Home » Classes » Hat-making: Straw & Fabric Hats 1S23

Hat-making: Straw & Fabric Hats 1S23

Age Group: 
Teens (17+), Adults

Using the techniques of garment sewing with those of the milliner, we will create unique combination hats of fabric and straw. With professional milliners' supplies and tools, we will explore the blocking and sculpting of straw blanks for one part of the hat (Crown or Brim) and the other part can be made of fabric. Use steam and special hat blocks and molds, learning basic blocking, edge-finishing and trimming techniques The instructor will provide some basic patterns to use a templates. . Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of a sewing machine. Limit 7 students


I thought this class was very interesting. I’ve always had an interest in making hats and now I have an idea how it’s done!  The instructor had a lot of supplies and was very polite and patient.

Denise Wallace-Spriggs is excellent, so knowledgable, so talented, such a good teacher!

Denise is a wonderful teacher and an accomplished milliner.  It was a fun way to spend a Sunday morning and I also liked how much you can do in hat making with basic sewing skills.


Denise is awesome. We covered a lot of ground in a short time. It was very gratifying to actually have a custom-made hat by the end of the 2nd session!

#hat-makingclass #hat-makingworkshop #millinery #makeahat #hatclass #learntomakehats #fiberarts #fibercrafts

Denise Wallace-Spriggs


Denise Wallace-Spriggs is the Costume Crafts Artisan at the Tony Award winning Huntington Theatre Company in Boston,  and has served in this role for 30 years. Her duties include working with designers to bring their designs to the stage. She creates parts of costumes such as armor, belts, jewelry, leather work and body padding; but her specialty is millinery.

She is the recent recipient of the Adrian Tinsley Award for Achievement in the Arts from her alma mater – Bridgewater State University.  Her work regularly appears in Broadway and Off Broadway productions in New York.

Denise has taught millinery, and fabric dyeing and modification in the Boston University School of Theatre for over 25 years. She regularly offers workshops at other colleges and craft  schools in the area as well as privately in her studio in Stoughton, MA

Denise’s students now fill important roles in the theatre all over the country, including posts at the New York City Ballet, the Glimmerglass Festival, Brigham Young University, Towson University, Ohio State, Rutgers, NYU, and the Santa Fe Opera.


Millinery, Hat Making, Fiber Art
Materials to bring to class:

Students should bring:

  • Milliner’s straw hood or Capeline (This is a specialty supply item, I am including a list of suppliers and I will also bring items for sale to students who do not know what to buy yet) 


  • Trim or trim fabric (if desired))
  • Notions (such as; matching thread, buttons, buckles, trims, decorations, laces) Scissors for paper
  • Scissors for fabric
  • Inspiration images of a hat you would like to make 

(Students may feel free to email them to the instructor beforehand, so she can make sure she has all the equipment that they will need on hand)

  • Straight Pins
  • Tape measure- sewing type
  • 2” wide clear ruler for patterning ( Dritz or C-Thru are good brands) Pencils (#2)
  • Fabric Marking pencils
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Sewing machine Bobbins (Class 15)

The instructor will have milliner's style grosgrain ribbon, and wire for available for inexpensive purchase in class.  Not every hat uses these items, but many do.