CGW is a club for amateurs and professionals who like to make historical, science fiction, or fantasy costumes.

CGW Workshop: One-Hour Dress



Saturday, June 28, 2014, 10am – 4pm

“A smart, up-to-the-minute dress cut out, completely made, all ready to put on within an hour! You may receive a ‘phone call at one o’clock inviting you to a little impromptu gathering of friends at three, and you can go, if you wish, wearing a dainty new frock make in the time you would ordinarily spend wondering what to wear. Such is the delight you can find in making your own clothes now that it is easily possible to make an attractive, becoming dress in an hour.

And you can have as many “One Hour Dresses” as your heart desires — in infinite variety, for the “One Hour Dress” is not a style of dress, it is a method of making. It is a new and simple plan by which the Dress you select from the many designs in this book can actually be cut out, put together, finished all complete in sixty minutes. And you can create other “One Hour Dresses” for yourself, because different combinations of colors and materials, different finishes and touches of decoration will enable you to have just the dress that appeals to your taste and have it quickly and at little cost.”

Mary Brooks Picken 1925

one-hourdress2Come join us for a One-Hour Dress Workshop taught by Mela Hoyt-Heydon, in preparation for the Costumer’s Guild West Single Pattern Challenge at the annual meeting in October. The One-Hour Dress was developed by Mary Brooks Picken, the Director of Instruction at the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. Rather than a single pattern, it is a method of construction that can produce a wide variety of looks, all somewhat in the same style. With the right help, it is achievable by someone with beginning sewing skills or it can be taken to great extremes by an experienced seamstress and lends itself to an almost endless array of variations and embellishments.

Tickets: $20 for CGW and Sister Group members. Click here to buy a ticket.

Who is welcome: CGW and Sister Group Members. As the lecture is in a costume shop, children will not be accommodated. This event is not available to non-members. Become a CGW member today!


What is included: Refreshments, including lunch, will be provided.

Teacher Provides: The pattern for the one-hour dress will be provided.

Student Brings: You will need to bring a basic sewing kit, 3-3 ½ yards of preshrunk and ironed fabric* and thread to match.


Location: Fullerton College Theater Department, 321 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, Room 1310

Parking: Parking is available in the Fullerton parking structure on Lemon and Fullerton College Drive for $2. Some street parking is available, but please be sure to follow all parking signs and regulations.

*Fabric types This is a very versatile dress and can accommodate many fabric types – quote “The fact that it is a little less tailored than the one-piece dress makes it more adaptable to a variety of fabrics, from wool to calico, from Swiss to chiffon; in fact any fabric that does not have a definite nap, such as flat-pile velvet, broadcloth, or similar materials, can be used.  Stripes are very smart for it, used lengthwise in the blouse and around in the skirt. Heavy silk crepes and wash fabrics are ideal.”

Remember that lighter fabrics will be see through and need to have a complimentary slip under it.

*Fabric widths If you are more than a 38-inch bust, use 40-inch material.  If you are less than 38, 36-inch material is satisfactory.  And if you are less than 34, 32-inch material may be used.  From 3 to 3 1/2 yards of 36-40 inch material are required.  Of course wider fabric can be used.  You may also bring two types of complimentary fabrics (top with contrast bottom), I would suggest 2 yards of each to ensure that you have enough of either to accommodate the design.

MelaTeacher: We are privileged to have as our instructor Mela Hoyt-Heydon, a union costume designer for the entertainment industry and is the head of the design department at Fullerton College. She is also part of the Smithsonian’s “American Research Expedition,” a member of the Costume Society of America and currently working on a book about men’s period tailoring. Additionally, Mela is one of Costume College’s most veteran teachers as well as a Dean Emeritus AND Dean for 2014.

CGW Liaison: If you should have any questions about the class, please contact Maryann Jones. A phone number will be provided to ticket holders, in case you need to get in touch last minute.