Sunday, 11 April 2010

How To: A Braided Veil

I've had the idea for my veil for as long as I can remember. Doesn't every little girl dream about what her wedding dress might look like? Well I didn't quite know what the dress would be like because my style varies with my mood, but the veil - now that I had a solid picture of in my head!

So, I struck up some nerves and made it today! :) Actually it was a pretty emotional time for me. It is the first time I've sewn this fabric and it's been 15 years of waiting. It got a little crazy in my brain for awhile Terry must have thought I was nuts because I was crying and sewing for most of the afternoonl. I never knew that I would be so attached to a piece of fabric in all my life.

Wanna know how to make your own braided veil? (You know... just in case you don't have a dream veil yet). Follow along as I make mine below.

Supplies needed:
- About a 1/4 of a metre of your wedding dress fabric
- depending on the length you want your veil to be and the puffiness you'll need about a metre of tulle
- 10 inches of elastic (I used 1 inch wide)
- decorations (I used flowers and pearls)
- safety pins
- matching thread

1) Measure the circumference of your head. Mine is 22.5 inches
2) Cut 3 bands of your wedding dress fabric that area bout 3 inches by a number larger than your head circumference. I cut mine 3 inches by 24 inches. Remember that when you braid, the fabric length will shrink, so you need at least this amount. We'll add elastic around the back to make it fit.

3) Fold these strips up about an inch in every direction and press them in place. Then press the strips in half until you've got what looks like a tube. Sew along the open edge to form an actual tube.

4) Once you've done that with all three bands, pin them together with a safety pin and start braiding.

5) Once you've got the braid complete, sew a line down both of the ends to keep in place.

6) Measure the length of your braid. Mine shrunk down to 16 inches. This means I needed 6.5 inches of elastic to reach my head circumference number of 22.5 inches. Cut your elastic (don't worry about seam allowances or anything. You want the elastic to stretch a little to keep the veil from shifting around on your head while walking down the aisle in the wind!)

7) Cut another band of wedding dress fabric to cover the elastic. I decided to triple the amount of elastic I cut to give it the crinkled elastic look at the back and make sure I had enough stretch to fit over any hairstyle I choose. My band was 3 inches by 20 inches.

8) Make another tube like you did for the braid. I made sure that mine was exactly an inch wide when finished so that when I threaded the elastic through, it was perfect.

9) Thread the elastic through fabric tube. I used 2 safety pins to make sure the elastic didn't get lost in the excess fabric.

10) Sew the ends (including both fabric and elastic) to the braid. Make sure you don't get any twists in it! I had one and had to re-sew that part. Ooops!

11) Cut your tulle to the desired length and add as many layers as you want. I made mine a metre long and had 4 layers. That way I could put one of those payers over my face if I wanted or have all of them puff out behind me.

12) Sew a long basting stitch across the top of all your layers. Hint: you can turn the tension up on your machine while you do this to make the tulle ruffle a little without having to pull the bobbin thread afterward. I'm lazy, and this saves time hehehe.

13) Pull the bobbin thread to make the tulle ruffle until it's about the length of the elastic piece. Pin it to the elastic carefully.

14) Sew along the tulle and the braid. Make sure to pull the elastic straight as you sew in order to keep the thread from breaking when you stretch the elastic.

15) Flip the braid upside down from the way your were sewing it to make the top edge of the tulle disappear. Take out your basting stitches.

16) Decorate! I used flowers and pearls on each side to hide the stitching of the braid to the elastic.

So pretty! It turned out perfect! Terry really likes it and it will look so nice once I get my hair all nice.

I apologize for the flat hair and glasses look. I certainly won't have that at my wedding, but it's how I look when I'm sewing. Now if only I could decide on a style of dress to sew!

Note: I have set up a Tawny Bee How To Flickr Group. If you try this out, I would love to see your version! Feel free to join and link up some of your great creations using one of my tutorials. :)


Unknown said...

I love how your veil turned out! I just gave your blog address to a friend of mine who is getting married on the 20th of this month and is making her wedding dress. It will be a peasant dress which she will wear under a corset she is having made. Her colors are yellow and black. She was looking for ideas on a veil treatment she could make. I thought she might be interested in using your idea. Keep up the great work! :)

Tawny said...

Thanks Rita! I always imagined this veil as kind of a "hippie" veil, so it would go perfect with a peasant style dress! Your friend could even decorate it with more flowers or add some trim to the tulle at the back. It would be beautiful.

Jennwith4 said...

Very nice! And I always sew with flat hair as well. lol =)

Anonymous said...

Looking at this post reminds me of my wedding prep (9 years ago). I had spent - yet another day - of searching for veil components in craft stores, dollar stores, specialty stores, etc.
I was showing my fiancé what I had bought, with verbal comparisons to the price of pre-made veils. (I had been to a bridal shop as well - and was overwhelmed by the price of a bridal head-piece.)
But I did not have much energy left for creative thoughts, so I wasn't very enthusiastic about the up-coming job of "construction".
All of a sudden - in a most apologetic voice - he spoke up and said "I could do it you know. I actually like doing that sort of thing."
And he did!

What a keeper, eh?
janeyknitting AT yahoo DOT ca
(Change caps to symbols and lose the spaces.)