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Minooka student’s designs taking her to higher levels

Claire Dobry shows the blanket/play mats she designed in Clothing Construction class at Minooka Community High School.
Claire Dobry shows the blanket/play mats she designed in Clothing Construction class at Minooka Community High School.

MINOOKA – Minooka Community High School student Claire Dobry is spending her summer at the Savannah College of Art and Design where she is getting a head start on college credits.

The incoming senior, who plans to go into fashion design after college, applied for and received a scholarship and the unique opportunity to attend the college’s Rising Star program, where she will begin building a professional portfolio and get a taste of college courses.

“It’s the No. 1 college I’m looking at,” Dobry said.

Dobry’s creativity started at a young age. Two of her older cousins used to dress her up and put makeup on her.

“I just remember when I was four, Kari [Maka] would do my makeup and walk me around in big wedge shoes,” Dobry said. “It was the best time.”

She loved the shopping trips with cousins, Kari and Kelli Horvath, who are at least 15 years older than Dobry. And she loved always getting their hand-me-downs.

With her cousins in mind, both of whom were pregnant earlier this year, Dobry created a unique type of baby blanket/play mat during her junior year in Clothing and Construction class, taught by Linda Hicks.

Dobry’s assignment was to come up with her own idea for a sewing project. She wanted to make something for her cousins’ babies but knew how quickly they would grow out of clothes.

“A baby blanket would last forever,” she said.

Turning to Hicks for help – since there was no pattern for the project – the two came up with unique ways of creating a four-foot diameter blanket of eight triangles. Four of the triangles have elementary shapes to catch the babies’ eyes and the other four have toys sewn onto them.

Hicks was a tremendous help with the project, helping Dobry each step of the way and teaching her sewing construction techniques.

The babies were both born in May and moms, Kari and Kelli, use their blankets all the time, Dobry said.

At SCAD, Dobry is taking on bigger projects, including designing and sewing a skirt, blouse and jacket. But the basics she has already learned in the programs at Minooka high have helped her reach this level.

SCAD has a travel abroad program that goes to Hong Kong and Dobry is intrigued by it.

“I would love to go there and get more cultured,” she said.

She also has Paris on her radar.

Her goal after college graduation is to someday start her own line of clothing and have her own business. Although her style is “all over the place,” she dubs it “a little bit hipster.”

“I have always loved being creative and thinking out of the box,” Dobry said.

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