Taboo is a BBC drama featuring Tom Hardy, it’s going to be an eight part series and it’s being called the anti Poldark.  We were lucky enough to make the hat for the man himself. Read on to find out more but first have a watch of the trailer.


The brief was that they needed two hats that were identical, one for Tom and one for his stunt double… sorry ladies he doesn’t do all is own stunts! We were told that the stunt double’s needed to be waterproof which in itself was quite the challenge. The costume department sent us something that they wanted copying so once we had this we could think about how this was going to be constructed! Here is the hat we were bought:


We didn’t have a block here that would get the height and shape that we needed so like most milliners you need to think outside the box, we ended us stacking and gaffa taping three blocks together to make the shape we needed. Once we had worked out that the shape worked we needed to address the big issue of making the hat waterproof.


The outside of the hat needed to be melusine felt and to make this strong enough to withstand the water we tested out lots of materials and found that foss shape thermoplastic worked the best for the crown. We sandwiched this between the melusine and wool felt underneath. We also inserted a wire frame inside to help keep it’s shape. For the brim we had to shellac it to make sure it stayed firm.  These were the instructions we made for ourselves:











The hat for Tom was a little simpler it needed to be strong but not as strong as the stunt hat so for this we used a buckram base a wire frame and the melusine over the top. Here are some pictures of it during the blocking process:








Once finished we tried on the stunt man’s hat for size only to find that its was too small! Because we had sandwiched three layers together it had become so much smaller than we anticipated. Usually this isn’t a problem as you can stream it a little and pop it on the hat stretcher but because it was so hard it was virtually impossible to do. Luckily Tina has a metal heated hat stretcher, so took it home and manage to stretch to the right size. Phew! Here she is in all her glory…

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We have managed to find some images of Tom on set wearing the hat for you all to see:

51963581 Actor Tom Hardy films in Wanstead, East London this morning for a new BBC One period drama 'Taboo' on February 5, 2016. Tom can be seen preparing for a graveyard scene at St Mary's church. FameFlynet, Inc - Beverly Hills, CA, USA - +1 (310) 505-9876 RESTRICTIONS APPLY: USA/CHINA ONLY    Tom Hardy films scenes for TV series 'Taboo' on location at St Marys Church in Wanstead Featuring: Tom Hardy Where: London, United Kingdom When: 05 Feb 2016 Credit:















Photo credit:

Wenn, FameFlynet

Whether you are looking for Secret Santa, stocking fillers or your personal wish list—here’s our guide to gifts available from the boutique and online. If you are a sewer, a milliner or a hat lover we have just the thing!

Paper mate
With over 60 different designs on each, these vintage styled cards make a great source of inspiration for makers. They are blank inside so perfect for any occasion. Two designs in a pack of 6 for £12 or £3 each.










Postcards from the elegant edge
Attractive and practical, these vintage styled postcards come with original 1920s French feather pads. From a selection online and in store £4 – £6.

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Pinteresting gifts
We love this cute silver plated bird pin cushion £25—an ornament to any sewing kit! Or what about some hat pins attached to a vintage style postcard £5 each from a selection in store.










Mad hatters
If you missed the screening at London Hat Week of the film Mad About Hats, why not buy the DVD for £22 in store? It is the only film documentary to look at the history of the felt hat. It includes interviews with milliners Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy.










If you or a loved one have a favourite hat that needs some care and attention why not book it in with us to get restored to it’s former glory or revamped? We offer cleaning, reblocking and repairs services. Prices start at £20 for a minor repair, check our repairs page online or call for a quote. Pictured above synthetic hat brush £9.

Jack of all trades
If you are a hat maker or wearer don’t be without a hat jack—this nifty gadget means you can stretch your hats at home up to one size. The hat jack comes in an attractive drawstring bag with instructions and can be purchased online for £25.








Classic cuts
We think these scissors make the perfect stocking filler, £8 and £10 from a selection online and in store. Red plier set below £5.50 for the pair.

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Tools of the trade
Great for wire work, be it hats or jewellery making the mini plier set has everything you need in one case for £15. Or keeping with a purple theme these standard size flat nose pliers and wire cutters (pictured centre £2.50 and £3.00). Good enough to eat, these candy coloured chalk pens dispense chalk powder through a fine tip for precision marking on your hat or sewing project £9 each.
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On point
All milliners have a favourite needle they love to use—maybe its extra fine or maybe you’ve bent it into the perfect curve! Never lose it again with these magnetic needle minders, £7 and £10 from a selection in store and online.

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All wrapped up
Not just for hats this wired ombre ribbon is just gorgeous—great for making ribbon flowers or adding a finishing touch to your gift wrapping.

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We have classes scheduled for January and February next year including Fast Fascinator and Introduction to Millinery, if you or a loved one is looking to learn a new skill for 2017 a course could be the perfect gift. Keep an eye on our course pages  or follow us on Social Media for new dates. Happy Shopping!

The Atelier team is responsible for teaching most of the courses that run out of the boutique but we also have guest tutors. Jane Fryers teaches the Fish Leather workshop with us a couple of times a year. We tried it and we are, excuse the pun, hooked! We caught up with Jane on her return from the International Millinery Forum in Wagga Wagga (regional NSW) Australia.

What is the International Millinery Forum?

The forum aims to bring milliners together to learn the latest techniques, skills and millinery trends from around Australia and the world. It’s a bit like London Hat Week but more of a convention for milliners and it’s based in a single location.  There is a huge team of volunteers involved in organising the event.

Like London Hat Week there’s a market place with suppliers and there are workshops run by local and international milliners. As well as myself; Emma Yeo, Sophie Beale and Ian Bennett were there from the UK.  Australian milliner Carole Maher was also there teaching Thermoplastics.

What did you teach?

I taught four workshops over four days including the Asymmetrical Rose Headband which is the course I teach at Atelier. Most of the people signed up for my course had done millinery before and were looking to work with a material new to them so my aim was to show them what a versatile material fish leather can be.











Above pictured: Asymmetrical Rose Headband and Fish Leather roses

Below pictured: Tropical Branch Headband, Fish leather Beret in progress and Rose Organ, President of Riverina Millinery Association, wearing her Fish Leather Beret at the Gala Evening.









What else did you do while you were there?

There was a gala evening and two fashion shows including one specifically for tutors to showcase their work.  I made 1950’s style swim hats entirely out of salmon leather but couldn’t quite persuade my lovely models to do the catwalk wearing 1950s style bathing suits to match!  I had just enough time to feed a kangaroo before I came home.

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For more information about Jane’s course and other courses that run at Atelier check our website.  Get top millinery tips from Jane and other milliners on our blog. If you’re missing London Hat Week you can still buy your souvenir bag here London Hat Week.



How many times have you sewn in a wire and as you get to the last inch the thread snaps? Whether you’re a seasoned milliner or a beginner you’ll know how easy it is to (pardon the pun) tie yourself in knots with your hand sewing! Here are top 5 needlework tips for milliners.


Image source

  1. Wax on–run your thread through the wax 2 or 3 times to coat it.  Wrap it in a paper towel or scrap of muslin and iron it. The wax helps strengthen the thread as well as helping it glide through whatever you are sewing.  This is great for millinery when working with foundation materials such as buckram and sinamay. For light coloured fabrics always do a test in a small corner.
  2. Wax off—as an alternative to beeswax if you are worried about transfer. Try running your thread through a folded sheet a few times. It will help reduce static cling and tangling.
  3. The sharpest tool—an obvious one but still valid always cut your thread with a sharp pair of scissors or snippers. The clean cut makes it much easier to thread especially as millinery sharps tend to have a smaller eye. 


  1. Less is more—an extra extra-long thread might seem like a good idea but chances are you’ll spend more time trying to undo knots and as you repeatedly pass the length through your fabric the thread is weakened by the friction making it more liable to snap. The tip of your fingers to your elbow crease is a great guide to the ideal length you should work with.
  2. Double trouble—do you really need to use a double thread?  It is more likely to tangle up on itself. A good rule for deciding which to use in millinery is: single thread for invisibility, double for strength.

For more tips keep an eye on the blog or why not book a course and ask us in person? If there isn’t a course that covers what you want to learn drop us a line and ask about 121 sessions.

Getting started in millinery can be an expensive business. Naturally you’ve stocked up on all your materials in the boutique or at our Etsy shop. You’ve been inspired by our Pinterest feed now you need some tools and equipment for all the hats you are going to make.
There are lots of useful objects around the house that you can use to get started without the use of specialist millinery tools. The kettle will always be number one in our list but here’s 5 other non-millinery kit hacks from the kitchen.



1. Old cotton tea towels—make great pressing cloths or you can cut into strips to aid blocking a concave block
2.Glass Jars—we use them for storing everything from blocking pins to pens. They are great for mixing dyes (and storing them for a few days if you feel you might have to return to the same dye bath). Also handy for decanting stiffener for use.


3.Team Atelier love a curly quill or two. Boil them up in an old saucepan (best to use a natural one or do a colour fastness test if they have been dyed) and wrap them round a rolling pin or a broom handle (secure with masking tape) and leave to dry. For a range of sizes to work around save the inside cardboard roll of cling film or aluminium foil. They tend to be fairly firm and if you cover them with plastic will take a bit of moisture.


4. Tea time—not just for soothing the soul when you are at your wits end with a hat! Use old teabags to age fabrics for a vintage feel or dye white wire to a “light blonde” shade for to match a clients or your own hair
5. Wooden bowls—can make inexpensive hat blocks. Our personal favourite is 1970s teak bowls often found in charity shops and on Ebay as they make ideal pillbox shapes.

You can stock up on some more traditional tools of the trade at our online shop or pop in to see us at the boutique. For more tips keep an eye on the blog or why not book a course and ask us in person? If there isn’t a course that covers what you want to learn drop us a line and ask about 121 sessions.

New York is a great city for fashion and shopping (two of our favourite things) so when Georgina and Tina went there earlier this year they couldn’t resist turning it into a busman’s holiday and taking a tour of the garment district. You can never have too many threads but how to store them? At One Penn Plaza there was a cotton reel art installation by New York Artist Devorah Sperber, the artworks are inspired by the original Pennsylvania Station which was once located on the same site.

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On to Mood Fabrics, it’s the shop from Project Runway and did not disappoint! Everyone on the team seemed knowledgeable and very helpful; one chap showed us a range of fabrics by draping them over his shoulder and then sketching what he would make, it was great fun and we could have stayed. They also have a trimmings section plus books and sewing gadgets so well worth a visit. We love this shot of the interior—it reminded us of our sinamay selection but on a much grander scale!

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Next stop was the East Coast Trading Company which had a very cute window display. The name is actually Hyman Hendler in a different wrapper which has been in business for over 100 years. According to their website people also refer to it as the Museum of Ribbons and we are inclined to agree. They had the most exquisite ribbons we have ever seen!  It's a good job they have doors on most of the cabinets as that was all that stopped us from climbing in amongst them. Georgina was particularly enamoured with the store, “I cannot explain just how wonderful this shop is for someone who appreciates ribbon. They have a fabulous array of vintage plus new and all of top quality.  I have to say it was overwhelming and almost impossible to choose something to buy as I really wanted the entire stock.”

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They also had a section dedicated to bridal trimmings and accessories which was truly beautiful and enough to make you go out looking for a fiancé just to have reason to shop there.  We were helped by the manager who was advising several customers at once with style.  She was kind enough to show us their old ribbon sample cards and to explain how production and dye methods had changed over the years.  Even the samples were works of art that we would happily frame instead of a painting any day. When you have all these wonderful trimmings at your disposal you can’t help but accessorise and the award for the best dressed tape dispenser goes to M& J Trimmings of West 38th Street.

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Once again another really helpful team of people worked here and we had one assistant’s life story! They were having a warehouse clearance sale so we were in our element surrounded by vintage Petersham (Georgina’s favourite) and proper oldfashioned thick satin ribbon (Tina’s favourite). They have every type of trimming from ribbons to lace of every width and some very impressive sparkly numbers, apparently Martha Stewart is a long-time customer of theirs(our icon) .

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Finally we ended up at the Fashion walk of fame which celebrates American designers who have influenced fashion on an international scale. Twenty-eight designers have been inducted into the walk so far and we were glad to see a milliner made it on to the list.

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Lilly Dache is one of our favourite designers from the golden age of millinery. These images have us heading to our veiling stock for a play. Browse some of the range on our website or pop into the boutique to see our wide selection of vintage veiling.

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Sources 1 & 2

If you are looking for more vinspiration why not follow us on Pinterest . Tina is also running two new vintage inspired workshops as part of London Hat Week 2016; a hand draped cloche and an addition to the bow library series rouleaux trims. Go to the London Hat Week website for more information and to book.

It has been a busy race season for team Atelier. We’ve had hats going to the Kentucky Derby and Derby day parties in New York. Royal Ascot kept us busy in June and our pop up shop at the gentleman’s hatters Bates ran for its second year.

We took a turn at Newbury Races for the Immediate Media staff summer party, it was festival themed with their staff trying out a number of activities, including archery and gin tasting. We were on hand to teach 50 ladies how to make fascinators, it was essentially our Fast Fascinator in Four Hours course condensed into two speedy 45 minute sessions! If you’d like to try this workshop out for yourself head to our website to book.

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It hasn’t just been all about new commissions; our customers’ favoured titfers have been spruced and there have been hats in need of serious post-festivity TLC We have seen more than a few frantic customers who have borrowed hats from friends only having had to contend with the wet British weather, being sat on and some over enthusiastic Champagne cork popping! The season isn’t over yet with Glorious Goodwood (Qatar Goodwood Festival) starting on July 26th .

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(above Glorious Goodwood Blue and White Best Dressed Competition source)

The dress code isn’t quite as formal as Royal Ascot, with the organisers favouring informal elegance. The third day being Ladies Day and a Best Dressed Blue and White competition on the Friday we thought we’dshare a few of our favourite hat pictures from Royal Ascot and a few from our own collection to help inspire your Goodwood choices. To paraphrase Shakespeare:

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be,

For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of “millinery”.”

Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 75–77

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We’ve included some blue and white options from our current collection in case you are thinking of entering the competition. Pictured styles: Chi Chi Bow (bridal), How bow can you go (available in the boutique in blue and ivory) and Hayfever (pictured in white and available in store in ivory). The Hayfever is one of the hats you can learn to make on our two day Intermediate Millinery Course .

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If you are looking for the glamour of a wide brim hat without the hat hair, a saucer style is a great option. Couture Coolie (pictured in cream and black) is sewn on to a hair band at the perfect dramatic angle! Also pictured is Garden Party. Come and see us at the boutique for more colour options and styles.

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HNC Millinery Private View at Kensington and Chelsea College

We took a team outing to the HNC Millinery Private View exhibition to see the next generation of upcoming milliners.  The HNC is a year-long course that allows students to immerse themselves in the millinery design and making process from sketchbook to finished collection with a focus on preparing the students for industry. 

Over the years its alumni have gone on to do great things in millinery such as participating in the British Fashion Council’s millinery showcase Headonism, curated by Stephen Jones OBE.  Past graduates of the course include Gina Foster, Jane Taylor, and Sarah Cant who is also Director of the course at Kensington and Chelsea College.

The HNC is close to our hearts as three members of the Atelier team are also past graduates. This year we were happy and proud to see some of our customers and former student’s collections in the exhibition.  Here are our favourites from each designer.

Anne Stoffels comes from a theatrical background. Her collection entitled Antoine was inspired by the book Le Petit Prince by Antoine. We love the use of straw and sinamay together.image 123

Ania Zydron came to millinery from a background in Fine Arts; her collection pays tribute to German artist Gerhard Richter and uses a combination of resin and plastics. We particularly like the colour palette.

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Jordana Wakelin has a background in retail management, her collection entitled “Iridescence” is inspired by the colours and textures found in nature.  We like how the leather trim floats effortlessly above the hat on millinery wire.image 1234567

Milly Hudson gained a creative background in textiles, ceramics and jewellery, her collection entitled “Alice Ruffles” is inspired by the illustrations of Ralph Steadman for Alice in Wonderland. We love the drama of the wide sinamay brim.
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Kewei Chen has worked in one of China’s hat factories producing CAD soft hat pattern design. Her collection “Sailor K” was inspired by a trip to the French Marine Museum.  The hat pictured captures the splash of water as an anchor drops into the ocean.image 1234

Jennifer Rowley studied graphic design, specialising in photography and screen printing.  She worked in publishing before studying theatrical millinery with Jane Smith (Jane is on the schedule for London Hat Week 2016).  Jennifer’s collection “Smoke and Mirrors” is about magic, illusion, repetitive patterns and sculpture. We really wanted canadian pharmacy to try this one on but there was no touching of the exhibits!

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Daisy McBurney has worked at a games studio and as a florist and has always enjoyed making costumes before undertaking millinery courses. Her collection is called “Telling the Bees” after the poem of the same name by John Greenleaf Whittier. We’re big fans of silk flowers at Atelier, if you’ve never made flowers before try our silk flower making course it’s a great introduction to the art of flower making.


Eun Young Lee’s collection celebrates women’s beauty with each hat in her collection representing a different element such as grace, intelligence and physical beauty. Eun is an Atelier regular and won tickets to join us at our screening of Advanced Style for London Fashion Week. We thought this use of quills was particularly striking. 


Charlotte Roseman has worked as an interior designer and painting restorer. She was awarded first prize in the 2016 Worshipful Company of Feltmakers’ Design Award.  Her collection “A Bugs Life” is inspired by insects both in terms of colours and shapes.

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Terry Weston has worked in various design related roles including fashion print textile design. Her collection “Suspension and Motion” is inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, particularly his mobiles and the Peter Lanyon’s gliding paintings. We’re in awe of how she has engineered the balance of this headpiece pharmacy online so it stays on the head.


Congratulations to all of this year’s HNC graduates on an exciting collection of hats.  We look forward to seeing what comes next for these milliners.

As part of London Hat Week 2016 the Kensington & Chelsea College Millinery Department will open its doors and welcome visitors to learn about the millinery curriculum on offer at the college. This free event takes place on October 12, 6pm to 8pm; there is no need to book.  

The HNC Course Director Sarah Cant will also be running a couture millinery masterclass as part of the LHW 2016 schedule.  Go to the London Hat Week website to check availability and book.

If all this leaves you feeling inspired to learn a new skill, why not book yourself onto one of our upcoming workshops in July which include, Fish Leather with Jane Fryers, Block Making and Intermediate Millinery .

At this time of year we are always being asked which hats suit various face shapes, so we thought we would give you the house rules. Once you have this knowledge under your hat,  you can make your hunt more focused.

A few tips when out looking for a hat:

1. Always take your outfit or part of your outfit with you. This is to be certain of a colour match.  Trust us, you can’t remember the exact shade of blue/pink etc.

2. If your outfit is very plain or dark, use your hat to add a splash of colour and interest.

3. Try on lots of styles – we know that hat canadian pharmacy shopping can be intimidating.  Thats is why the Atelier Millinery team are all here to help you find the best shape to flatter your face and complement your outfit.

We need to determine the shape of your face…

Stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself.   For some people it will be instantly clear, but for the people who are unsure, take a bar of soap or eye liner and draw around your face shape. Now step away and have a look at the shape you are left with. We split face pharmacy online shapes into 6 categories..

face shape

Round Face:


– Wear your brim at an angle not straight on

– Wear something smaller like a cocktail hat

– Wear a hat that adds height as this will enlongate your face


– Wear a hat with a round crown

Atelier recommends: Gin Fizz


Oval Face:


– You are lucky you can wear pretty much any shape of hat –  Whoopee!

Atelier recommends: Champagne Charlie




– Wear something with a large brim and a shallow crown. This will even out your face shape

…and in fact, the bigger brim the better!


– Wear narrow tall hats

– Wear hats with a high crown

Atelier recommends: Hayfever




– Go for something soft in look and less structured. This will soften your angles.

– Tilt the hat off centre this will break the symmetry in the face

– Upturned or asymmetric brims


– Wear a hat without a brim

– Wear a square shaped hat

Atelier recommends: Tatton Park




– Similar to oval this great shape can wear nearly every style – you lucky thing!

– Wear them straight across the brow or hairline


– Choose a brim that is narrower than your cheekbones

Atelier recommends: Sidecar


Heart Shape:


– Go with a medium size brim, this will balance out your forehead

– Wear hats with a slanted brim or wear the hat at a tilted angle


– Don’t wear a really large brim

Atelier recommends: Pimms Party


This is the second video in our tutorial series and this time we show you how to cover a metal hairband with ribbon. If you missed out first tutorial on stiffening felt then make sure you check it out.

This is a simple and effective technique and once you have mastered it you will be able to run these up in no time. The first one that you make will take longer than you think but after a couple of tries you will notice a difference. We find a lot of our customers find them a really comfortable solution.

If there is a skill you are looking to learn please comment at the bottom of the post and it might well be the next tutorial!