|I had the good fortune to spend an entire day with Shirley Adams at a seminar sponsored by my sewing guild. The format was simple: Shirley Adams had about 150 garments displayed in front of the class and discussed each garment or group of garments based on her 5 basic patterns, her pattern design variations, and her surface embellishments.
First let me say that she is a gifted speaker and presenter. The day flew by as she explored in detail her methods for using a base pattern, altered to fit (once!), and then modified to create as many variations as you please. Many of her finished designs are designer knockoffs; all are unique and lovely. She has the fit thing down! And, freed from the need to alter every time she constructs a garment, she can explore necklines, front shapes and closings, dart variations and substitutions, sleeve treatments, and embellishments--from pintucking and pleating to beading and quilting. She showed us pin-weaving and needle felting, proclaiming that we, too, could become experts at these techniques in all of 30 seconds!
I think that everyone walked away dazzled and inspired, ready to think out of our respective little boxes, and eager to run right home and start sewing.
I cannot recommend this day-long seminar (or any class she teaches) too highly. Shirley Adams will make you believe that you can do anything you want with your sewing, that it's fun (it is!), and that your imagination is waiting to lead you down new paths.