|I just got home from a 4 day intensive with Cynthia Guffey, in Worcester, MA. I took a 1 day fit class from her at the Worcester Sewing Expo in April, and it was great. I came out of it with a wonderfully fitting shirt and a burning desire to learn more from her. So when she said she was going to come back in June to offer a 4 day intensive I was there!
This is a class with no particular agenda. Class size is limited to 6 (my class had 5 people in it), and you are welcome to work on whatever you like. Cynthia is (in my opinion) a specialist in fitting, although I would be hard put to name an area in the fashion and sewing arena that she is not exceptionally skilled at.
I was interested in learning how to alter patterns on paper, so they would fit at least reasonably well on the first try, and hopefully just need a few tweaks. As it turned out, that's what everyone else in the class wanted too, so everyone was working on the same thing.
Cynthia has a totally different approach to fitting than I've ever seen or heard before. Granted, I haven't taken a lot of fit classes, but I have read a lot of books, and do spend time lurking on the boards here. To quote her, 85% of your (upper body) fitting issues can be taken care of if you fit your upper back curve and your shoulder slope. After she took and recorded my measurements, I learned how to do those alterations, along with the ones for every other nook and cranny of my body.
During the 4 days, there were some (when requested by anyone) sewing demonstrations, all simple, clear and very useful. There were demonstrations of alterations for many many things. Whenever someone in the class would have a new issue to deal with, she would tell us to listen up, or gather round and pay attention, that it was something we might want to know about. Lots of specifics for the large busted among us, as well as the thin. When I wanted to try fitting a pattern that was going to be challenging and possibly not work well, she was willing to give it a go (and it turned out remarkably well, to our surprise).
Cynthia was incredibly generous with her time and knowledge. She clearly loves teaching. She was available from 10 in the morning till after 7 each evening with barely a break. It was not an inexpensive class, $1,200 for the 4 days, but if you can afford it you would not be sorry. I certainly expect my clothes to be fitting better from now on!