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(Formerly Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860's Conference)
New to the Symposium and would like an idea what it is about.
Check the links below for detailed information from our two previous events:
Click here to view archived information for the March 2016 Symposium
Click here to view archived information for the March 2015 Symposium
Genteel Arts Site Menu
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Website revised March 18, 2016
The Genteel Arts Academy was founded in 1988 to encourage interest in the clothing worn during the Civil War era; concentrating on historically accurate sewing techniques. The Academy offers a continuing series of lectures and hands-on seminars on all aspects of Civil War clothing and needlework. Students select from over 100 topics which are offered on a rotating schedule based on popularity.
While the majority of the classes are held in the Gettysburg area, classes can be scheduled in your area of the country. Please contact the Academy for further details concerning scheduling seminars and classes in your area.
Genteel Arts, LLC does NOT manufacture Civil War period clothing for resale. The company focus is instruction on the history of period clothing and teaching students how to accurately reproduce it via hands-on workshops, seminars and lectures.
GENTEEL ARTS ACADEMY is pleased to announce its 2016 schedule of workshops and seminars on Victorian period clothing. Anyone interested in Victorian fashion, history, sewing or needlework will find these seminars very educational.
All hands-on classes include a review of the history of the garment and a study of specific design characteristics used during the period. Students then sew the garment using period fitting and construction techniques. A workbook including historical information, a suggested reading list and sewing instructions is included with the registration fee.
We suggest registering for workshops and seminars well in advance of the activity date as many fill up quickly.
Download the workshop and class flyers in PDF format by clicking on these links:
2016 Genteel Arts Academy Class Flyer - Adobe PDF format
(If you do not have an Adobe Acrobat reader, you may download it here free.)*****************************
Become a Frequent Student and Earn a Discount on Future Classes.
Take five classes in a 12-month period and earn a $25.00 discount off your next class;
take seven classes and get $50.00 off; nine classes and get $75.00 off.
Discounts, when awarded, must be used within the following twelve months.
BE SURE TO REGISTER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, MANY CLASSES FILL QUICKLY!
Also check for additional classes ‘on the road’!
Fold-over Shawl, January 16-17, 2016- Shawls were the most common outer garment worn during the mid-nineteenth century, and fold-over or turn-over shawls were a popular variation. This square shawl features a center fabric with a sewn-on border made from alternating stripes of contrasting and center fabrics. The mitered border is attached to the center on two adjacent sides of the shawl; it is attached to the reverse side of the center fabric on the remaining two sides. When folded diagonally, the right sides of the border appear on the same side of the shawl. Basic sewing skills required. Registration Fee: $119, plus materials.
Refresh your Wardrobe! April 16-17, 2016 - Have you lost weight? Did your dresses shrink while hanging in the closet? Bring a garment from your current wardrobe and learn period methods of alteration as you update the fit; add a design element to update the style. Participants should have intermediate sewing skills and a basic understanding of mid-19th century bodice construction. A pattern or muslin that fits your current size and shape is also necessary. An optional session will be held on Friday, April 15, for those who need their current pattern/fitting shell adjusted. Registration Fee: $119, plus materials. Add Friday fitting session: $60 additional fee.
Lightweight Wool Jacket, Spartanburg, SC, June 11-12, 2016 – Lightweight jackets worn over a dress were a very common accessory during the mid-nineteenth century, yet they seldom appear in our reproduction wardrobes. Jackets add warmth without bulk, making them ideal for events in historic homes with minimal heating. Layer one under your shawl or paletot for outdoor events. Change the look of a dress by adding a jacket. Students may choose from a variety of styles taken from original garments, illustrations, patterns and photographs. Appropriate fabrics include light or medium weight wool, medium weight silk, cotton pique, and cotton velvet or velveteen. Lining is optional. Contact us for registration information. Registration Fee: $119, plus materials.
Covered Crinoline, June 18-19, 2016 – Mid-nineteenth century crinolines varied in style, size and shape depending on the prevailing fashion. Unfortunately most modern crinolines bear little resemblance to original crinolines in any of these areas. Students in this class will make a covered crinoline using appropriate fabric, hardware, and construction techniques. This crinoline is slightly elliptical and can be adjusted for size. You’ll be amazed at the difference a properly sized and shaped crinoline makes in the overall appearance of your dress. Intermediate sewing skills required. Registration Fee: $119, plus materials.
Asymmetrical Bodice, July 15-17, 2016 – Asymmetrical bodices were at the height of fashion c.1862-1863. Although they were inspired by military uniforms, the style can be very feminine. Students may choose from several variations of the style as found in period illustrations and photographs. Options and instructions for appropriate trimmings will be included. Participants should have intermediate sewing skills and a basic understanding of mid-19th century bodice construction. Registration Fee: $179, plus materials.
Chemise and Drawers, September 17-18, 2016 – Based on several original garments in the instructor’s collection, this chemise is styled with a yoke at the neckline. It has short sleeves and optional side gores. Narrow edging accents the neckline and sleeves. Instructions for conversion to a nursing chemise are included. The drawers are also based on original garments in the instructor’s collection, and may be embellished with tucks, insertion or edgings. Cotton broadcloth is used for the chemise; the drawers may be constructed from cotton broadcloth or Canton flannel. There will be an extensive display of original chemises and drawers for study and inspiration. Registration Fee: $119 plus materials.
Sheer Paletot, October 22-23, 2016 – A paletot is a knee-length outer garment that is fitted through the body and flares over the skirt. This version is a delightful accessory to wear over your dinner or ball gown. Based on original examples, students will have the option of making their paletot from cotton bobbinet trimmed with multiple rows of velvet ribbon and lace, or very sheer white cotton trimmed with self-fabric ruffles. Intermediate sewing skills required. Registration Fee: $119 plus materials. October 22-23, 2016.
Corset, November 4-6, 2016 - Can’t find a ready-made corset that fits? Have a special fitting problem that a mail-order made-to-measure corset hasn’t resolved? A corset that has been custom-fitted to your body instead of a measurement chart can be comfortably worn all day, will last for many years, and is essential in achieving a period silhouette. After individual fittings, students will use appropriate materials and period construction techniques to construct their corset. You will leave the class with a finished garment. A kit containing pattern, fabric and all necessary notions and findings will be provided. Friday, late afternoon and evening; all day Saturday and Sunday. Registration Fee: $159.00, plus materials.
CLASS & SEMINAR LOCATION
Unless otherwise noted all classes and seminars are held in the historic Gettysburg area. Class and seminar locations are noted via confirmation letter mailed prior to each activity. We recommend making reservations at any hotel, motel or bed & breakfast in or near Gettysburg in advance of the activity. Feel free to contact us for suggestions.
Please contact the Academy via phone, FAX or email and request a flyer containing complete class and registration information. Gift certificates are available! Payment can be by check, money order, VISA and MasterCard. Genteel Arts Academy reserves the right to cancel any class due to insufficient enrollment. Registration fees for any class cancelled by the Academy will be refunded in full.
2016 Genteel Arts Academy Class Flyer - Adobe PDF format
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Take advantage of GENTEEL ARTS ACADEMY "ON THE ROAD"
Check this space often for additions, updates and details... We could have a workshop or class near you!2016 TRAVELING SCHEDULE
March 9-13, 2016 – Camp Hill, PA The Civilian Symposium at Harrisburg. The premier conference on clothing, customs and material culture of the mid-nineteenth century.
May 28-30, 2016 – Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI Civil War Remembrance – We will be presenting seminars and exhibit an extensive display of original period clothing throughout the three day period of the event. Watch this link for details: www.thehenryford.org/events/civilWarRemembrance.aspx
June 11-12, 2016 - Spartanburg, SC Hand on Workshop - Lightweight Wool Jacket – Lightweight jackets worn over a dress were a very common accessory during the mid-nineteenth century, yet they seldom appear in our reproduction wardrobes. Jackets add warmth without bulk, making them ideal for events in historic homes with minimal heating. Layer one under your shawl or paletot for outdoor events. Change the look of a dress by adding a jacket. Students may choose from a variety of styles taken from original garments, illustrations, patterns and photographs. Appropriate fabrics include light or medium weight wool, medium weight silk, cotton pique, and cotton velvet or velveteen. Lining is optional. Contact us for registration information. Registration Fee: $119, plus materials.
November 12-13, 2016 – Hamden, CT Hands on Workshop - Linen Traveling Bag. Contact us for more information and about enrolling in this workshop.
Can’t come to Gettysburg for a class or one on our traveling schedule? We can come to you!
Your group or historical site can sponsor a Genteel Arts Academy class, or series of classes, in YOUR area. Contact us at info<at>genteelarts.com or call 717-337-0283 for details and available dates. (IMPORTANT: Please be sure to replace the <at> with @ in email addresses before sending.)
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OF LECTURES AND SEMINARS PRODUCED BY THE ACADEMY
ON A ROTATING BASIS AND/OR BY POPULAR DEMAND
Period Construction Techniques
Digital Media Series
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Profile of the Senior Staff
Clothing historian Carolann Schmitt has been studying the clothing and needlework of Civil War era since 1968. She is a featured lecturer at conferences, living history events and historic sites throughout the country. Carolann is a board member and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Shippensburg University Fashion Archives and Museum (SUFAM) and has been a continuing education instructor for Harrisburg Area Community College. She is an active participant in many living history activities and is the past Chairperson of the Costume Committee of the North-South Skirmish Association. An accomplished seamstress and needlewoman, she and her students have won numerous awards for their authentic reproduction clothing in national and regional period costume competitions. Genteel Arts, LLC is a member of the Costume Society of America. Carolann is the President of Genteel Arts, LLC. Her email address is: cschmitt<at>genteelarts.com (IMPORTANT: Please be sure to replace the <at> with @ in email addresses before sending.)
Don Schmitt has been actively involved in 19th century living history since 1968. In 1970 he was one of the three founding members of the 11th Pennsylvania Vol. Inf Regt. This unit remains active today in the Gettysburg area as a fife and drum corps and color guard. Prior to retirement at the end of 2013 Don was in the business information technology field for 30 years. Today he is active in the Gettysburg National Military Park volunteer program and also coordinates the auxiliary communications program for the Adams County Department of Emergency Services & 911 Center. Don provides marketing, business management and technical solutions for Genteel Arts, LLC. His email address is: dschmitt<at>genteelarts.com (IMPORTANT: Please be sure to replace the <at> with @ in email addresses before sending.)
Carolann and Don participate in North-South Skirmish Association (N-SSA) events. Their member organization, Knap's Independent Battery E, Pa. Light Artillery, participates in live fire small arms, artillery and period costume competitions. They have also participated in Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) events which portrays Old West living history and competitive shooting of the period 1860-1898.
Carolann and Don are both fifth generation natives of Gettysburg and reside adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Shippensburg University Fashion Archives & Museum
National Civil War Museum - Harrisburg, PA