Workshop Registration

These classes are full:

  • Fitting the Upper Body – Hands-on Fitting Workshop
  • Hands-on Introduction to Thermoplastics

The Workshops

Instructor: Mary Abreu

Bling out your hand embroidery designs by adding beads to your project! Beads and crystals add shine and depth to your embroidery. With a little practice and an understanding of how to work with the materials, you will learn how to apply these techniques to your costumes. Participants create a sampler they may take home to familiarize themselves with beading applications for hand embroidery. A familiarity with basic hand embroidery is advised (hooping and basic stitches).

When: Sunday 5:30pm
Time: 2.5 hours
Max # Participants: 20
Materials Fee: $6

The kit includes:

  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Fabric
  • Needle
  • Needle Threader
  • Thread
  • Beads

Instructor: Tiffany Beckler

Are you tired of splotchy coverage, and body paint that melts off? Join Tiffany Beckler for an amazing body painting class specifically for Cosplay with professional techniques and tips! Learn to use different bushes, gain experience using unique products including water and sweat resistant products to create the perfect and long lasting cosplay character such as Gamora, Nebula, Hell Boy, Toothless… the possibilities are limitless.

When: Sunday 2:30pm
Length: 2.5 hours
Max # Participants: 20
Materials Fee: $47

The kit includes:

  • 1 Pointed Round Brush
  • Face Painting Kit (Multi Color)
  • Sponges
  • Instruction Sheet

Instructors: Freddy Clements & Randy Blades

In this workshop you will have the opportunity to create and cast from a box mold and so that you learn to cast your own personal props and accessories.

When: Saturday 2:30p
Length: 2.5 hrs
Max # participants: 20
Materials fee: $17

The kit includes:

  • Foam Core
  • Plastic cups
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Hot glue
  • Pins

This workshop is full.

Calling all young space explorers, rocketeers, and rangers! Blast Off with custom made soda bottle rocket packs!!

Children ages 4-11 have a wonderful opportunity to create their own personalized rocket pack or underwater scuba tank for pretend propulsion fun in space or under the sea. We provide a variety of colors and decorations so children may express their personal style.

Stop by after the Dragon Con Parade.

Available while supplies last.

When: Saturday 1:00pm
Time: 1 hour
Max # Participants: While supplies last.
Materials Fee: FREE

- No advance registration necessary - first come, first served. -

Instructors: Dax ExclamationPoint, Ginger Rowland, & Michael Lyvers

Our experts take you on an adventure through synthetic wig styling. Each participant selects 1 of 3 available styles as instructors walk them through the process of crafting and designing their own personal wig. When finished, you will have a fully styled wig you can wear around Dragon Con.

When: Friday 5:30pm & Sunday 5:30pm
Length: 2.5 hours
Max # participants: 15
Materials fee: $47

The kit includes:

  • Wig
  • Styrofoam head
  • Wig head holder/stand
  • Combs, brushes, and styling tools
  • Instruction Sheet

Note: A special volunteers-only session will be provided Thursday 2:30pm for active Dragon Con volunteers only. Please email us with your name and your directors name so we may verify your volunteer status before we can send the special link for registration.

Friday 5:30 edition is full -

Sunday 5:30 edition -

Instructor: Mary Abreu

Corset flossing is both decorative and functional, helping stabilize the corset bones and keeping them from shifting and rubbing against the fabric. One of the great things about flossing is that it can be done even after the corset is completely built. Participants create a flossing sampler to help them learn how to work with corset boning and various stitch options that can be applied to their corsets. A familiarity with hand embroidery is helpful but not required.

When: Friday 5:30pm
Length: 2.5 hrs
Max # participants: 15
Materials Fee: $11

The kit includes:

  • Fabric
  • Boning
  • Needle
  • Needle threader
  • Thread

This workshop is full.

Instructor: Ariana Bauer

Fitting the chest can be difficult. There are so many curves and other considerations that it can get really tricky. Learn to take a simple fitting muslin and alter it to fit your bust. Practice manipulating darts, adding and removing darts, the elusive Full Chest Adjustment, how to shrink a chest, and so much more. Become an expert in adjusting unwanted wrinkles (reading the wrinkles) so you can make costumes that fit you just the way you are. This workshop is perfect for both men and women!

When: Friday 2:30pm
Length: 2.5 hrs
Max # Attendees: 20
Materials Fee: $16

Your kit includes:

  • 1 yd Muslin
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Fabric Measuring Tape
  • Paper
  • Gel Pens
  • Pencils
  • Tape
  • Pins
  • Instructions

This workshop is full.

Instructors: Freddy Clements & Randy Blades

Thermoplastics like TerraFlex, Worbla, or Sintra are high quality, solvent-free processed materials that can be molded and shaped with heat. Thermoplastics are popular among cosplayers for creating costumes, armor, and props. Learn the basics of shaping and modeling cosplay components and accessories by shaping a mask-like prop with this versatile material.

When: Sunday 2:30p
Length: 2.5 hours
Max # Participants: 20
Materials Fee: $13

The kit includes:

  • 13 " X 15" sheet of Worbla or Terraflex
  • Tools and instructions for creating a costume accessory

This workshop is full.

Instructor: Cheryl Sleboba

Learn Canadian smocking, ruching, and gather techniques by hand that will take your cosplay to the next level. These couture techniques will enhance any kind of cosplay. Cheryl is a professional heirloom sewing technique expert, and she will teach you the fastest and easiest ways to achieve manipulated fabrics. Leave class with swatches of each technique that you can refer back to in this hands-on class.

When: Saturday 5:30pm
Length: 2.5 hours
Max # Participants: 20
Materials Fee: $21

The kit includes:

  • 1/3 yard high quality cotton, precut into squares
  • Needles
  • Thread
  • Instruction booklet

Instructor: Dr. Ronah Harris

In this workshop you will explore the growing world of wearable technology. You’ll learn how to design and make a project that incorporate circuits, sensors, LEDs, and programmable boards into clothing, costumes and accessories. We will begin with a quick review of sewing and electronics and rapidly progress through various stages until you are able to use the sewable circuits LilyPad. We will also demo the various options available for programmable and advanced circuits including the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express. With wearable technology, you can take your sewing skills to the next level while also learning critical skills for the future including tangible technologies, interface design, coding and electronics.

When: Saturday 5:30pm
Time: 2.5 hours
Max # Participants: 20
Materials Fee: $47

The kit includes:

  • Lighted circuit board
  • Coin cell battery holder
  • Needle and conductive thread
  • Fabric
  • Conductive Tape
  • Instruction booklet

Photo from SparkFun. Photographer: Juan Pena

Instructors: Sahrye Cohen & Hal Rodriguez

In this workshop you will learn an easy way to make a parallel circuit while making a cosplay foam arm bracer that you can take home. Use conductive tape and LEDs to make a parallel circuit and experiment with different LED colors and placements to see how they work on your circuit while you get hands-on experience with some of the basic materials used in cosplay.

Adults and children 8-12 years of age are permitted with adult supervision.

When: Saturday 2:30pm
Length: 2.5 hours
Max # Participants: 20
Materials Fee: $16

The kit includes:

  • Enough foam for one bracer
  • Lacing
  • Conductive tape
  • Battery holder
  • Battery
  • Glue

Instructor: Emily Ann Schmidt

In this workshop, you create a complete Wasteland Helm featuring painting and finishing techniques for cosplay builds. Using a variety of painting and finishing techniques, we focus on metal, rust, blood, weathering distressing and more.

When: Friday 2:30pm
Length: 2.5 hours
Max # participants: 20
Materials Fee: $16

Your kit includes:

  • Plastic mask of a welding helm
  • Paints
  • Paint brushes/tools
  • Instructions

Your Instructors

Author Mary Abreu juggles writing sewing books with her work as a seamstress for film and TV productions. She also teaches sewing classes to all ages.

Ariana Bauer is a sewing teacher, cosplayer, and owner of the Cosplay Sewing School. She focuses first on fit and feeling good in a costume, then on form; teaching skills that work for all sizes and body types – both masculine and feminine.

Tiffany Beckler is a professional, award winning makeup and body artist. She was a contestant on Season 3 of SkinWars and is the founder of her own line of makeup products.
Randy Blades joined the Jacksonville State University faculty in 2006 after teaching and managing the costume shop at the University of Central Florida. Prior to his work at UCF, he was a freelance costumer and designer in Atlanta, and manager of the costume shop for the Atlanta Opera. Some of the places he has worked include the Alliance Theatre, the Utah, Illinois and Orlando Shakespeare festivals, and the movies Drumline and Dumb and Dumberer. Randy has also designed costumes for Kennesaw State University, Stage Door Players (Atlanta), The UCF theatre department, Auburn-Montgomery, and the Maples Repertory theatre in Macon, MO.
Freddy Clements is a Professor of Drama and Faculty Costume Designer at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. Clements has taught courses in costume design, costume construction, stage make-up, and advanced stage make-up. He has been instrumental in the mentorship of many young designers as they continue along the path to professional careers. He has also designed costumes for various theaters, including Wayside Theatre in Middletown, VA; CPCC in Charlotte, NC; Converse College Department of Music in Spartenburg, SC; Barter Theatre in Abington, VA; and Theatre In The Square in Marietta, GA.
Sahrye Cohen is the co-founder and chief designer of the tech couture design group, Amped Atelier. She teaches workshops on wearable electronics for costumers and cosplayers and has published articles on 3D printing in Make Magazine and on cosplay techniques in The Virtual Costumer.
Dax ExclamationPoint is a cosplaying drag performer that has taken the world by storm...literally. Ever since walking onto the set of Rupaul’s Drag Race season 8, bearing a striking resemblance to Storm (X-Men), the mistress of the elements, fans have been cheering her onward and upward!

Dr. Ronah Harris is CEO of Play Pattern LLC, a consultancy that designs innovative STEAM programs for schools, as well as a teacher of computer programming courses at the Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, NJ. Dr. Harris has also served as the Director of Information and Design at Friends Select School in Philadelphia, and she helped write the first computer science curriculum for NYC public schools. Dr. Harris has lectured at Teachers College, Columbia University, and had published and consulted on topics of cognition, creativity, innovation, technology and design. She has also been awarded two daytime Emmys for her work on the educational television shows Sesame Street and The Electric Company. In addition to Play Pattern LLC, she founded Makers Prep, an educational technology start-up. Dr. Harris has her Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University, M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania and BA from The New School. She has also been an exhibitor and workshop leader at World Maker Faire NY.

Michael Lyvers is a professional hair colourist and extensions specialist. He loves all forms of cosplay (especially zombies!) with a strong interest in fashion, beauty and art. He has been attending Dragon Con for 11 years and has been a member of the Costuming Track team since 2015.
Hal Rodriguez is a maker and programmer based in the San Francisco Bay area and the co-founder and chief technologist of the tech couture design group, Amped Atelier.

Ginger Rowland is an avant garde hair styling and hair extension specialist, North American hairstylist of the year nominee and was voted best hairstylist in Atlanta 2018. She is also the lead styling and hair extensions educator for Van Michael salon.

Emily Ann Schmidt of Go Big or Go Home Cosplay creates prop and armor builds out of foam and thermoplastics. She appeared on Season 1, episode 2 of Cosplay Melee and she enjoys learning new techniques and teaching classes on cosplay.

Cheryl Sleboda is a fiber artist, heirloom sewist, and cosplayer who worked for 20 years in the comic book industry. She also founded Sew Much Cosplay in 2017 to create a line of cosplay products for the independent sewing retailer.

Here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions:

2016 was our first year offering intimate, hands on workshops with materials that the attendee can take home. Each year, we receive more emails asking for hands on training workshops than any other panel or event requests. The idea is to give each participant a packet of materials in which they can use to follow along, step-by-step, with an instructor as they demonstrate a complete building process.
This is not a short answer. To properly present a beneficial workshop, presenting educators must charge for the materials (see also "Why the fee?".) It is Dragon Con's general policy that no one on a track level, either the director, volunteers, or presenters, are permitted to profit from any event presented on behalf of a track. We have always had the freedom to raise funds for Dragon Con's official charity; but we, otherwise, have not been allowed to exchange money for goods or services in any way. Meanwhile, we were receiving multiple emails annually asking us to do hands-on workshops. -many said they would even be willing to pay for it. So we began asking folks if they would do a workshop if it meant reimbursing presenters for the cost of materials. The positive responses were overwhelming. So, in 2011 we began negotiations with Dragon Con to allow us to collect from each workshop attendee only the amount of money needed to cover the cost of materials for the workshop. Seeing that there was a demand, Dragon Con first decided to manage the money pieces directly and take costuming workshops from the track-level to their regular workshops division in which the intent is to provide attendees a chance to receive instruction from a celebrity. The advantage would be that folks can pay in advance through the official Dragon Con store. Then there came the issue of logistics. Dragon Con realized that they would have to dedicate paid resources, both in credit card fees and human operators, to handling payments for something that is only reimbursement of materials. Suddenly we had a dilemma: should Dragon Con manage the money exchanges at a loss, or allow the track to manage the reimbursement process at cost. Fortunately, a solution was reached: participants are to reimburse the presenter directly on the presenter's terms. Costuming Track monitors the reimbursements to make sure everything is handled fairly for both the participant and presenter while not physically touching the money directly. When all agreed to this compromise, we moved forward with making hands-on workshops a reality in 2016.
The cost of materials vary depending on the objective of the workshop. Please see the description of each workshop for the materials cost.
Materials cost money. 99.9% of Costuming Tracks guests and professionals are at Dragon Con on their own dime. Your expert instructors are generously donating their time to share their expertise with you without any financial benefit. $15-$30 worth of supplies for 15-20 people adds up. -especially when a presenter does more than one session of the same workshop. We will not ask our presenters or volunteers to eat that cost. We ask only that each workshop participant reimburse the presenter for the materials - at cost: often for less than you can buy them yourself because the presenter purchases in bulk and passes that savings on to you. Hands-on instruction is in huge demand and with the cost of instructor time removed we know these workshop costs are a steal. We do on occasions offer a hands-on experience in which there is no materials reimbursement fee. This is typical available when a sponsor donates the materials. If we are able to offer such a workshop this year you will find it listed in our workshop offerings.
Because you are reimbursing the instructor directly it depends upon their accepted methods of payment. Some have the ability to accept credit card payments in advance and some accept only cash (exact change is greatly appreciated.) Sorry but they cannot accept checks. Each collect materials reimbursement in a manner that feels comfortable to them. Upon registration, the presenter will contact you directly to make arrangements. From there you have up to 14 days to pay.
Pre-registrations without paying materials reimbursement within the 14 day grace period will be dropped and that seat will be made available to someone else.
Workshops are hands-on. Each presenter sets attendee limitations based on how many people they can directly assist with their projects. Its a quality over quantity thing.
Dragon Con has many things to offer ranging from fan tracks (Costuming being one of them) and table top games to concerts and celebrity workshops. Dragon Cons workshops are typically for a rate negotiated between the celebrities agent and the con office. Their workshop is essentially a provided service for which they are able to accept advance payment via the Dragon Con store along with their membership badges and other collectible merchandise. Our workshops are simple hands on DIY in which you pay only to reimburse the instructor for materials - nothing else. Our workshops are not related to Dragon Cons official workshops whatsoever and, therefore, they do not allocate resources toward the peaceful exchange of materials for reimbursement. It is also why you will not find Costuming Track workshops on the Dragon Con workshop schedule.
No. We tried this last year. It didn't work out. If participants don't reimburse the instructor for materials, the instructor gets stuck with excess supplies and will not want to help us out with a workshop next year. Besides, they can only provide their attention to X number of participants and we don't want that quality time to be disturbed by onlookers.
Last minute entries at the Con (with exact change in cash) will be accepted if there are spaces available. We do predict, however, that all spaces will be gone by then so pre-register early and pay for your kit so you won't miss out.
Upon pre-registration, your instructor will contact you directly with additional instructions which will include payment information and arrangements for handing off your supplies.
Sorry, no. We don't want the instructor to be stuck with excess tools and supplies they may not be able to use. But do not despair: each kit comes with detailed instructions and the instructors contact information so that you may complete the project at home. If your instructor is in a position where they can easily reimburse you without incurring banking penalties they may opt to accept reimbursement from a walk-in participant and refund you. It's at their discretion but as a general rule this isn't feasible.
We know how the crowds can sometimes make it difficult to get from point A to point B during the standard 30 break between events. We will hold your seat for up to an additional 30 minutes giving you a full hour to arrive. If you are more than 30 minutes late the instructor may opt to do one of three things: 1) continue to hold your seat for you 2) seek reimbursement from a potential participant and refund you (see previous question for more) 3) close the doors to avoid being disrupted and make arrangements to have your kit delivered to you Instructors generally tend to do either 1 or 2 but we are required to mention 3 since it is a possibility.
You may email our workshops team at: ws.dragonconcostuming@gmail.com.  We would love to hear from you.