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Class Reviews > Cynthia Guffey Bridge to Beautiful Sewing

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Posted by: patriciae

About patriciae
Member since: 5/10/06
Reviews: 5 (classes: 2)
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Posted on: 11/18/06 0:40 AM
Rating: starstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 10 people   
I attended 2 of Cynthia Guffey's workshops at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo recently. The first dealt with preparations for sewing (grainline, pattern marking, pinning, more grainline), and the second with actual garment sewing (collars, directional sewing, easing in sleeves, etc).

First, let me say Cynthia is a fabulous sewer; probably one of the best out there. She sews with an incredible amount of attention to detail, and so much precision. She is very passionate about sewing, and has a vast amount of technical knowledge.

The downside to this is that she is a big advocate of some very time consuming processes (for example, she hems skirts in 3 separate rows by hand and advocated changing your sewing direction 6 times while sewing sleeveless armholes for proper directional sewing). It seemed the majority of her tips involved hand basting or hand understitching of some type (not that I am always opposed to this). She is not a fan of sergers, and I definately fall in the opposite viewpoint of this.

I DO feel I got my money's worth (a mere $19 per class at the Expo), but if I had understood her philosophy beforehand, I probably would have opted for other instructors instead. My fault for rushing in to register...

I would be interested in attending her FITTING seminars, as I think her precision and attention for detail would be a definate plus here.

It was amazing to hear how she thinks through her garments/sewing, but at this stage of my life, I am looking for better results with the same or less effort than I am putting in now. Cynthia would be perfect for those couture minded sewers. I just need a little more efficiency in my sewing than her techniques allow. Maybe someday when my nest is empty and I have a quiet house I can take on more of these principles. Her results are beautiful, but they would be painstakingly time consuming for me to implement.

Just thought I would post this for those contemplating which classes to register for.

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LaurieEm said... (2/10/07 8:31 PM) Reply
Patriciae, thank you for a helpful review. I am a Cynthia fanatic, and it is good to be reminded that Cynthia and her techniques might not be for everyone. I could steer someone to her inappropriately due to my own over enthusiasm.
annsew65 said... (1/18/07 3:42 AM) Reply
Patricia, I've been a big fan of Cynthia's and have attended lots of her seminars in previous expos - both in Chantilly, VA and Atlanta. I'm getting ready to register for the upcoming Atlanta show in March and have been contemplating if I really want more of her classes this time. I think I'll probably take the seminar on fitting backs (hoping I might glean a little insight in fitting for my scoliotic back), but I don't think I'll be taking any others. I have lots of her tapes and really think I'd rather spend my $$$$ on those as her techniques really show up better there. I aspire to do more sewing using her techniques, but it seems when I really get down to it, I really don't use them that much. I've just gotten into machine embroidery and it looks like I'll be loading up on classes to help me learn more techniques on this. Thanks for your insight, because I was contemplating taking this as an evening class.
Tere Sews said... (11/29/06 8:35 AM) Reply
Cynthia has a huge fan base evidenced by the number of people who attend her sessions. Initially I too was taken aback by the hand basting and other time consuming techniques she uses when there are so many time saving products to help us these days. But then something she said struck home. She has expressed that she knows that most of us don't sew to save money on clothes. It is our hobby. So if this is something we love, why would the time we spend be an issue? If the point of golf was to get reach the 9th hole as quickly and efficiently as possible, our husbands would be off the course a lot sooner. She helped me appreciate the process as much as the final product....although I am not ready to change directions 6 times for one seam! Maybe she will make a convert of me yet.
jeanharville said... (11/21/06 11:30 AM) Reply
Thanks so much for pointing out her sewing philosophy. Although I am an empty nester, I work full time and have little time to sew. Therefore, I'm like you in that I need efficiency techniques. You have save me some money. jean
Rhoda K said... (11/21/06 8:56 AM) Reply
I agree with you completely. I saw her at an expo in '98 and although I love the results, I don't know that I'm that detailed. I also agree that, with her detail, a fitting class would be great. Thanks for your review.
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