I am starting this out by saying: I am lucky to have an understanding and supportive husband. And a wonderful mother that can and will drop everything to come stay at my house and take care of my kiddos.
Last week, bright and early, I made the 2.5hr drive up the the Twin Cities to attend the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo. I actually went up a day early to attend an extra class being presented by Cynthia Guffey, Altering A Paper Pattern. I have learned a lot in the last year about pattern adjustments but this sounded like an awesome class. The actual expo started on Thursday and wemt through Saturday. I've never been to anything like this and really looked forward to it. I attended eleven classes, all on garment construction and/or alterations. The last class I took on Saturday was on having an alteration business.
I learned a lot from all of the teachers. Though none of them addressed any adjustments for a small bust, they did make sure to go into large bust adjustments in detail - which I have no need of personally.
I feel like I learned the most new information from Lorraine Henry. I took three of her classes, Fit: Measure Like a Master, Working With Combo Pack Figures, and Fit From the Floor. The method of pattern alteration that she teaches is new to me. It is the "Seam Method." I haven't had a chance to try it but I think it will be much easier than the old slash method. I do wish I had picked up her book and measuring tape set Measuring Made Easy from her booth. The text book that she uses and sells, Fitting and Pattern Alteration, looks like a really great book but I didn't have an extra $100 to spend, it did look like it is worth the money.
I took four classes from Cynthia Guffey, including the all day class. Altering A Paper Pattern was a learning experience. She measured our upper back curve then showed how to adjust a pattern accordingly, as well as other adjustments. The Edge Finishes: Stitching Perfect Piping was neat, you really learn the value of hand basteing! The Artful Pairings for Great Garments was disappointing; I thought the class was about pairing the right fabric to a pattern style but Cynthia didn't really talk about fabric, just that you match the "contrast of your face to the contrast of the fabric combinations" to para phrase. Her class Fitting the Armhole, Adjusting the Sleeve was much more informative. She showed some of the different fitting adjustments to make to a pattern and how to adjust both pattern pieces.
Kathy Ruddy's classes were okay but they were filled with a lot of selling points for her booklets.
Carol Steinbrecher's class on Alterations for RTW Jeans Solutions would have been good if I hadn't already learned all the techniques from various blogs online.
Peggy Sagers' class Favorite Factory Methods was really good. She showed how to sew a fly-front zipper quickly and a welt pocket very easily, which I've had problems with so to see it done was nice.
Overall I enjoyed the expo classes and the break from being at home. I feel like I learned some new information and now just need to put it to use.