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Beginning Millinery & Haberdashery: The Blocked Felt Hat

Course Overview

Minnesota’s history is interwoven with the history of hat-making. Europe’s hunger for beaver-felt top hats drove the voyageurs into the heart of fur country. Most of the fur traded at Grand Portage eventually became felt hats. There is no softer, warmer, or more pliant fiber than fur-felt. We will use millinery fur-felt hat blanks to create hats using the same methods used by milliners since the 1300s (minus the infamous mercury), but our creations will reflect the character and personality of each student—perhaps a 19th-century top hat, a ’20s cloche, Belle époque feather salad, a ’40s fedora (good hats aren’t just for women) or something made with a distinctly 2020 vision. The student will use mysterious and magical sounding materials—melousine, ferrule, puzzle blocks and petersham—to make a couture quality felt hat entirely by hand. Some sewing experience is helpful but not necessary.


Sat, Dec 7th, 2019  –  Sun, Dec 8th, 2019

Course Details

Length: 2 Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: 13+
Tuition: $235.00
Materials fee: $65.00

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

  • embroidery snips
  • dress making shears
  • thimble
  • #10 millinery needles, preferably John James
  • Selection of sharps
  • silk pins
  • hair dryer

*All available online at

Optional Tools

Feel free to bring your favorite tools and whatever materials you might feel appropriate for this course.

  • Silk fabric to line your hat; this will also be available from the instructor
  • Trimmings for your hat, including feathers, ribbons, beaded pieces, buttons, etc. The instructor will have  variety to choose from as well.

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.