Claire’s Stitched Sinamay Fascinator Project: designed with Bernina Free-Motion Embroidery Foot #24

Difficulty level Beginner
Time to Complete Weekend


Picture: Claire’s Stitched Sinamay Fascinator Project
Picture: Claire with Bernina

Talented and experienced sewing tutor and head-dress & accessories designer, Claire Muir, shows you how to design your own stunning fascinator. Claire is a dedicated and enthusiastic Bernina user and throughout this tutorial she shows you how to use Bernina Free-Motion Embroidery Foot #24 to create a beautiful head-dress perfect for any big celebration or occasion! Designing your own means that you won't have to worry about matching with anyone else at the event and we are sure that you will get many compliments on your (not on the high street) handcrafted headgear.

Make those at the celebration envious of your totally original and fabulous will be worth the effort - we promise! Enjoy the experience of creating yours, see you at the party!

Check out Claire’s catalogue of unique designs and details about her workshops on her website here:

Claire specialises in stunning fascinator, headdress, tiara and jewellery designs and has written articles for Workshop on the Web, Stitch Magaazine and Sewing World Magazine. She is also a regular tutor at Denman, the W.I. College in Oxford.

You will need:

  • Bernina sewing machine
  • Free-Motion Embroidery Foot #24
  • Madeira Classic 40 thread – colour 1112
  • 21cm square piece of soluble fabric - Aquasol/ Solufleece is the one I used
  • 22x 11cm piece of lime green sinamay- (Millinery material made of banana straw)
  • 10 Goose Biots (Trimmed goose feathers)
  • Fine metal hairband 4mm
  • Approx 45 x Beads and Crystals- size 8’s, 6’s and 4mm and 6mm in purple, lime green and clear colours
  • Matching hand sewing thread/invisible thread
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Glue gun glue
  • 18cm (7”) wooden embroidery hoop
  • Block of polystyrene
  • Scissors

Bernina Free-Motion Embroidery Foot #24 is the Accessory of the Month at a 20% discount! The special offer price for Foot 24V (new style fitting) is £20 and for Foot 24 (old style fitting) is £27.20 – this promotion will run from 21st August 2018 until 30th September 2018.

Click here to visit the Bernina online shop.

Find out more about the Free-Motion Embroidery Foot #24 by clicking here.

Picture: Foot #24


There are instructional images to guide you in the project’s downloadable PDF.


1. Cut the large petal pattern out of paper five times. I find that having all five petals enables you to position them in the hoop more easily.

2. Using the smaller petal pattern, place on the cross of the grain of the sinamay and cut out five petals.

3. On the straight of the grain of the sinamay, cut out a rectangle 6 x 10.5 cm.

4. Lower the feed dogs on your machine and put foot 24 on your machine. Put Madeira classic 40 thread on the top and in the bobbin of your machine.

Stage 1

Take your wooden embroidery hoop and slacken the screw. Remove the inner hoop and put the outer hoop on a flat surface. Place the soluble fabric over the outer hoop and then place the inner hoop inside. Tighten the screw a little, pull up the soluble fabric in the hoop and then tighten the screw again.

Stage 2

Place all five pattern pieces on the soluble, keeping a distance of 1.5cm from the edge. Pin in place.

Stage 3

Starting at the base of the petal and using straight stitch free machine embroider around the petal. Overlap the stitches when you get back to the base.
Repeat until all five outlines have been stitched.
Remove the pattern pieces.

Watch me demonstrate this step here:

Stage 4

Pin the sinamay to the soluble fabric so that you can sew all around the sinamay, don’t place the sinamay on the outlined edge.

Stage 5

Free machine some circles around the sinamay to couch it down.

Sew around the sinamay again so that it is neat.

Working from side to side, fill in the petal by free machine embroidering in a circular fashion so that you are creating a lacy design for when the petals are washed. Make sure you go over the outline. All the stitches need to interlink otherwise you will end up with big holes when you wash it.

Set the machine to do zig zag (I set it to 1.4) and free machine embroider around the outside edge. This neatens any stray stitches.

Repeat until all five petals are completed.

You can watch me filling in the petals here:

Stage 6

Cut the petals out of the soluble fabric and wash them, one at time in cold water. As you dunk them into the water, rub them gently to help remove the soluble fabric but don’t wash it out completely as the residue helps make the petals stiff.

Pin to polystyrene and allow to drip dry.

Stage 7

Once the petals are dry, iron them on the reverse side. Put a small pleat at the base of the petal and either machine or hand stitch it down.

Stage 8

Using a matching thread or invisible thread sew the petals together by overlapping them slightly. Use just a few stitches to sew them all together and when you are happy with the position of the petals sew them together more securely.

Stage 9

Sew the beads and crystals to the centre of the petal in a random way. Start in the centre of the flower and work your way towards the petals. Mix the sizes and colours until you get an encrusted effect that you’re happy with.

Stage 10

Cut the feathers off the tape and take them one at a time and curl them by running you nail or ruler along the firm edge. It is similar to curling ribbon but don’t use scissors as you may cut through the feathers.

Stage 11

Take the feathers and glue together in bunches of 2 x 3’s and 1 x 4. Use glue gun glue which is instant. Use a little blob at the base of the feathers, moisten your fingers and then hold in place.

Stage 12

Use the pattern for the sinamay as a guide. The dotted lines represent fold lines.

1- Fold in half and open up again. This gives you a middle line horizontally.
2- Fold up to meet the middle line.
3- Fold down to meet the middle line. Your sinamay is half the size now.
4- Fold in half and open up again. You now have a vertical middle line.
5- Fold to meet the new middle line.
6- Fold to meet the middle. You should now have a square of sinamay.

To help guide you through this stage of the project, watch me folding my sinamay here:

Stage 13

Bend the metal hairband to a shape that’s a snug fit on your head. Ensure the ends of the band don’t dig in your head.

Put the band on your head and work out where you would like the flower to be. A good place is the side that your parting is on and between the top of your ear and the top of your head.

The square of sinamay is glued to the band so that fold 4 is facing the front.

Open up the last folds of the sinamay up and put a row of glue gun glue to the left of fold 4 and press the hairband down onto it.

Stage 14

Put more glue on sinamay and fold it over (fold 5) to cover the band.

Glue the three bunches of feathers in place.

Stage 15

Put some more glue on top of the feathers and fold over the last flap of sinamay and press firmly in place.

Bend the sinamay slightly upwards so that it is facing forwards.

Stage 16

Put the band with the feathers on your head and hold the flower in place to check what angle you want it to be. Hand sew the flower to the sinamay with a few large stitches through the centre of the flower.

Check how the petals lie, you may want to tweak them.

Picture: Claire’s Stitched Sinamay Fascinator Project

You are now ready to wear your fabulous fascinator!

Picture: Claire’s Stitched Sinamay Fascinator Project

Picture: Claire’s Stitched Sinamay Fascinator Project

Was your fascinator a hit?

We bet you were the talk of the party!

Make sure to check our website regularly as we will be putting out a brand new project, designed exclusively by a Bernina UK team member or Bernina guest contributor, EVERY MONTH!
Next month we have a quick and easy project perfect for the little ones in your life. As it is nearly that time of year again...we thought you might like to create something special and unique for the kids to go back to school with!

Because what better way to start a new term than with a fresh pencil case?! Put your personal stamp on it and have your children stand out from the crowd...

Back to School Project...coming soon!