Deborah J. Nelson

Deborah Nelson of Satin StitchesDeborah J. Nelson founded Satin Stitches® in early 1978, as a one-woman venture after working as a Fashion Designer/Patternmaker for a high-end woman's apparel company for five years in Minneapolis, MN.

By 1979, Deborah added a team of  costume design professionals to help create the very best custom dance performance costuming available. Satin Stitches moved to its current location in 1989, and expanded to double the space in 1994. Although many changes have occurred at Satin Stitches in its nearly 40 year history as a high-quality, custom dance/performance costume manufacturer, the company still remains true to its beginnings, by consistently creating both completely original and customizable costumes for all types of performers including individuals and groups of any size.

Costume Design Process at Satin Stitches

Deborah's 40+ years of professional design, fitting, alterations, and patternmaking experience hails her as a leader in the industry. A Bachelor of Fine Arts (Major: Fashion Design) graduate and former instructor at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), Deborah continues to share her knowledge and experience as both a speaker and writer on topics related to the design, selection, and care of performance costumes and uniforms. Her articles and designs have been featured in magazines including Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Survival Guide, Cheerleading/Dance & Drill, Synchronized Skating, and other national publications. Deborah also presents informational seminars at dance, skating and music educator clinics across the country, is a member of United Dance Merchants of America and served on the Editorial Advisory Board of Dance Spirit Magazine for its first five years.


Haley Arens

Haley Custom Costume Design of Satin Stitches

Haley Arens has been a design staff member of our Satin Stitches’ team since the winter of 2013. She has added Custom Accounts Manager to her repertoire of tasks, which includes coordinating our custom-design client’s needs with sketching, patternmaking development and prototype creation. Educated in the Apparel Technologies Program at MCTC here in Minneapolis, Haley has previously worked in the industry as a costume and athletic apparel designer and patternmaker.

Haley also designs under her own name for local and national artists, as well as producing a line of men's and women's loungewear that can be found in boutiques across the country. Haley's technical design skills and passion for creating beautiful garments make her well suited to work with our entire design team here at Satin Stitches, to make our client's visions a reality.


Rebecca Bellefeuille

Rebecca Costume Design/Production at SatinStitches

Rebecca Bellefeuille joined our Satin Stitches’ design/production staff right after completing her BFA degree (Fashion Design major) from the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago in the fall of 2015. With her extensive experience with custom clothing creation and an interest in glitz and dance costumes, we have utilized Rebecca for rhinestone embellishment, quality control and most recently, assisting with sketching and CAD patternmaking.


Jan Hickle

Jan Costume Design Cutter at Satin StitchesOur cutting department continues to run very smoothly with our cutter - Jan Hickle. Jan has been a Satin Stitches team member since 1999, doing a wonderful job with our Lectra CAD cutting system.

Her previous garment industry experience includes machine sewing, hand cutting and bridal veil embellishment.


Our talented sewing and embellishing staff has been trained under Deborah to maintain our high standards, to create the very best in custom performance costuming.