
Dombrowski said her family moved to the area in October, and the classes are a way for her to continue to use her skill set outside of the typical theater setting.
“I’ve been doing theater since I was a little kid,” she said. “My mom would help with costumes and dad would help build the school’s sets. I come from a handy background.”
Dombrowski received her undergraduate degree in film studies from Northwestern University and went on to obtain her master’s degree in design from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She later worked on Broadway on such productions as “South Pacific” and Xanadu,” and has taught sewing and costume design courses at the Professional Performing Arts High School in New York City.
The sewing class will introduce pre-schoolers to the concepts of working with a needle and thread, the idea of sewing and how to make small items out of cloth. The grownups will help facilitate the projects and children will create items like finger puppets, planet mobiles, stuffed animals and a drawstring bag.
The elementary-level crafts class will see students making a different project each session. The crafts are designed so kids can make the object and then add embellishments later depending on their different skill sets. The projects include backpack keychains, a superhero class in which kids make their own capes and a class making stuffed people out of felt, along with matching clothes.
In a world filled with television, the Internet and video games, the crafts are meant to engage students in a hands-on activity at a time when learning practicable skills, like sewing, is on the decline. The classes can also help kids to form their own sense of style or personality if they are drawing inspiration from their own heads, instead of items that are mass produced.
“It can also be very meditative,” she said. “Sewing is a very repetitive action. It forces you to sit and focus, and once you get the stitch down, it is very calming.”
Eventually, Dombrowski hopes to offer themed classes for children’s parties.
"It’s a nice environment to be in with your friends,” she said. “They can make their own tea sets or stuffed animals, and these are things that friends can share together.”
Dombrowski is also planning to offer special sessions before Halloween and Christmas for parents on how to make their own Halloween costumes for their children and how to make homemade Christmas stockings.
“I just want people to know they don’t have to spend a lot of money in a store and buy something everyone else has,” she said. “They can make their own unique gifts, or create imaginative items for themselves.”
Classes start at $20, and longer eight-week sessions will be available starting April 10. To register, call 718-496-8344. For more information, visit

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Yellow does not always signal construction vehicle

Today the sun was shining and, despite the snow and wind, it felt good to be outside.  All sorts of imaginative games were started by my son. ("Its soup for my dinosaur!" Which was quickly and proudly dumped by my daughter.)  We found a few forgotten things as the snow melted - all construction yellow - a toy school bus, a shovel and a rake. 

Seeing yellow out of the corner of my eye now always is followed by a "Mom! A digger!" Yet in the sunlight this afternoon I wished I was seeing tulips. So I made some...

Welcome to my first tutorial!
I found a tutorial for these felt tulips online through Pinterest. There were many different types of tulips and techniques. I tried to find one that was more about the folding and less about stitching. You can make a dozen of these so quickly and deliver them to a friend in need of cheering up faster than you can find a stamp for a card.
The original tutorial was not in English, so I have recreated it here for anyone interested.


Its helpful to remember that in nature there are no 2 flowers alike so I went with my tulips uniqueness and didnt worry about a perfect matching result.
 I am using inexpenxive felt for my samples and the first tulip I made felt like it was missing dimension. I came up with the idea of using a second layer and second color to make the tulip feel more "real." I used a blanket stitch on the edges. You can hide the knots in the center of the flower. (If anyone knows a stitch to go over edges please let me know. I feel like I am whipping out this stitch for almost all my projects lately.)

Now I can make a dozen of these while carrying on a conversation. My favorite type of craft.  I am going to give them to my mother who, with my dad, is coming next week to stay with the kids while I teach the Spring Break Launch Sewing classes.  They are taking the train from Chicago. Thank you mom and dad!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

You or your children want to learn to sew but can't fit in a session? Email me so I can notify you of classes and future crafting parties! Let me know what your interests are to see if we can form a class for you!
Today I had the pleasure of fine tuning my patterns and techniques for the upcoming classes with two children of a new and now dear friend of mine. Her family has really welcomed us to the neighborhood, knowing a part of their heart is still from whence we came (insert Brooklyn shout-out here). Thanks to Sonia for giving me feedback from the moment the idea of teaching sewing originated and to her two crafty kids, Ishaan and Ulka.

Sewing Kit Supply Roll

Keep all your supplies organized and ready to MAKE!

 This supply carry all can be scaled up or down to keep any number of things organized together.  The techniques used to make this can be also applied to book covers and iPad cases.  The front cover can be personalized with a monogram or image which makes a nice touch as a gift.  We will be making this in Sewing 101.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We were ready for Spring but its back on with the boots.
My children's wagon and pail taken out of garage when last of snow melted until...
Snuggled inside for the afternoon we made these little creatures to keep in our pockets as reminders that Spring is coming! Spring Break is just a few weeks away - sign up for Launch Week of Sewing and Craft classes!
Mouse (felt), Birds (wrong side of cotton, felt), Bunny (right side of cotton)


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Space Bunny Stuffie


Here is the bunny my son designed. Declan is only 4 so he couldn't do all the hand work but he could imagine - and dictate, "Not like that!" Declan traced the pattern and markered it with rocket blasts and shooting stars, naming the stuffie "Space Bunny." While I cut it out, he chose the button eyes. He then realized Space Bunny needed a helmet and attena.

I sewed it up quickly with a whip stitch while he stuck straight pins through the fabric scraps. He definitely enjoyed the stuffing - and using a pencil to shove it into the arms, legs and ears.

"Look! It's like they are growing out of the fabric!" (Hmmm Spring is in the air.)
Declan is very excited to take Space Bunny on his rocket to dreamland tonight!

Friday, March 8, 2013


Learn to Sew

with NYC Costume Designer
Amelia Dombrowski


Monday – Friday * April 1-5 * $20 per class
Boys & Girls * Beginners Welcome

Little Fingers Crafting (preschooler + grown-up) 2 - 2:45 PM

Crafting a’ la Carte (8 +) 3 - 4:30 PM

Location: St. Stephen’s Church, 16 Elsmere Ave, Delmar

8 Week Session April 10 - May 30
Sewing 101 and Fashion 101

Class Descriptions & Registration:

Info:   718.496.8344

Learn to Sew Your Own Designs!
wallets – gifts – tote bags – finger puppets – iPod cases – backpack charms – toys - jersey – felt – leather - cotton – fleece – felt – re-cycled – up-cycled - applique’  -  fabric printing  -  finger knitting – hand sewing -  embroidery 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013



Except for Little Fingers Crafting all classes will require the following supplies -

straight pins
measuring tape
fabric chalk/pencil
seam rippers


Please buy just the most basic of these supplies. Additional fabric or notions depend on the class and project but are nothing more than a square of felt or a yard of fleece.  These specifics will be emailed upon enrollment. They can be sourced at Wal-mart, Jo-ann, Target or Michaels. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Break Launch Schedule and Fees



Classes offered every day Monday – Friday

Email to register, pay upon arrival.

Little Fingers Crafting 2-2:45PM

$20 per class

Crafting a La Carte 3-4:30PM

$20 per class

Monday - Backpack charm - Create a charm to hang from your bag, belt or keys. Gift or trade!

Tuesday – Superhero’s! – design your own cape, mask, cuffs for any super power you imagine!

Wednesday – Felt People – design a character and dress them up. Fashion model, astronaut, space alien, whatever you make you take home to keep creating!

Thursday – Printing Techniques – make your own custom designs using fabric paints. Discover which patterns and colors express YOU!
Friday – Jersey Fashionistas! Make hip bracelets and necklaces out of an upcycled t-shirt.

Class Descriptions


Little Fingers Crafting                                                               ages 4-6 plus adult

Preschoolers have great imaginations and love to create!  Take this class with your child and learn to craft!  Children will practice fine motor skills and hand eye coordination while unwittingly learning proportion, colors, textures and how to follow step-by-step instructions. Watch your child enjoy creative freedom to make whatever they can imagine.

Sewing 101                                                                            ages 6 and up
Learn skills you can apply to any fashion or craft! Hand sewing and needle art skills will be taught along with fabric and pattern terms. Learn to thread a needle, sew buttons and how to follow step-by-step instructions.  Projects are planned for students to progress at their own speed so the skills are fun to learn. You will make a stitch sampler, supply roll, pin cushion, and drawstring bag. Supply list will be emailed to you upon enrollment.

Fashion 101                                                                  ages 8 and up

In this class you will learn how to use a pattern to sew a custom fleece robe.  Learn the basics of sewing terms, fabric grain, pattern layout, construction techniques and how to follow step-by step instruction. Learn to sew buttons, hems and pockets. You are the designer and your robe will be one of a kind! You can use these techniques to apply to any future project! Supply list will be emailed to you upon enrollment.


Designer Fashion and Crafts a la Carte                    ages 8 and up
In these classes you will design and make a variety of items to wear or use, gift or trade! You will learn multiple techniques from textile printing, embroidery stitches, and applique. Your imagination is all that is needed to get started and make it yours!

Week 1 – Stencil Shirts – use stenciling techniques to design your own shirt

Week 2 – Backpack charm - design your own charm to hang from your bag, gift or trade!

Week 3 – Personalized Banners – decorate Felt pennants to hang on your door or in your room

Week 4 – Recycled T-shirt Bag – bring in a t-shirt to repurpose into a shoulder tote

Week 5 –  Felt tags – design personal gift tags, luggage tags  or bookmarks

Week 6 – Campfire crafts – make your own felt stones and fire for an indoor campout

Week 7 – Superhero’s! – design your own cape,mask, crown, wand or cuffs for any super power you imagine!

Week 8 – felt iPod/cell phone case – make a personalized felt cozy to protect your electronics