The Star-Ledger Archive
COPYRIGHT (c) The Star-Ledger 2008
Date: 2008/11/02 Sunday Page: 035 Section: MIDDLESEX
Sharing the power of a needle, thread
Lifelong passion moves woman to run sewing class, fashion show
MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS
By CHRISTOPHER DELA CRUZ
SARAH NUNZIATA 51, Edison NJ
Sarah Nunziata started the A+ Sewing School in her basement, teaching
mainly students from elementary school and high school how to sew.
Looking to encourage their growth and confidence,Nunziata put on a
fashion show featuring the children's work in April.She will host another show Nov. 23 at St. Luke's Church in Metuchen.
Lights, camera, fashion!
Nunziata held the first fashion show at the Minnie B. Veal Community Center in Edison. Music from the hit TV show "Project Runway" blasted through the speakers while her students walked up and down the center's stage, wearing self-made dresses, skirts, blouses and pants to the delight of their parents. "The fashion show gets all the students together to see what each other is making and be inspired by each other and admire each other's work," said Nunziata. "I think it's really important to have some kind of event where the parents can come." Sewing since childhood Nunziata had a passion for sewing since childhood when she was taught by her mother. She remembers visiting all the fabric stores in her neighborhood in Wayne in her spare time. She even won second prize in a sewing contest in her high school. Nunziata said part of her inspiration for starting sewing classes was to share her passion with a new generation. "When I was a teenager or preteen, and I was sewing, I know it made me feel great, making something with my own hands," said Nunziata. "I know they are feeling the same thing. I see it in their eyes."
A passion for sewing
Nunziata laments schools taking sewing programs out of the curriculum over the years. She said sewing gives children a sense of creative power as well as a work ethic. "Sewing gives them just a great feeling of accomplishment that they could make something," said Nunziata. "Just teaching kids how to sew gives kids power. You have the freedom. You are not stuck with what's in the store.
"Some love from "Project Runway"
In addition to the music, the first fashion show also had another presence from "Project Runway." Looking to hold a raffle to raise more money for equipment, Nunziata mailed the show's star Tim Gunn for a copy of his book, "Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style," to give as a prize. To Nunziata's surprise, Gunn mailed back two autographed copies, one to give as a prize and one for her to keep.
"It was so nice to know that he supported what I was doing," said Nunziata. Classes
Nunziata has had about 30 students over the years and is currently teaching about 15 students. She has one class for adults. She uses three sewing machines. One of Nunziata's students attended a summer program at the Parsons design school in New York. Another visited Parsons in Paris last summer.
A lot of students are interested in attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. To sign up for the class visit aplussewingschool.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with a name, phone number, preferred day of lesson, age of student and any questions. -
Christopher Dela Cruz
PHOTO CAPTION: 1. Sewing virtuoso Sarah Nunziata at
home in Edison.
CREDIT: 1. MITSU YASUKAWA/THE STAR-LEDGER