Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Recycled silk – millinery flower making with Anne Tomlin

Ref: S2D10668

Suitable for all

Book now

Places available

About this course

Make beautiful flowers from unwanted clothing in patterned or plain silk, cotton, linen or pieces of fabric you have had for years. Make flowers of your choice from the large template collection or design your own.

Course Description

The aim of this course is to transform an old garment into beautiful flowers using many techniques of millinery flower-making, using a mixture of traditional French and Japanese Somebana heated tools. You will gain skills that you can use after the course has ended to explore the craft and develop your own personal way of re-creating many other flowers.

The course is suitable for all levels and all that is required is a basic knowledge of sewing.

Throughout the course you will be shown how to construct flowers with several techniques and each stage will be demonstrated with samples. You will be encouraged to experiment with dyes and make templates. Advice on painting techniques with procion dyes will be at hand to create the effects you want. At the end of the course you will have a basic understanding of the shapes that the various tools make, and you will take away a collection of experiments, techniques, and flowers.

Techniques and skills

• Preparing and stiffening silk

• Making templates

• Bias cutting of silk from templates

• Mixing dyes and silk painting techniques

• Bonding silk and hiding wire

• Binding stems with silk

The tutor will help you through the different processes with plenty of individual attention. At the end of the course, we will review all the techniques involved and you will be given information of suppliers of silk, tools and materials used. Tools, wires, dyes, glue, and silk will be available to buy from the tutor.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply most of the materials, including extra fabric and dyes.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring old silk garments and or fabric pieces such as fine cotton, linen and velvet.
  • A sketchbook and pencils, and sewing kit containing a pair of small sharp
  • scissors, wire cutters a small pair of pliers and a thimble
  • An apron
  • Spring flowers for reference.
  • Reading glasses, if worn

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sewing threads and needles
  • Available from tutor:
  • Extra fabric, dyes and supplies if needed for an additional charge (pay her by cash or cheque)


Anne Tomlin

Anne has a degree in Textiles and trained at West Surrey College of Art (UCA, Farnham), then studied millinery at The London College of Fashion. She co-founded the Bailey Tomlin label in 1989 designing and making hats for many stores including Saks 5th Ave, Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Liberty.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.