Barbara Cruse is a certified Islander Sewing Systems instructor whose schedule includes classes at Sew Contempo in Houston, TX at both the Clear Lake and Missouri City stores.
Easy Zippers was an all-day class where she took us step-by-step through 5 different zipper insertion techniques: slot, lap, invisible, traditional fly and mock fly zipper. These are the same techniques covered in the Islander Easy Zippers DVD. Barbara followed the Islander techniques with the exception being for the invisible zipper she had us sew the seam beneath the zipper first - a variation she learned from Kenneth King.
Class materials that were provided included all the zippers and materials prepared for zipper insertion. Fabric was already interfaced and pieces cut out. We were provided step-by-step instructions to keep, but they were not illustrated.
Pluses: Barbara is an excellent teacher and walked us through each technique a step at a time so no one got lost. She would wait until everyone was caught up and answered any questions before going to the next step.
She used a video camera with a projector so most of the time we could see her demonstrating from our seats without having to hop up and down to see.
Minuses: Without the hand-out being illustrated I'm not sure how well I'll be able to remember all the steps for each method. But Barbara provided contact information and encouraged students to contact her if we have questions later.
I'm not sure if this is a minus, but the techniques assumed that the garment pieces are already cut out per the Islander sewing techniques. I'm not sure if the seam allowances will always be what the commercial patterns are marked for.
All in all a very positive experience. I'm very excited about zippers instead of intimidated.