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Class Reviews > 4 day hands on intensive

Massachusetts, UNITED STATES
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Posted by: jorgel
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About jorgel star
Member since: 7/5/08
Reviews: 17 (classes: 1)
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Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 4 people
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Posted on: 6/21/09 7:38 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 14 people   
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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!

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AncientElna said... (8/1/10 7:59 PM) Reply
Thank you for specifying Cynthia's approach: my upper back and shoulder + C+ cup size are a continual frustration for me. Perhaps Cynthia is the right fitting teacher for me!
marymary86 said... (6/29/10 8:08 AM) Reply
Thank you for all the details you provided!! I keep hearing about Cynthia's classes and this makes me want to attend one!!
dbsewer said... (7/10/09 8:09 AM) Reply
I wish I had known about this class. I skipped Worcester because it was pretty boring last year but learning that Cynthia was coming for a four day intensive would have been worth the price of admission. As someone who's taken her day class at the expo, I can say I agree with you that she is a wonderful teacher, kind and very patient. Hopefully if she does come back, I'll hear about it in time to sign up.
nancy2001 said... (6/25/09 11:31 AM) Reply
Jorgel, thanks for your very helpful review. I hope you will be able to post reviews of the garments you made from these patterns.
jorgel said... (6/22/09 9:37 PM) Reply
Rebecca, the class was held at an Econo Lodge just south of Worcester. Food and lodging were not included, the price was just Cynthia's fee for the workshop. 3 of the people stayed at the hotel, 2 commuted. It was expensive, but well worth the price. After all, how many things have we all sewn that we never wear because they don't fit...
procrastpat said... (6/22/09 1:35 PM) Reply
It's often hard to tell if these workshops/classes are worth the money, it's nice to know that you get something to show for the $. I went for a cheap workshop and was very disappointed. I'll have to reconsider these classes, of course I will have to convince my better half.
Tere Sews said... (6/22/09 12:46 PM) Reply
Trying to delete duplicate again!
Tere Sews said... (6/22/09 12:44 PM) Reply
Deleted duplicate
Tere Sews said... (6/22/09 12:41 PM) Reply
Barb, you so trumped me! I was just logging on to write my review of the class so let me add this....This was the best use of $1200 I have spent on a sewing class. I feel so enabled to produce clothing that fits me to a T. Since Cynthia's former life was as the owner of a dressmaking shop, she really knows how to tweak a flattering fit regardless of your shape. But she also knows how to convey how to achieve it on your own. I came home with a beautifully fitted mock ups of a jacket, blouse and pants. One of the patterns was Cynthia's design but you can choose what ever pattern you wish from the Big 4 to independent pattern companies. And the pace is completely up to you, so if you want to complete something from pattern alteration to finished garment, it is completely up to you. But speaking of pace...Barb out paced us all by churning out five mock ups! I will definitely do this again next year!
sarahb said... (6/22/09 11:40 AM) Reply
Wow, so interesting. I love intensive classes like this and have a much easier time learning in a classroom setting like this. I'm going to keep her in mind--does she have a website?
Rebecca Szetela said... (6/22/09 6:26 AM) Reply
Thanks for the review. It's interesting to know how a class went with a fitting expert. Was the class in a hotel? Just wondering since the price tag is so high.
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