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Learn the fine art of millinery. Create your own beautiful hats!


Beginning and Advanced workshops provide ideal opportunities to explore the world of millinery whether you're an aspiring milliner or simply interested in making hats for personal pleasure. Wayne is an experienced and skillful teacher who generously shares his knowledge. A well-equipped studio with an extraordinary collection of vintage and contemporary hat blocks provides a unique environment for your creativity to flourish.


Using traditional wood hat blocks, millinery felts and straw materials you will learn to block and shape hats, then create trims and embellishments to complete your wonderful hats. Small classes ensure personal attention and regardless of your experience, Wayne will adapt instruction and class work to your individual needs and assist you in creating wonderful hats.

Visit Judith Nowland Tricia Roush and Ulla Milbrath's blogs to read about their workshop experiences.

A Hat For All Seasons - Wayne Wichern - Ornament Magazine / Wayne Wichern - Hat Maker - TalkArt Interview With The Artist

Wayne Wichern - Portrait of a Milliner by Tracy Martin / San Francisco Chronicle - Milliner Wayne Wichern by Edward Guthmann


Ballard Millinery Studio: 1149 NW 52nd Street, Seattle, WA (Ballard/Fremont Neighborhoods - across from Obec Brewery next door to Ballard Serious Pie.

Felt & Straw Blocking Workshops - Ballard Millinery Studio - Seattle, WA

In this workshop you will learn to "block" millinery felt and straw materials using traditional hat blocks. The felt and straw materials are dampened and steamed and then quickly blocked – pulled-stretched-sculpted onto the wooden blocks and tightly held in place with blocking cords or elastics. The hats are then left to dry. This process conforms and molds the materials into the basic shape of the hat. Students are often surprised to discover how physical blocking a hat can be. You will learn how to maximize your physical strength and leverage to control the blocking process.


While the hats dry you will learn methods for finishing the hat brim edges: finishes such as hand-sewn or machine-sewn welts, rolled edge brims, bias binding or petersham ribbon bound edges. You will learn a variety of traditional embellishment and trim techniques to complete your millinery creations using ribbon, fabric, straw braid, veiling and millinery flowers. You will also investigate vintage inspired trims using the felt and straw remainders from the hat making process. 

Our workshop goal is to complete a minimum of 2 hats from start to finish. This work is done in stages - after the hats are blocked and drying you will be deciding on brim finishes, sewing head size ribbons and deciding on a trims to embellish your hats. During the workshop we will discuss the current world of millinery and hat makers. You will receive handouts of the workshop notes and information for suppliers of felts, straws and other millinery and hatters goods.


Class size is limited to ensure personal attention.

February & March Online Classes

AIME - American Institute of Millinery Education

Basic Straw Blocking Techniques - Wayne Wichern

Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 11th & 12th, 12PM–3PM EST each day

Managing Straw Brim Edges - Wayne Wichern

Saturday, March 11th, 2023, 12PM–3PM EST

Using Straw Braids for Unique Trims - Wayne Wichern 

Sunday, March 12th, 12PM-3PM EST

Felt & Straw Blocking Workshops - Ballard Millinery Studio, Seattle

In-person workshops are limited in size to ensure individual attention. If a workshop has sold out and you are not able to register, please email to be added to the waitlist. I am also prepared to work with you to schedule alternate dates - during the week or another weekend to accommodate work and travel schedules as much as possible. 

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October 21, 22, 23 - Friday, Saturday, Sunday- Hours 9:30-3:0 - Ballard Millinery Studio, Seattle, WA

Workshop is sold out. Please email to be added to the waitlist. 

Please check back for updates. 

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