Join USITT and Cynthia Settje of Redthreaded for a Costume Summer Symposium July 31 – Aug. 3, at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center University of Maryland, College Park surrounding the construction and history of synthetic whalebone as it pertains to corsetry. This corset making workshop will utilize Redthreaded patterns and cover a mix of historically accurate and theatrical construction for 18th- and 19th-century stays and corsets.
Primary focus will be on the properties of synthetic whalebone, how and when to use it, and why it is becoming a popular alternative to steel boning. Topics such as flossing and embroidery, fitting, and pattern development will be covered. Workshop attendees may choose between 18th-century stays or 1860s gored corsets and will leave the Symposium with a finished or nearly finished corset. Cynthia will be getting personal with attendees and sharing her story of why she started Redthreaded and her tips on how to build a successful business in the costume world.
The schedule will also allow a trip to the National Portrait Gallery and social time away from the classroom for the entire group, including an opening night reception.
Workshop participants must have moderate to advanced sewing skills. Instruction will assume a knowledge of basic machine sewing, garment assembly, and sewing terms. Theatrical stitching experience is a plus. Attendees must bring a sewing/tool kit that includes a dremel, eye protection, dust mask, shears, and basic sewing kit.
Instructor Cynthia Settje is the owner of Redthreaded, a small business specializing in historical corsetry and theatrical costumes in Boulder, CO. Her clients span the range from Broadway shows to individual reenactors and costume enthusiasts. She has a BFA in costume technology from UNCSA and has worked professionally in costume shops throughout the US, including the Santa Fe Opera and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. She loves costuming for the way it uniquely combines artistry, textiles, engineering, history, storytelling, and collaboration.