Due to the ongoing issues with Covid-19 all of this information may be subject to change. 

In order to attend these and future in person workshops vaccination for Covid-19 is required.

  • All of our in person workshop experiences take place 2.5 miles from downtown Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • Workshops begin at 1:30 pm on Friday afternoon and conclude at 3:30 pm on the Sunday. 
  • Complimentary snacks on Friday and a cold breakfast & lunch buffet on both Saturday & Sunday. 
  • A confirmation package with directions, suggested lodging, and details will be sent to you upon acceptance of your registration.
  • Class size is limited to 12 Participants


Creating a Supportive 16th century Underdress"
with Samantha Bullat
Friday Afternoon March 11th - Sunday, March 13th

Before the advent of separate pairs of stays or corsets women wore supportive underdresses, often called kirtles, to give shape and form to their gowns. The kirtle bodices (upper bodies) were worn by women of all classes and created support through the use of layers of buckram and canvas rather than boning, which did not become common until the end of the 16th c. in elite fashion. Kirtles could lace up the front, sides, or back depending on the garment with which they were worn.

Join Samantha Bullat for this 2 1⁄2 day workshop where we will:

  • Discuss and analyze the evolution of kirtles: who wore them, how were they worn, and who made them? This discussion will include factors such as socio-economic status, geography, etc.
  • Learn how to draft the basic kirtle shapes and choose different types of inner layers for body type and social demographic.
  • Work in pairs to measure, alter and fit a kirtle bodice shape.

Students will leave the workshop with a mostly completed kirtle bodice and the understanding of how to finish the bodice, then assemble and attach skirts.

Your kirtle will be fitted over an undergarment. A 16th c smock is highly preferred but a later shift or chemise is acceptable for the purposes of this course.

This is an Intermediate Level 2 Workshop
*Please read Level Requirements before registering

Cost of this 2 1/2-day workshop is $290
which includes muslin for cutting kirtle bodice shapes.

Registration Opens Wednesday, November 3rd at 12:30 pm

"The Fundamentals of Cutting and Fitting to the Figure"
with Brooke Welborn
Friday Afternoon, March 18th - Sunday March 20th

Eighteenth century women's clothing was made by first cutting and fitting a lining to the figure, to which the fabric of the gown would later be sewn. The “shapes” created by this process made up a perfectly fitted pattern for the customer and could be reused and adapted - to speed the sewing of future gowns of the same - or even other styles.

The purpose of this workshop is to teach the fundamentals of cutting and fitting to the figure. In this 2 ½ day workshop, led by Brooke Welborn, Mantua-maker, you will:

  • Learn the shapes needed to cut the sleeves, back, and front of a stomacher-front or close-breasted gown. 
  • Discuss, analyze, and observe fitting figures of various types and learn how to manipulate fabric over the complex three-dimensional topology of the human torso. 
  • Work in pairs to practice cutting the shapes and then learn to adapt these basic shapes to different styles and decades. 

Students will not leave the workshop with completed gowns, but rather with a set of fitted shapes and an understanding of the basic techniques and mechanics which they can then adapt to their own dressmaking projects.

This class is intended for those new to 18th c. mantua-making or those wanting more practice in cutting to the figure. Must have a shift and well-fitting stays!

This is an Intermediate Level 2 Workshop
*Please read Level Requirements before registering
Cost of this 2 1/2-day workshop is $290 
which includes muslin

Registration Opens here Wednesday, November 10th at 12:30 pm

"A Deep Dive into the Cut, Construction, and Setting of Sleeves
for 18th century Women's Garments"
with Christina Johnson
Friday Afternoon, March 25th - Sunday, March 27th

“It’s a case of the Sleevils!” “I hope it’s a good sleeve day” “My project is almost done, well...except I’m dreading the sleeves” If you’ve found yourself saying any of the above, then join us for a workshop designed to alleviate all of your sleeving woes. While sleeves may seem like an unsolvable mystery of the universe, we promise you they are not! Be it cutting, fitting, constructing, or setting this workshop will cover it all, including how sleeves change over time. 

Students in this 2 ½ day workshop led by Christina Johnson will:

  • Discuss the timeline and evolution of sleeve styles and shapes with a focus on the three main “types” of sleeves such as when they are used, and how to cut/fit them.
  • Discuss the typical construction methods for assembling and setting each type of sleeve.
  • Work with a partner to cut six different sleeve shapes- a one piece sleeve in three variations, a two piece sleeve in imitation of a one piece sleeve,  a two piece sleeve for tailored garments, and a “butterfly” sleeve. 
  • Work with a partner to practice setting at least three of these sleeve shapes before the end of the workshop. 
  • Have the opportunity to attempt to set a sleeve on a current sleeve project during practice (optional)*.

By the end of the weekend, participants will have six refined sleeve shapes and the knowledge of how to cut, construct, and set the three main types of 18th century women’s sleeves. Be prepared for some “homework” on both Friday and Saturday night.

This course is intended for those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of 18th century sleeves and the method of cutting and fitting in the 18th century manner to enhance their skills in mantua-making. Students should bring an 18th century shift and well fitting stays.

*If students would like to use a project in progress for their sleeve setting practice (perhaps from a previous B&T workshop) then they should bring the project in a state of completion such that it is ready for sleeves to be set. 

This is an Advanced Level 3 Workshop
*Please read Level Requirements before registering

Cost of this 2 1/2-day workshop is $290 
which includes muslin

Registration Opens Wednesday, November 17th at 12:30 pm

Banyans, Night Gowns, Bedgowns, and Sultanas"
with Christina Johnson
Friday Afternoon, April 29 - Sunday, May 1
Registration Opens Wednesday, January 12th  at 12:30 pm
Cost: $290 

with Neal Hurst
Friday Afternoon, May 13th - Sunday, May 15th
Registration Opens Wednesday, January 26th  at 12:30 pm
Cost: $325, including materials