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.
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.