All About Me: II

Monday’s Mish-Mash

All About Me: II

What kind of training have you had?

Basically, I’m a self-taught kind of person. I love learning, but because of poor health, I had to take correspondence classes for High School. At seventeen I got my GED. After that, I found myself unable to attend college. They didn’t have internet universities back then, so I couldn’t get a conventional education. Instead, I read every book I could get my hands on.

As I mentioned in the first installment of About Me, when I was eight or nine, my mother enrolled me in a summer sewing class for kids. I made an ill-fitting sleeveless top that I never wore. But I was proud of it nonetheless. It had interfaced facings and a gathered ruffle around the hem! After that, I sewed off and on, dabbling in refashioning, doll clothes, and home decorating.

About nine years ago, I seriously renewed my interest in fashion and sewing. I started creating historic costumes and then modern garments for myself. But it was a disaster! Nothing fit, my sewing was terrible, and I began to dislike the entire process. Instead of giving up, however, I decided to educate myself. I began devouring books on sewing. I joined a couple of sewing forums and message boards and started asking questions. I began browsing sewing websites and following various dressmaking blogs. The best thing I ever did was to subscribe to Threads magazine—a wonderful resource for sewers!

My Boocase

My Bookcase

Slowly, but surely, my skills began to improve. I learned how to use my sewing machine effectively. I learned how to fit a garment to my body. I learned how to work with different fabrics. I began seeing a difference in my work! I wasn’t producing a large amount of sewing, but what I did make became higher quality. Eventually, I began reading books on couture sewing and incorporating those techniques into my work.

Couture Books

Books on Couture Sewing

The most recent step in my journey has been to teach others what I know. But even though I now teach sewing, I constantly strive to improve myself. I’ll never stop learning!


What kind of training have you had—formal or informal? Do you enjoy learning or is it a chore?

About Lisha Vidler

I am a sewing instructor living near Memphis, Tennessee.
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