Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Millinery silk flower making – silk lilies with Anne Tomlin

Ref: SLW08927

Suitable for all

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About this course

Learn to make couture millinery lilies. You will experiment with traditional French and Japanese heated tools to manipulate the fabric and shape the petals, create authentic colours with dyes, make stamens, bond silk layers, disguise wire and bind stems. Study the construction of your flowers by observation and drawing.

Course Description

The aim of this course is to learn techniques of millinery silk 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, buds and leaves.

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 make all the components of a lily and several techniques and each stage will be demonstrated with samples. You will be encouraged to experiment with dyes and make patterns to replicate your preferred style of lily and advise on painting techniques and colour will be at hand. At the end of the course you will have a basic understanding of the shapes that the various tools create, construction of your flowers and how to combine and attach them to a small hat base, comb and head band.

Techniques and skills covered:

• preparing and stiffening the silk

• Making templates

• Bias cutting of silk from templates

• Mixing dyes and silk painting techniques

• Bonding silk and velvet layers and hiding wire

• Making stamens and leaves, binding stems with silk

A basic knowledge of sewing is required, but the tutor will lead 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 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


  • All materials to make your lily are included

What students need to bring

  • An apron and sewing kit containing a pair of small sharp scissors.
  • A favourite lily to study


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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