The 2019 Summer School Calendar will be published here in October 2018.

Learn how to make a Blocked Felt Top Hat

Introduction to Tablet Weaving

Other topics by Request

Millinery Summer School Intensive: 22-26 January 2018

Learn to block a hat, wire & cover a bonnet and knit a beret.

Learn to block a hat, wire & cover a bonnet and knit a beret. In this historical millinery summer school Aylwen will introduce you to blocked, patterned and knitted hats and bonnets. Most students should produce two hats during the course, depending on the chosen design and materials. Please leave time to do homework in the evenings. Students will be using professional hat blocks during this course and supplied with information booklets with supplier and material information.

In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:

Needles (millinery, mixed pack of 3-9)

Thimble (metal)

Tape measure

Fabric and paper scissors

100% Guterman Polyester thread in black and white (100m rolls will be sufficient)

Tailors chalk or tailors pencil

Apron (to cover chest and thighs)

Household pins (26 x 0.75mm)

Dressmaking pins (30 x 0.60mm)

Gladwrap and two rolls of cheap paper towel

Pencil, pen, sharpener, eraser, ruler & 2-ring folder

5mm x 30cm circular needle and set of 5 double point knitting needles, 20cm x 5mm. Birch or addi brands recommended. Do not use Lincraft brand.

Other useful items you may wish to bring include:


Wire cutters


Ribbons & feathers

Registration includes refreshments, light buffet lunch, information booklet, felt hat blanks, wool, buckram, petersham, wire and use of blocks and hat stiffening. Most supplies are imported from Europe and can be rather costly. 

Ages: Adult & students of EDHDA with sewing experience. Less intensive 5 x 1/2 day millinery classes have been made available in early January for ages 12-Adult. Book online above.

Teacher: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden is a historical dressmaker & milliner in Canberra who has studied millinery at the London College of Fashion, hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework and historic hand sewing at the School of Historic Dress in England.

History of Dress Study Class, 2017

In combination with Aylwen's historic dress collection, which comprises rare books, fashion journals, patterns and antique garments dating back to 1780s, use visual analysis as a starting point to understanding dress history in all its manifestations – through examination of image, object and text. 

Each week will be a mix of tea, videos, textile research & readings, book reviews, teaching of new sewing techniques and working on projects of all eras of clothing. 

Subscriptions will be paid in advance for ten weeks, but with discounts for college students and those who are enrolled in EDHDA dance classes.

Week 1 will include watching a film analysing a late Victorian dress, discussion of a research paper about men's & women's historical fashion plates dating back to the 16th century, an introduction to a few hand stitching techniques, and the use of a thimble.

Over the first ten-week course we will also be reading the e-book: Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies' Delight or The Ladies' Paradise). This is the eleventh novel in the Rougon-Macquart series by Émile Zola. It was first serialized in the periodical Gil Blas and published in novel form by Charpentier in 1883. The BBC used the novel as the basis for an eight-part television series set in northern England titled The Paradise and broadcast in 2012.

Learn to Hand Sew 1-day Workshop

Saturday 16 September 2017 9.30am-3.30pm

Learn to sew by hand and start a sampler of Georgian stitches with Aylwen Gardiner-Garden.

Materials, morning tea and refreshments provided. Please bring your own lunch.

Adults $95

Fulltime Students & EDHDA Students $75

Join us for the Georgian Ball in the evening

Beginner Embroidery Class

Saturday 21 October 2017, 9.00am-3.30pm

If you are new to hand embroidery our colour wheel stitch sampler will be the perfect introduction. Teacher is Aylwen Gardiner-Garden, who has been spending the winter improving her needlework skills with the Royal School of Needlework and Hand & Lock in London. Learn the foundation skills with a series of monthly workshops before more advanced workshops are offered over the summer break.

Learn how to:

-Thread your needle for embroidery

-Set up your hoop

-Learn nine stitches: Chain Stitch, French Knots, Satin Stitch, Fly Stitch, Herringbone, Buttonhole, Whipped Running Stitch, Whipped Back Stitch and Stem Stitch

-Tie off your threads and finishing.

The class kit will include everything you require to complete the project - wools, frame, needles & instruction booklet. You will need to bring your own embroidery scissors, magnifiers and lights (if needed) on the day.

This class will run will run from 8.30am-2pm at The Garden Cottage in Yarralumla, ACT. Address provided on enrolment. Tea and coffee is provided but please bring your own packed lunch.

Adults $95

Fulltime Students & EDHDA Students $75

Join us for the Romantic Era Ball in the evening

Historical Fashion & Millinery Classes in Canberra, Australia

Our facility is a private and self-contained environment in Yarralumla. Some of the Workshops offered in the past have been Elizabethan, 18th century and Regency stays, Victorian corsets, Elizabethan gowns, 1780s gowns, regency gowns, victorian bustle gowns, regency tailcoats, bonnets and chemises from all eras. As always, your continued patronage and support have allowed us to bring you these workshops. 

Visit our Upcoming Events page to find an event to wear your new outfit. To read more about your teacher, see about Aylwen. Aylwen is registered for working with vulnerable people in the ACT, Reg. 0000035652. If you have any questions please phone Aylwen on 62811098 or 0409817623 or email 

1810 Silk-covered Buckram Soft-Crown Bonnet Workshop

Teacher: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden, ACT

Saturday 16 December 2017

9.00am - 3.00pm

Venue: 87 Schlich Street, Yarralumla ACT 2600

Followed by Christmas Carol Ball in the evening at Canberra Baptist Church Hall, Kingston, ACT.

Kits containing buckram, wire, mull, crinoline tape and curved hand needles will be provided (plus instruction on how to use them correctly!). 

Please bring:

(Purchase extra silk if you wish to make a matching spencer or reticule afterwards.)


1816 Silk-covered Buckram Bonnet Workshop

Teacher: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden, ACT

13-14 April 2016 ~ 2-day Workshop: Silk Covered Bonnet

Venue: Jane Austen Festival Australia, The Albert Hall, Yarralumla

Kits containing buckram, wire, mull and curved hand needles will be provided.

Please bring:


1810 Killerton Cap Workshop 

July 2015

Louisville, Kentucky, USA. 

Teacher: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden 

Location of Original Garment:

Interstate/International Classes: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden is happy to travel and teach private or group lessons for the cost of transport and accommodation.

Class sewing machines