We’re Looking for Teachers for 2017 Costume College

During the last couple months, we were asking students on the Costume College Year-Round Forum on Facebook what kind of classes would they like to see offered. It was predominantly historical but I also asked everyone for more SciFi/Fantasy/Cosplay ideas.

In the next month a request will go out for teacher applications, so I hope this gives you some time and ideas to come up with some classes.

There is a lot of interest in timeline presentations of historical dress, corsets, petticoats, hats, reticules/purses, hair styles.

For the Bonus Track: Understructures of the Costume, I’m looking for the usual historical stuff: corsets, skirt & sleeve supports, hat forms, anything that would give the proper silhouette.   But also for the other genres:  armor, wing frames, hat forms, electronic additions, making prosthetics, weaponry. Think beyond the actual dress or costume but of things you need to make it work.  Use your own experiences to think of what is needed.

These are the ideas that came from the questions asked on the Forum group. See if there’s anything you might be able to teach, or maybe you have some other ideas that you can offer.

No need to send anything in now; just give it some thought.

Teacher requests will be sent out in December, and the due date for applications is January 15, 2017.


FOR BEGINNERS: overviews of different time periods, accessories & hats/hair, under-supports, pick a time period that you have a place to wear them, pattern companies to begin with.

HISTORY: More history/ background stuff /timelines of fashion, discussions about the changing silhouettes, history of fashion types, more classes for men, making hairstyles and hairpieces from different time periods– Regency, 1870’s and 1890’s. More 1700s classes, how to identify changes within each decade (1700s), history on specific dresses, timeline history on corset styles, timeline history of reticules & purses. Coronation clothing of all time periods.

ACCESSORIZING: use of trims between 1860-1890. Pleats vs ruffles, contrast vs complimentary, patterns vs solid, use of lace, trim placement- broken down into smaller time periods. Rules of thumb, with extant images and fashion plate examples. Hands-on classes on period makeup, where you bring supplies & try techniques on yourself, Tiki trends from the 1940s-60s. Royal Orders: history & how to make them.

SPECIFIC ITEMS: Regency tiara class, (Kathryn Wolters) plan to offer matching combs—as well as got requests for more gold bullion embroidery classes, glove making,18th century quilted petticoats, tambour beading,  Northern Plains Indian beading, bias-cut short hose, working with and shaping wool hat blanks, taking a pattern from an extant garment, scaling up grid patterns, hands on feather class (stacking, curling, clipping cover the care & cleaning of them, How to wear wigs, 1920s hoop for robe de style,   sleeve poofs for 1830s/1890s.

SEWING HELP: setting in sleeves, joining opposing curves like princess seams, several types of zipper insertions including hand-picked, directional sewing, lecture on body size myths on a historical level, pattern fitting, how to measure yourself and the pattern for alteration, make basic pattern adjustments, drafting a basic block workshop, Victorian Sleeve Fitting, adapting Misses patterns for plus sizes, and their fitting or alteration tips. tips on ways to use dress forms for historical costuming or other uses, make hand-done buttonholes and holes for corsets, tailoring class, how to sew with difficult fabrics- velvet, sheers, fitting a fitted medieval kirtle or cote workshop, heirloom sewing and insertion lace, copying extant clothing and grading them for modern form, putting in a zipper.

OFF SHOOTS: lecture on what it takes to design and market a line of reproduction patterns, how to be your own photographer for costume pictures, would people be interested in a class on costume project management?

Historical dancing, 16th century galliards dance, Renaissance dance, Swing, Waltz, Jazz Age.

SciFi / Fantasy / Cosplay: applying and making fake eyelashes, makeup techniques from a drag queen and/or burlesque performer, electronics limited workshops- perhaps LEDs or EL wire, lights into a garment or fairy wings, fairy wings, creating a battery pack pouch along with a simple hat or crown, classes/lectures about using and making things out of modern materials (like that foam type stuff) for things like armor that’s lightweight. how to make things that don’t cause one to sweat to death underneath it, class on creating fairies, Tips and tricks for sizing and sewing with stretch fabrics, Thermoplastics in general- Worbla. Fosshape & Staying safe when working with adhesives and paints, fabric painting techniques (overview of several different techniques), how to research for cosplay, lecture on copyright and cosplay, creating a costume from a fantasy illustration, programming LEDs for light up costume elements, from Comics to Cosplay – translating a costume from a cartoon/drawing into a real world 3D outfit, Fantasy makeup, Making prosthetics, a cosplay wig class. A lot of the hairstyles have zero to do with actual physics so knowing how to translate an image to a physical reality, More armor classes. 3D printing classes might be interesting for some people too now that places like UPS have printers people can use, classes on foam, Sintra and Worbla, more of the fantasy/sci-fi classes to be focused on something other than steampunk. Just asking for a little more variety – super heroes, anime characters, movie recreations, game character repros…etc. Hands-on classes on fantasy makeup, where you bring supplies & try techniques on yourself.


Thank you!

3 Comments on “We’re Looking for Teachers for 2017 Costume College

  1. I have heard that 2017 classes will be on 1950-1960 attire. Is this true or will they be more traditional (late 1800s – early 1900s)?

    • Assistant Dean Val here: The main theme of 2017 is the ’60s. It’s not the required dress. You can take it as 1960, or even 1860 or 1760. Not everyone dresses the theme. Many of us wear what we’ve been working on during the year.

  2. It would be wonderful if you invited Evil Ted Smith to be a teacher this year. He is a master foam armor and weapon maker. He has been working in the movie industry for many years and he is generous with sharing his knowledge. He is also living in the Los Angeles area. Please look him up on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/evilted40  His home website http://eviltedsmith.com/ or Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/eviltedsmith

    He would be a most amazing addition to the bonus track. You will not find a more accomplished foam worker.
    I am just a fan of his – no personal gain to this post

Leave a Reply to Val LaBore Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *