Seminars

Textile Identification:

Period Fabric Selection

for Living History Clothing

Sunday AM

~Glenna Jo Christen, $25


Join Glenna Jo Christen as she offers guidelines to follow to confidently select period appropriate fabrics for all your living history needs. Mid 19th century fabrics for men, women, and children will be discussed, including colors, woven and print patterns, and fabric weights. Attendees will have the opportunity to see and feel the differences between textiles and receive sources for modern equivalents.


The workshop registration includes swatch cards. All levels of costuming and historical reproduction are welcome!



1860’s Ladies Collar

Friday AM

~Sara Gonzalez, $20


You will receive a brief overview of period ladies collars, followed by a basic collar workshop. Learn how to adapt a collar pattern to fit your gown, and make it up by hand in this workshop! Take home sheets with information on variations will be available!

Optional Lace Edging, $5



Removing Roadblocks

from Research

~Elizabeth Aldridge


Where do you turn when you have inspiration for an amazing period project but can't seem to fill in "how" or "what" to get from concept to completion? How do you support your persona when you are just starting out?


Learn about sourcing elusive "ingredients" for your projects, finding answers to period terminology that make your head spin!

Pattern-Making From Direct Draping

Friday AM

~ Elizabeth Stewart Clark, $30


If your figure doesn’t work within “industry standard” parameters for whatever reason, you can have amazing historical clothing! We’ll walk through the process of draping a bodice and sleeve directly on the corseted body, all the way to a testable base pattern and personalized paper pattern to use for all your bodice-making needs. We’ll look at the key elements of historical fit, the use of clothing fit for interpretation, and how to use a personalized base for multiple style variations. Registered participants will be sent a short supply list; please come prepared to don your own well-fitted, historical-cut corset to get the most out of the workshop. Workshop fee includes personalized pattern consumables and an illustrated draping tips packet. (If you do not already own a copy of The Dressmaker’s Guide to Fit & Fashion, 2nd Edition, from which the tips packet is excerpted, you may opt to purchase one at a Citizen’s Forum discount of $25, to be picked up at workshop registration.)

Fitting From Patterns

Sunday AM

~Elizabeth Stewart Clark, $30 


What do we look for in a great historical fit? Can we use the fit of clothing in interpretive endeavors? How can we get there using published patterns? This hands-on workshop will walk you through the process of fitting a pattern mock-up to your own unique figure, with plentiful individual Q&A time. Gain confidence, refine your skills, and have a great time doing it. Registered participants will be sent a list of pattern base options, and a short supply list; please come prepared to don your own well-fitted, historical-cut corset to get the most out of the workshop. Workshop fee includes personalized pattern consumables and an illustrated fitting tips packet.

Doll Party 2018

~Samantha McLoughlin


Join Samantha at the end of the day as she entertains with Lydia Ann, her trusted doll confidante. Bring your own doll or toy for a brief discussion and posed photo opportunities.


All seminars are included in the registration for the conference. They will be held at Monroe Community College, March 25-26. Sessions run concurrently, with attendees selecting any of the following topics.

A Bead Bracelet:

Interpreting Godey's Beaded

Work Department

​Friday Afternoon

~Kristen Mrozek, $20 


Have you ever looked at a 19th century magazine and wondered how to make an illustrated image a reality? This workshop will offer a practical interpretation of the Godey's Lady's Book (1859) beaded bracelet. Attendees will learn just what "the usual manner" entails for this simple, but charming adornment. The workshop registration includes all the materials to create 2 beaded bracelets, as well as store a small beadwork project.

Workshops will be held Friday and Sunday. Registration for workshops must be paid separately. Prices may vary based on the selection of materials. 

Workshops

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly;

Female Anomalies
of the Civil War

~Jillian Drapala


​What is a female anomaly? Who were these women? How can I incorporate them into an impression? With so many opportunities for civilian presentations, there is a great interest the role that everyday women played in the war. From nurses to vivianderes, this seminar allows fellow historians and reenactors to discover women who were not considered the “norm” in society during the American Civil War. Primary documentation will give us the who, what, when, and where, of these female anomolies, the men that supported them, and how you can incorporate them properly at events.

A Tour of the Collection

~Glenna Jo Christen


Are you wondering just what you're looking at in that pretty display of original, 19th century dresses? Join Glenna Jo Christen at various times throughout the day as she answers questions and gives thoughtful insights to her collection.



19th Century Photography

~Robert Beech


With many technological advancements in the field of photography, Civil War
soldiers were able to have their picture taken. These tokens could be sent home
to family members as keepsakes. Many of these images can be found today in museums. as well as personal collections. Robert Beech will discuss different photography from the time period, as well as the authentic, wet-plate process he uses to create reproductions.


Stitches, Shuttles, and Patent Wars:

The Early Development

of the Sewing Machine

~Jim Ruley


The practical sewing machine was probably one of the most important inventions of the 19th century. Not only did it revolutionize the ready-made clothing industry, but it also pioneered
consumer advertising and installment buying. Rather than a single inventor, it was the product of a number of creative geniuses who also engaged in bitter litigation with each other.


In this lecture we will trace the early development of the sewing machine through the contributions of these inventors, many of them colorful larger-than- life characters as well. We will study the legal and financial struggles that accompanied them and see how they shaped the progress of the resulting industry. Finally, we will examine the different approaches of three of
the largest producers to the problem of sewing machine manufacturing.

Youth Workshop

~Kristen Mrozek Facilitating 

***Ages 30 and younger


This in-conference workshop is available to youth who are looking for a place to voice their opinions and discuss their own research. This can include an introduction to primary sources or problems solving. This will be a comfortable space for young people to share and grow in their love of history.


Adults may attend, but only as silent observers. The discussion may be helpful to reach youth in your own organization.


Braidwork Sampler

​Friday PM

~Elizabeth Stewart Clark, $35


Don’t be intimidated by the gorgeous and seemingly-complex braidwork designs on original historical items! In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn the simple processes of choosing and scaling design elements from historical sources, practice hand-applied braiding techniques with the included sampler supplies, and even dive into your own historical braidwork project using optional template packets and your personal supply stash! Registered participants will be sent a short recommended “stash” list. Workshop fee includes an illustrated techniques workbook and sampler supplies kit.

Optional Braidwork Template Sets, $10 each (each includes US-published, sourced and dated designs): choose from Infant Items, Smoking & Lounge Caps, and Slippers

19th Century Men's Cravats

Sunday Afternoon

~Eric Smallwood, $20


Have you been looking for the perfect accessory for the male civilian in your life? This workshop will show research about cravats, and then walk participants through the process of creating one from start to finish.

Our Latest Number:

Original Publications &

What We Can Glean From Them

~Elizabeth Stewart Clark


In living history, we sometimes think of magazines such as Godey's and Peterson's as "fashion magazines"... but are they, really? Who was the target demographic of the well-known publications of the era? What can we determine from these primary source documents and the evolution of their content? How widespread was the reach of the "lady's" magazine? And how can we draw on historical publications to enhance our own living history context? Elizabeth Stewart Clark presents a fast-paced survey that will expand your thinking, and set you buzzing forward into your history goals.

The Old Mill in Dundee

Friday AM

~$5 Donation Requested


Located in Dundee MI, (17 minutes from Monroe Community College), this 19th century mill turned factory turned museum offers a window into several time periods. Participants can learn about local history, as well as farm life from the time period.


Optional Ghost Tour, $5

On Friday at 10 pm after the Soiree, conference attendees can take part in a ghost tour. A minimum of 8 people from the conference is required.