Spend a rewarding weekend either creating your own very fabulous fascinator or giving a total new look to a once-favourite old hat! Suitable for all, tutor Clare Workman offers a choice of two relaxed and fun weekend workshops; ‘Fabulous Fascinators’ or ‘New Hats for Old!’. Clare studied millinery in Glasgow and at The London College of Fashion before setting up and running her own very successful millinery business. 

Clare will be on hand to guide you through the design and construction options and techniques. You will learn both traditional millinery methods and discover a range of exciting and contemporary uses of alternative materials. Amaze yourself and play!  

Your ‘Fabulous Fascinator’ may be discreet and chic or flamboyant and extravagant; in this workshop learn how to create a variety of fascinator styles from scratch, and work on your chosen design/s, taking home one or two finished creations to ‘wow’ your family and friends.  On the ‘New Hat for Old!’ workshop we will utterly transform existing hats to create contemporary modern styles, hats and fascinators for any occasion.

Read more about the ‘Fabulous Fascinators’ workshop on tutor Clare’s blog post >>

Dates and prices 2020

‘New’ Hats for Old: Friday 13th – Sunday 15th March – £385 per person (2 nights) – BOOK ONLINE
Fabulous Fascinators: Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd November – £385 per person (2 nights) – BOOK ONLINE

Dates and prices 2021

Friday 5th – Sunday 7th February – £399 per person (2 nights) – BOOK ONLINE
Friday 25th – Sunday 27th June – £399 per person (2 nights) – BOOK ONLINE

Above is based on single occupancy of an en-suite room (full board basis), should you wish to bring a companion who is not taking part in the course, then they will receive a reduction in the above price; please contact us for details.

Prices updated December 2019.

How to book

Payment, Terms & Conditions

A £100 per person deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 6 weeks prior to arrival. For craft & activity breaks booked within 6 weeks of course start date, full payment is required at the time of booking. Craft & activity breaks are subject to availability and subject to change.

What’s included? 

Courses are based at Gartmore House; all rooms are en-suite with tea and coffee making facilities and many have wonderful views over Flanders Moss Nature Reserve, towards Stirling. Your course includes full board; all meals are freshly prepared by our chefs. Enjoy a glass of wine as you relax in the dining room looking out over the views and discussing your day’s work. Bar facilities are available during dinner. 

Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 16:00).

Detailed day-by-day ‘Fascinating Fascinators’ course overview from Tutor Clare click here >>

General Course Overview: 

16:00 Arrive late afternoon to afternoon tea in the lounge
18:00 Welcome talk in the lounge and meet your tutor
18:30 Dinner
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Course begins (course will run until 16:00)
11:00 Tea/coffee and cake/biscuits
13:00 Lunch
15:30 Tea/coffee and cake/biscuits
16:00 Course ends for the day
18:30 Dinner
21:00 Tea/coffee in the lounge

08:30 Breakfast then check-out
10:00 Latest check-out. Course begins (course will run until 16:00)
11:00 Tea/coffee and cake/biscuits
13:00 Lunch
16:00 Course ends for the day. Make your own way home

Detailed day-by-day ‘Fascinating Fascinators’ course overview from Tutor Clare:

Day 1
– We will start with the versatile millinery material-sinamay-and make spirals, leaves and flowers etc to use as trims.

I will then demonstrate how to use sinamay to make the foundation for our fascinators – covering combs and Alice bands and making blocked sinamay bases, wired and bound in sinamay.  Sinamay is such a useful and beautiful woven fibre- easy to work with…and with stunning results.  You will then work on your chosen foundation and we’ll discuss successful ways to wear fascinators confidently and how to design your fascinator for stability.

Day 2
– We can continue with our sinamay fascinators but we will also look at working with other fabrics – organzas,nets and silks etc to make trims for our second fascinator or to embellish the first. We will look at alternative bases and how to make or use them. We can now also incorporate other decorative items –  beads,wires,buttons,old costume jewellery etc and look at feathers in fascinators. I’m keen to look at vintage feathers and found feathers rather than ‘new’ feathers and will demonstrate many ways to manipulate and treat the feathers for great effects. We will also look at beautiful alternatives to feathers.

So- lots of lovely possibilities to explore and creations to make…lots of tips and tricks for Fabulous Fascinators! By the end of the weekend you will have learnt a lot of new skills and will have produced certainly one and possibly two beautiful fascinators plus a range of sample trims and bases to play with later at home to continue your creative journey…

Bring a hat or two to work on- blocked hats rather than soft hats but in any material, felt, sinamay, straw etc.  Also bring along any small amounts of fabric you may wish to use for trimming … and beads, ribbons, buttons, feathers, trims etc. If you don’t have any suitable hats at home to bring then charity shops are a good source.

We will have a ‘Swap and Share’ table where trims or bits of hats you no longer want can be recycled by other guests and there will be a sales table for optional foundation and construction materials.

Please bring a hand sewing kit with scissors (both for paper and fabric) pins, needles, threads, thimble, tape measure etc… Don’t worry if you forget or don’t have something as there will be equipment to borrow, but it is easier if you have your own kit to hand.  A foundation materials kit will be available at £20 per person.  

Tutor – Clare Workman

Clare studied millinery in Glasgow and at  The London College of Fashion before setting up and running her own very successful millinery business for 12 years. She made hats and headpieces for clients from all over the world, and has taught and exhibited widely. The Science Museum in London has one of her hats in permanent exhibition ‘The Challenge of Materials’. Clare specialised in designing and making unique and stylish hats with contemporary flair yet with a firm foundation in traditional millinery techniques. Clare loves to share her knowledge and skills through teaching in a relaxed friendly style and looks forward to welcoming you to Gartmore House.

‘Exceptional value for money. You made us feel welcome from booking to departure. Nothing ever appeared too much trouble and that level of service is something to be exceptionally proud of. We will return next year to enjoy the house and crafting courses. With heartfelt thanks.’

‘A lovely old house brought back to life, well done.’

‘Lovely atmosphere for learning and relaxation. Afternoon tea ‘treats’ much appreciated.’

‘With regard to the accommodation, this was more than comfortable, the food delicious and plentiful and all the staff warm, friendly and helpful.’


Our team is here to help with any queries that you may have about the course. Tutor Clare Workman is more than happy to chat to students either by phone or email and answer any queries you may have about the course. You may also like to take a look at our FAQs blog post to see if we answer any of your queries there. Don’t forget that our team are happy to assist with any questions – please feel free to get in touch.

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