(re)Designs by Rachael

Sewing, Reconstruction, Design & Creative Alterations for you and your home.

About Me

My name is Rachael Patoray, and I am a Native Oregonian. I was raised in this community, and now I live in Boring Oregon with my husband on our little farm.

I grew up designing and sewing with my grandmother, Besse. Little did I know that she was not only spending time with me, but she was teaching me how to sew and to experiment with design, patterns, and material. My grandmother was not afraid of color or fun trim!

As I got older, I began to design my own clothes and I would then spend long weekends with my grandmother, figuring out how best to turn a pattern that she already had in one of her drawers, into one of my creations. She never told me that my designs were too difficult, or asked me if I was sure I wanted to wear Shakespearean-inspired britches!

During this time, I also began experimenting with "repurposing" or altering men's suits and clothing into fashion pieces that I could wear myself. I turned one of my grandfather's suits into shorts and a coat with tails.

He gave me some of his ties that I then turned into a skirt and purse.

I continued to repurpose not only clothing, but other found materials. I used fabric from an old set of curtains and turned them into a 50's-inspired pleated skirt!

I've always been fascinated with handwork and craftsmanship which includes: beading, fabric dying, and embroidery.

I have been blessed with my grandparents' creativity. My grandfather is an accomplished stained glass designer and woodworker. Besides sewing, my grandmother spun wool on her spinning wheel and was a skilled weaver; both of them inspired by their time spent in the Southwest later in life after becoming "snowbirds"!

When I went away to college, I studied fine art, and then during my Junior year, I stumbled across Costume Design…it was a perfect fit! I learned to hone the skills my grandmother had instilled in me for all those years. I found that I was able to use my fine art training and apply it to my love of design & sewing.

After graduation from Purdue University, I decided to move to New York City and pursue a career in the fine art of Millinery (hat making). I created hats of all styles and learned a new craft, adding another skill to my sewing & design repertoire. I learned about the design process, the art of picking out and applying trim, and the importance of adding those special touches that make a piece unique!

I have lived in many places before settling back in Oregon, including bustling cities and in-the-middle-of-nowhere towns. I've tried my hand at many different jobs, some that allowed me to be more creative than others. Over the last decade, I earned my Master's Degree in Art Therapy and Counseling, and I now have my own private practice as an Art Therapist and Counselor. I've realized though, that I really missed design and sewing. So here I go, let the reconstruction…restructuring…repurposing…creative alterations begin!!!