Costume Symposium 2017

The Use of Modern Sewing Technology in Period Costume Production

Sponsored by BERNINA of America
Aurora, Illinois

July 26-28, 2017


Department of Theatre and Dance
University of Mary Washington
Geoff Greene photographe

Only 32 spaces are available and will fill quickly.

Register Now


Early registration March 1- May 1
USITT Members - $390
Non-Members - $440

Late registration After May 1 
USITT Members - $415
Non-Members - $465

Registration will close June 20 or when full.

Price Includes: Box lunches and snacks will be provided each day along with a catered cocktail reception on the first evening of the symposium.

Join BERNINA educators Debbi Lashbrook and Susan Fears for a workshop on mastering lacemaking, from designing in software to the actual creation of time period lace for costumes. Participants will receive detailed instruction in the how to’s of creating free floating lace appliqués with the use of Bernina Software. After creating the lace appliqués you will have the opportunity to create a project to employ your designs.

Venita McCall and Kevin McCluskey will provide insights to period costuming and how they created period costumes designing, digitizing and embroidering specialty laces.  BERNINA will introduce students to the many sewing machine accessories that can be used to professionalize their costumes. As an added bonus BERNINA will help all the attendees understand the keysteps in sewing machine maintenance for their classroom.

Part 1: Learn how to use modern sewing technology to design and create your own laces, trims and embroideries in your costume shop.
Part 2: Specialty sewing machine feet and accessories can make the most intricate sewing techniques easier with professional results.
Part 3: Learn how to keep your costume shop machines running smoothly. In this lecture/demo, learn the basics ofmachine maintenance and repair trouble-shooting. 
Part 4: Venitta McCall and Kevin McCluskey will share the intricacies of the many costumes that they have created for their period productions for University of Mary Washington.

For Program Schedule Click Here

Hosted By: BERNINA of America


Participants will need to bring their laptops to download a 30-day trial version of embroidery design software.  Software runs on Microsoft 7, 8-10.  If you do not have a laptop that meets the software requirements, please let us know as there are several available to share.ComputerRequirements

Debbie Lashbrook, M.S., BERNINA Software Specialist
Susan Fears, M.S., BERNINA Sewing Specialist
Venitta McCall, Ph.D., Professor, University of Mary Washington
Kevin McCluskey, MFA Asssociate Professor, University of Mary Washington

Symposium Site Information:

BERNINA of America is located in Aurora IL, one hour west of Chicago by car or train. We are serviced by two airports, Midway on the south and O’Hare located to the north. With our proximity to downtown Chicago, there is a myriad of museums, theatres, symphonies, the planetarium & aquarium on Lake Michigan, plus top-rated restaurants to enjoy.

Closest Airports:
Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Host Hotel:
Hyatt House Chicago/Naperville/Warrenville
27554 Maecliff Drive
Warrenville, Illinois, 60555

Rate:$117+ tax per night when you mention BERNINA of America.
This rate includes: Breakfast and an evening happy hour for persons registered for the symposium. Also provided is daily transportation (via shuttle) to & from BERNINA’S Creative Center.

Suggested Ground Transportation:

Belgio’s Chauffeuring (to and from airport)

Flag Limo (to and from airport)

Naperville Taxi (to and from airport)

Travel Information PDF