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:
http://www.spotlightnews.com/news/2013/mar/26/stitching-together/

— 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 www.ameliadombrowskidesign.blogspot.com.

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