Portland Sewing started business in 2002 with a beginning sewing class for four students. The business grew to add classes in intermediate and advanced sewing. In 2010, Portland Sewing added classes on the business of apparel. In 2016, Oregon made it a licensed career school. Thus Portland Fashion Institute was created to offer three certificates and give people the skills to start businesses and get jobs at apparel companies.
Sharon Blair owns and directs Portland Sewing and Portland Fashion Institute.
She is on the board and a judge for the Portland Fashion and Style Awards and several local charities. She teaches apparel construction for Columbia Sportswear and patternmaking at Nike.
Her apparel life began more than 20 years ago as a custom clothing business called BlairWear. That company now offers two lines of clothing: StudioSKB (Vintage Inspired. American Made.) and SKPDX (Easy wear. Easy care. Beautiful knits made in the USA). Sales benefit The Nature Conservancy and Locks of Love.
Sharon’s work has been featured in national and local publications: Threads, SewStylish, The Oregonian, Portland Business Journal, The Mercury, Portland Monthly and local fashion shows. She has appeared on KGW’s Portland Today and KATU’s AMNorthwest as the “Sewing 101” expert.