Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Costume College 2010 - Day 1 (includes notes)

Hello everyone! You all wanted my notes from Costume College right? =) And of course you want pictures too, but you will have have to wait for those. I'm using Gabrielle's laptop right now, as mine is not working right now. I really need to buy a new laptop. () :)

Costume College was so much fun! Going to lectures all day on costuming and sewing. Seeing everyone's beautiful costumes! Looking at the market place full of patterns and books that I had only seen online. It was so much fun and a great learning experience, we are considering going again next year. Next year the theme is going to be Medieval dress - how exciting!

Day One

9:00 AM - French Drape Pattern Making by Kathy Lear - It was wonderful to see someone draping a bodice. I taught myself draping from an article I found online. So it was really nice to see that I do everything right except one thing - I use cheap pellon muslin. It is the one thing that can make your project not work out, as it stretches too much. You know what? It is sort of hard to write into words how to drape, as my notes are just little marks on things to remember to when I drape. Maybe I could do a video on how to drape sometime? There is one video on YouTube that helped me that I could share with you all. In fact, a lot of her sewing videos are really helpful. Here is the link to her pattern draping video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvSgDeb0B1I

11:00 AM - Learning From Originals by Katherine Caron-Greig - (http://www.koshka-the-cat.com/) {http://koshka-the-cat.livejournal.com/} - Katherine has posted about the pieces she brought to class, which I got to touch first-hand, on Your Wardrobe Unlock'd (http://yourwardrobeunlockd.com/). Which is an online costume sewing magazine full of wonderful articles! In fact, I got to meet the lady who started the site when I was London last year.  Back to the class and what we learned.

We learned that modern day sewers are more worried about how the insides of their garments look then ladies of the past. On a 1880s bustle bodice we saw really sloppy work on the inside, yet it is still together in the year 2010. And it was sewn by sewing machine and hand. And you know that trim you want to add? Go ahead and use big basting stitches, they did and it works. Maybe someday you want to change out your trim, but you dread ripping tons of tiny stitches. If you use big stitches, changing your trim is a breeze. =)

1:00 PM - The French Farthingale by Small Kimiko - (http://kimiko1.com/) - We learned how to make our own French farthingale pattern using "The Tudor Tailor" book as our base. What would you know, but I bought this book while in London last fall. The one thing I learned, besides how to make the pattern for a French farthingale, is that a bum roll is to rest on, well your bum. =) Not on your waist, which is what I use to think. You think I would have know from the title of the undergarment.

2:00 PM - Coats, Wraps & Stoles - 1950s by Amy Calcote - Amy was my favorite teacher by far. Why? She talks like how our family does and she has an engineering mind like me. Meaning when she was describing how to do something I knew right away what she meant. It was great! Back to the class.

Coats in 50s were fuller and had an angler look to them. These coats could easily adapted to all the mothers who becoming pregnant during the baby boom after World War II. They also flowed and looked nice over the two main styles of the 50s. The full skirt look and slim skirt look. Also many of the coats featured oversized buttons.

In the evening the main choice that woman picked was fur stoles. Many of them wore strapless evening gowns and they need warmth around their shoulders in the evening air.

Also special for the class, we were able to buy Decades of Style's (http://www.decadesofstyle.com/) new 1950s stole pattern (you can't even buy it on their website yet). And yes, I did buy the pattern. And guess what? I'm hoping to make the stole for SAICFF (http://www.saicff.org/) awards night this October. =)

3:00 PM - How to Make Continuous Bias Tape by Amy Calcote - After attending her first class, Gabrielle and I decided to go to the rest of her classes. =) We don't regret our decision in the least. In this class we learned how to make bias tape. Which is something I have never been able to figure out. While the Wrights bias tape can sometimes be good, other times I'm just frustrated how they don't have the right color, or a batch of fabric they used is just really cheap and doesn't look nice. I can't wait to make my own bias tape in the coming days. Once again, this is something that is best to learn by showing.

Umm, maybe some sewing videos are in our future? Would any of you be interested in sewing videos? Or even some sew-along videos were I would show you how to sew something? Any interest? Let me know if you are interested in me doing some sewing videos, and be sure to let me know what you want me to cover. You can let me know either by email, commenting below, or formspring. =)

4:00 PM - Make the Camera Love You and Your Costume by Amy Calcote - When you face a camera imagine that it is plane coming at you. What ever it hits it will show up in the picture. And if you don't stand right it can add 10 pounds, but with the right pose you can take away 10 pounds. =) Ladies should try to point their toe closes to the camera towards the camera. Also make sure that their is no gap in your legs, as it can not look nice. What ever you don't want to take center stage in your picture, slightly turn (twist) away from the camera (plane). Also stand like you are a string puppet - tall and straight but stay alive. And don't keep your arms close to your side, like they are pasted there. Have some gaps (like those paper dolls you {use to} play with).  And keep your fingers alive and not limp. To keep from looking like you have a pasted on smile, look away from the camera and when the photographer says two, look towards the camera with a smile coming across your face - much more real. A good thing to remember to have your smile looking great, is to go to your happy place in your mind, it will show in your picture making your pictures look even more real. One more thing, try to smile with your eyes. =)

This is the end of day one. I will post the rest of the days separately, as this post is getting long! It has to be my longest written post in the history of my blog. =)



  1. That sounds so great! Looking forward to how the rest of costume college goes for you.

    Myself, I definitely would be interested in some sewing videos as I am always looking to learn new techniques, etc.

    Thanks for keeping us updated on your adventures!

  2. Thanks so much for posting Day one, Ashley! It was really great. I'm looking forward to more posts + pictures!


  3. Aawww! I SOOOO want to go to that next year! Thanks so much for the notes. :)


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