The Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild Presents:
Costume Academy 2017

Sunday, March 19th, 2017 - 9:15am-4:15pm
Language Studies International, 2015 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704

Instructor Bios

Erik Anderson

Erik is a 26-year veteran costumer/cosplayer, with Best in Show awards from SDCC to World Con, founding faculty to Costume College and returning professor. He has been Director of many different cons from small local masquerades to Worldcons. Erik is currently the Masquerade director for one of the West Coast's largest cosplay masquerades, awarding $3,000 in prizes annually. He made the transition from the traditional costumer-centric world to Cosplay 8 years ago and has been working to integrate the two related-but-separate cultures and break down the walls.

Aurie Bradley

Aurie has been researching, designing and sewing costumes ever since, at 16, her mother told her she would never find store bought clothes that fit properly. She has been a member of a variety of historical costume organizations including GBACG, the Costume Society of America, and The Costume Society (Great Britain) and has participated in a variety of fairs and events including the Dickens Christmas Fair, Much Ado About Shakespeare, the NorCal Pirate Festival and Carnevale Fantastico. For many years she ran and judged the costume competitions at Dickens Fair as well as the Northern Renaissance Pleasure Fair. If she is not sewing, researching a new costume or re-creating 16th century dances for her Renaissance dance troupe, you can find her riding her horse in the Oakland hills.

Liesl Buchbinder

Liesl began making costumes when she discovered that it was a viable career option in high school. Since then, she has acquired two degrees in the art, and her work has been seen at theatres and operas all over the country. Currently, she is the shop manager for Pink Depford Costume Design, where she makes costumes for theatrical productions and private clients.

Cynthia Howell

Cynthia has been sewing since she was 7 and decided her dolls needed the latest fashions. Her favorite historic periods are 18th C and Victorian. She loves pattern matching because she can unleash her inner OCD maven, usually with happy results.

Jen Lemus

Jennifer has been sewing historical clothing for 15 years, focusing primarily in the Victorian era. She was taught to follow a commercial pattern by her grandmother on a Singer Featherweight, only catching the historical clothing bug in college. Meticulous in her detailing, Jennifer struggles with leaving a seam unfinished and strives to make beautiful, accurate garments that are pretty inside and out. In Jennifer's day job she's an engineer, and has been known to get very mathy in her calculations on the yardarge usage for her gowns. She once figured out the puff ratio on a hem treatment using trigonometry, proving that yes, you can use this stuff in real life!

Monica Lenk

Monica has been sewing for 20 years, starting with doll clothes, and moving on to human-size garments. She is the co-owner of OverAttired Vintage Fashion in Oakland, where she runs an alteration and repair service for vintage garments, and has repaired moth holes numbering in the thousands.

Lynn McMasters

Lynn learned to sew at the age of eight but did not learn how to make hats until her late 20s. She blames historical reenactment for her passion for millinery. It was then that she saw a real need for hat patterns so that costume makers could make hats as well as clothing. The more research she does on any historical period the more she wants to make the hats from that period and so it goes. Her “…Out of a Portrait" hat pattern company, she now has over 60 patterns covering eight historical eras. But of course the making of hats leads to the decorating of hats and an attempt to master the transformation of the feathers, fabric and ribbon into beautiful millinery decorations. Once the techniques are figured out Lynn loves to pass them on via her website, Facebook page and in workshop classes. To view Lynn's patterns check out

Shelley Monson

Shelley Monson has studied and re-created historical costumes since 1969. She has worked with various Renaissance Fairs, the Dickens Christmas Fair, the NorCal Pirate Festival, and Carnivale Fantastico, and is Costume Director for the Guild of St. George (the Court) North. She has participated in a number of living history programs at various historic sites such as Sutter's Fort in Sacramento, the Cameron-Stanford and Dunsmuir Houses in Oakland, and at the De Young Museum, and has been active in the National Civil War association and Actions in the Lowe Countries. Shelley is a member of the Greater Bay Area Costumers' Guild, dances with the Renaissance troupe Danserie Terpsichore, and collects 19th century fashion magazines.

Curtis Newbrough

Curtis is a California native though he has traveled to and lived in many states. He was introduced to the dance scene 6 years ago and with that, the lovely costuming that is worn to the costume balls. Last year he realized how much he enjoys the simplicity of Scottish attire so he has decided to share his passion with others.

Greg Ruddy

Greg is the owner/artist for AsphodelsAttic. He has been making leather armor and various crafts since he was about 10. Starting off with a simple class through the Boy Scouts, he eventually kept expanding his knowledge through trial and error. In the past few years, he began selling his art worldwide to various cosplay and historical groups. He has been involved with various re-enactment groups, LARP, and festivals for decades, and he enjoys a wide base of creativity to inspire him and to contribute to.

Catherine Scholar

Catherine read "Little House on the Prairie" at age five and has been obsessed with historic clothing ever since. She learned to sew at her mother’s knee and to embroider at her grandmother’s. In high school she discovered vintage dance, the Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire and Dickens Fair, and was amazed to learn that she could combine her passions for dance, costume, history and theater. Catherine is the President of the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild.

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