PAL is a member-based makerspace for sewn-goods. PAL is a design support team here to get you production-ready. PAL is a collaborative knowledge-sharing community that takes your skills to the next level.
What is the Portland Apparel Lab (PAL)?
PAL is committed to supporting Portland’s growing community of fashion and sewn product designers. Our industrial sewing makerspace offers access to professional equipment, peer support and expert knowledge from an in-house design services team. We leverage our combined experience and industry contacts to help motivated entrepreneurs successfully navigate the path from idea to market. Our approach connects designers to local apparel-related businesses, resulting in a stronger, more vibrant fashion and sewn goods economy in the region.
Is PAL right for me?
If you want to learn to make something, have us make something for you, or access to the best equipment and support to make it yourself, PAL is the perfect fit. Gain access to tools and equipment that might otherwise be out of reach. Take our technique-based workshops or private sewing classes. Tap into a supportive community of apparel makers. Connect your business to the resources it needs to grow and thrive. Come tour the lab!
Make It Yourself
Portland Apparel Lab is a member-based makerspace that puts industrial sewing machines, pattern software and expert knowledge at your fingertips! We know creating your own studio space from scratch can cost a small fortune. For an affordable rate, you can make and design in a 1000 sq foot shared workspace fully equipped with over $50,000 worth of equipment.Show Me
Learn To Make It
We believe we work better together, whether it’s sewing side by side with fellow creatives or joining in on events, classes and private lessons. Get advice and encouragement from your peers, pick up technical tips from our team of experts, and enjoy the collaboration and creativity. Why sew alone when you can plug into a supportive, nurturing environment? PAL is the creative community you’ve been waiting for.Teach Me
We’ll Make It For You
Portland Apparel Lab is staffed by a seasoned design team. Collaborate with our garment engineers to bring your ideas to life! Whether you’re at the inspiration stage or need help further along in the execution, PAL can bridge the gaps where you need it to help you get production-ready! PAL connects you to resources and services you may never have known about.Make Me Something
- Industrial Lockstitch, Auto Backstitch and Thread Trimming (2)
- Industrial Coverstitch, 5-thread, 3 needle, top and bottom cover
- Industrial Computerized Button Hole Machine
- Industrial Overlock, 4-thread (2)
- Industrial Heavy Duty Walking Foot
- Industrial Blind Hem
- Portable machines (6)
- White backdrop
- Green screen
- Light disc
Software & Digital Tools
- Optitex (CAD Patternmaking)
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Plotter (36″ wide)
Other Equipment & Tools
- Iron (professional boiler)
- Toolkits (scissors, snips, pins, meas. tape and more!)
- Snap setter
- Pattern table (4′ x 8′)
- Cutting Table (6′ x 15′)
- Electric rotary cutter (1/4″ depth)
Book, Materials and Pattern Libraries
The woman who started it all! Dawn is the founder of Portland Apparel Lab and guru of sewn-goods product development. She works with designers and innovators to get their prototypes built and ready for manufacturing. Through PAL she brings tools, services and industry relationships to the talent-rich and diverse apparel design community in Portland.
Jennifer Thomas Elder
Jennifer brings with her sixteen years of experience in the apparel industry as a designer, developer, and innovator. As former president and designer of “jet,” she understands the keys to effectively communicating your information to production houses locally and abroad. She creates design sketches, tech packs, product specs and more to help get you production ready! In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys the outdoors with her family and creates fantastical, wearable art.
Erin is an editor and copywriter dedicated to promoting community-building and highlighting the efforts of small businesses. In addition to being mistress of communications at PAL, she helps clients find their voice, communicate clearly, and share their stories with the world. When she’s not crafting content you might find her in the Lab sewing up something for herself.
As the owner of a manufacturing business and a former design services client of PAL, Susan knows the Lab inside and out. She draws on her extensive background in building cross-sector partnerships between government, business and nonprofits to spearhead PAL’s partnership development, membership recruitment and engagement efforts. Her sewing skills are limited to two dimensions, but she will call anyone!
Our resident sewing instructor, Heather Treadway, has been designing and sewing for her independent label, HT, since 2002. In her design life, along with making ready-to-wear sportswear and wool capes, Heather creates costumes for dance companies, bands and television shows. She also plays in the band Explode Into Colors! Heather teachers private and group lessons at PAL.
Katie is an artist and designer, and a 4th generation North Portlander. Her sewing skills mesh with her artistic talents in a multidisciplinary passion for creating original, sweeping, galvanic visuals. When working with a client she hones in on what benefits their distinct aesthetic, artistic appearance and first impressions to create the best possible work for their business.
Amollia learned to hand sew at the age of three and has been sewing ever since! With past experience as a technical designer, she works locally as a seamstress and also creates a line of small bags. As a sample maker for PAL, she loves turning ideas into 3-dimensional reality.