HDS Con Workshops and Panels, A-Z

We are excited to offer a wide variety of workshops and panels at this years HDS Con! Click here for full Workshop and Panel Schedule.


  • All About That Bustle: Presented by Margaret Collins
    This demo workshop that will show how to turn thrift shop finds into lovely bustle skirts. Participants will receive a handout with pictures and useful information.
  • Ave Rose Art: My inspiration and Process Presented by Ave Rose
    From miniature robots to giant flying butterflies, artist Ave Rose talks about the inspiration and process of her art.
  • Corset Buyer’s Guide Presented by Sidney Eileen
    Take some of the confusion out of figuring out what corset to buy, and at what price. Find out what makes different corsets more or less expensive, why a “bargain” corset probably isn’t a good deal, the pros and cons of different materials and construction techniques, the importance of a good fit (and how to find it), essential corset terminology, and so much more.
  • Doctor Who and Steampunk Presented by Eduardo M. Freyre
    Doctor Who experts Eduardo M. Freyre and Patricia Helm talk about the scifi classic Doctor Who and some of the ways it connects to the Steampunk world.
  • East Meets West – Middle Eastern themes in Steam Punk Costuming Presented by Dawn Devine
    Want to add a touch of the desert, the flavor of the spice caravan, or the style of the Raj to your sartorial splendor? Come join Dawn Devine aka Davina, author of “The Cloth of Egypt” for an inspiration talk about infusing the styles of the East into your future Steam Punk ensembles. This slide presentation will include lots of images and and strategies for integrating Middle Eastern, North African, and Indian design elements into your costuming.
  • Gin & Tonic, the Cocktail that Built an Empire Presented by Janel Johnson
    The light-hearted family tale of how scurvy, blood-sucking topical insects, the Black Death, and sweaty men packed together in leaking ships served to inspire the delightfully tasty and refreshing drink known as the gin and tonic.
    Join Janel Johnson, owner of High Desert Botanicals, as she traces the political, pharmacological, industrial, and botanical origins of tonic water and gin and their serendipitous marriage amidst global conquest and imperialism. A question and answer session will follow. Do-it-yourself gin and tonic kits will be available for sale.
  • Making Your Corset or Costume Uniquely You Presented by Sidney Eileen
    No two steampunks want to wear the exact same thing, so what do you do if you don’t have the budget for couture, and don’t have the time or skill to make everything from scratch? You modify it! We will discuss different ways you can alter, decorate, and embellish your corsets and clothing items so they become as you unique as you are.
  • Medieval Metal Craft for Steampunk: Presented by Steve Gaddis
    An introduction to chainmail, laminated scale and articulated joint construction and their ready uses for Steampunk costume, gadgets and accessories. Consider the possibilities of chainmail spats, trim on adventurer’s outerwear, fabric of laced-together laminated scale for vests or corsets, articulated elbows to finish off your arm harness. Includes an illustrated instructions and lists of books and online references included.
  • Recognizably Victorian-esque Presented by Sidney Eileen
    From silhouettes to princess seams, bustles to tailored lines, join us for a discussion of the details of clothing and foundation garments that make them look reminiscent of Victorian era fashions, and how to achieve those looks in your own wardrobe, no matter how big or small your budget is.
  • The Road to Samarkand: A Brief History, Care, and Feeding of Silk: Presented by Katrina Homer
    The history of sericulture spans 5000 years. Learn how sericulture developed and it’s introduction to the Occident.  We will also discuss how to identify various weaving techniques, when and how to wash silk, and tips for working with this lush and lustrous fabric.
  • Self Publishing using Createspace Presented by Dawn ~ Davina Devine
    Ever thought about self publishing your dream book? Author Dawn Devine aka Davina will share her successful information about self publishing strategies using Amazon.com’s print-on-demand service Create Space. Dawn has sold more than 100K copies of of her books since founding her independent publishing house Ibexa Press in 1993, and will provide from the trenches knowledge about the process. Talk will include a brief, but informative handout.
  • Star Wars: the Steampunk Universe Presented by Eiraina Schmolesky
    The two fastest expanding creative universes will converge at the Star Wars-Steampunk panel. Dude Vader, Solo Seekerman, Steamy Leia, Sabe Sprocket, Lando, Capt, Phasma and other famous Steampunk performers will explore steampunking classic Star Wars costumes and weapons: Storm Trooper/Tie Fighter/Fett body armor, Lightsabers, Blasters, gorgeous Victorian Era versions of Princess Leia and Queen Amidala costumes, Jedi of all species, and robots (is C3PO the ultimate ambassador for these two universes?). We will discuss how to salvage your everyday watch and bicycle gears, vintage brass plumbing parts, industrial revolution steam era antiques, old leather and lace into personal visual expressions of your love of the Star Wars saga. Slides of steampunk outfits, paintings, sculptures, and computer art from our entire planet will give a glimpse of fan base talents and how their ‘look’ has also recently changed to include details from “The Force Awakens”.
  • Steampunk Undress Presented by David Jackson & Mary Crawley
    Vivian Dare and Doctor Professor Lancaster – It’s arguable who is the straight
    man in this funny and educational duo. They will be stripping all they way down to their Victorian birthday suits, sharing with the audience the trials, tribulations, and tales of steampunk costuming
  • Wonders of Wigs Presented by Shawna Hafen
    Have you been wanting to try a new wig and don”t know where to start? Don’t know the difference between a skin top and a lace front? Problems keeping the darn thing on your head? Come to this panel to see tips and tricks of the trade, what tools to get and where to buy them and see a live demonstration of the best way to keep those lovely locks from moving. Presented by Lovelies Cosplay


  • Better Props Through Corrosion Presented by Ilana Murray
    Add rust and patina to plastic, wood, metal and leather – not a faux look!
    Learn to decorate models, props and wearables with real rust. Get a kit containing everything you need to complete class projects and some to take home too. Materials $20
  • Corset Flossing Presented by Sidney Eileen
    Try your hand at corset flossing, functional embroidery used to hold boning in place on a corset. It may also be added to a finished corset to add a unique touch. Attendees will receive a kit and handout and we will walk through several flossing patterns during the workshop. Materials $10
  • Corset Pattern Modification Presented by Sidney Eileen
    Attendees will take their measurements and then use those to modify an underbust corset pattern I will be providing so that it will have a custom fit.
  • Drunk Painting with Aislinn Presented by Aislinn Brander
    Join Aislinn who would like to share her passions with you, IF she can keep from causing too much mischief and blowing up the canvas.  All supplies are included in the price.  Please purchase your choice of “sipping” beverage at the bar. mended PG-13 as there may be the occasional swear or adult themed innuendo.  Any children left at the event may be put to work on the Timeship Simultaneous. Materials $10.00
  • Hand Embroidery and Applique Presented by Sidney Eileen
    Interested in the art of hand embroidery? Attendees will try their hand at embroidery, and will engage in an interactive discussion of the skill of embroidery, its history, and many of the styles of embroidery that exist along with the various specialty materials that are used to achieve different end results. All ages and skill levels are welcome.
  • How to Pose for your Cosplay Presented by Shawna Hafen
    This workshop teaches cosplayers and photographers alike what it is like to be in front (or behind) the camera. Want to get the best picture of that lovely gown you made? How about a prop that is your pride and joy? Beautiful makeup you want to show off? Learn how to make all of these stand out in the best way with some tips and tricks of the trade!
  • Make Your Own Leather Goggles Presented by Ilana Murray
    Learn basic resin and leather finishing in this easy class.
    Decorate your leather and fabricated rims, pick your etched lenses and build your own quality laser-cut 7oz leather goggles.Recommended for ages 10+. All skill levels welcome. Materials $40
  • Sculpt a Kracken- Introduction to Sculpture Presented by Aislinn Brander
    Creating your own props just got a lot more fun with the ability to sculpt creatures and other neat oddities. You will learn how to create a Kracken from scratch, and it’s easy, if you can roll clay balls and make clay snakes, you can totally make this project! Workshop is $30.00 and limited to 20 people. You’ll get clay, 12 sculpting tools that are yours to keep for future projects, and you’ll walk away with your very own amazing piece of art that YOU made! Materials and supplies $30
  • Steampunk Ballroom Dance Presented by Erin Scully
    Our professional dance teachers will provide instruction in two to three styles of dance that can be used at the Time Travelers Ball and the Victorian Steampunk Ball in September. We will provide two hours of instruction, all levels welcome.
  • Tea’s Roots as Told by It’s Leaves: A journey through the history of tea in 8 tiny cups: Presented by Mary Crawley
    Join Vivian M. Dare, DOTB, Thévandière and time traveling tea merchant on a journey through over two thousand years in less than an hour. Sustaining you on your trip will be 8 tiny cups of tea: brick, matcha, green, white, yellow, oolong, black, and dark. Learn how one leaf supported religious practice, touched off revolutions, and built and broke empires. Plus it tastes great! (Please be aware that while the tea will be served in much smaller portions than your average tea cup, all teas are caffeinated, and two have undergone some level of fermentation. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Vivian via her aether address: vdaredotb@gmail.com.)