Kathryn Brenne will be offering several Open Workshops over the year. Open Workshops allow the student to choose their own project. Classes are small with a maximum of five students allowing for personalized attention. Working under Kathryn’s expert guidance in the fully equipped studio, students can enjoy a true sewing vacation! Lunches and breaks are provided..
Click on the event title (eg "Open Workshops") below for event details!
London Couture in the Country
March 3-10, 2017
Join Vogue pattern designer Kathryn Brenne and British couturier Jon Moore on a tour of London and the
New Forest of England. The trip will focus on the world of Couture and the English countryside.
Beginning in London, participants will attend a private lecture at the British Fashion Museum where we
will have an inside look into a collection of couture garments. This unique hands on experience will allow you to handle and have a close look into several historical couture pieces. We will visit one of the best fabric shops in the world, which is known for its couture quality fabrics. Participants will receive a private tour of the store and have an opportunity to purchase one of a kind fabrics.
As an introduction to British history we will have a private guided tour of the Tower of London, her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress. Today, the Tower of London houses the Crown Jewels, a tradition that dates back to the reign of King Henry VIII.
Participants will travel to the New Forest in a private coach with driver. Our trip from London to the New Forest will include a stop at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley Gardens. These beautiful gardens cover 240 acres and include several glasshouses, an arboretum, a cafe and a restaurant. The spring gardens should be in full bloom.
Upon arrival in the New Forest participants will stay at a manor house originally built in the early 1920s
during the Arts and Craft Period. The house has been fully restored and is situated on 17 acres with
lovely gardens. Participants will have full use of the house. Along with accommodations, participants can
enjoy the common rooms and pantry kitchen. Breakfast and lunch will be served daily. A self serve light supper will be available in the pantry kitchen on days when our activities do not provide the opportunity to have dinner.
The newly constructed Sewing Studio will be our classroom from Monday to Thursday as students work on a Couture Bias Cut Silk Top project. Classes will run from 9am until 1am each day, leaving the afternoons free to explore the English countryside and New Forest.
Organized afternoon outings will include a tea party at the country home of Jon Moore, a walk in the New Forest with picnic, a visit to a 15th century country manor house and gardens and a final dinner at an award winning restaurant located on the water’s edge.
Jon Moore established his Couture business in London, England in 2002, making Couture clothes for a
small, select number of private clients. Jon now works from his quiet studio in The New Forest, creating
classic Couture clothes, for contemporary women with busy modern lives. Jon also teaches in Canada. He has has lectured in London at V&A and at Ryerson in Toronto.
Jon originally studied at Kingston University and on graduation in 1979, joined the design studio at Royal
Couturier, Hardy Amies. Jon worked at Hardy Amies for 22 years as Studio Assistant, Woman’s Wear
Designer, Couture Director and Design Director, a position he held for 5 years.
During his career Jon has had the privilege of working with and learning from some of the most
extraordinary and talented Couture fitters, seamstresses and tailors. It is these traditional Couture skills
that he is passionate about exploring and preserving for future generations, through his work and most
importantly though his teaching, workshops and lectures.
Kathryn Brenne is the owner of The Academy of fine Sewing & Design located in North Bay, Ontario. The
Academy is known for its professional instruction and attracts students from around the world.
Kathryn originally studied Fashion Design at Ryerson University in Toronto.
She is a prolific writer and designer and now works as a contributing editor and pattern designer for
Vogue Patterns/New York. Her unique sense of style and beautiful sewing techniques are highlighted in
her line of patterns for Vogue Patterns.
Our couture project will be a bias cut silk top with cap sleeve and draped neckline designed by British
couturier Jon Moore. Made from 100% silk satin in a choice of colours, the project will highlight couture
sewing techniques. Students will learn how to back the outer fabric with silk, hand finish seams and add
a weight to the neckline.
Participants will need to be in London by 9am on Friday, March 3, 2017. Activities will begin
Friday morning and commence with participants being transported back to Heathrow airport for 11am on
Friday, March 10, 2017. Please allow 3 hours to check in and claim VAT before departing on an
afternoon flight out of Heathrow airport.
For those participants joining us from the west coast of North America or anyone needing a day to adjust
to the time zone in England it is recommended that you consider arriving a day early. Anyone wishing to
combine the Couture in the Country trip with an extended stay in London can book extra night’s
accommodation at our London Hotel at the group rate.
All participants will require a current passport with an expiry date of 3 months beyond the end of the tour.
Included in the Tour Price
• 2 nights double occupancy accommodation at a London 3 star hotel ideally situated close to our
• 5 nights shared accommodation at a New Forest Manor House
• breakfast each day
• picnic in the New Forest
• last night’s celebratory dinner
• all admissions to group activities
• private lecture at the British Fashion Museum
• Blue Badge guided tour of the Tower of London
• group transportation via subway while in London
• transportation to the New Forest and return to London Heathrow airport via our private coach
• all fabrics and supplies required for the Couture project including silk, thread, backing fabric, pattern
and instruction booklet. The sewing school is fully equipped with scissors, pins and all required supplies.
Not included in the Price:
• flight to and from London, all passport, luggage, excess baggage fees
• transportation from airport to our London hotel
• meals not outlined above, which include lunches/dinners in London, lunch at Wisley Gardens, some
dinners in the New Forest*
• alcoholic beverages during group meals
*Note: The manor house has a pantry kitchen, which will be supplied with modest snacks and light suppers for days when our afternoon activities do not provide an opportunity to dine out. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase alcoholic beverages from the pantry kitchen of the Manor House.
Tour price of $4899 Canadian(approximately $3645US at the current exchange rates) based on double occupancy
Current exchange rates will be used when deposits and payments are received.
Note: The tour is based on the current exchange rate of the Great British Pound. Should the exchange
rate of the GBP change significantly prior to the trip, there maybe a small increase in the cost of the trip.
Single occupancy is available in London at the rate of $275.
Although some single rooms are available at the Manor House in the New Forest we cannot guarantee
single occupancy. Several shared bathrooms are available for participant’s use along with vanity sinks in
many of the single bedrooms.
Deposits and Payment Schedule:
$500 will confirm your participation
$1466.33 deposit November 30, 2016
$1466.33 deposit December 30, 2016
$1466.33 balance January 20, 2017
Personal cheques preferred.
If you cancel prior to November 29, 2016 you will forfeit $500
If you cancel prior to January 15, 2017 you will forfeit $2000
If you cancel after January 20, 2017 up until departure you will forfeit all monies paid. This cancellation
policy is based on a room with double occupancy.
It is highly recommended that you purchase private cancellation insurance.
It is highly recommended that you carry optional travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance.
Kathryn Brenne and Jon Moore assume no liability for injury, sickness, damage, loss, accident, delay
which may occur. We accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to sickness, weather,
strikes, war, acts of terrorism, flight delays, and baggage delay. All such losses or expenses will be
covered by the participant. I reserve the right to substitute a hotel of similar quality and make minor
changes to the itinerary. If I have to cancel the tour, a full refund will be given.
Couture in the Country 2017
VISA/MC card number (if using):___________________________SVC #___________ Expiry Date:________
Signature for credit card use:_______________________________ Email address: __________________
Enclose a non-refundable deposit cheque, money order or VISA/MC info made payable to The Academy of fine
Sewing & Design in the amount of $500. Personal cheques are preferred for the balance.
Forward registration to: The Academy of fine Sewing & Design, 50 Hazelton Lane, North Bay, Ontario, Canada P1B
Location : London, England