Monday, 13 September 2010

Hat making at Atelier Millinery

It’s so quickly that I forget how satisfying making something can be – not just making but really crafting something and seeing the finished result. Yesterday I spent five hours cutting, steaming, sewing and moulding and the time went in a flash. I was at the gorgeous new Atelier Millinery just off Carnaby Street – at an afternoon’s millinery course, a birthday present from my very thoughtful friends (they know me SO well!).

I was booked in for the Sinamay Headpiece course. I had no idea what Sinamay was, but I soon learnt that it’s the by-product of banknote production in Thailand, and its original form is banana leaf. The stiff, woven fabric-like material can be cut, folded and moulded to make elaborate headpieces. So there I found myself, at the back of the Atelier drinking tea and eating biscuits, learning how to create a black-and-pink oversized bow headpiece that involved cutting, folding and steaming the fabric into stiff ribbons, stretching and moulding them into the desired shape and then painstakingly sewing the whole thing together.

From this….

To this….

I’d highly recommend one of the Atelier’s courses –they offer everything from how to craft panamas, cloche hats and 50s scull caps to classic fascinators and floral corsages. The boutique is also perfect for anyone looking for a vintage-style wedding hat or headpiece to buy – they have a great range of high-quality hats; plus ribbons, buttons and corsages if you’re making your own.


  1. Oh my goodness. This looks so much fun. I love what you made Vintage Bride. Super. x

  2. What fun! Wish I get given something like this too one day. Bet you wanted to try all those lovely braids and things!! Great fascinator.

  3. Great job darlin'! Maybe you can wear it at my wedding.. one day! Pxx