Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Costume College 2011 - Classes

I only took 4 classes at Costume College - despite signing up rather late, somehow I got into 3 of the 4 limited classes I requested (limiteds are the hand-on workshops, and unlimiteds are lectures). Each class was long and took up most of each day, but I didn't mind - I got to make some new pieces and try things I'd wanted to learn about for a long time.

I think that most of these classes will be offered again in the future, so I'm going to recap them in case you want to know more. I know I'm a bit effusive about them, but they were all great - the teachers all volunteered (many MANY) hours on their classes, and their hard work showed.

Friday I was in an all-day class on Pocket Hoops. J.P. Ryan herself came out from the East Coast to teach the class, and we used her pattern. It's an excellent pattern and went together quickly, but there were a couple parts that I didn't understand from the instructions, and I'm glad she was there to answer questions. The pattern is correct, but a couple of the construction illustrations could be reworked for clarity. IMO, the best part of the class was that she brought all the materials for us, so I didn't have to worry about which weight of linen or reed to buy, or how to handle the reed in the hoops. That saved me many hours of research and guesswork! (And yes, they do collapse for storage.)

On Saturday, I got into a very popular limited class on Regency Bodiced Petticoats, taught by Mela Hoyt-Heydon & Martha Davis. The first part was an unlimited lecture on the construction & materials, and they primarily referenced Hunnisett's Period Costume for Stage & Screen. In the second part they did fittings on us and made a bodice pattern so that we can make our own at home. I'm very curious to see how the shape will compare with my Regency Stays...once all those projects are finished. ;) We sent our measurements in advance and they had muslins ready for us, and tag-teamed the fitting & pattern work. They worked really hard, and I'm looking forward to having proper undergarments for the next Jane Austen Evening!

Finished bodice pattern after fitting - it's tiny! High waisted AND low-cut.
Gusset size, shape and placement were determined during the fitting -
so much smarter than using the generic placement in a pattern.
Sunday I took a 3rd limited - Beginning Embroidery with Catherine Scholar. I've tried to teach myself embroidery several times previously, but there's no substitute for a real person showing you technique and giving tips. When it's finished, I'll stitch this up into a little Regency-style reticule (purse). I was so excited when I saw the project - it's exactly the kind of purse I'd pick to make. Have I ever mentioned how much I love monograms? And did you notice that it's GREEN? :)

Sunday afternoon I attended the unlimited lecture "What Real People Wore - 1930's and 1940's" by Lauren - she had a ton of info, and I just wish the lecture had been longer! I think she's going to post some of her research material on her blog, so keep an eye out!


  1. So jealous, I think I need to figure out a way to join you next year!

  2. How fascinating! I thought Costume College was mainly walking around in costume. Those classes sound great and very practical and fun! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jen - you'd have a blast! you should come - it's perfect for us costume schizos!

    Laurie - I think people who have been going for a long time don't attend many classes and just hang out. But there were SO many great classes, it's really a huge part of the event.


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