In Zoom, August 7th, 3-6 pm ETZ

Improvising Hat Blocks with Buckram, Cardboard, and Wire

*This Class will not be recorded*

Blocking hats can be so rewarding, but if you do not have the required shape to block your style, what can you do?

Denise Wallace-Spriggs is primarily a theatrical milliner. She has developed some ways to get around the problem of blocking a hat that she hasn’t the block for. She will lead a three hour session to show you some of the ways to use materials such as buckram, chipboard, cereal boxes, construction foam, and wire to make a block that is sturdy enough to block a few hats on.

This class will have lots of demonstration with student interaction. Students may choose to work along and ask questions throughout the session. It will be delivered in one session.

Participants will learn:

  • Patterning the shape
  • Choosing the best materials, and where to find them
  • Mocking up your shape in chipboard
  • Layering buckram
  • Wiring the shape
  • Making the shape sturdy
  • Covering the block to protect it.

I am in Boston, MA USA. To find your local time:

Improvising Hat Blocks Demonstration Class

a three hour session in zoom on August 7th from 3-6pm ETZ Denise will repeat her popular class on making new shapes to block hats and to adapt the blocks that you have in your studio now.


Supply list if you choose to work along during class

Cardboard and/or Buckram : the amount will depend upon the size of your pattern.
Strong Millinery Wire: 18 gauge is good. 19 can be good if doubled. 16 can also be used, but is harder to bend Thread: standard sewing thread
Strong Thread: such as topstitching thread, Cotton Quilting Thread, Silk topstitch thread, or #69 Bonded Nylon. Needles: Suggested are #7, or #8, milliners, any long thin flexible needle that you feel comfortable with will do. Pins: I like the type with a ball head, or T-pins, or push-pins
Wonder Clips: not required, but mighty useful
Curling Tool: You could use the dull side of a small knife, dull scissors,

or any thin flat metal tool such as a pallet knife
Cardboard: it could be mat board, chip board, even a cereal box. I like two pieces that are about 5-6″ x 10-14″

depending on the size of your feathers
Tape: Scotch and a strong tape, I like packing tape. Gaffer’s tape or duct tape can be nice. masking tape tends to curl with steam

Steam iron Press cloth

Sewing machine

If using buckram Craft Scissors
Wire Cutters

Not strictly needed, but nice to have:

Millinery Head Form: This could be a canvas wig block, a wooden head form or a simple styrofoam head form. It will be used to balance your pattern

Mat Knife or Exacto Knife
Also:Pencil, eraser, tape measure, clear 2” ruler

DWS Studio reserves the right to cancel this class at any time, for any reason. If the class is canceled you will receive a full refund. Registrants may withdraw from the class up to 72 hours before the scheduled, for a refund. This allows DWS time to fill the empty seat.