Tori Burns has been teaching at the Maryland Center of Fashion Design since January 2014 and was a student when MCFD opened to its first class in 2009. Tori began sewing many years ago as a hobby – which quickly exposed a latent creativity that sparked a desire to learn more. Before long, Tori was elevating her skills in pattern-making classes and began a serious pursuit of her passion designing skirts, pants, jackets, and dresses for herself – and eventually for others. As Tori describes it, going from the architectural structure of sloper to the design of a pattern and then to creating a three-dimensional form is an incredibly beautiful and transformative process. Tori is just as passionate about teaching which she has found is one of those rare professions that keeps your brain young, allowing her to continue her own journey as a student and a lifelong learner. Every new class allows her to learn something new, immersing herself in a distinct universe with each project. She’s found that being a teacher at MCFD is that and so much more.
Sign up for MDCFD Newsletter
I have really grown a lot as a seamstress while attending classes at the Maryland Center of Fashion Design. All of the classes are very hands-on with guidance from the instructor throughout the course. While I used to struggle with creating well-fitting garments from commercial sewing patterns, after taking the Patternmaking and Pattern Design class, I can now design garments that fit my measurements perfectly. Mrs. Pritsker broke everything down and made it very easy to understand the basic principles of drafting and altering patterns. I also learned several new professional techniques in the Beginner Couturier 1 class that have made all the difference in the final outcome of my sewing projects. The instructor Tori gave very clear, precise directions every step of the way and showed us a variety of techniques that can be applied to almost any sewing project. The garments I make now not only fit well, but look more store bought than homemade. Even complete strangers have complimented me on how they look.
“Ella knows that every curve and contour of the body must be carefully attended to. Each garment she creates tells an exclusive story about the one who graces it. Her ensembles seem to foretell the glamour of a special moment to come. As her client, I am assured that every request will result in a timeless piece, made with the finest fabrics and Ella’s obvious passion for excellence. Ella Designs successfully caters to all genders and generations, bringing ideas to life while capturing unique personalities. I am thoroughly enjoying my tailored journey with Ella, and plan to experience her talented services for many years to come.”
Cassandra C. Harley
First Lady of Healthy Choice Ministries International
Being at MACA has reinforced my love for dressmaking and my desire to be good at it. I’m thrilled for the experience under Ella’s tutelage to gain the skills and confidence I need to create professional success and personal satisfaction for myself.
I belong to a sewing lounge owned by Blondell Howard (Baltimore, MD). Through her, I connected with Ella Pritsker. Ella is an expert in couture sewing. Awesome instructor and so willing to share her gift. I had the opportunity to take her beginning couture class and I learned so much!!! If you love to sew, please check… out her website.
I recently completed Ella’s BC1 class where we learned how to take measurements, draft three skirt patterns, make muslins and sew a pencil skirt for class. This class reignited my passion for sewing, helping me to hone my skills and take me to the next level. My main interest for coming to the class was to learn how to make my own pattern for a garment that would fit perfectly. I succeeded and am thrilled with my new skirt. I also learned additional skills for making a garment with a more couture finish.
I learned more in the year I spent under Ella’s (the founder) instruction than I could have ever hoped for. She gave me the tools I needed to move ahead with my career and the confidence that comes with a good education. I cannot say enough about how powerful the experience was for me.