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Class Reviews > Cynthia Guffey Hands On

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Posted by: LisaRM

About LisaRM star
Member since: 9/30/08
Reviews: 29 (classes: 1)
Skill level:Advanced Beginner
Favored by: 8 people
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Posted on: 11/15/08 9:39 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 17 people   
I live in Baton Rouge. When I searched the web for sewing instructors in Baton Rouge, I found Cynthia Guffey. I then learned of Cynthia's nationwide reputation.

I signed up for the 4 days hands on class and had visions of becoming an expert seamstress in 4 days. I set a personal goal of completing 4 garmets in 4 days. That was an unreal goal. I didn't complete any garmets, but I did get a better understanding of selecting and altering patterns for my curvy but fluffy body style.

Five of us were in the class. Usually there are six, but there was one cancellation. On the first day we were measured by Cynthia, and we began working on pant muslin. By the end of the day my brain was fried from calculating fractions every 2" of my lower body. I discovered I needed to use 4 different pattern pieces to accommodate an uneven hip. On the first day I realized I was not going to meet my goal of finishing my 4 garments and became disappointed.

On the second day we began sewing our pant muslins. One lady began a dress alteration. She appeared to be an expert seamstress had previously had fitting issues. She quickly turned out a muslin that looked great for her body style.

On the third day most of us started our jacket/top muslin. Time seemed to pass quickly. There were many, many questions from the group to Cynthia, and we had many "gather round" type moments where she had us look at issues that would apply to us all.

On the 4th day I felt very rushed wanting to get my top muslin tweaked and the final pant alterations transferred to my custom pant pattern piece. I did come home with what will probably the best custom pant pattern one can have.

For me the class is a starting point for a part of sewing I'll need to continue to work on. From now on, I'll need to buy a smaller size for my top and make adjustments for the back curve and shoulder width (I've never even considered this before). I did learn from the class, but what I learned was something different than I expected. My goal was to perfect sewing techniques, but instead I learned alterations and fitting techniques -- and that's something I needed.

Cynthia definitely knows how to fit patterns for less than perfect body styles. As she says's it's her gift. I did learn from the class, but it was different than what I expected.

Update 12/3/08: I can see the benefits of the Hands Off class paying off. I am working on a Vogue skirt set that needed MAJOR fitting alterations. After making 2 muslins of the top, one of the skirt, I think I've picked up great skills to build on. I think the top will have an outstanding fit.

In retrospect, my expectations of the class were mis-placed. I thought I would be learning sewing technique. I did learn some new techniques; however, what I really earned was alteration and fitting skills. I'm building these skills and have gained confidence in selecting the right patterns for my body type then altering for proper fitting garments.

If you have difficulties with pattern alterations and proper fitting garments, this is the class for you.

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AncientElna said... (8/1/10 7:55 PM) Reply
LisaRM: Thanks for providing an update. I think it clarifies your feelings about, and the benefits of the class!
Dee2 said... (9/3/09 6:44 PM) Reply
I live in Metairie & have wondered what Cynthia Guffey'e classes are like since the location is good for me. I am glad to read your review & may consider taking a class now that I know more.
pattisews said... (12/21/08 11:20 AM) Reply
I took mini classes with Cynthia at the Sewing and Quilt Expo in Tampa three years in a row. She is great. She also has a website with her itenerary. If you have such an Expo come to your area it is a great way to at least get a sampling of her talents.
fryman said... (11/28/08 9:33 PM) Reply
Thanks for this review. Does Cynthis hase a preplaned itinery for retreats or did you remain at home and attend classes at a different location? Please respond to [email protected] Much obliged!!
Robin Denning said... (11/22/08 7:40 PM) Reply
Thank you for such a thorough review- it certainly makes me wish I lived in Baton Rouge! Enjoy your new patterns and your sewing journey.
Nancy Rhodes said... (11/19/08 8:42 AM) Reply
Cynthia is just awesome.... Sounds like a positive experience for you & one that will transfer to everything you sew from here on out. Fit --or lack of -- is what causes so many disappointments. Thank you for sharing your experience. just count me olive green with envy!
Restart06 said... (11/16/08 10:26 AM) Reply
This class is not for those who want to pick out a pattern, make it & go. One really learns how to change any pattern to fit YOU so that you look & feel good in your clothes. With one pants, top, jacket, dress, & skirt mockup made to fit you, endless combos can be made that fit you exceptionally. I went to her class in August and it was life-changing for me. The information she presents is something that you will use for a lifetime, and your clothes will look & feel good, fit you and hang better than anything you can go buy in RTW. I am attending my 2nd class with her next year and plan on furthering my skills and can't wait.
10Ksteps said... (11/16/08 0:11 AM) Reply
How lucky for you she was in your area. I would love a class with her, but the location is too far away.
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