Millinery - The Art of Hat Making

Course overview

This exciting course offers you the unique opportunity to learn the essential techniques using a wide variety of materials needed to design and make your own striking hats and headpieces.

This course is ideal for complete beginners to the art of hat making or for those with some previous experience who wish to further their skills amongst like-minded students.

You will be introduced to the most common and not so common fabrics and materials, hat construction methods and techniques by Arts University Bournemouth specialist tutor Chloe Scrivener.

Autumn term: felt and straw hats, and Spring term: buckram and sinamay hats.

With inspiration drawn from history, this course will encourage you to develop your own style whilst learning different techniques for your hat and fascinator creations. Using your individual flair and imagination and using a range of fabric and trimmings you will be shown the various techniques necessary to create stunning headpieces.

Hats have always been a staple of the fashion industry, whether used as a standout statement piece or to accessorize a particular design. Headwear comes in all shapes, sizes and designs and used in many cultures whatever the occasion. Whether chic, fun, formal or plain, these accessories serve many roles.


  • Guided sessions on working with specialist Millinery materials and a range of different Millinery techniques
  • Handouts specially designed for the sessions highlighting content learned
  • Guidance through essential techniques of the range of appropriate Millinery processes required to complete individual designs
  • Learning how to master the skills of hand blocking, hand manipulation, determine proportions, trimmings and finishes of hats
  • Learning how to design and make hats using specialist equipment and hand sewing techniques
  • Learning about the history of hats and understanding the relevance of your own designs in the present day
  • An introduction of other contemporary Milliners, and Hat makers


Autumn term: Saturday 11th, 18th & 25th Nov, 2nd & 9th December 2017

Spring term: Saturday 20th Jan, 3rd & 17th Feb, 3rd & 17th March 2018


Chloe Scrivener


Course Aims

The course aims to:

  • Provide you with more knowledge, skills & confidence
  • Provide extended practical sessions to develop the skills required to create two hats using two different materials (Autumn Term: Felt and Straw and Spring Term: Buckram and Sinamay)
  • Enable you to learn and apply your creativity, understanding and technical skills to your personal Millinery practice
  • Enhance your understanding of the processes and techniques used in Millinery
  • Enable you to produce two hats using new techniques and processes developed through practical demonstrations and experimentations
  • Develop your understanding of how to use the studio and Millinery equipment safely and creatively
  • Work alongside fellow students and share practice in order to develop awareness of the possibilities and limitations of your own ideas and creations
  • Develop your practical experience and understanding Millinery techniques including time management
  • Enable you to explore industry standard Millinery equipment, developing your confidence and understanding of Millinery equipment and best practice
  • Raise your awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues related to Millinery

Course Outcomes & Assessment

  • Assessment will be continuous throughout
  • All students with 100% course attendance will be issued with an official AUB Short Course Certificate of Attendance detailing course contents, and study hours

Entry Requirements

The course is aimed at students who have little or no previous experience, or may have some experience and wish to consolidate their understanding with lots of practical hands-on experience

Imagination is vital!

What You Need To Bring

  • A basic sewing kit including paper and fabric scissors
  • Small snips
  • A thimble (metal preferable) than fits your middle finger
  • Millinery hand sewing needles of various sizes – a mixed pack of 3-9
  • Household pins (these are thicker and shorter than dress makers pins)
  • Dress making pins
  • Thread
  • Tailors chalk
  • Tape measure
  • Pliers
  • Apron
  • A pencil and notepad
  • Please note, you will need to purchase quantities of specialist materials to complete your hats.

Course Materials

All additional course materials are included in the course fee.

Related courses