Welcome to Camp Catwalk!


CAMP CATWALK started in the summer of 2012 as a summer camp program for children and youth in Santa Cruz.

Camp Catwalk pants Camp Catwalk students drawing

Camp Catwalk skirts and purses Camp Catwalk bags and pillows

Camp Catwalk now offers fashion-oriented design, sewing and fashion drawing classes, summer camps and fashion sewing parties for children and youth, ages 7-17. We support the pursuit of fashion design as a celebration of creativity, self- expression and empowerment of youth.

Our Afterschool, Homeschool and fashion sewing parties provide sewing instruction as well as some fashion drawing. Our summer camp program is a more comprehensive experience of sewing, fashion drawing, design and branding, as well as presentation skills. The camps give students a chance to discover the inner designer and to learn about various aspects of the fashion industry and how it works.

All of our classes include foundational skills of drawing, design and sewing and construction lessons and students complete one or more projects that they can actually wear. We find that our students enjoy this aspect of the program almost more than anything else. The empowerment of making something beautiful for themselves is one of the most rewarding aspects of what they can experience.

Our fashion sewing projects change continually, giving ample opportunity to provide incremental steps in skill development and encouraging students to return to the program over time to increase their skills. For this reason, we love teaching sewing classes in sequence, then adding a specialty camp to round out the experience.

We also serve young students who simply want to experience the joy of creativity and we make a special effort in our program to give all kids a chance to experience the fun of making something with their hands, especially in a day when technology tends to overrule hands-on experience.

Camp Catwalk is committed to imparting knowledge the way that guilds used to do it –by passing on knowledge and experience to the next generation of young designers. We are also committed to ongoing community involvement. See our section on community for further information.


Founder, long time Santa Cruz resident, Carmella Weintraub, an artist, designer and business woman, has taught children’s textile art classes and creativity workshops for adults for 20 years. In 1999, her art career took a detour into the world of commercial accessories design and marketing, as well as international production of her silk scarves, clothing and leather jackets. Her business, Carmella D’Oro lasted until the economic downturn in 2008 and at that point, she launched her Internet business, carmelladoro.com which still operates.

Later, Carmella’s interest in pursuing a degree in Fashion Design was piqued and she attended a Masters Degree at the Art Academy University in San Francisco, learning fashion drawing, design, croquis development and computers for fashion.

In 2012, she decided to integrate her love of fashion, her knowledge of art and design, with her former interest in teaching the creative aspects of design to children. The result was Camp Catwalk Design and Sewing Academy and she now had a way to conduct classes for children, whom she finds are naturally gifted in the pursuit of beauty and creativity as well as eager to pursue opportunities for self-expression in these areas.


  • Share your passion for fashion
  • Learn to sew
  • Learn about color and design
  • Make your own clothes
  • Find out more about the fashion world
  • Identify “your look” or “your brand
  • Learn to express yourself in clothing and on paper
  • Enjoy an artistic studio environment
  • Stay inspired through art and design
  • Experience the joy of creating!



“Camp Catwalk was exactly what I expected and more. My daughter had been asking to learn to sew for years. She was thrilled when on the very first day she made something small that she could bring home and show her parents, grand parents, friends and neighbors. She was so proud of herself and that pride and confidence rolled over into other areas of her life. The most unexpected and appreciated aspect that came from Camp Catwalk was that it seemed to bring a relaxation to my daughter as if the act of sewing with a small group of peers was almost meditative. She made some new friends which is always a bonus, especially as a home schooler and she asked to go back again. Out of all her extra curricular activities, she looks forward to Camp Catwalk most of all.”
– Sage, home school parent