Workshops 2023

Days 2 and 3 (Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September)

There will be six workshops, each taking place over two days, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September. Workshop participants should attend both days. Participants will take part in one workshop and should state their first, second and third choices on the registration form. We will do our best to place you in your first choice but this may not be possible for everyone if some workshops are oversubscribed.
Information about what participants should bring with them, e.g. sewing kit, will be sent closer to the symposium dates.
Workshop sessions with a tutor will take place from 9.00am to 5.30pm, and participants will be be able to experiment with materials.
Click on a workshop name below to read more about it.

Workshop tutor: Kunza

Kunza is a corset designer and maker who is based in London and specialises in modern and historical corsetry. Her work has been seen on Paris and Milan catwalks and in period dramas such as Bridgerton, Downton Abbey, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and The Duchess amongst many others.
This corset workshop will give an introduction in the history, design and making of historical corsets for stage, TV and film. Examples of corsets and stays from different periods in history (including some original historical corsetry and historical corset boning such as whale bones, metal and plastic) will be on display to explore and to ask questions about. We will be looking at how corsetry/stays created the desired silhouettes in fashion history and costume.
We will focus on stays during this 2 day workshop. Each participant will learn how to make a pair of stays and will receive a pattern that can be slightly adjusted, if needed, with help of the tutor. Participants will then cut the fabrics and start sewing the stays, using the sewing machines provided. You will be shown:
– what fabrics work best
– what stitching to use
– what corset boning to choose
– how to insert/attach the corset boning
– how to secure the boning and finish the corset
– how to insert eyelets
– the best way to lace a corset or stays.
If time allows participants will be encouraged to decorate their stays.
Please provide your desired size/measurements when registering.

Dyeing and Enhancement

Workshop tutor: Mark Foster

Mark Foster began in a Bristol costumiers aged seventeen, started freelance costume work at BBC Bristol aged twenty, worked as a Costume Supervisor on feature films in the 1990s and costume designed various BBC recurring drama series until 2010 when a slight step sideways moved him into textile art and dyeing, working on World War Z, Mad Max Fury Road (with Jenny Beavan), Season 2 of The Witcher and the Kenneth Branagh take on Death on The Nile.
Mark’s workshop will feature dyeing and enhancement of leather and fabric, the ageing and distressing of fabric, leather and metal, and various enhancement techniques with airbrush, paintbrush and items of decoration and adornment. The result will be a mediaeval style dagger/knife in a leather sheath, with buckled belt and sash.

Embroidery Embellishment

Workshop tutor: Michele Carragher

Michele Carragher is a London-based hand embroiderer and Illustrator. After attending the London College of Fashion where she studied fashion design, Michele worked in textile conservation, which has proven invaluable to her embroidery work on costumes for film and TV. Michele worked as a general costume assistant until she drifted towards the embroidery and embellishment of costumes. Her first role as principal costume embroiderer was on the HBO/C4 mini series Elizabeth I starring Dame Helen Mirren.

Michele has created hand embroidery, embellishment or textile art for various productions such as Stardust, Prince of Persia, Peaky Blinders, Ali and Nino, Queen of the Desert, Assassin’s Creed, The Crown season one, and most notably Game of Thrones with the costume designer Michele Clapton.

Bird Sigil Embroidery Workshop: Over the two days participants will work towards creating this embroidery, which comprises two parts: the background decorative setting and the bird. Materials will be provided which can be taken away to complete the piece at home. Michele likes to use a variety of materials in order to create a layered effect, with the texture and colour palette for some of her embroidered designs and this particular piece incorporates many different threads, beads, feathers and mica flake, which will give an insight into how she may approach a richly embellished embroidery to integrate into the costume for a specific character. Michele will also bring along samples of her work for participants to take a closer look at and gain more understanding of the variety of styles and techniques they may be required to achieve for different characters on any given production.

Workshop tutor: Riina Oun

Riina Õun is a multi-disciplinary designer and a materials researcher for her brand Riina O. Established in 2013, the company initially focused on crafting luxurious leather gloves. In recent years the material research and development has emerged alongside, concentrating on traceless biodegradable materials within regenerative design. Driven by the mission to carry on the traditional skill of hand-making leather gloves, whilst combining it with modern technological advantages, Riina O is part of the ethical fashion movement. Alongside seasonal collections of exquisite couture gloves, Riina O offers a bespoke service, catering to the unique needs of clients in film, editorial and commercial industries.
In Riina’s workshop, participants will be invited to immerse themselves in the craft of glove-making, learning invaluable skills such as precise cutting and intricate hand-sewing techniques.

Men's Period Tailoring

Workshop tutor: Gillian Carew

Having moved to London in 1997, Gillian secured a position in the Men’s Tailoring department as an apprentice at Angel’s Costumiers. Progressing to head tailor and on to head cutter, she gained an enormous amount of invaluable experience working on a wide variety of costumes for film, TV and theatre. In 2010, she moved to Dublin and set up as a freelance cutter and tailor, continuing her work in the costume industry in Ireland. Alongside this she holds a half-time costume technical lecturer post at the Institute of Art Design and Technology.
In costume making, getting pockets right is crucial since pockets play a central role in identifying a garment, aiding the wearer in their role or suggesting a formality in an ensemble. During this workshop, participants will be supplied with patterns and a selection of pocket samples, and instruction to guide them through pocket construction. We will discuss the finer details of pockets in costume; where to find them, and where to hide them. Join in the chat and get some essential costume making skills in your back pocket!


Workshop tutor: Sean Barrett

Sean trained in theatre design at Wimbledon School of Art and after graduating pursued a career in millinery, working on many film, television and theatre productions. Film highlights have included Elizaneth and Elizabeth the Golden Age, Shakespeare in Love, Interview with a Vampire, Alice, Through the Looking Glass, Cheri, Anna Karenina and the upcoming Barbie the Movie and Nosferatu. Television work includes The Crown, Downton Abbey, Gentleman Jack and the upcoming Disney series The Adventures of Renegade Nell. Theatre work includes Wicked, My Fair Lady, Chitty Bang Bang, Follies and Moulin Rouge.
Over the two days of Sean’s workshop participants will be making a top hat, either in Fosshape (a thermoplastic foundation material) and buckram covered with a fabric of their choice, or working with sinamay (no need to cover). Participants will be encouraged to think slightly out of the box and make a topper that is unique to them. Foundation materials, wires, etc. will be provided.