Julie is available to do panels, presentations, and workshops at SF conventions and similar events. Topics include basic millinery, wearables, and costume and prop lighting.

Just drop us a line!

Here is a sampling of some programming items:

  • Sewing Circuits
  • Learn about how an electric circuit works as you sew one of your own. This is an excellent foundation for sewists and makers who would like to branch out into costime and prop lighting. There will be a small fee (approx. $5) to cover materials. (2 hours)
  • Make Room For A Vintage Sewing Machine!
  • Those old metal beasts were not only built to last, but they handle heavy fabrics much better than newer sewing machines. They're also easier to maintain. Oh, and did we mention that they're generally cheap? Learn how to find a machine, what to pay for it, and how to find parts, manuals, and accessories.  (1 hour) (Note: I would bring at least one vintage machine to show if the event is within driving distance. This would also be a good panel to share with costumers and makers who use vintage machines. And yes, they are very welcome to bring a machine along to show!)
  • The Care and Feeding of Hats
  • A good hat can last forever if you take care of it properly. Learn how to brush and steam a hat and freshen up trimmings. Emphasis is on the use of tools that can easily be purchased or that you may find in your home. (1 hour)
  • Basic Buckram Blocking
  • Buckram is a versatile material used in hats and utility fashion applications. The workshop will show you how to block buckram for a fascinator using a Styrofoam wig "head." The instructor will supply the buckram and other materials, and instructions (or links to instructions) for how to finish the hat.  Participants should bring their own wig "head." (1 hour. Buckram can take a long time to dry, so the students will not take home a finished hat. Julie can do a workshop on a second day to assist participants in the next steps, but there is no guarantee the buckram will be dry by then depending on weather conditions.)
  • Hats 101
  • This is an overview and can be a panel with other costumers. The participants talk hats, how to find materials, how to refurbish existing hats, etc. (1 hour)
  • Introduction to Wearable Electronics
  • Wearable Electronics is a growing field with applications in costuming and prop making. This is an overview of products available and how to find the right tech for your project. There will be time for Q&A. (1 hour)
  • Basic Prop and Costume Lighting
  • This has some overlap with the above presentation, but we start with how to use off-the-shelf lighting (such as fairy lights and other battery-powered lights) for those who prefer not to dig into the technical aspects. (1 hour)
  • Sensors and Switches
  • A follow-up to either of the above two presentations demonstrating the use of sensors, switches, and other ways to control and add some sparkle to your lighting.
  • Arduino 101
  • An overview of Arduino processors and the basics on how to program them. This is not a hands-on lab, but is intended to answer questions for those new to Arduino so they can easily get started on their own. (1 hour)
  • Make Your Own Buckram
  • Women used to make their own buckram at home for stays, hats, or other household uses. This presentation will cover materials and sources for same. Participatns will have the opportunity to examine buckram made with various methods. (This should run under 1 hour, and can be combined with a demonstration version of Basic Buckram Blocking to bring it out to one hour.)

We are working on some other items including:

  • Wireless Communications
  • How do you get around using hotel wi-fi for communications on your props or costumes? This presentation will explore other options like Bluethooth and low-power radios.
  • Hands-on Arduino Workshop
  • This would run about two hours and would require wi-fi access. There would be a fee involved or participants would need to bring their own materials (we can provide a list). Participants will need a laptop capable of running the Arduino IDE. (Mac, PC, or one of several Linux "flavors.") Julie would be doing this in tandem with her husband, Paul. Wi-Fi access would be necessary. (2 hours)
  • Introduction to Circuit Playground
  • Circuit Playground is an exciting platform for learning Arduino programming and basics of using lights and sensors. The Circuit Playground includes Neopixles (for lighting) and a number of sensors. All this for $25 or less! As in the above, the workshop would require a fee or have the participants supply their own materials and a laptop. Wi-fi access would be necessary.  (2 hours)
  • A Field Guide to Hats
  • This presentation is aimed at costumers and writers, but anyone can attend and enjoy. This is an overview of the various types and styles of headwear, with an emphasis on historical pieces. This will be heavy on PowerPoint, because of the sheer number of hats, but there will be some on display as well. (1 hour)
Conrunners! As we start to get social again, you might want to consider some programming to help foster a sense of commuinity among your costuming and maker attendees. An easy item to add to programming is an open time to meet and just "play." For a stitching event, simply ask people to show up with their hand or needlework. You may also want to have a sewing machine or two available. This can easily be adapted to coding and crafting, and is suitable for a variety of ages. This might make a good evening program for people who aren't keen on "traditional" room parties. Partner with a local costuming group or makerspace to run the event if you wish. It's a good opportunity for people to share ideas, and for a sponsoring organization to recruit new members. All you need to provide is the space.