In typical tutor fashion, I then suggested it might work to make the sample from circles of sheer fabrics that had been layered and then cut out with a soldering iron, to which Gill's response was... "Well go on then!" (They have no respect for their teacher!)... So I did!
I didn't take photos of the process but this is the finished result. Tiny sheer circles, the size of a 2p piece, manipulated and stitched down onto organza ribbon.