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Costume Skills Course – Making, Altering, Breakdown and Dyeing

Tutors: Gillian Carew, Cutter and Tailor, Caitríona Ní Threasaigh

Date: Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Duration: Every Friday & Saturday until 13th April 2019

Venue: Dun Laoghaire TBC

Cost: €500

Course Profile:

Please note: the cost for this course will be €500 for all three modules or €350.00 for modules 1 & 2 and €150.00 for 
module 3.

The Costume Skills Course – Making, Alteration, Breakdown and Dyeing course is aimed at dress makers, tailors and costume personnel that wish to adapt their skills to work in the fast paced Film and TV Drama environment.  This course will provide the skills and confidence to work in a costume making room and the ability to alter costumes on set.

The course will be broken down into the three following modules, two will be delivered by Gillian Carew who will take the participants through making, altering costumes in the workroom and altering costumes on set.  The third will be delivered by Caitriona Ní Threasaigh who will provide training in the art of breaking down and dyeing costume.

The modules will run as follows:

Module One – Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd March
Making – making a pair of men’s tailored trousers.  This exercise will provide the skills to cut from a pattern, make a pair of single pleated period trouser with side pockets, waistband and facilitate button braces. There will be a focus on fitting, finish and pressing.

Module Two – Friday 29th, Saturday 30th March & Friday 5th & Saturday 6th April
Alterations – altering a tailored jacket.  This exercise will provide skills to size up the garment and assess its suitability for the alteration. Analyse the components that need adjustment and carry out the procedure with the understanding of how the garment may need to be later realigned to its original state.

Alerting a garment on set.  This exercise will provide the skills and confidence to alter a garment quickly and proficiently for an on-set environment.

Equipment Required:

Measuring tape, tailor’s chalk, hand sewing needles, pins, safety pins, scissors (fabric & paper), tacking thread, thimble, tracing wheel, carbon paper, stitch ripper/small pointed snips, Ruler, pencil/pen, notebook.

Module Three – Friday 12th & Saturday 13th April
Breakdown and Dying. This workshop will provide basic essential skills and practices required to expertly age and dye costumes.  On Friday, you will learn the basic principles of dyeing using Dylon Multipurpose Dyes and on Saturday, you will go through the various stages of ageing costume.  The purpose of this ageing process is to give a costume a history and to help with the characterisation of the garment.  This is a vital skill for anyone working in the costume creation/costume department.

Having experimented on various fabrics, you will then apply your skills to age with a garment you have altered or made or another of your choosing.

These workshops are practical and you will learn by doing. However, it is important that you bring a notebook (preferably A4) as you will take notes for all modules and keep a record of the pieces you have experimented with in the dyeing and ageing module.

Participant Profile:

This course is aimed at Dressmakers and Tailors with an interest in working in Film & TV Drama Production, plus Costume Supervisors, Costume Assistants and Costume Trainees who would like to upskill and enhance their tailoring and alteration skills.

Application Procedure:

Please apply online at by 5pm on Friday, 8th March, 2019, attaching a current relevant CV, with your application.  For further details, and your module preference (modules 1, 2 &3 OR modules 1 & 2 OR module 3) please email Fran Keaveney at

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