Couture. The word alone strikes fear in many sewers. Don't let it scare you. In it's simplest form the word couture means to sew . Couture expert, Roberta Carr, says, "Couture is an attitude." It's a way of thinking about, as the title of her book suggests, "The Art of Fine Sewing". To me, couture means attention to the details, using the best techniques, having patience and striving for excellence.

Somewhere I read the quote, "An ounce of experience is worth a pound of theory." You can learn many things from reading books and listening to lectures, but when it comes to sewing, doing is best. That's why I love teaching individuals and small groups. It is very rewarding to work with a student one-on-one and help them solve problems and develop their skills. And I love being able to give everyone in a class individual attention and help as well. In small hands-on classes, students get to focus on the techniques and details. I see real improvement in both their sewing and self-confidence.

For most of my classes there are no more than 6 students. The focus is on learning new techniques and improving skills. Classes are designed for sewers who want to take their sewing ability to a higher level and to learn the details that will make their sewing exceptional instead of average.

My inspiration for classes comes from you, the students. You share with me what you would like to accomplish in your sewing, where you get stuck and when you are ready to try something new. I share with you my many years of experience as a custom clothier and teacher, my couture "attitude" and my love of the details.

Classes

Please see Classes & Workshops for a complete list of all classes I currently have scheduled. Once there, click on a class title for more detailed information about each class.

Private Lessons

Individual or group private instruction is available to sewers of all levels at my studio in Tigard, Oregon. I can offer you help learning new sewing techniques, assistance with fitting patterns and garments, or guidance on a specific project. You may schedule as little as an hour or as much as several days. Nearby hotel accommodations and transportation are available for out-of-town students.

Seminars/Workshops

If you can't come to Oregon, I am available for seminars and hands-on workshops for organizations, private groups or stores in your city. Choose from a variety of topics on sewing, fitting and design including:
  • Pro Tips - tips and techniques from a professional dressmaker to improve sewing, pressing and design skills
    3 hour seminar with many garment samples

  • Fifteen Fine Finishes - from necklines to hems, fifteen finishes for seams and edges including some valuable hand stitches
    a trunk show and seminar, or hands-on workshop – a kit can be supplied to make samples in class

  • Practical Couture - take the fear out of couture sewing with practical tips and techniques that can be used in all your sewing
    a trunk show and seminar, or hands-on workshop – a kit can be supplied to make samples in class

  • On the Bias - learn how to create garments cut on the bias and how to use bias for bindings, trimming and edge finishing
    a trunk show and seminar, or hands-on workshop to practice techniques learned in 1/2 scale

  • Simply Perfect Seams - perfect seams, smooth edges, trimming, grading, clipping, notching, understitching and pressing – valuable info for new sewers and a great review for experienced sewers
    a hands-on workshop with garment samples to illustrate techniques - a kit can be supplied to make samples in class

  • It's All in the Details... - techniques and tips to polish your sewing skills and expand from the pattern guidesheets – customize your workshop by choosing from a variety of techniques
    a hands-on workshop with garment samples to illustrate techniques - a kit can be supplied to make samples in class

  • That's a Buttonhole?! - unique bound buttonholes including Spanish snap, triangle and traditional bound buttonholes with a secret ingredient
    a hands-on workshop - a kit can be supplied to make samples in class

  • Wonderful Welt Pockets - explore several methods for making a variety of welt pockets
    a hands-on workshop - a kit can be supplied to make samples in class

  • Tailoring Tune-Up - a refresher on tailoring techniques including a notched collar, bound buttonhole and setting in a sleeve
    a hands-on workshop - a kit can be supplied to make samples in class

  • Fitting Burda Patterns - measuring the body and creating a personalized fitting chart to draft and cut out Burda patterns, combining sizes and customizing your fit
    a hands-on workshop – students will be measured and charted, and practice drafting one or more patterns

  • Fabric Collage a la Koos - the collage techniques used by designer Koos van den Akker
    a trunk show/seminar of garments, bags and accessories, and/or a hands-on bag workshop

  • Fabulous Shirts and Blouses - changing the design details on a basic pattern for endless new looks on shirts and blouses
    a trunk show/seminar - some hands-on quarter scale pattern design work can be included

  • Your Go-To Jacket - changing the design details on a basic pattern for endless new looks on jackets
    a trunk show/seminar - some hands-on quarter scale pattern design work can be included

Contact me for information on class details, kit fees, and scheduling your seminar or workshop. or 503-624-4822.


If it weren't for Marla, I would have a closet of unwearable homemade clothes. Instead, I have incredible garments that give me immense pleasure everytime I wear them.

Mary Ann K.
Glen Oaks, NY
Copyright © 2018 Marla Kazell
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