Sewing, embroidery and accessories

Millinery flower making – leather and silk flower headpiece with Anne Tomlin

Ref: SLW09467

Suitable for all

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About this course

Make a beautiful couture headpiece of fine leather and silk flowers. Learn lots of flower making techniques experimenting with traditional heated tools to manipulate the leather and shape the petals.

Course Description

The aim of this course is to 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 several different flowers and each stage will be demonstrated with samples. You will be encouraged to experiment with dyes to make particular colours and advise on painting techniques and colour will be at hand. There will be a variety of leather and silk both new and antique to use. 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 advice on balance and form when combining and attaching them to wires and sewing to a small hat base or handmade wire head band.

Techniques and skills covered:

Stiffening leather

Making templates

Mixing dyes and silk painting techniques

Bonding layers and hiding wire

Making different types of stamens and leaves,

Clever binding of stems

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

  • Apron
  • Sewing kit containing a pair of small sharp scissors
  • Small pliers and wire cutters

Available to buy

  • Available from tutor:
  • Additonal dyes and silk to take home
  • Some specialist tools if you want to continue


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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