Sewing Wisdom

Anatomy of cottons  Click link to see video We’re talking wovens here. HOW THEY ARE MADE: Weft threads are woven through warp threads using a shuttle. Shuttles on today’s high-speed rapier looms move faster than eye can see. Wovens are more stable and easier to sew than knits, particularly when they are made of natural […]

Don’t waste your time on fabric that’s not worthy of you.  Try before you buy through our three quality or “3Q” test: Look at it against light to see how tightly and evenly woven it is.  There should be no slubs (wads of fiber) or holes.  Those should only exist in Chanel wools.  If you […]

Colton Helfrecht’s ColtyPDX  handbags are a hit at local boutiques.  His leatherwork was a standout at the Fade to Light fashion shows. Now he and business partner Stephanie Swango are bringing their 10 years of experience and success to Portland Fashion Institute in this Summer’s Leatherworking classes.  We asked him the secret of his success. […]

Announcing the Liza Rietz collaboration PFI is pleased to announce a collaboration with one of Portland’s most honored and most creative designers, Liza Rietz. Rietz’ garments combine the best of art and architecture in modern yet feminine garments. Her collections have been featured at Portland Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Craft and Pacific Northwest College […]

Yes, thread chains (a.k.a., French tacks) are just like a hand crochet stitch. We use them all the time in our couture sewing to attach the hem of a free-hanging lining to the inside of a dress at the side seams. They are also good for button and belt loops — if they don’t have […]