Contact HT

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425 Southeast 11th Avenue
Portland, OR, 97214
United States


Heather Treadway is a teacher, freelance fashion designer, costumer and musician making art with people in Portland, Oregon. She has designed and sewn for her eponymous fashion line since 2002 and has designed costumes for Portlandia, Big Freedia and The Northwest Dance Project. Treadway also performs in Secret Drum Band and HITS.







Hello! If you're just starting out with a desire to learn how to make a garment from a pattern, or have some sewing experience under your belt and are ready to design your own garment, I am here for you. I teach private and group sewing lessons and workshops here at the Portland Apparel Lab.

I offer customized sewing lessons based on your desire, skill level, and goals. 

During our first meet up, we'll go over your machine: How to clean it, thread it & maintain it. We'll talk about needles, feet, thread and all of the tools you may need and want. We'll also go over fabric types: Knits vs. wovens, grain, pre-washing, and other fun fabric facts.

We'll also discuss your personal and (if applicable) business goals. If you are already an advanced sewist and want to go further, then I can help you tailor your existing design into a profitable sellable part of a collection.


Duration: 2.5 hours

Location: Portland Apparel Lab // 425 SE 11th AVE (corner of Stark)

Class Description: 

  • Understanding your machine: How to thread, clean and oil it.
  • Basic overview of fabrics. Knits vs. Wovens, how to purchase the correct fabric for your design, care of fabrics, pre-washing, grain direction, drape of fabric, bias, etc.
  • Practice stitching: Straight stitch, zig-zag, stretch stitch. We'll discuss stitch length, tension, and moving the needle side to side. The necessity of the back tack. (This step of the lesson depends on your skill level, and helps me understand your current sewing ability.)
  • Creating a "stitch reference guide" to get to know your machine and different types of stitch patterns. 
  • How to cut out a project: Laying a pattern over fabric, tracing with tailor's chalk, looking for fabric pattern direction and grain, how to maximize fabric when cutting out a pattern, shrinkage and your fabric quantity.
  • Discussion of sewing goals and projects.
  • Diving in with a small project OR starting in on your existing project. 
  • Making an action plan and assigning a weekly task. 
  • Scheduling future lessons.

If you're ready to jump in and let go of some of the fear you may have around creating a garment and learning to sew, I'm your person. I like to experiment, be creative and take risks. Being a designer/maker requires a balance of creativity, risk-taking, patience, understanding of the rules, acquisition of tried-and-tested sewing methods, and the letting go of perfectionism. My teaching style is laid-back, fun, and supportive - with a foundation of universally agreed upon sewing methods and skills to guide you along your journey. 

NOTE: I recommend Kathleen Fasanella's book: Entrepreneur's Guide To Sewn Product Manufacturing, and her blog the Fashion Incubator. 


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1. Cancellations

In the event that you - the student - need to reschedule or cancel a lesson, please give me a 24 hour heads up. If you cancel or "no show" within the 24 hours before our scheduled lesson because you forgot, I may not be that eager to reschedule with you.  Given the appropriate amount of advanced notice, I will happily reschedule with you based on my current availability. If you have pre-paid for a lessons package, these lessons are non-refundable. I will extend a grace period of 3 months into the future for re-bookings. 

In the event that I need to reschedule a lesson, I reserve the right to do so at any time and will happily reschedule with you. If for an unforeseen reason I am unable to reschedule with you, I will promptly refund you the money you have paid upfront for your package of lessons. 

2. Payments

Payment for lessons are due in full at the time of the lesson, if you are purchasing just one session with me, OR if you are buying a package of lessons (which I recommend because it saves you a lot of money and helps you commit to your own learning process), payment is due at least 48 hours before the first of the series of lessons. I accept Venmo, Cash App, Paypal, Cash (US currency), and Checks.

3. Liability Waiver

I will do everything in my power to ensure your safety during our private lessons. I am a stickler about keeping your fingers away from your machine needle, keeping your foot off the pedal while threading or changing out your needle, and don't even get me started about using a rotary cutter and the potential injuries that can incur (those things are sharp). But if by chance you are injured during our lesson, or in the Portland Apparel Lab space, neither I nor the proprietor of the Portland Apparel Lab are liable.