Questions are always a good thing! Here are some answers you may be looking for:
What can I expect when I arrive at the series location?
Come on in and introduce yourself! We’ll have a table set up with workshop bags; find your tagged bag. It will have a summary of your pre-registered selections, a copy of the weekend schedule, and the appropriate kits, take-homes, and supplies for your workshops, as well as any local and regional fun stuff we might happen to include. Then, grab a seat, get comfortable, and introduce yourself to those around you. It’s a great time to “cross-pollinate” with other living history enthusiasts in your region!
I’m not sure about my schedule. Can I add workshops at the last minute?
We do encourage everyone to pre-register, as we cut and assemble class kits about a month ahead of the series. However, we also don’t want you to miss out! So, once you arrive and pick up your class bag, you’ll find a Pick-Up Form inside, showing which workshops you’ve pre-registered, and allowing you to simply check a box and add other workshops through the weekend (if seating and supplies allow). We’ll total up before you leave (we can accept cash, debit or credit cards, and PayPal for these additional selections.) This Honor System has never failed us!
What should I bring with me?
Your workshop registration includes take-home materials any needed notions or supplies to complete samplers. Unless specific items are listed in the course description, please come as you are! Bring a shawl if you get chilly, a cushion to sit on, snacks to keep your energy up, or some handwork to enjoy during the lecture portions of your workshops. The atmosphere is casual, and we find other Sewing Academy participants are quite considerate, so just bring along what you need to stay comfortable and engaged!
Are men welcome in SA workshops?
Yes, generally always. For fitting demonstrations, models will always be wearing a chemise or tank top at a minimum, and we double-check that they will be comfortable with a variety of people in the room. While many clothing workshops are focused on women’s wardrobes, there are a great many men who sew for women, and we encourage everyone to be welcoming, considerate, and engaged!
Are babies and children welcome in SA workshops?
Very small nurslings will generally be fine in workshops (though some high-need babies are problematic; please be considerate of your fellow participants!), but we do encourage participants with small babies to consider near-by child minding options as much as possible. The workshops are not designed to meet the needs of babies, toddlers, or children 6 months and up.
What about teenagers? My daughter is really keen to learn!
We’ve successfully included teens 12 or 13 and up in SA workshops, and I love their spirit! Please consider your teen’s unique personality; if they are motivated, comfortable in mixed-age groups, able to focus well, and physically able to handle long hours (mostly seated), they’ll likely have a great time. Some teens choose to attend solo; others prefer to have a parent or participating adult friend on-site, and we encourage that, too.
Can I buy books and patterns at the workshops?
If your workshop requires a book or pattern, it is included in the cost of the session. Series weekends are generally too busy to allow for a formal sales table. However, we generally bring a small selection of items that may be purchased, including our books and patterns, some unique historic clothing study aids, and other nifty tidbits. We operate on an honor system: simply add the items you wish to purchase to the Pick-Up Form in your series bag, and we’ll settle up before you leave the series. We can accept cash, credit or debit cards, and PayPal for these additions.
Do I need to wear period clothing?
You should wear whatever will keep you the most comfortable during some very intense hours of learning. Most people do opt for modern clothing; Liz tends to need the room on the cooler side during workshops, so if you chill easily, do bring some light layers! If you choose period clothing, please be considerate of often snug spaces, and use small to moderate hoops, if you use them at all.
I’m afraid my period clothing may not be… well, I’m just nervous about it. And can I get your opinion on a few things?
Don’t be nervous. We’re all there to learn and encourage. We have a firm and unswerving rule: we have never, and will never, use a workshop participant as anything other than a good example. We do not tolerate or participate in “garb snarking”. If you’d like a private opinion of the accuracy or suitability of your current wardrobe, you’re welcome to ask, but you will always be asked if it’s okay to share the question with the group. Liz is very good at encouraging incremental progress, suggesting remake options, and generally not freaking out about things that aren’t perfect.