Palmer/Pletsch Workshops at
Portland/Vancouver Sewing School

Portland-area workshops are taught by Helen Bartley, joined at times by Pati Palmer. They are held at Sew Op + Maker Space in nearby Vancouver, Washington. If you’re interested in our classes, class series and seminars, visit our Sew-Op page.

Portland/Vancouver Workshops

HELEN BARTLEY, CSI / Vancouver/Portland Sewing School Coordinator & Instructor

Helen Bartley is a lifelong student of sewing, and her empathetic teaching style is all the better for it. A Palmer/Pletsch Certified Sewing Instructor and corporate educator, Helen teaches the workshops in Portland/Vancouver. Helen is also the author of Fit and Sew Custom Jeans and served as technical editor for the Palmer/Pletsch book Knits for Real People and as contributor, garment sewer and model for that book and the highly regarded The Palmer/Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting.

Helen Bartley

What They’re Saying…

Vicki Peck, 2021 fit workhop attendee says…

This workshop was more valuable than I could ever have anticipated. The P/P method plus the expertise and willingness to masterfully and generously share it on your part made this the best workshop or class I have ever taken. The repetition coupled with advice and encouragement helped me so much. I will be back!    


Notebooks and most sample-making supplies are included in Beginning Fashion Sewing Teacher Training Workshop.

A BRING LIST of what you need to bring, along with other information is available as a pdf— just click on the bring list link on each workshop page. The bring list also gives you information about suggested hotels and guest houses to stay in. We have spiral versions of books that go along with workshops. You can order in advance or buy at the workshop.

We’ll have a celebratory GRADUATION on the last day of each workshop—a time to share information and receive your graduation certificates.

Pati Palmer fits and student during sewing camp

Optional Activities

teacher training


Teacher Training is available in conjunction the Fit and Pant Fit workshops. The Fit and Pant Fit class descriptions pages have more information available as well as how to sign up.

fabric shopping in Portland, Oregon


Portland has so many unique fabric stores—more per capita than most cities in the world. We encourage you to allow a day before or after your workshop to check them out. You’ll find a list of stores at the end of each workshop’s bring list, along with our suggestions about sequence, timing, and lunch possibilities.


When someone says, “You look amazing today!” chances are you’re wearing a color that perfectly complements your natural beauty. Learn how to determine your best colors with image consultant and color expert Ethel Harms. Ethel expands the four-season color concept with her own color system, to help you understand how the colors we wear can complement our own hair, skin and eye colors. She will then teach you how to translate this knowledge into creating a wardrobe that truly flatters.

Refer to the bring list for your workshop for more information about this opportunity. (Bring lists are available as links on each workshop web page.) For more about Ethel Harms, visit


If you have time to tour our beautiful region before or after the workshop, here are some suggestions you can look up to see what interests you. You can drive the “loop” going up the Columbia River Gorge on Highway 84 to Hood River, turn up to Mt. Hood, visit Timberline Lodge and drive back to Portland on Highway 26. We are also only 1 1/2 hours from the coast. The MAX line to downtown is just across from the Monarch Hotel. The Spirit of Portland has a wonderful lunch and dinner river cruise that is quite reasonable and showcases why we are called the “city of bridges”! Learn more at TravelOregon


Our workshops are held at Sew-Op + Maker Space in Vancouver, WA, across the Columbia River from Portland, OR.

Sew-Op Exterior

1507 Broadway, Vancouver, WA 98663
near the corner of E. 15th and Broadway.

Helen Bartley teaching a class at the Palmer/Pletsch Sew-Op Sewing School

Where to Stay