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Learn millinery

Learn how to make your own hat!

Ignite your creativity and feel confident being guided by Louise Macdonald, who has over 20 years of millinery teaching experience.

View details about Louise Macdonald Milliner's:

Live streaming courses

  • Delivery: Millinery classes are presented online using the Zoom platform. Workshops can be watched on a portable device or desktop computer – go to Zoom's Download Center to install its software or mobile app (a meeting invitation is sent to students following registration and payment)
  • Class size: Limited to a maximum of 12 students per session to help you feel connected with others in this online learning experience
  • Dates and times: At least 2 assigned times per course, set for the convenience of millinery students based in Australia, Africa, Canada, Europe and the United States
  • Materials: Participants are sent a list of materials on registration and need to source them from local suppliers (recommendations can be given if needed)
  • Handouts: Notes are provided to assist you with the learning experience

(click or touch the link to view details)

Ribbon Halo (November 2020)

Ribbon Origami (December 2020) – fully booked (accepting expressions of interest)

Free-Form Parisisal Sculpting (December 2020)

Ribbon Beret (December 2020)

Ribbon Halo

ribbon halo created by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald ribbon halo created by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald ribbon halo created by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

Create an intricate trans-seasonal halo headpiece in this 2.5-hour live streaming course. Louise Macdonald draws on her 30 years of millinery experience (read more) to teach you how to achieve this traditional ribbon folding technique and apply it to a contemporary "on trend" design. No specialised equipment is required, making it suitable for beginners to advanced students.

  • Materials: A detailed list of materials is sent on registration, but essentially you will use 50mm (2 inch) wide millinery petersham and a covered, padded headband.
  • Skills: Suitable for beginner to advanced students. You need to be proficient in using a needle and thread for hand sewing.
  • Duration: 1 session of 2.5 hours.

  • Dates (check your local time on World Time Buddy):

    Option 4
    For Australia – Sunday 29 November 2020, 5.30am to 8am AEDT
    For USA and Canada – Saturday 28 November 2020, 1.30pm to 4pm EST | 10.30am to 1pm PST
    For UK, Europe and Africa – Saturday 28 November 2020, 6.30pm to 9pm GMT

    Option 5 (2 places left)
    For Australia – Monday 30 November 2020, 9.30am to 12pm AEDT
    For USA and Canada – Sunday 29 November 2020, 5.30pm to 8pm EST | 2.30pm to 5pm PST
    For UK, Europe and Africa – Sunday 29 November 2020, 10.30pm to 1am GMT (for the night owls!)

  • Cost: $75 AUD (overseas students); $82 AUD (GST inclusive, for students in Australia)

  • Testimonials:

    "I really enjoyed it. As I'm away from home and all my millinery supplies, this one was great as I only needed a few items to participate."

    "Easy-to-follow instructions with assistance from the well-placed overhead camera view of worktable. Fantastic as always. Great instruction of the steps. Great handouts/resources. Comfortable and welcoming environment over Zoom. Good encouragement of all students."

    Read more testimonials


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Ribbon Origami

ribbon origami created by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald ribbon origami created by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald ribbon origami created by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

Louise Macdonald started her millinery career making hats for the BBC series The House of Elliot (read more). This gave her a taste for beautiful ribbon cockades of the 1920s. In this live streaming workshop she will share her love of the ribbon trims with you. Learn some twisting and folding techniques to create a selection of trims that can be applied to hats, headbands and fascinators for a vintage or more contemporary look.

  • Materials: A detailed list of materials is sent on registration, but essentially you will use 25mm (1 inch) wide millinery petersham and 1 metre / 2 metres of 5cm (2 inch) wide millinery petersham
  • Skills: Suitable for beginner to advanced students. You need to be proficient in using a needle and thread for hand sewing
  • Duration: 1 session of 2.5 hours

  • Dates (check your local time on World Time Buddy):

    Option 4 – Fully booked
    For Australia – Sunday 6 December 2020, 6am to 8.30am AEDT
    For USA and Canada – Saturday 5 December 2020, 2pm to 4.30pm EST | 11am to 1.30pm PST
    For UK, Europe and Africa – Saturday 5 December 2020, 7pm to 9.30pm GMT

    More dates – Inform your location and preferences in the expression of interest form, so we can work out a suitable option for you!


  • Cost: $75 AUD (overseas students); $82 AUD (GST inclusive, for students in Australia)

  • Testimonials:

    "I appreciated Louise's patience. She is good at breaking things down and explaining them."

    "In a couple of hours we picked up skills to use in so many different and unique ways."

    "Louise was incredible. The instructions were clear and easy to understand."

    Read more testimonials



Free-Form Parisisal Sculpting (beginner to advanced students) – 2 places left

free-form parisisal sculpting hat free-form parisisal sculpting hat free-form parisisal sculpting hat

Learn how to prepare and manipulate parisisal straw to produce contemporary organic headpieces without the use of a block. This great technique produces unique flowing pieces that free you from the confines of a hat block. At the end of the session, you will have received instructions on how to prepare, sculpt, reinforce, stiffen and finish your unique headpiece.

  • Equipment / materials: A polystyrene foam head, a steamer (but a kettle will suffice), an iron and a sewing machine, along with the materials (the full list is provided on registration, but the essential item is a parisisal cone, also known as sleeve or hood).
  • Skills: This millinery workshop is suitable for beginner to advanced students. You need to know how to thread and use the sewing machine, needle and thread for some hand sewing.
  • Sessions: The course has 2 sessions. The first session (1.5 hours) is an in-depth demonstration of the technique. You will be able to work alongside the demonstration to a certain point, then will be required to do some homework before the second session. The second session (1 hour) is designed as a review of your results and for you to ask questions.

  • Dates (check your local time on World Time Buddy):

    Option 3 (2 places left)
    Demonstration:
    For Australia – Monday 7 December 2020, 6.30am to 8am AEDT
    For USA and Canada – Sunday 6 December 2020, 2.30pm to 4pm EST | 11.30am to 1pm PST
    For UK, Europe and Africa – Sunday 6 December 2020, 7.30pm to 9pm GMT

    Review:
    For Australia – Monday 14 December 2020, 6.30am to 7.30am AEDT
    For USA and Canada – Sunday 13 December 2020, 2.30pm to 3.30pm EST | 11.30am to 12.30pm PST
    For UK, Europe and Africa – Sunday 13 December 2020, 7.30pm to 8.30pm GMT

  • Cost: $75 AUD (overseas students); $82 AUD (GST inclusive, for students in Australia)


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Ribbon Beret

ribbon beret created by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald ribbon beret created by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald ribbon beret created by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

Drawing on her knowledge of 1920s ribbon cockades, Louise Macdonald reveals clever ribbon twisting and folding techniques to cover a pre-blocked button beret. The result is a gorgeous contemporary trans-seasonal headpiece. You'll learn how to prepare, measure, fold, set and transfer the manipulated ribbon to the 3-dimensional beret form, before stitching into position – effective in plain or striped ribbon.

  • Materials: A detailed list of materials is sent on registration, but essentially you will use 50mm (2 inch) wide millinery petersham and a pre-blocked button beret
  • Skills: Suitable for beginner to advanced students. You need to be proficient in using a needle and thread for hand sewing
  • Duration: 1 session of 2.5 hours

  • Dates (check your local time on World Time Buddy):

    Option 6 (2 places left)
    For Australia – Tuesday 8 December 2020, 9am to 11.30am AEDT
    For USA and Canada – Monday 7 December 2020, 5pm to 7.30pm EST | 2pm to 4.30pm PST

    Option 7
    For Australia – Wednesday 9 December 2020, 5.30am to 8am AEDT
    For USA and Canada – Tuesday 8 December 2020, 1.30pm to 4pm EST | 10.30am to 1pm PST
    For UK, Europe and Africa – Tuesday 8 December 2020, 6.30pm to 9pm GMT

  • Cost: $75 AUD (overseas students); $82 AUD (GST inclusive, for students in Australia)

  • Testimonials:

    "Loved seeing each step. I can now see so many different possibities with this technique."

    "Louise is an excellent tutor! Very kind and generous with her teaching methods and all instructions and steps are explained/shown very clearly."

    "I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I am obsessed with ribbons and anything 1920s so appreciated the course content."

    Read more testimonials


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Online courses

  • Pre-recorded online courses can be watched 24/7 on Hat Academy's website
  • Millinery students can learn how to create their hats in their own time and pace
  • Registration and payments are made directly on Hat Academy's website

(links to Hat Academy's website)

Buntal Trims Deluxe Course

Saucer Buntal Hats Deluxe Course

Classic Buntal Brims Deluxe Course

Contemporary Sinamay Deluxe Course

Face-to-face courses (Melbourne and occasionally Sydney and Queensland)

Silk Abacca TurbansMillinery course at Louise Macdonald's studio in Melbourne: Silk Abacca Turbans

Learn traditional millinery techniques while making a turban. You will block and reinfinforce a hat base, then shape and drape to make a delicate flowing turban from lustrous silk abacca.

Dates coming soon; express your interest

Cost: $470 AUD (GST inclusive)

 

 

Previous millinery courses: These courses have already taken place and may run again soon.

 

Buntal BoaterMillinery course at Louise Macdonald's studio in Melbourne: Buntal Boater

Create a buntal boater without the use of blocks. When you first venture into the world of millinery, compiling a collection of good blocks happens over time. In the absence of an extensive block collection, the ability to make and create a diverse range of hat shapes is a bonus.

In this 2-day workshop you will make this boater style hat and a bandeau support for the desired tilt and fit for this shallow crowned hat. Learning two very useful techniques, creating a structured hat without the use of blocks and creating the supporting bandeau underneath, which can be adapted to any hat you want to give a lift, tilt and fit on the head.

Suitable for intermediate to advanced millinery students.

 

Saucer HatsMillinery course at Louise Macdonald's studio in Melbourne: Saucer Hats

The saucer hat suits any face shape and can be trimmed in a host of ways to reflect the wearers personal style. Learn how to manipulate the base buntal material to create this versatile shape. The only block required for this piece is a simple dome block. This workshop gives you a great set of skills and shape to add to your millinery repertoire.

Suitable for beginner to advanced millinery students.

 

Upcycle your Hat

Perhaps you have a contemporary or vintage piece you would like to freshen up? Bring it with you to this evening demonstration and milliner Louise Macdonald will show you how to bring new life to your old hat. Learn how you can clean, restore shape, repair and renovate giving your hat a new lease of life. This demonstration focuses on felt and straw hats.

 

Dior Brims from Buntal MatsMillinery course at Louise Macdonald's studio in Melbourne: Dior Brims from Buntal Mats headpiece

Create a structured "Dior" style brimmed hat from a buntal mat without the use of blocks. When you first venture into the world of millinery, compiling a collection of good blocks happens over time. In the absence of an extensive block collection, the ability to make and create a diverse range of hat shapes is a bonus.

In this 1-day workshop you will learn techniques that enable you to create a hat with structured large down turned brim without blocks, giving you skills to create your own shapes.

 

Fashion hat designed by Melbourne milliner Louise MacdonaldTwist and Shape Sinamay Manipulation

Understanding the bias weave and how it can be manipulated to create 3D shapes is one of the keys to using traditional millinery materials. In this weekend workshop you will come with a pre blocked base and make several trims including a double-sided sculpted trim. You will also be shown how to create a sinamay brim without blocks.

 

 

Sinamay Brim ExtensionsSinamay Brim Extensions headpiece

A sinamay brim extension is a light and delicate way to extend or finish a brim. Learn this technique with Louise Macdonald to complete a parisisal straw hat with a brim. Suitable for intermediate or advanced millinery students.

 


Enquiries – For more information, please contact Louise Macdonald Milliner in Melbourne.


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