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View details about Louise Macdonald Milliner's:

Live streaming courses

  • Classes are delivered 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 for the course)
  • There are 2 assigned times per course, set for the convenience of millinery students based in Australia, Africa, Canada, Europe and the United States
  • Participants are sent a list of materials on registration and need to source them from local suppliers (recommendations can be given if needed).

(click or touch the link to view details)

Ribbon Origami (more dates coming soon)

Free-Form Parisisal Sculpting (more dates coming soon)

Ribbon Origami (beginner to advanced students)

ribbon origami ribbon origami ribbon origami

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.
  • Session: 1 session of 2.5 hours.

  • Dates: More dates coming soon. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be notified.

  • Testimonials:

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

    "In a couple of hours we picked up excellent skills to use in so many different and unique ways. I'm definitely booking in more classes."

    "Louise was incredible. I found the instructions were clear and easy to keep up with and understand."

    Read more testimonials


Free-Form Parisisal Sculpting (beginner to advanced students)

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: More dates coming soon. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be notified.




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  NEW!

Saucer Buntal Hats Deluxe Course

Classic Buntal Brims Deluxe Course

Contemporary Sinamay Deluxe Course

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

Courses will be rescheduled later in the year once local COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be notified of the dates.

(click or touch the link to view details)

Silk Abacca Turbans

Wednesday Millinery Class

Buntal Boater

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.

Date: To be announced once local COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

Cost: $450 AUD



Wednesday Millinery ClassMillinery course at Louise Macdonald's studio in Melbourne: Wednesday Millinery Class

Learn basic traditional millinery techniques to create a hat of your own design. You'll be shown how to create a hat from felt or straw that suits and fits you personally. Steaming, blocking, stitching, trimming – all the essentials will be covered in this 4-week course.

Date: To be announced once local COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

Cost: $680 AUD

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.

Date: To be announced once local COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

Cost: $450 AUD

 

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

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.

Date: This course ran in 2020. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

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.

Date: This course ran in 2020. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Autumn School

Louise Macdonald you will make two hats of your own design from straw or felt using traditional millinery techniques, for a casual or more formal occasion wear. A variety of finishing and trimming techniques will also be covered. It will be a fun week for those wanting to exercise their creative yearnings and explore the basics of millinery with one of Australia's leading milliners.

Date: This course ran in 2020. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

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.

Date: This course ran in 2020. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Revive Your Old Hat

Is last year's hat looking a little tired? Did your hat come a cropper on the way home from the Spring Carnival races? Perhaps you have a vintage piece you would like to freshen up? Milliner Louise Macdonald will welcome you to her amazing studio in the iconic Nicholas Building, in Melbourne, and show you how to bring new life to an old hat in this evening demonstration. Not only will she demonstrate how to revive the shape of an old hat, perhaps even enhance or change it slightly. We'll also discuss re sizing and re trimming to create a new contemporary piece.

Date: This course ran in 2019. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

January Summer School
(Beginners)

Fashion hats created by millinery students at Louise Macdonald's studio in Melbourne
Hats made by students in a previous Summer School

Five-day beginner millinery course with Australian milliner Louise Macdonald and guest milliner Lauren Ritchie! In this workshop you will make a hat of your design from straw using traditional millinery techniques, for a casual or more formal occasion. You will also make a wire halo and learn to make some beautiful straw braid trims to cover it. It will be a fun week for those wanting to exercise their creative yearnings and explore the basics of millinery from two very experienced professionals.

Date: This course ran in 2020. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

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.

Date: This course ran in 2019. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Fashion hat designed by Melbourne milliner Lauren RitchieWirework Topper

Create a light and structured mini top hat using wire work. The techniques learnt in this course can be applied in different ways across your hat making. Put your own twist on the traditional top hat shape for the upcoming season. In this workshop you will learn techniques that enable you to create one mini top hat or similar shaped style, as well as different covering options, joining techniques and a simple trim to compliment the piece.

About your tutor, Lauren Ritchie – With a nod to a stylish historical influence, Lauren J Ritchie creates quality one-off pieces for race days, special occasion, day wear and theatre. After working for Louise Macdonald between 2011 and 2017, Lauren spent time in 2018 working for Jane Taylor London and Edwina Ibbotson Millinery in London. She has created pieces for competitions around the world including Melbourne International Millinery Competition (MIMC), Parkins Fabric, Hatalk, Millinery Association of Australia (MAA) Design Award and been invited to take part in the Flemington Oaks Day Millinery Award. Lauren has created hats for many theatre and film productions such as Foxtel's Picnic at Hanging Rock and ABC's Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

Date: This course ran in 2019. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Fabric Covered Beretsfabric covered beret

Drape your own choice of fabric over a blocked foundation to create an on trend beret style hat. This 2-day workshop will include how to block the foundation material, flawlessly cover the base with fabric and create a coordinating fabric trim. We will explore various methods of draping to perfectly play up your piece of fabric.

Tutor: Lynn Lim

Date: This course ran in 2019. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

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.

Date: This course ran in 2019. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Structured Hats with Buntal Mats
(Sydney millinery workshop at Hatters Millinery Supplies)

Create two different hats from buntal mats 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 workshop you will learn techniques that enable you to create two shapes ready for trimming, giving you skills to create your own unique shapes.

Date: This course ran in 2019. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

 

Wow Bow! Spring Workshop Fashion headpieces

This is a 2.5-hour workshop – included in the official program of City of Melbourne's Melbourne Fashion Week – in which you will make your individually crafted headpieces for the races or special occasions!


Big bows are the go this season! In this evening workshop make your own from some specialist materials with professional tuition from Louise Macdonald. This will set you up for the racing season! This workshop is suitable for beginners.

Date: This course ran in 2018. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Beginners Millinery Winter School

Five-day beginner millinery course with Australian milliner Louise Macdonald and guest milliner Lynnette Lim from Love Lotus!

Learn the basic of flower-making using time-honoured and some modern techniques, including tinting and shaping with traditional tools. Participants will make a variety of flowers, such as rose and orchid. Lynnette Lim is famous for her exquisite floral head pieces. She is a very highly regarded millinery tutor and will be sharing her valuable knowledge in this 2-day segment.

With Louise you will make a hat from felt or straw using traditional millinery techniques, for a casual or more formal occasion wear. It will be a fun week for those wanting to exercise their creative yearnings and explore the basics of millinery from two very experienced professionals.

Date: This course ran in 2018. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Silk flowersSilk Flower Making

Tutor: Lynette Lim

Learn the basic of flower making using time-honoured, and some modern, techniques including tinting and shaping with traditional tools. Participants will make a variety of flowers, such as a rose and orchid, using these techniques.

Date: This course ran in 2018. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Felt beret designed by Irish milliner Lina SteinBeginners Millinery Autumn School

Five-day beginner millinery course with Australian milliner Louise Macdonald and guest milliner from Ireland Lina Stein! Make two hats; one from straw and the other from felt.

With Lina Stein you will learn about working with millinery felt and all its hidden possibilities, simultaneously combining techniques such as blocking and the refined art of "hand molding". Attendees will dive into the world of soft, steamy and voluptuous felt, and create a timeless swirled beret hat, which will be finished with a satin lining – so good you could eat it!

With Louise you will make a hat from straw using traditional millinery and techniques, for a casual or more formal occasion wear. It will be a fun week for those wanting to exercise their creative yearnings and explore the basics of millinery from two very experienced professionals.

Date: This course ran in 2018. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Sydney Workshop: Louise Macdonald's Signature Techniques

Day one: Freeform headpieces from parisisal straw. Learn how to prepare and manipulate parisisal straw in a variety of different ways to produce contemporary organic headpieces. You will have the opportunity to complete one piece ready for trimming.

Day two: Understanding the bias weave and how it can be manipulated to create 3 dimensional shapes is one of the keys to using woven millinery materials. In this workshop you draw on traditional skills to create contemporary trims and a small sinamay brim without the use of blocks.

Learn how to defy gravity with your millinery trims and give them the appearance of delicate movement.

Date: This course ran in 2018. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Fashion headpiece by Melbourne milliner Louise MacdonaldSpring Workshop

A 2.5-hour workshop in the iconic Nicholas Building in the heart of Melbourne's CBD, where you will make their individually crafted headpieces for the races or special occasions!

Participants are welcomed with a glass of bubbly before learning how to manipulate specialist materials to create their own elegant halo or stylish headpiece. At the end, you leave the session with your beautiful millinery creation in a glossy hat box!

Date: This course ran in 2017. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

5-Day Millinery Intensive

Course 1: Be introduced to many "must know" millinery techniques to create your beautiful hat and headpiece over 5 days. With Louise Macdonald you will make a hat of your design over 3 days, from felt or straw, using traditional millinery techniques. Trimming examples will be explored with Lauren Ritchie. She will teach you how to make silk origami trims and work with stiffened lace, combining the results on a wire headband to create your unique headpiece.

Course 2: Be introduced to many "must know" millinery techniques to create your beautiful hat and headpiece over 5 days. With Louise Macdonald you will make a hat of your design over 3 days. With Lynn Lim make a wirework tiara. Leave those limiting blocks and create an on-trend tiara from wire! You will learn how to fashion a tiara from millinery wire, cover your frame and explore appropriate trims for your design.

Date: This course ran in 2017. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Millinery floral crownFabulous Floral Crowns

  • 2 days
  • With milliner Lynnette Lim

Make the perfect piece for Spring – create a fabulous floral crown that will make you feel like a queen! In this weekend course you will make some fantastic flora from leather and arrange them into a heavenly halo. Lynn will show you how to use traditional millinery and flower making techniques to make your own modern masterpiece.

Date: This course ran in 2016. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future


Millinery crownMillinery Workshop

This year's "must have" millinery wear is a lace crown, elegant halo or a simple something with a stylish twist. Come on your own or with a group of friends to make an individually crafted piece that you can show off at the races, the office's Christmas party or dress up for a night on the town!

In this 2.5-hour workshop, you'll be welcomed with a glass of bubbly to unleash your creative vibe before going onto learn how to manipulate some unique specialist millinery materials. Leave the session with your beautiful creation in its own glossy hat box, ready for extensive outings throughout the season!

Tutor: Lauren Ritchie

Date: This course ran in 2016. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Millinery Winter Intensive

    Millinery sculpted sinamay
  • 5 days
  • With milliners Louise Macdonald and Lynette Lim
  • Suitable for intermediate and advanced millinery students

Day 1 and 2: Sinamay brim extensions with Louise Macdonald. A sinamay brim extension is a light and delicate way to extend or finish a brim. Learn the brim extension technique and how to create a small bias sinamay brim without using a brim block.

Day 3 and 4: With Lynn Lim, make the perfect piece for Spring – create a fabulous floral crown that will make you feel like a queen! You will make some fantastic flora and arrange them into a heavenly halo. Lynn will show you how to use traditional millinery and flower making techniques to make your own modern masterpiece.

Day 5: Sculpted sinamay trims with Louise Macdonald. Known for her striking sculptural sinamay trims, Louise will show you how to make single and double sided colour trims for a show stopping headpiece!

Date: This course ran in 2016. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Millinery wire hatMake a headpiece from wire

  • 2 days
  • With milliner Lynette Lim
  • Suitable for beginner to advanced students

Push your creative boundaries! Leave those limiting blocks and create a small hat or headpiece from wire. In this course you will learn how to fashion a shape from millinery wire, cover your frame and explore appropriate trims for your design. Make a toy topper or heavenly headpiece... Let your imagination run wild. Suitable for beginner or intermediate students of millinery.

Date: This course ran in 2016. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Millinery Intensive

  • 5 days
  • With milliners Louise Macdonald and Lynette Lim
  • Suitable for beginner and intermediate millinery students

Buntal Mats with Louise Macdonald (2 days): Buntal mats (photo) are relatively new to millinery. Milliner Louise Macdonald will show you how to manipulate them in a variety of ways to produce classic and contemporary headpieces and hats. You will make 2 or 3 pieces ready for trimming.

Fabulous Floral Crowns with Lynnette Lim (2 days): Make the perfect piece for Spring – create a fabulous floral crown that will make you feel like a queen! In this weekend course you will make some fantastic flora from leather and arrange them into a heavenly halo. Lynn will show you how to use traditional millinery and flower making techniques to make your own modern masterpiece.Millinery ribbon origami

Ribbon origami with Louise Macdonald (1 day): This workshop will give you plenty of trimming inspiration, as Louise revisits her years making hats for the BBC series "The House of Eliott" (read more). You will learn some twisting and folding techniques with ribbon to create a selection of 1920s style Cockade trims for hats and headbands.

Date: This course ran in 2016. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future



Sculpture millinery blocksRock your Block with Lina Stein

Create your own sculpture block that looks good from all angles. In this 2-day course make a hard wearing hat block that is ideal for a unique one-off hat and can be used as a prototype model with block makers. You will take home your original plaster model, as well as the finished block.

Date: This course ran in 2016. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future


Silk, Satins and the Joy of Double Sided Buckram with Lina Stein

Students will discover, with the use of double sided Buckram, the amazing things that can be made and the speed! From covering and blocking fancy brims to pleated free-forms to trimmings as simple as a structured bow, Lina will share her knowledge, tips and tricks with you.

Date: This course ran in 2016. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future

Leather button hat
Blocking leather and leather trims
Tutor: Lynnette Lim

Make your button beret covered in luscious leather with milliner Lynn Lim. Learn how to make a fabulous foundation and to successfully block your leather. You will also craft a stunning leather trim to top off your leather creation. Suitable for intermediate millinery students.

Date: This course ran in 2015. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future



Make your block from esparterie (2 days)
Tutor: Louise Macdonald

Esparterie was the magic material for creating hat shapes without the need for blocking in the mid 20th century. It almost became extinct, but has recently reemerged! Esparterie can be used for making hats or blocks. Milliner Louise Macdonald will show you how to use this material to create your own brim block. This is a great skill to learn; imagine being able to make exclusive block shapes! In order to get the best from this course, some millinery experience with blocking hats would be helpful.

Date: This course ran in 2015. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future


Racello braid hat
Racello Magnifico (racello braid; 2 days)
Tutor: Lynn Lim

Get your vintage on and discover the beauty of racello braid. Explore the possibilities of working with this magnificent medium. In this two-day workshop, you will make a small hat using racello or vintage braid. You will learn how to shape and weave the braid to create a spectacular hat and top it all off with a fitting trim.

Date: This course ran in 2015. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future



Tips and tricks with wire
Tutor: Lynn Lim

Discover all the tips and tricks with wire! In this class with milliner Lynn Lim, you will learn how to use wire techniques to make your hat bases and trims effortlessly appear to defy gravity!

Date: This course ran in 2015. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future



Make your own birdcage veil headpiece
(Spring Carnival Millinery Workshop)

Birdcage veils adorned with cats ears, bunny ears or simply a stylish twist

View photos taken during this course!


This year's "must have" millinery wear is a Birdcage Veil adorned with cats ears, bunny ears or simply a stylish twist. Come on your own or with a group of friends to make an individually crafted piece that you can show off at the races, the office's Christmas party or dress up for a night on the tiles!

In this 2.5-hour workshop, you'll be welcomed with a glass of bubbly to get your creative fingers going before learning how to manipulate some of the most lovely veiling and specialist millinery materials. Leave the session with your beautiful creation in its own glossy hat box, ready for extensive outings throughout the season!

Date: This course ran in 2015. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future



Make a Stylish Fedora
Tutor: Lynnette LimFedora hat made by millinery student

Channel your inner pop star and get ready to thwart the paparazzi, just like Miranda Kerr, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Alba, while you learn to make a fashionable fedora from stunning straw. Block, shape and produce a first-class finish for your hat using traditional millinery techniques, then customise your creation with a timeless ribbon trim or a more contemporary concoction.

Date: This course ran in 2014. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future



Silk Abaca and Leather Flowers
Learn how to use traditional brass French flower tools to produce gorgeous flowers. In this class you will use a combination of silk abaca and leather to create various flowers, including rose and poppy.

Date: This course ran in 2014. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future


Straw braid hat
Make A Small Hat From Straw Braid
Tutor: Lynnette Lim
Get your vintage on and discover the beauty of braid. Explore the possibilities of working with this magnificent medium. In this 2-day workshop you will make a small hat using racello or vintage braid. You will learn how to shape and weave the braid to create a spectacular hat and top it all of with a fitting trim.

Date: This course ran in 2014. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future



Silk Abaca and Leather Headpiece
Tutor: Georgina Conheady
Make a stunning headpiece of silk abaca and leather. You will learn to block and drape silk abaca and make silk abaca and leather flowers, and combine both materials to make trims.

Date: This course ran in 2014. Its content, tutor and cost may be subject to change if this or a similar course is scheduled in the future


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


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