Private Lessons

Ideas & Inspiration

One-on-one learning can’t be beat. You’ll have 100% of Helen’s time and your lesson is wholly customizable—you decide what you’d like to cover.

Pricing

$60 per hour, with a two-hour minimum

Purchase by the hour

Or

A 5-hour bundle for $250, to be used in no more than two sessions.

Purchase by the bundle 

Times

Helen holds private lessons throughout the week with flexible timing. Contact her  with your lessons request and to set up dates and times.

Reserving your private lesson time

Once you’ve decided how many hours you want and a date(s) and time(s) have been arranged by phone or email, advance payment is required to reserve that time.

How to pay for private lessons

Once you’ve decided how many hours you want and a date(s) and time(s) have been arranged by phone or email, advance payment is required to reserve that time.

  1. Follow the link right after the private lesson pricing, select the number of hours and add to your cart.
  2. Send a check for the amount of your lessons to:
    Seam Divas Sewing Lounge
    3810 Edgewood Drive, Vancouver WA, 98661.

Your times will be saved for 3 business days until payment is received. After 3 days, you’ll need to reschedule (unless you contact Helen via email regarding the delay).

“Helen is a personable, knowledgeable, and highly experienced seamstress, and she has an easy teaching style.”

Private Lessons Examples

Here you’ll find examples of private lessons—use them for inspiration, and remember that lessons are about customization, so let your imagination soar or focus in on exactly what sewing skills or techniques you require.

For Beginners (9 Years to Adult)
Machine & Sewing Basics (5-hour bundle)
Brand new to sewing or want a solid refresher? This is the place to start.

Makes a great gift certificate to go along with the gift of a new sewing machine! Read Helen’s blog post “What sewing machine should I buy” before you shop!

Session 1: Learn how to thread your machine, wind the bobbin, sew forward, reverse, turn curves and corners, how to secure your seams and proper pressing techniques. We’ll also look at perfect tension. You’ll create samples that you can refer to later. We’ll discuss several basic sewing supplies and sample them, so you can avoid any buying mistakes.

Session 2: Make a quilted zip-top pouch, a decorative pillowcase or flanged pillow—the choice is yours. You can also make something else.

Use your machine or Helen’s! Seam Diva Sewing Lounge has all the sewing supplies you need; just bring fabric and thread for your chosen project.

Two 2.5-hour sessions/$250 Purchase Now

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Quick Start Basics (One 2-hour session)
Ideal for a beginner who just needs a little direction or a refresher.

You’ll learn most of Session 1 from the Machine & Sewing Basics 5-hour Bundle—how to thread your machine, wind the bobbin, sew forward, reverse, curves and corners, how to secure your seams and proper pressing techniques. We’ll also look at perfect tension.

You’ll create samples that you can refer to later. We’ll discuss several basic sewing supplies and sample them, so you can avoid any buying mistakes.

One 2-hour session, $120 Purchase Now

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Beginning Garment Sewing
(5-hour bundles, used at your pace)
Get more sewn when you do homework between lessons! Work through a series of projects or just one:

a chef or artist apron, a pair of drawstring PJ pants, an a-line skirt, or whatever you decide on. You’ll make technique samples for each project for practice and to refer to later.

5-hour bundles, used at your pace Purchase Now

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Beginning Craft Sewing
(5-hour bundles, used at your pace)
The emphasis here is on non-garment sewing. This is especially popular with kids, but adults have fun, too.

Work through a series of projects or just one: a quilted pot holder, easy messenger bag, a corded pillow, beginning quilt techniques and plush toys (Helen’s personal guilty pleasure). Options abound!

5-hour bundles, used at your pace Purchase Now

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For Intermediate to Advanced Sewers
The Art of FIT
Learning the art of fit is imperative for successful garment sewing, and it’s Helen’s personal specialty as a teacher. Learn the Palmer/Pletsch method of fitting using any commercial pattern. If you’ve sewn and struggled with fit, this track is for you.

Helen recommends that all her fit students start with Palmer/Pletsch for McCall’s pattern 6750—a perfect blouse to learn fit. In general, it takes a student 5-6 hours to trim the pattern, pin fit, alter the tissue, cut from fabric and do the first fabric fitting. After this, the sewing starts!

Consider that altering your pattern will take about 1/3 of your total project time. You’ll get faster and better as you practice. For private lessons, a 5-hour bundle will get you through fitting the blouse (you will cut fabric and sew mostly at home as homework).

Want more fit? After the blouse, Helen can recommend more and you can keep learning with her ‘until you’re off and flying on your own.

Zippers Invisible, centered, lapped, fly, hand-picked. Learn some or all the easy way! Plan approximately 1 hour per zipper.

Pockets Cargo, patch, side-seam, welted and many more. Plan on 1 hour for each, longer for welt pockets.

Applique This is a lovely way to adorn your projects. Learn the secrets to making perfect shapes and hand or machine application.

Doll clothes The construction of doll clothing is different than bigger garments to avoid sewing in tiny circles. It’s fun, fast and will answer the question of where do you get all those darling little buttons and findings? Mysteries unravel!

Jeans Yes, you can sew jeans! There’s a logical order to sewing jeans—do most of the signature top stitching in the right order to avoid the constant re-threading of your sewing machine. And if you sew them with Helen, they will fit!

Sergers Learn to use your serger and put it to work for you. You’ll love all the time-saving features of a serger. A great beginning serger class is 5 hours, and will change your sewing life! In addition, Seam Diva Sewing Lounge has sergers that you can work with to help you make a buying decision.

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