|This was a total indulgence for me! 4 days of 'sew-your-brains-out' with Cynthia Guffey. I went with a friend and we stayed at Cynthia's friend Peggy's house, where the class was held in her family room. This worked out great, Peggy made incredible southern breakfasts (both she and Cynthia are really into good food - not necessarily good for you - and I must have put on 3 lbs in the four days!) She and her husband could not have been more hospitable, serving us wine as we sewed into the evening. We were with a great group of women and spent as much time laughing as sewing - and we sewed A LOT. The class is from 9.30 to 6p, but we got up early, sewed, had breakfast, sewed, went out for lunch together, sewed......you see the picture. My friend and I were so fired up we sewed until 11p some nights!
Cynthia is an incredible teacher for anyone who has not been to a class before - she is a very precise sewer, but very tolerant of all of our mistakes, shortcuts and sewing 'confessions'. I don't particularly like to feel stupid, and she has such humor that I never did. We had a wide range of sewing abilities there (from 'what's a pleat?' to several repeat attendees), and we were all catered for perfectly. She starts by taking your measurements PROPERLY - for the first time for most of us, and then you alter any number of patterns that you brought with you extremely precisely and I think that I understand the process properly for the first time. You make a muslin(s), she fits and helps you alter them. All along there are little lessons into hemming, handpicking zippers, pressing, correct stitching technique, seam treatments, sewing with the grain and anything else that you want to learn. Don't expect to do any serging though! As everyone (5) brought different patterns and varied in body habitus widely, we got to see all types of alterations - full bust, small bust, symmetric, asymmetric, short, tall, etc.
I came away with the perfect pants pattern, muslined and mostly completed, and and 2 adjusted jacket patterns. Doesn't sound a lot for 4 days, but I can't tell you how much I learnt from doing this (also had to junk my first jacket pattern as it was not going to work for me after 2 muslins). I also learnt how to do some new techniques for double faced wool - all by hand, so don't expect a photo real soon!
She has some very nice patterns, raw silk and wool fabrics as well as notions that you can buy, and a series of dvds/videos that were very popular.
In summary: Total blast of a week in Baton Rouge. Highly recommend it and plan to return in a year or two if dh will let me!