Millinery silk flowers – meadow flowers with Anne Tomlin

Ref: S3D31666

About this course

Whilst observing wildflowers and grasses, recreate your own mini meadow in millinery fabrics. Experiment with dyes to create colours, textures and layers, make stamens, bond silk and bind stems with silk thread.

Course Description

Learn about the construction of wild flowers through observation to interpret them using silk, paper clay, millinery fabrics, wire, embroidery and some beading. You will learn many techniques of millinery silk flower making using a mixture of traditional french and Japanese Somebana heated tools. You will gain skills that you can use after the course has ended to explore the craft and develop your own personal way of re-creating flowers, buds, leaves and bees.

The course is suitable for all levels and all that is required is a basic knowledge of sewing.

You will be shown how to construct flowers with several techniques and each stage will be demonstrated with samples. You will be encouraged to experiment with dyes and make templates. Advice on painting techniques with procion dyes will be at hand to create the affects you want. At the end of the course you will have a basic understanding of the shapes that the various tools make, the confidence to recreate flowers in silk and straw, and you will take away a collection of flowers, grasses and insects to form the basis of your mini meadow.

Techniques and skills

• Observation and some sketchbook work

• Preparing and stiffening silk

• Making templates

• Bias cutting of silk from templates

• Mixing dyes and silk painting techniques

• Bonding silk and hiding wire

• Using paper clay

• Making stamens and leaves, binding stems with silk

The tutor will help you through the different processes with plenty of individual attention. At the end of the course you will review all the techniques involved and you will be given information of suppliers of silk, tools and materials used. Tools, wires, dyes and silk will be available to buy from the tutor.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • All materials, fabrics and dyes are included.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring a sketchbook and pencils, and sewing kit containing a pair of small sharp
  • scissors, wire cutters a small pair of pliers and a thimble
  • An apron
  • Wild flower reference
  • Reading glasses, if worn

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sewing threads and needles
  • Available from tutor:
  • Extra fabric, dyes and supplies if needed for an additional charge (pay her by cash or bank transfer)

Additional information

Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Anne Tomlin

Anne has a degree in Textiles and trained at West Surrey College of Art (UCA, Farnham), then studied millinery at The London College of Fashion. She co-founded the Bailey Tomlin label in 1989 designing and making hats for many stores including Saks 5th Ave, Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Liberty.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.