Fashion Ninja in Third Ward brings fashion design to Milwaukee

Posted on 24 February 2009 by Amy Wilson

The best part of Marquette’s location being near downtown Milwaukee is all of the hidden treasures that can be found when you are least looking. The Fashion Ninja in the Third Ward is one of these treasures.

The Fashion Ninja is located on Plankinton in the Indie Fashion Market just before St.Paul. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary fashion store. There are designer pieces for sale in the front of the store. There are small batches that are made some are even limited to only a dozen pieces. These pieces are sold from the founder of Fashion Ninja, Arika Ikeler, but can also be found online. In the back of store is where classes are held.

According to the school’s Web site, “‘The Fashion Ninja School of Sewing and Design’ was founded by Arika Ikeler in 2003. Since the school has grown into a supportive sewing and design community for individuals interested in learning more about Fashion Design. Arika is the fashion designer who helps others learn about fashion design. She instructs specifically tailored advice and strategies to encourage her students to execute their own design ideas successfully.”

Arika is the only instructor at Fashion Ninja. There are 2 classes, a beginning and an intermediate level class. The classes cost $385 for an 8 hour class. The beginner’s level course is called Introduction to Clothing Construction. This class requires no prior experience, and offers the basics of clothing construction in one day. The objective is to learn how to operate a sewing machine, create successful seams, adjust machine controls, change the needle, and learn how to engineer clothing. This class provides a solid foundation in building upper body garments, pattern development, textiles, and types of seams, seam finishes, sleeve installation, best construction order, quality engineering, and the creativity in fashion design. Sewing machines are available for students to use. The intermediate level course is The Art of Fashion Draping and involves the fundamentals of draping a design on a dress form, making a pattern from the draped design, and construction techniques, stressing the importance of proper fit, sizing a design, and craftsmanship.

The next two classes are March 27 & 28, Construction and Draping respectively. In April,Construction is the 24th and Draping is on the 25th. For more information go to or stop by or even call.

by Amy Wilson
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