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Class Reviews > Precision Sewing Techniques by Cynthia Guffey

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Posted by: Peggy L
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About Peggy L starstarstar
NV United States
Member since: 4/8/02
Reviews: 109 (classes: 4)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 44 people
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Posted on: 2/14/07 7:15 AM
Rating: starstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 8 people   
I took this class at the ETA-Dallas as a preday class. This class was an all day class devoted mainly to the collar, collar band, and placket of a shirt and several hand-stitching techniques - Cynthia's triple hem and hand-rolled hem. The good things about this class: Cynthia is a "sewing engineer" and has wonderful techniques. If you get the chance to take a class with her, do it!!! I am looking forward to making a shirt and trying out these new collar techniques and making beautiful points!! We all made samples so we would know how to do it when we got home. I actually think I might try the triple hem - the stitch is simple and I have done it before. The idea is that your hem won't show - or sag. It probably doesn't take as long to actually do as it sounds! The bad: one iron for 20 students made for too much waiting around time; the kit fee was $20 and included a minature collar, collar band, shirt front, front band and interfacing (not precut or applied). For that price, I think the interfacing should have been precut and applied and all kit pieces put in a baggie to be passed out. Several people (we won't name names!) got the interfacing on the wrong side and it made it pretty confusing plus it was time consuming waiting on the iron. This class could easily have been done as a half-day class if the kits had been put together, interfacing ironed on, and passed out to everyone in a baggie. The cost of the class was $94 plus the kit fee of $20. If this had been a half-day class on Friday afternoon, those of us from out-of-town could have driven in Friday morning and saved a night at the hotel.

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Sherril Miller said... (11/18/07 2:32 PM) Reply
I'm so glad I read this review before I took her class this weekend. I took my own iron and board, which was well used. There were several irons and the hotel even provided some for us. She had already put the interfacing on for us. We did have full collars and half neckband/shirt fronts. I cut my collar in half before topstitching so I could use the second half as an example that I could open up and look at for reference. I was very impressed on how great my collar/band looked. I should get busy and make a shirt before I forget how to make it. I had seen her do this technique in a lecture class, but the hands on was much more meaningful since she talks 100 MPH! The price didn't bother me much but I wish she had covered the placket too.
sewsally said... (3/18/07 12:46 PM) Reply
I love Cynthia and wish I had the opportunity to take a hands-on class with her. I have seen many demos but I can't quite remember her no bulk technique for attaching the collar stand to the blouse. Regardless of the cost of the kit, I think its a privilege to take a class from her.
PegL said... (2/19/07 5:57 PM) Reply
Our class had only half shirt fronts too and I think we had one gal put the interfacing on the wrong side. Perhaps our instructions were better? Cynthia did walk us through it step by step. I'm sorry you all had so many disappointments and problems. It's a shame because sewing classes are supposed to be fun and no stress. ;>)
Peggy L said... (2/19/07 5:08 PM) Reply
PegL - the problem with the interfacing was that we only had half of the shirt front!! The interfacing needs to be on the public side and when you only have half to work with it caused major confusion. My guess is almost half the people (no names here!) had it on the wrong side .
PegL said... (2/19/07 2:25 PM) Reply
Leslie, I think that if the kit had been included in the class fee so you didn't know what you were being charged for it, it might not be such a sticky point. In my class everything was included so I was blissfully unaware of possibly being stiffed! LOL We did get several pieces of fabric, including silk organza for the seam techniques we did that maybe you didn't get. I have to say, I'm more than a little surprised that Cynthia wasn't more organized so that there wasn't so much time wasted. In our class she was pushing us pretty hard all day and we covered a lot of territory in the one day. Not to nitpick some more...or maybe I am...I think part of the learning process would be learning which side the interfacing needed to be applied on. I have no sewing assistants who do that for me at home so I want to figure it out when I'm in class on my own. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
Leslie in Austin said... (2/19/07 11:38 AM) Reply
I don't think the beef most of us had was with the cost of the class itself, but rather with the $20 fee for the "kit" (aka, a couple of pieces of cotton fabric and a couple of pieces of interfacing that we cut and fused--often incorrectly--ourselves).
Glenda of CO said... (2/17/07 10:53 PM) Reply
I, too, took the class and learned a great deal that I know will improve the quality of my sewing. I had misplaced my straight stitch plate and had a 9mm plate! Not what I would recommend but it worked OK. I felt the price was fine for an out-of-town speaker. I do pay less per hour for my in-town teacher but then she doesn't have to rent a hotel room, etc. The fee seems very reasonable compared to other types of training I have taken both professionally and for other personal interests.
PegL said... (2/16/07 3:56 PM) Reply
PeggyL suggested I add to these comments since I took the same class from Cynthia in November at the KC Expo. I paid $139. for the class, kit and lunch and felt I got a good deal. In the class I took we completed the collar/band application in the morning and then learned several seam finishes using fabrics, including silk organza, supplied by Cynthia. We had several irons too. BTW, the number of irons is up to the organizers of the show. Instructors don't provide those. I feel I should add something regarding the price of the class. I used to take graphic art classes on a regular basis where I had to travel long distances, stay in hotels, etc. and the classes were in the several hundred dollar range. I think perhaps as sewers we undervalue both our knowledge and the price of gaining more. In other fields nobody bats an eye at high class fees. Just my opinion of course.
Peggy L said... (2/15/07 5:01 PM) Reply
Someone PM'd me and let me know they paid $130 for this same class at another expo. The $130 included the class, lunch and kit. We paid $114 total for the class, lunch and kit. Maybe we are "clueless in Texas" because we have so few sewing events to attend. I learned a lot and had fun - you always learn from Cynthia but did spend another $18 for the book. As for the straight stitch plate, I've had one for a long time so didn't buy it special. Cyclegirl didn't have one and the curve on her band put the rest of us on our row (the PR crowd) to shame!
BettyMike said... (2/15/07 4:02 PM) Reply
louann, I don't have a straight stitch plate for my machine, actually there isn't one for it, and I did fine. Used the straight stitch foot. I'm sure it would be better to have both, but I'll have to make do without. Just make sure to take an extension cord and a power strip, just in case.
Mountainlover said... (2/15/07 3:05 PM) Reply
Thanks for your review. I am signed up for this class in Atlanta and am now forwarned. For those of you who have taken the class, I have a question about the straight stitch throat plate. I don't have one for the machine I'm taking to the class. I do have a straight stitch foot though. In your opinion, do I need to order a straight stitch throat plate for the class, or can I learn and do what I need to without it? Thanks!
Cecile Owens said... (2/15/07 2:32 PM) Reply
I want to add that I took a measuring class in Reno last year with Cynthia and I was terribly disappointed because we actually were unable to finish in the allotted time and when I mentioned this to her, she suggested that I buy the tapes which would have been a major outlay of $-I figured about $900. She is an excellent teacher and has a lot of knowledge but not enough time was allotted for the class and the sales pitch is annoying since the class fee was $100 and the measurements were done in groups of students with not much individual help from Cynthia. She is a wealth of knowledge and expertise, but the class was VERY disappointing.
Alice near Atlanta said... (2/15/07 11:57 AM) Reply
class. In my opinion that's way too much money for both the class and the "kit". Hopefully someone will read this review and make price adjustments. It reminds me of eBay where an item may be reasonable pricd but then the seller rips you off on the S & H. When you consider how much a whole semester cost in after school class I think $94 is extreme and I don't care how good the class is. I tell it like I see it.
Alice near Atlanta said... (2/15/07 11:52 AM) Reply
Expo's coming to Atlanta in March. Actually it's in Duluth's expo center, thank goodness, a short ride for me and I certainly don't want to go into Atlana. That said, I won't be going to THIS
OP Gal said... (2/15/07 9:41 AM) Reply
Too bad the class was so poorly organized. For that amount of money, you'd expect more. At least you feel you learned something.
BettyMike said... (2/14/07 4:43 PM) Reply
I agree with Peggy and Leslie. And the $20 for the non-kit kit was high. It wouldn't have been so bad if it had actually been a "kit". Some people wouldn't have wasted time re-cutting and interfacing pieces if it had already been done. I did learn quite a bit, and I feel more confident about doing collars.
Leslie in Austin said... (2/14/07 8:55 AM) Reply
Yeah, the class had some logistical problems and was way more expensive than it really should have been, but I definitely learned a lot. It was great to see the methods that Cynthia uses--I can actually see collar perfection in my future. Among the things she suggested: Always use a straight stitch foot and plate for precision, and clip clip clip clip clip clip clip the curves. The curve on the collar stand looked like brush fringe when she was done with it.
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