Panels and Workshops

Costume-Con offers panels and workshops during every day of the conference from Friday through Monday.

Friday Grid Schedule
Saturday Grid Schedule
Sunday-Monday Grid Schedule

Program Descriptions

Advanced Prop Making for the (Almost) Complete Beginner

Are you ready to move beyond floor mats and cardboard? Want to build a prop that’s light enough to carry all day and sturdy enough to survive a whole weekend? Learn about next level tools and resources, how to build your building skills and practical tips for better props.

Antique and Vintage Sewing Machines: Useful Tool or Expensive Obsession?

From treadles to hand cranks to the first electronics and modern embroidery machines. The sewing machine has been a thing of beauty and an amazing tool. Join Reagan McHugh and several of her sewing machines on display.

Archives Video Presentations

Come see a variety of videos of presentations from past Costume Cons and other conventions and learn about the rich history of costuming/cosplay at conventions. This is a video showing only.

Basic Elements of Design: Lines and Balance

Learn how to use lines and balance to create character and design in costumes from Gypsy Ames, a performance design professor and costume designer for the Colorado College.

Beadwork Workshop

Beaded Cabochon or Talisman Pouch workshop: Learn the technique for creating Beaded Cabochons (attaching a flat-back cabochon to fabric by beading around it with the peyote stitch) or make your own fringe and edge beaded talisman pouch to wear as a necklace. The kits are $10 each and include all materials and supplies needed. No beading experience is required, but its helpful to have a little sewing experience.

Costume Armor

Find out about the different types of armor and the benefits of foam vs metal and everything in between. Learn the differences between historical armor and fantasy armor. Hear stories and learn what not to do for different types of events and why!

Costume Repair in a Crisis

You’re in the Green Room and your wings fall apart? How to proceed? Our panelists discuss essentials to build your own portable repair kit, and how to overcome last-minute problems without panic

Costumer’s Swap Meet

Come swap or buy costume pieces, accessories, shiny things, and anything else attendees dig up to get
rid of. Tables provided, items provided by you! Email if you are interested
or have questions.

Costuming and Cosplaying on the Cheap

Using existing clothing, thrifting, upcycling, and other tricks to costume on a budget. Affordable makeup, creating accessories, and using what you have to get more for less.

Costuming for Dolls

Want to create costumes without needing 10 yards of fabric? Interested in miniature, or already in the community of BJD’s (ball jointed dolls), both human and fantasy? You can create wardrobes and costumes and settings for your dolls and build their own world.

Costuming Outside Your Comfort Zone

Making wearing costumes encourages us all to live our dreams and take chances. Who wants the same old same old? How to adapt and be comfortable with a real body versus everything we see in video games and Anime? Adapting to disabilities and twisting the norm. Add new skills and techniques to your repertoire and expanding your ideas.

Diversity & Inclusion in Photography & Costuming

Come join discussion on improving diversity and inclusion in costuming and photography given by DC Cosplay Photo Shoots.

Duct-Tape Dummy to Doppelganger: Making a Mannequin

Discussion of the different ways you can make a mannequin, from the simple to the not-so-simple, for ideal costume fittings. Rae Bradbury-Enslin will talk about the various methods she has utilized over the years, which culminated in the creation of Raeja Vu her personal costuming mannequin and unnerving studio companion.

Fantastical Tiaras & How to Wear Them

Learn about historical tiaras, how to wear them, and store them

Fitting and Fixing Workshop

Join Andrea Schewe for this demonstration and hands on workshop that will start with going over fitting and pattern adapting techniques. There will be several bodice fitting muslins and a request for volunteers to be fit. Please bring your fitting problems, questions, and even examples of where you need help and get advice from the pro!

Haunt Costuming

Haunt costuming is a horrifying creature in and of itself. Learn about durability, layering, multi-use pieces, makeup, distressing and aging without weakening materials, and how it differs from stage and hall costuming.

Historical Masquerade Show and Tell

Masquerade participants show off their stage costumes and their documentation. See the costumes up close and ask questions to the makers.

How to Run a Masquerade

Learn about all the details in running a masquerade from green room to ribbons and all the logistics and paperwork to make a perfect show!

ICG Archives

Come learn about the ICG Archives and what they are, what they do, and what is coming up next for them.

Introducing the CC40 Line Dance

Introducing the CC40 Line Dance. A simple line dance that you can learn and then embellish. To be debuted at the Friday Night Social! A seated version of the dance will be available for dancers who prefer to remain in their chairs. Its so simple you can dance it to just about anything with a 4/4 beat. And its FUN!

Makeup for Costume and Cosplay

Stage makeup, makeup for hall costumes, haunt makeup, there are similarities and differences. Learn why you need makeup on stage, what are the essentials to start building a makeup kit, basic makeup, special effects, and prosthetics.

Masquerade Rehearsal Space

This room will have the floor marked out with the stage dimensions and will be a closed space for people to have personal masquerade rehearsals and to practice walking the size of the stage. This space is first come, first serve. Please be respectful of other people using the space.

Masquerade Rehearsal Space Saturday

This room will have the floor marked out with the stage dimensions and will be a closed space for people to have personal masquerade rehearsals and to practice walking the size of the stage. This space is first come, first serve. Please be respectful of other people using the space.

Masquerade Sound Tracks: How to make them!

Learn how to edit sound, create sound tracks, tips on how to make it all sound good, and how to combine it all for masquerades and other events. Follow along with live examples

Meet DC Cosplay Photo Shoots

An introduction to the non-profit group DC Cosplay Photo Shoots and how they operate.

Modifying Existing Garments

You’ve found the perfect suit coat at the thrift store, but it doesn’t fit! Someone gave you an old dress, or you are ready to tear up an old shirt. Learn the tricks for re-fitting existing garments.

My First Costume Con

New to Costume Con? Tips to get the most out of your experience. Our panelists discuss navigating CC and all its delights.

Nova Labs and Makerspaces: The Ultimate Resource for Cosplay and Costuming

Laser cutters! 3d printers! Casting and mold making! Join members of Nova Labs in a panel discussing the various ways cosplayers can use makerspaces for their costumes and props.

Nova Labs Chainmail Demo

Learn about chainmail/le from costumes to functional armor to jewelry. Discuss basics like weave categories and terminology, and do a demonstration of the classic European 4-1 weave often used in medieval armor.

Nova Labs: Intro to 3D Printing

Want to get into 3d printing but not sure how or where to start? This panel will go over the various types of printers, materials and their applications.

Painting on Fabric: Airbrush to Squeeze Paint & Beyond

One way to alter or customize fabric or any type of material is to paint it, and there are MANY types of paint suitable, and many techniques, depending on the final look desired. Airbrush, spray paint, stencils, squeeze paints, hot glue as paint, outlines, resists, even Sharpies can be discussed.

Posing for the Camera Workshop

Basics of posing while in costume for the camera. Participants will need to bring their cell phones. After an intro from the panelists, attendees will pair off and take pictures of each other using their cell phones. Panelists will walk around giving tips to attendees.

Presentation Skills in 1 minute or less: (No pressure though!)

One minute on stage doesn’t seem like much but when you are UP THERE it can be interminable. How to tell a story or create a mood in one minute and use your audience expectations (or twist them around!)

QuickBooks for Treasurers

So you got picked to manage your chapter’s finances… Now what? The ICG provides participants in the Group Exemption Letter with a copy of QuickBooks to assist in management of chapter finances, but QuickBooks can be a bit daunting. This workshop is designed to help you understand and use QuickBooks with some tips and tricks to make you more confident and proficient.

Rhinestone Workshop

Learn how to anchor rhinestones and tips and tricks from the professionals to get a clean look and great final product! Learn about different stones and why to use them. Workshop cost is $10 at time of attendance (cash preferred).

SciFi/Fantasy Masquerade Show and Tell

Masquerade participants show off their stage costumes. See the costumes up close and ask questions to the makers.

Single Pattern and Future Fashion Folio – What are they?

Single Pattern and the Future Fashion Folio – Learn about what these contests are and how to design for them.

Storage and Organizing Your Costumes

Learn how to store, organize, preserve, and display your costume collection and historical garments.

The Ins and Outs of Saris

Learn and practice how to don, drape, wear and move while wearing a sari. If you have a sari please bring it!

The Real Knitwear of the 18th and early 19th Centuries

Learn about stockings and other knitwear in the 18th and early 19th centuries. How were they made? What is accurate? Make knowledgeable choices in making or buying stockings, whether for improved accuracy or as inspiration for a creative project.

The State of the Big Four: Vogue, McCalls, Butterick, and Simplicity

Come learn about what is new and what is going on with the Big Four pattern companies: Vogue, McCalls, Butterick, and Simplicity. Andrea Schewe will lead the discussion and there will be a chance for questions, complaints, and suggestions!

Things On Your Head – Wigs to Hats

To complete the look of any costume or any character, attention to the hair and head is critical. Headpieces and wigs will make you taller and more visible on stage or in hallways and are a convincing aspect.

Tiara/Crown Making Children’s Workshop

Have fun making tiaras or crowns until supplies run out! Great for children and tow-alongs.

T-Shirt Quilts: Turning Old Memories into New Ones!

Do you have too many t-shirts? Old items that can’t be worn but you don’t want to get rid of? Come learn how to make a t-shirt quilt! There will be how-to samples and a discussion about the process