I have been inspired by a lot of veils in the past few months. Lots. I decided I wanted a birdcage veil before I really knew what that meant, and there are a lot of variations! I wanted a big flower or other hairpiece, with veiling. Where to start?! So many types out there. Here are just a few:
From BHLDN (headbands, hairpieces, and veils):
Even ModCloth has little fascinators of the same idea:
But I figured out my own style, since I have NO idea how any of those are made!
My mom has lots of millinery experience, and gave me the right tools and tips to make a structured, quality birdcage veil hairpiece. Here's a tutorial for what we did!
- The materials you'll need are:
- A cool flower or decoration
- About 1 yard of veiling (sold in bridal departments of fabric stores or online)
- About 1/3 of a yard of hat wire (I suppose you could use some other kind of wire in a pinch... needs to be lighter than a coat hanger, but heavier than chicken wire)
- Buckram, a sturdy hat form material, cut in an oval shape. If you don't have this, you could use some other very stiff fabric. Two layers of canvas sewn together, maybe? This piece should be smaller than your flower/decoration.
- A comb
The decoration I'm using is a flower a lot like the ones I made for my wedding dress. The basic flower tutorial is here, and you can see more about how I made this shape of flower for my wedding dress here.
Here are a few editions I made to my wedding dress flower style for it to go on the veil.
- I attached some feathers to the back of the flower, sewing through their stalks to secure them.
- I tore apart an old, cheap fake flower and used the stamens.
- I poked a hole through the center of the flower with an awl.
- I stuck the stamens through, although you can barely see them.
So the basic point of all that was, make or find a great flower or bow or something! Then follow these instructions for the tutorial for the veil itself:
- To make the mini-hat-like base, take your buckram and hat wire and carefully line them up along the edges. Curve the hat wire as you zigzag it down around the edge.
- Cut the wire once you get all the way around, then double it up where it overlaps and zigzag it all down.
- Give the buckram/wire base a little curve to match the curve of your head (or hairstyle, in my case!)
- Hand sew the comb to the wire and buckram at the top.
- Fold your veiling in half and round the corners off both sides at the top corner.
- Begin hand-gathering at the remaining corner and go all the way along the edge of your 1 yard, putting the needle through each little tightly woven joint.
- Don't pull the thread as tight as possible; leave several inches of gathering thread to play around with.
- Arrange the gathers pretty evenly around the base piece and tack them down by hand, sewing around the gathering threads you used.
- Grab your flower or decoration and hand sew it down to the buckram, covering the base.
That's all! Ta-da! Done!
Here's the veil in a few teaser pics from the wedding...
Photos by Becky Nerpel, Studio623Photography.com
More pics coming later--I can't wait!
The veil was super fun and easy to make. I guess when you make your own dress like I did, the veil is sort of an afterthought. Comparatively it took almost no time, just an hour or so of mostly hand sewing. Too bad I only needed one, since they're so fun and pretty and simple! ;)
(If you made any of your accessories, or did any other DIYs for your wedding, I'd love for you to share them in the Adventures in Dressmaking DIY Weddings Flickr group!!)