Frequently asked questions

Monday-Friday: 10 am-9 pm; Saturday, 10 am-5 pm. We take breaks between classes, during the holidays and the months of December and August. Be sure to check with us before coming over during those times.

For those enrolled in one of PFI’s certificate programs, please refer to your enrollment agreement. For others, refunds are available until 48 hours before class start; 24 hours before open sewing or a private lesson starts.  Cancellation policy for Optitex class:  No refunds after one week before class starts. No refunds or transfers after class, open sewing or private lesson starts. Please don’t forfeit your fees! Please let us know if you can’t come so someone else can use that class or lesson time.

When seeking a refund, please send your original transaction id or receipt for the given class. People use different names, e-mails and credit cards. Having the transaction id or receipt gets us to the right registration. Without the transaction id or receipt we may refund someone with a similar name. Purchaser gets an automatic notice as soon as they register for a class and as soon as they get a refund. Our standards are the same as those used by most any retailer.
Students sign up for Open Sewing. It takes place Mondays, 1-5 pm or Saturdays, 10 am-1 pm, or register for Private Lessons. These take place Monday-Saturday, 2-5 pm. You can also request a private lesson here. Please don’t forfeit your spot in class! Please let us know if you can’t come to the first class. Otherwise, your spot may be given to someone on the wait list.

Classes must have a minimum of six students. During COVID, sewing classes have a maximum of eight. Patternmaking classes have a maximum of six. On-line classes have a maximum of twenty.

For hands-on classes: We prefer you do your work in class. That can save a lot of seam ripping. If you do work between classes, be sure you have clear instruction from your teacher. For lecture classes: You may be asked to do research online to present in your next class. You may even be asked to go shopping!

Yes, we have a supply store. We sell fabric plus zippers, buttons, thread and other notions. Our prices are low because of our low overhead. We offer a 20 percent discount to current students. Hours for our supply store are on their website:  www.pfisupply.com

Yes. We take Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover. We also take payment over the phone and by check. Find out more about financing a Certificate here.

Yes. We have suggested amounts on-line. But you can purchase them over the phone, by mail or e-mail or in person for any amount you wish. Gift certificates are good for one year from date of purchase and are redeemable for Portland Sewing classes and items from the Portland Sewing supply store. For more, go to Gift Certificates.

We are apparel people teaching apparel people. You learn from professionals. All of our instructors have apparel industry experience and are employed in the industry. We teach techniques used in the apparel industry. You can take classes whether you are pursuing a career, continuing your education or just want to take one class.

PFI doesn’t offer loans. It isn’t supported by taxpayer dollars so it doesn’t yet have access to financial aid. Now that it is accredited, it is applying for Title IV eligibility. What PFI does offer:

— Matching grants through the Mercy Corps NW business grant for those completing the pre-requisite business classes and launching a business.
— Financial help through the following: Click here.
— Payment Plan information for full-time enrollees: Click here.
Bottom line: We keep our class fees affordable. We believe in #schoolwithoutdebt.

PFI would be able to issue 1099T tax forms to enrollees after US Department of Education approves PFI for Title IV eligibility.

No. We are set up so people can take a class for fun or for a career. The content and the instructors are the same. However, you won’t get an evaluation or a grade. At the end, you won’t get a certificate of completion, job opportunities, an internship or career placement. If you want an evaluation or grade, you should apply for Continuing Education before you register for a class. Unsure? We encourage people to take a class for fun and see if they enjoy it before they decide.

PFI’s Online Learning Fee includes costs associated with administration, online class support, non-traditional course formats, and technology support. PFI charges per course or series rather than per credit (as is the cases with most institutions and colleges).

No student housing. But there are several apartments close by and more are being built every day. For your search, focus on rentals available in zip codes 97212-97215 and 97232. Portland is a very walkable town. Many ride bikes or use BikeTown rentals. PFI is also located near mass transit, 7 blocks north of the Hollywood Max station or 1 block north of the #12 bus stop at 43rd & Sandy. There are many restaurants, bistros and grocery stores in our neighborhood.

Yes, contact info@pfi.edu to set up an appointment.

We offer career services for those in our certificate programs. More than 80 percent have gone into internships and jobs in the apparel industry and are working for companies from independent designers to major corporations. Of the remainder, some have started their own retail stores or started their own clothing lines. A very few have gone into film and theater work. To see some of our graduates, visit the PFI Alumni page here.

Portland hosts 29 apparel manufacturers. Companies range from adidas, Columbia Sportswear and Nike to smaller companies such as Hanna Andersson, Jantzen/Perry Ellis, Kroger and Pendleton. All are invited to our career days, portfolio shows and graduate runway shows. Since members of our advisory board and our instructors are hiring managers, they attend and hire from these events or just by knowing the students. It’s been said that Portland is number three in the nation for apparel manufacturing.

No emotional support animals are allowed in the buildings. PFI does not want to trigger other students’ or guests’ allergies that could be caused by the proximity of animals, or pet hair or dander infiltrating the fabric in the supply store.

Per the Americans with Disabilities Act and Oregon’s Service Animal Law, neither the Americans with Disabilities Act nor Oregon’s Service Animal Law includes what some people call “therapy” or “emotional support animals”. These ESA animals provide a sense of safety, companionship and comfort to those with psychiatric or emotional disabilities or conditions. Although ESA animals often have therapeutic benefits, they are not individually trained to perform specific tasks for their handlers. Under the ADA and Oregon law, owners of public accommodations are not required to allow ESA, only service animals.

PFI cannot ask about a person’s disability or demand to see proof of the animal’s training but PFI can ask what tasks it performs for the person, such as these examples under the ADA:
– Hearing dogs, which alert their handlers to important sounds, such as alarms and doorbells.
– Guide dogs, which help those who are visually impaired to navigate safely.
– Psychiatric service animals, which help those with mental or emotional disabilities by, for example, interrupting self-harming behaviors, reminding handlers to take medication, checking spaces for intruders, or providing calming pressure during anxiety or panic attacks.
– Seizure alert animals, which let their handlers know of impending seizures, and may also guard their handlers during seizure activity.
– Allergen alert animals, which let their handlers know of foods that could be dangerous (such as peanuts).

Under the ADA, a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks or do work for the benefit of a person with a disability. Oregon law uses the same definition, but uses the term assistance animals rather than service animals. Under the ADA and Oregon law, owners of public accommodations are not required to allow ESA, only service animals.

Unlike service animals, ESAs are not automatically allowed in commercial businesses and businesses have the right to accept or deny ESAs.

PFI is not required to allow ESAs into PFI buildings. If a student has a service animal, we ask 48 hours notice before allowing the animal into PFI buildings in order to notify other students and guests who may have concerns.

Level 1 Help Desk (info@pfi.edu)
Technical issues with Populi
Issues with Zoom
Issues with Email Setup

Registrar (registrar@pfi.edu – or call (971) 801-7199)
Issues with Classes/Schedules
Financial Questions
Questions about transcripts

Director (director@pfi.edu or call the school @ (503) 927-5457)
Issues with Staff
Issues with the Building/Security
Issues with Internships/Graduation

Portland Fashion Institute, LLC prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by PFI.



Portland Fashion Institute prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by PFI.

Photo Release Agreement

When you enroll at PFI, we ask for your release of all photo rights. That agreement looks like this:

“I hereby irrevocably give to Portland Fashion Institute and PFI’s assigns, licensees and successors the right to photograph, film and/or videotape me and/or to otherwise record my image and/or likeness and to use, publish, display, reproduce, copy and distribute my image and/or likeness, in all forms of media now known or later developed, including composite or modified representations and including on the Internet, for promotional activities for PFI, including advertising, direct mail, catalogs, websites, exhibitions, festivals and classroom presentations, throughout the world and in perpetuity. PFI is permitted, although not obligated, to include my name in connection with my image and/or likeness. I waive the right to inspect or approve versions of my image and/or likeness used for publication or the written copy that may be used in connection therewith and agree that PFI shall not be liable to me for any distortion or illusionary effect resulting from the use, publication or display of my image or likeness. PFI is not obligated to use any of the rights granted here. I agree that I shall have no ownership of or other rights in the photographs, film, videotapes or other recordings of my image and/or likeness taken or made by or on behalf of PFI. I understand that PFI shall not be responsible for unauthorized duplications/use of my image and/or likeness by third parties on the Internet or otherwise. During my final term at PFI, I will take part in a senior video as part of graduating from PFI.”