Meet JoLene


Sewing has been a vital part of my life since my youth. In my junior high through high school years I took sewing classes and made a lot of my own clothes. Those classes got me excited about and involved in sewing – aside from those classes I am self taught.

I used to make matching outfits myself and my sister, who was 12 years younger. When my own children were young I made their clothes, Christmas presents, quilts and much more. I have made four wedding dresses – my own and for my children.

I have continued sewing over the years for my family, and have been mending and tailoring on the side for others to help support my family. In June of 2009 I launched JoLene’s Sewing School and have grown it into a hit – for my students and myself. I teach children and adults the disappearing art and skills of sewing. My sewing school is home-based in the Happy Valley area of Portland, Oregon.

I teach children from the ‘Kids Can Sew’ (for kids 6- 12 and teens 13-17), and adults from the ‘You Can Make It’ learn-to-sew programs. Both of these are very comprehensive, easy-to-follow, self-paced sewing programs.

I adopted the Kids Can Sew program with its kid-friendly patterns and workbooks. It was first program of its kind anywhere, and now more than a million children have learned to sew using this system taught by a local Kids Can Sew & Fashion Design Teachers. Today hundreds of women have been able to start their own business using the Kids Can Sew method. Without a doubt, this program is the most effective and recognized program available for teaching kids to sew.

I provide the sewing machines and supplies, all the child needs is fabric and notions. I teach and direct each student as they develop sewing machine skills, read and cut patterns, and become independent sewers. As each student’s abilities increase and they progress I include new skills into their curriculum.

I have found the You Can Make It program is a great system for teen and adults. This program has seven progressive levels of learning which will build your sewing skills. Each level builds on the previous levels skill set. You can join us at any level, depending on your present sewing experience. I will provide handouts for the more detailed tasks and a patch when you complete a Level.

As students follow my guidance and the You Can Make It ‘Learn-to-Sew’ method I will teach them a skill that they can use for a lifetime and enjoy themselves in the process. Students who complete these two programs will find themselves very well-rounded sewers.

Life is all about relationships, and I have tried to form the best ones I can. These are some of the people and businesses that work with me to make JoLene’s Sewing School a success:

With Special Thanks To...

My mom for loaning me the startup money; my friend Alina for suggesting I start the school; my daughter Nicole for starting my first blog; my husband Jerry for his fix’em up skills; daughter Stephanie for all the things she does that are too numerous to mention; my granddaughter Madisen for all her help my first summer; my mom (again!) and sisters Donna and Tonya for all their support; and all my friends (you know who you are) who listen to me when I need an ear.

What people say about

JoLene’s Sewing School