Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Button hat with handmade flowers with Anne Tomlin

Ref: S3D09945

Suitable for all


Course cancelled - scroll down for other

About this course

Learn traditional millinery skills to hand block a sinamay button hat, which you will decorate with your own handmade silk flower or spray of silk flowers.

Course Description

Learn the basic millinery skills of blocking on a wooden shape with sinamay, finishing the hat with a petersham ribbon, wiring and lining the hat in silk. You will also experiment with different techniques of couture 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 find your own personal way of creating flowers and leaves.

The course is suitable for all levels but some hand sewing skills would be helpful.

Throughout the course you will be shown how to make your choice of flowers and each stage will be demonstrated with samples. There will be plenty of flowers to observe in the Gardens and flowers to study in the studio. You will be encouraged to experiment with dyes to make particular colours and advise on painting techniques and colour will be at hand.

At the end of the course you will have completed a trimmed blocked hat ready to wear to the races. You can take away a basic understanding of blocking a hat, with plenty of flower making techniques and helpful ways of attaching your flowers to the hat.

Techniques and skills covered:

• Blocking a sinamay base

• Wiring and setting the shape

• Sewing in a petersham ribbon

• Cutting petals

• Mixing dyes and silk painting techniques

• Bonding layers and hiding wire

• Making different types of stamens and leaves,

• Clever binding of stems

• Attaching flowers to the hat

• Making a lining and sewing into the hat

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.


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


  • All materials are included.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring a sketchbook and pencils, and sewing kit containing a pair of small sharp scissors, wire cutters a small pair of pliers and a thimble
  • Reading glasses, if worn
  • Your own references for colour and flowers to start off the design of your hat

Available to buy

  • Kits, dyes and silk will be available to buy from the tutor.


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.

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