JULY 3 - 7, 2017


In this one-week course, students will be guided through the design and build of their very own straw hat inspiration - or fascinator. Straw hats begin as a floppy straw body, ready for a milliner’s design eye and concept. Whether a wide brimmed or compact hat; you will learn the techniques utilized to create artistic form and shape within that straw body.


Techniques utilized to manipulate/block a straw body into  a hand blocked straw hat will be explored as well as how to “size” straw hats, so that they keep their shape, on stage and in humid weather. There will also be a focus on how to maintain/repair broken straw hats, especially useful knowledge when working on a period stage production or when upcycling straw hats from a thrift shop. 


Finally, instruction in trimming techniques and materials will allow students to apply their own personal final touches to their finished hat shapes. Participants will learn how to artfully drape a side band as well as how to trim hats with feathers and silk flowers. This includes how to attach trims so that they look magically blown together and withstand the rigours of day to day use on or off stage. Sources of millinery supplies will be shared as well as the opportunity to learn about blocking buckram (a unique and wonderful hat making foundation material).


Participants are asked to bring design ideas/inspirations (magazine cut outs, printed images from the web), paper and fabric scissors, measuring tape and straight pins. Previous sewing experience is helpful but not necessary. 


The low student-to-teacher ratio in each course ensures instruction is geared to the participants' skill level and experience. Please indicate your related experience when you register.

The course fee covers the cost of basic materials required during the course. In this course, participants work on personal projects. Depending on the complexity of those projects, additional costs for materials may be incurred and are the responsibility of the student.


Combine this course with another one-week summer course and save $50; combine it with two other one-week summer courses and save $125.


Cost: $475
Day and time: Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Factory163, 163 King Street, Stratford N5A 4S2
Target enrollment: 7 students

For more information, contact:
Susan Starkweather, Program Advisor