|This is an excellent class taught by Shannon Gifford. First, I'll talk about the class.
This is a class to make a muslin for a woven top or jacket. Like all of the classes on PR, the core of the class is written lessons made available as Adobe PDF files, a class Q&A board, and online chats. The class was hosted on the site for 3 weeks; Deepika was very nice and extended the class to 3 1/2 weeks, to keep the class Q&A board open for another 3-4 days. There were 12 lessons in all, with two "bonus" lessons. Shannon sent out one lesson per day, M-F. The class Q&A board technically opens on the first day of class, but it's open to an pre-class questions that people may have as well.
The class is extremely well organized...of all of the classes that I've taken here on PR (I've taken 8, I think), this one has been the most well organized. The lessons follow a very logical progression as you actually make a muslin from a pattern of your choosing. Shannon sets out guidelines for good "first time" muslins, i.e. anything with a set-in sleeve and front opening, essentially.
The lessons are very detailed, thorough, and the instructions are very good...very clear. Lots of color pictures are included. Shannon goes through all of the major fitting issues for both darted patterns and ones with princess seams (she covers armhole princess seams and shoulder princess seams). She explains how to spot a fitting issue and how to resolve it. My favoritie part of her teaching style is that she's so laidback and pragmatic: she uses simple techniques where appropriate and more advanced techniques where appropriate.
Shannon puts the Q&A board to good use...the whole class was able to post pics of our muslins as we made progress and she gave us feedback on it...in other words, there was no need to wait for the next chat in order to get our questions answered. One of the really nice aspects of the Q&A board was that we could each learn from each other's muslins. Very nice.
There were three chats in total. The first two were at 9pm EST and the last one was at 12noon. I felt that the chats were helpful for questions which required a real-time conversation. One could come and go from the chat as needed; if one couldn't attend a chat due to life or schedules, that was fine as well. A transcript for each chat was made available in a very reasonable amount of time, usually within a couple of days. Thanks, Deepika!
While I wouldn't recommend using the PDF files alone to make and correct a muslin...unless you have a very good grasp of how to read and fix a wrinkle, they serve as good refreshers for the whole process. In my mind, the "value" of the PDFs is to teach you a systematic way of making and adjusting a muslin. That way, once one part of the muslin has been corrected, say, the shoulders, then from then one, you know any wrinkles aren't due to shoulder issues. You can then look to another part of the body to see what's causing a wrinkle. It can seem time consuming at first, but the system really saves you time AND frustration, in the end.
Now to Shannon. She's great. More patient than the day is long. She answered every single question that we asked and did so cheerfully. She checked the boards for questions/concerns several times a day, even on the weekends. She WANTS you to succeed. She's happy to share her knowledge and her time. She's an expert with a lot of years of sewing experience, from theater to custom clothing. And should you not be able to finish the muslin in the allotted time on PR...she continues her support via email until you are done with your muslin. Shannon MAKES this class fantastic; I will take every class she offers here on PR and elsewhere, if she starts teaching elsewhere.
I would recommend this class to anyone who is having trouble fitting a woven top. In addition, a digital camera is a real plus for this class. It's almost a necessity. That way, you can take a picture of your muslin as you progress through the lessons and get feedback from Shannon.
Hope this helps!