|This is actually a review of 2 seminars I attended last week with Sandra Betzina, but since one was a session of the store's "Sew Creative" club, and shorter than a normal class, I am reporting on both together.
The Sew Creative club session focused on "Cool Stuff for Your Home," with the information taken from Sandra's new book on home dec. It was mainly a show and tell format--Sandra showed a luxurious cashmere/alpaca throw bound with Chinese brocade, explained how to make it and suggested alternative fabrics that could be used. These were pretty quick to make in spite of the luxe look, and were made as Christmas gifts one year. Sandra also had a lot about pillows; my favorites were a pieced ribbon one and another with a stack effect. Drapery linings were also discussed as a must in any window treatment.
While Sandra devoted a short segment of the club session to garment sewing, the other class, "Marriage of Pattern, Fabric, Accessories, and You," was where the real focus on garments came out. This was a 3 hour session of 8-10 participants. We were asked to bring 2-3 pieces of fabric and some patterns we weren't sure what to do with. Sandra when through each bundle of fabric and patterns and offered her ideas on what to do with each item. Everyone brought in very different items, so the entire class was interesting. I learned a lot about a wide range of fabrics and how to treat them to get the best results. It was also helpful to get Sandra's take on the multitude of patterns we brought in. Sandra also had a brief section about accessory trends--colors, jewelry, belts, shoes--that will assist in developing our personal style. Of course, Sandra had samples of her patterns to look at and try on.
I really enjoy Sandra's presentations, so I always try to attend her classes when she's in town. The store (Ann Silva's Bernina--see review) has her come at least once a year. Sandra is a fun presenter, and her classes are always entertaining and informative. I only gave the classes a 2 for a couple of reasons: I'm not big on home dec, and I don't totally agree with some of the recommendations she gave in the longer class. However, Sandra is definitely worth seeing if she comes to your area, and I recommend her strongly.
PS: The following patterns have been discontinued from the Today's Fit line, due to McCall's decision to limit these patterns to no more than number in the catalog. As you may know, they recently purchased Vogue/Butterick. You can still get them direct from Sandra Betzina's web site. Butterick: 3014, 3123, 3124, 3300, 3339. Vogue: 7136, 7183, 7274, 7359. Also, any future Today's Fit will be Vogue.