Course and Workshop Descriptions

Course & Workshop Descriptions 2019 Course Schedule Booking a Course & Accommodation Customer Comments & Stories


Monthly Millinery Meet-up

Tuesday mornings 10am until 2pm (Once a month)

This Monthly meet up class is ideal for those who have already attended the weekly classes/workshops or 1 to 1 class and want to update/refresh their skills on a regular basis. Each month we take a fabric or technique that has been covered in the past and re-learn it or use the skills already learned in a slightly different way. New techniques and skills will be learned along the way.



Work by Bernadette Mullen, Kathleen Walsh, Beatrice Walsh and Maureen Daly


Saturday Workshops

10am until 4.30pm Max Class size 4/5

Introduction to Millinery

You will learn to block, manipulate and form hat shapes with a variety of Millinery fabrics and traditional wooden hat blocks. You will also learn about all of the basic trimmings including feathers, quills, buttons, flowers etc. You will leave with 1 to 2 pieces made from a variety of fabrics and trimmings having used different millinery techniques. If you have a special event coming up and you would like to create an original, unique headpiece please bring along your outfit. If you collect any trims such as old buttons, ribbons, brooches or jewellery bring them along as they can be transformed into beautiful trimmings.


Work completed by Zara Atherton, Annabelle Kehoe, Mary Cummins and Elma Walshe

Work completed at the DLR Lexicon 1 day workshop in May 2016 by Lucy Fallon, Fiona McCann and Sarah McCauley

Pillbox by Teresa Ann Fox, Teardrop in Sinamay by Lucy Metcalfe, Saucer with pearls by Hilda Kelly

Neckpiece / Collar Workshop with Siobhán Daly

This one day workshop will enable participants to create their very own one of a kind personalised neckpiece.

Techniques and methods such as flower making, beading and basic pattern drafting amongst others will all be covered on the day. These methods, together with Siobhán's guidance and expertise, will awaken your creativity and ensure you have a professionally finished piece in a variety of materials.

Basic sewing skills are recommended. Basic materials are included, but if you wish to supplement these please bring along your own broken jewellery or trimmings to add that personal touch.

Siobhán began making neckpieces five years ago and has developed her own techniques over that time. Her creativity has continued to flourish and in recent years Siobhán has expanded her skills into millinery. In April 2016 she set up SiobhanDalyDesigns.

Siobhan Daly neckpieces

Leather and Lace

Work with this beautiful natural fabric to create a luxurious headpiece. You will need to have worked with Felt or Buckram before as we will be using both/either of those in this 1 day workshop.

Learn how to prepare and block the leather .You can finish this piece either using leather trimmings or learn how to create a unique finish using lace.

Blocking Buckram/Making Buckram or Lycra Loop

Use this fantastic foundation fabric to block a solid base. Learn how to cover it with Lycra (or a different fabric if you prefer). Make fabric covered loops using the Buckram, or learn how to make lightweight Lycra loops (For lycra loops you will need machine sewing skills to re-create at home).


Jinsin and Straw

Learn how to block a Straw hood into a beautiful Hat or headpiece. This easily blocked malleable fabric is ideal for summer weddings or racing events. Learn how to use Jinsin to create these impressive twists and loops which add drama to any piece.


Blocking Lace

Learn how to to block an entire headpiece in Lace, or block your headpiece in another fabric and add a lace brim.



Love those headpieces that sit right to the front of the head? Learn the tips and tricks to achieve that look without using specialist Percher Blocks.




Making Hats with Patterns

You can make stunning Hats and Headpieces without needing a Hatblock. This is ideal for those in the early stages of their Millinery journey who would like to see more possibilities with Sinamay before investing in blocks.




January 2017

Working with Felt

Learn how to block a felt Cloche Hat, a simple Button piece, or a Vintage style pillbox. You will learn about different qualities of felt, sizes, where to source etc. Learn how to make trimmings with felt scraps or other headpieces with left over large pieces of felt. Felt is ideal for winter racing and weddings.

You will need to order 1 Felt hood. Details will be supplied on booking.

Samples of work from the Felt Workshop and weekly classes. Beatrice Walsh, Angela Behan, Sandra Ryan (2 pieces),
Valerie Cosgrave , Carmel Owens

Felt Teardrop by Patricia Ryan, Cloche by Dolores, Cloche by Kyra Fingleton, Hat by Geraldine Delaney



Crowning Glories

Inspired by recent Royal events, learn how to make a crown headpiece as worn by Kate Middleton using a variety of fabrics and trimmings such as veiling, feathers and vintage flowers.

This crown can be sculpted/built using a base fabric, with no Hat block required!

Wire and Leather Flower Crowns

Learn how to construct an 'on trend' leather flower crown using Millinery wire and the softest leather available in a variety of colours. You will cut the flowers and leaves, embossing them with details using specialist equipment.

Velvet Twist Creations

Half day workshop 10 - 1pm or 2 - 5pm.

Enjoy working with this luxurious fabric to create an ensemble of twists mounted on a base fascinator. Add crinoline to the twist to give the piece extra body and finesse.




Easy Millinery/Crafty Morning
Saturdays 10 until 12.30pm. Max 8 People

These workshops are ideal for a group get together, a bridal party, or Craft Collective. Alternative times can be arranged for a group booking (contact Niav 087 6274259).

A series of half day workshops where a base will be provided for you to decorate such as the ever popular Crowns, Teardrop base, a comb or Band. This is a chance to become familiar with Millinery trimmings such as veiling, feathers,flowers and beads without making the base.

OR Using die-cutters, learn to make beautiful Pins/Brooches/Corsages etc as gifts to give at Christmas. This is a new fun technique to learn, and very satisfying to produce your own uniquely designed and handmade present.


Think outside the Block

Open Morning /Free Event - Booking required by email. 10am until 1pm

Submerse yourself in a morning of millinery ideas!

This event is not about how to use different millinery fabrics, it is just about using the blocks, how to combine them and maximise their potential.

Meet up with the friends that you made at a previous millinery class, or if you haven’t already attended a class come and see the new Creative Space workshop in Abbetleix and meet Niav.

The morning will consist of:

  • Tea/Coffee Meet up with Millinery acquaintances
  •  Demonstration with Niav followed by Q + A session.
  •  Opportunity to purchase trial blocks and oddments at special prices. (Credit and Debit Cards accepted )
  •  Unique opportunity to purchase a Starter Kit containing 3 blocks, a stand, a free box of blocking pins all at the discounted
       student rate! (Great Christmas present for beginners)
  •  Meet trimming supplier of fancy buttons, braids, fabrics and embellishments. (Cash Only)

Do you have a small range of blocks and would like to produce/design more styles from each block? This morning is essential for you to realise the full potential of those blocks. Watch as Niav shows you some of her suggestions and ideas on how to maximise the potential of those blocks.

You will leave feeling invigorated and full of new ideas.


Two Pieces in a Day

Make a 1920's Fascinator

Downton Abbey is back. All the frivolity and luxury of 1920's style has returned to inspire us on this workshop. Use Feathers, beads, braids and ribbons to create a beautiful fascinator fitting for Downton or the great Gatsby.

Create a Crown Band

Using a prepared crown, enjoy embellishing it with beads, flowers, leaves, veiling and whatever trimmings you wish to create a stunning on-trend crown.


Exquisite Trimmings

You have the skills to make a Hat or Headpiece but want to design your own unique trimmings, so your work reflects your style.

Struggle with bows, loops and twists? Exquisite trimmings workshop will show you how, using a range of fabrics such as Buckram, Paris Net, Crinoline and/or Jinsin/Abaca to add the finesse that you are looking for.

Also learn a few tricks and tips with feathers. How can I curl them, twist them, trim them to do something different? Love that floating feather look? Learn how to do it at this intensive trimming workshop.

If there is time we will add in some simple flower making, showing you how to incorporate fabrics that you have used on your Hat/Headpiece


A Day of Creative Escape

With Niav and Danielle (from Naturally at the Wrens Nest)

10.30 - 3.30, price €99 (payment in full on booking)

Rekindle that Creative Flame with an essential oil workshop where you will get to create your own essential oil blend to make a body massage oil, followed in the afternoon by a masterclass creating a unique corsage using a die-cutter and a selection of luxury fabrics.


Evening Class

* * * NEW * * *

Start your Millinery Journey

This 2 hour evening class is the perfect way to ease you into learning the many and varied skills involved in making a Hat/Headpice. Running in 6 week blocks, you will learn all of the essentials about:

  •  the fabrics, trimmings and techniques used in millinery
  •  where and how to source those fabrics
  •  how to block using wooden Hat Blocks
  •  how to wire, stiffen and finish the piece
  •  how to trim the piece

Some materials will be included and others will need to be ordered specifically for you. You will have access to all of the Hat blocks and can purchase them if desired at a reduced Millinery Student rate.


1 to 1 Tutoring


This is ideal for those who have a specific project/fabric/style in mind. If you have spotted a Hat/Headpiece that you would like to make yourself, you will receive undivided 1 to 1 attention to help you to complete that project. It is advised that you consult with me first regarding the style and fabric so that I can prepare the lesson specifically for you.

This tutoring is available during week days only, 10am until 4pm.
1 Day     €199
3 Days   €350
5 Days   €550

Materials such Sinamay, Buckram, Bias Binding, Wire and fabrics are incl. Felt/Fur hoods or Straws will cost extra.


Whether you are a beginner or, have some experience in sewing and would like to improve your skills, a 1 to 1 tuition class will be be perfect for you. As a qualified Fashion Designer, Niav can teach you sewing skills and help you with understanding patterns, pattern layout and basic pattern construction.

3 hour class, 10am until 1 or 2pm: price €99
6 hour class, 10am until 4pm: price €199
Materials included.


Whats App Video Call 1 to 1 tutoring

½ hour or 1 hour call. 30 mins €39; 1 hour €69

This is a brand new service ideally for those who have already attended a workshop/class and need a refresher, or who have a few queries on how to do certain things.

You may be a Milliner who has attended workshops/classes elsewhere but need to broaden your skill set.

This session can be tailored to your needs – maybe you need to ask a different set of questions about the business side of things. I can help you with sourcing products, getting labels designed and produced or advice on applying for grant aid.

This service is not intended to replace attending a workshop or course. There may be certain elements that can be taught using this method. Please contact me with your query and I will advise if it can be solved via a video call.

Group Bookings/Bridal Parties

I have many requests for special Weekend workshops, and/or workshops in other locations, for groups. If you would like to book a course for a corporate day, a school event or a group such as a bridal party, I would be delighted to talk to you and design a workshop to meet your needs.

Millinery Workshops for Bridal / Hen parties have become popular - they offer an alternative to action packed activities and you get to take a beautiful, unique, fascinator or headpiece away with you.

I recommend about 2 to 2 and a ½ hours for your workshop.

Flower Crowns have been a popular option in recent times which lend a lovely festival theme to your special weekend with friends.

Bookings need to be made about 8 weeks in advance at least. Please contact me for details on prices and group sizes.