Student FAQ



  • Update!

I’m open for business again!

  • Where are classes held?

I teach private classes out of my home in Cordova, which is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee. Surrounding areas include Collierville, Eads, Lakeland, Germantown, Arlington, and Bartlett, but I’ve had students from as far away as Southaven and Olive Branch, Mississippi.

  • When are classes held?

Private classes are by appointment only. Afternoon, evening, and weekend classes are available. Contact me to schedule your first class!

  • How long is each class?

You may choose one-hour or two-hour classes, as you wish. However, I strongly recommend two-hour classes. Not only will you will accomplish more in the allotted time, but your project will be completed faster. Plus, there’s a discount for two-hour classes!

  • How much do classes cost?

Tuition for one-hour classes is $150 per month. Tuition for two-hour classes is $260 per month. (For more details, please see the Tuition Policy FAQ.) I accept cash or check. Receipts are available upon request.

  • What do you teach?

Most of the time, I teach basic sewing skills to beginners. If you have some experience, but want to improve, I can help with that, too!

For the most part, I stick with dressmaking, but I’ve been known to branch out into home decor and crazy quilting. I can also teach you how to make baby clothes and doll clothes.

  • What don’t you teach?

At this time, I do not teach the following:

  • Alterations
  • Mending
  • Pattern Drafting
  • Pattern Draping
  • Upholstery
  • Slipcovers
  • Heirloom Sewing
  • Crocheting
  • Knitting

Just for clarification, I do not sew for others! Sorry, but I cannot make your wedding gown or prom dress for you. Nor will I do alterations or mending. I will, however, teach you to sew for yourself.

  • What’s your teaching style?

I’m a very hands-on teacher, so my students learn by doing. You’ll choose a pattern and fabric suitable for your skill level, then you’ll cut and assemble it under close supervision. I will explain and demonstrate each step of the sewing process. I’ll also provide illustrated handouts on some of the sewing techniques you’ll learn in class.

  • How many students are in each class?

At this time, all classes are private, which means you’ll be the only student. This allows us to tailor each class to your personal needs.

  • What can I sew in my class?

What you choose to sew is up to you, but visible progress is key. Long, involved projects can leave you feeling as if you’re not accomplishing anything during your classes. For this reason, I recommend simple projects that can be finished over the course of a few weeks. For beginners, pajama pants or an elastic waist skirt is ideal. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can advance to making skirts, blouses, dresses, and so forth.

  • How long will it take to sew my first project?

That depends on what you choose to make, how quickly you learn the techniques involved, and whether your class is one or two hours long. Completing your assigned homework will ensure that your project moves along faster, too.

  • What happens once I register?

As soon as you sign up, I’ll email you a registration packet. Please fill out the paperwork and bring it with you to your shopping class.

  • What’s the shopping class?

Before your first class, we’ll schedule a shopping class. We’ll meet at a fabric store, where I’ll help you choose a pattern and fabric for your initial project, along with all of the supplies you’ll need. You are responsible for buying your own supplies! The cost will vary depending on what you buy and what’s on sale that week, but generally, you’ll spend between $50 and $100. (See the Recommended Supply List for Students.) The shopping class usually takes about an hour. My fee is $30, due at the class.

For homework, you’ll be expected to pre-wash all of your fabric and trims, so they’ll be ready to go. It also saves time if you cut apart your pattern pieces.

  • What can I expect from my first class?

Most of your classes will be held at my home. During your first class, I’ll usually spend about an hour demonstrating how your sewing machine works—threading it, winding a bobbin, adjusting the tension, changing stitch width/length, cleaning and maintenance, etc. We’ll also work on sewing straight and curved seams.

If you’ve signed up for two-hour classes, we’ll usually work on cutting out your pattern during the second half of the class. If you have one-hour classes, cutting the pattern will have to wait until your next class.

  • What sort of homework will be assigned?

Each week, you’ll be given homework that’s designed to reinforce what you’ve just learned and prepare you for the following week’s class. For example: After you’ve learned to use the sewing machine, you’ll need to practice stitching straight and curved seams at home. You are free to do this work in class instead of at home, but it will result in your project taking longer to finish.

Please do not work ahead, unless specifically told to do so! There are techniques you’ll need to learn for every step of your project. If you jump ahead, you may miss vital instructions, which may result in your project being sewn incorrectly. This means you’ll have to waste valuable class time undoing your work, then redoing it, once you’ve learned the correct techniques.

  • Must I bring my own sewing machine to class?

Yes. Owning your own sewing machine is a requirement if you want to learn to sew. If you don’t already have a sewing machine, I can help you choose one that’s appropriate for your skill level, needs, and budget.

It’s generally best to bring your sewing machine to class in a wheeled carrier or trolley. These are padded inside, with straps, so they’ll secure your machine, keeping it safe from bumps and bruises while you’re driving. Look for one at any fabric store or sewing machine shop, but don’t spend a fortune. You can often get them for half-price if you wait for them to go on sale or use a coupon. Also, make sure you get one that’s specifically for a sewing machine! They make trolleys for sergers and embroidery machines, as well as for scrapbooking. Each one is a different size and shape, depending on the machine it’s designed to carry, which means your sewing machine might not fit snugly inside if you get the wrong kind.

  • I don’t have my own sewing kit. Can I use yours?

I have a variety of tools and equipment that you can use during your class. However, I strongly recommend that you invest in a few basic supplies. (Please see the Recommended Supply List for Students.) The simple truth is, you work better when you’re familiar with the tools you’re using. Plus, you’ll need your own supplies for completing homework.

  • What are the classroom rules?
  • No Smoking
  • No Food or Drink in Classroom
  • No Perfume or Aftershave
  • No Sewing While Intoxicated, Impaired, or Exhausted
  • Cellphones Must Be Silenced
  • Please notify me in advance if you’re going to miss a class.


More questions? When you sign up, I’ll send you a registration packet that includes a copy of your “Student Rights and Responsibilities,” which outlines what to expect from your classes, along with the current rules for cancellations and tardiness.

To sign up, please contact me .

14 Responses to Student FAQ

  1. Jamie says:

    I am interested in private sewing lessons. I want instruction on how to sew invisible zippers and shorten sport coat sleeves. I’d be available on Tuesday’s from 10a-12p. Please let me know if you can assist me.

  2. Meredith says:

    Do you teach sewing with knits? I am a bit of a beginner but I can follow a simple pattern. I really want to learn knits but I do not know anyone that uses them to help me.

    • Lisha Vidler says:

      Honestly, I’ve never had a student who was ready to work with knits, so I’ve never taught how to sew them! There are some tips and tricks that make sewing with knits easier, but it really isn’t a subject I recommend for beginners. It’s notoriously difficult to work with knits and it can be extremely frustrating, even if you know what you’re doing already. It requires a slightly more advanced sewing machine, too–you need an overedge or overlock foot and a machine capable of sewing an overlock stitch. If you want to discuss it further, you can send me a private message and we can talk, okay?

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  5. Candice says:

    Good evening! I learned to sew in Jr. High years ago but have not really used a machine that often since then. I’m interested in “re-learning” as I would love to design and make my own dresses and clothes. I’m also in Cordova and look forward to possibly working with you soon. Thank you in advance for your time!

  6. Kristy says:

    Hello I am very interested in taking lessons from you but I have a question. I see that your fee $260 a month how often will I have classes for that month?

    • Lisha Vidler says:

      Sorry, I thought I’d replied to this earlier, but I guess it didn’t post. Classes are held weekly. And it doesn’t matter whether there are four or five weeks in the month, the fee remains the same.

  7. Tiffany says:


    Do you know of any full seeing class that offer more than just 1-2 days of training?

    Thanks and take care!

  8. Tiffany says:

    How many day out of the week do you meet the student .?

  9. Tiffany says:

    How many days out of the week you do the lesson

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