Sunday, January 11, 2009

Making the Veil

Sorry, loyal followers (the few of you there are), for my extended absence. My winter break was busy with holiday and family stuff, and while it was also busy with wedding stuff, my hard drive also died, leaving me computer-less for two weeks. I guess that was a good thing, because I didn't have the lure of the Internet to prevent me from doing wedding stuff, so I promise you won't mind too much that I was gone for so long :)

I got to Maryland with a veil and an unbustled wedding dress, and I got back to Kentucky with a better veil and a partially bustled wedding dress. Here's how I made a perfectly good veil perfect!

Last April I bought this veil off of eBay:

It's a David's Bridal single-tier, fingertip length, unadorned, corded, pencil edge veil, brand new. It seemed like the seller somehow had an entire lot of DB veils to sell off, but I don't ask questions. It was $18, instead of the retail price of $79. And actually, I just found this same picture on the DB site, and it is listed as having pearls, but my veil definitely didn't have pearls, so maybe it's not authentic, but whatever. Everything in that first sentence is still definitely true other than the "David's Bridal" part. I should note that my can-do insane personality is sure I could make a veil from scratch -- it's just tulle and a plastic comb, after all -- but the sane part of my brain figured it would be easier to just find a cheap veil that someone else already took the trouble of cutting out correctly and attaching to a comb. You should delegate when you can.

When I first got the veil, I tried it on and was pleased. It's funny how putting on a veil just makes you feel bridelike, isn't it?

Please ignore the incredibly bad photography displayed here, as well as the incredibly bad modeling ;)

But I always knew I was going to make adjustments to this veil. You see, when I tried on my dress at the bridal salon, I tried on a veil that complemented it beautifully, but I would never, ever pay $100+ for a piece of embellished tulle. Here's the detail on the veil I liked:

It had a silver finished edge and beautiful embroidery and crystals in a floral/vine pattern around the edge.

Over the next few months, I assembled the rest of my tools:

Embroidered silver appliques in an acceptable design, from eBay.

Silver thread, from JoAnn Fabrics. I spent a good 30 minutes collecting all the spools of silver thread in the store, then comparing them to figure out which color silver was the one I wanted. I had no idea "silver" came in so many colors! Plus, it was really expensive -- that spool was almost $10! I've never bought fancy thread before, so I didn't expect that price -- in my mind, all thread should cost less than $2. Good thing I had a coupon.

Self-adhesive gemstones from my local Archiver's. This particular package had a variety of sizes, which was good for my experimentation.

A bottle of Liquid Stitch, also from JoAnn Fabrics. There are a lot of fabric glues at JoAnn's, and I asked around but couldn't get any advice as to one being better than another. Finally, the woman at the register suggested that if I might be clumsy like her, this one might be better than the other one I had narrowed it down to, because the other came in a tube, and this one was in a bottle. It was a good enough reason for me, so I went with it. The appliques were the iron-on variety, but I suspected, and confirmed with the JoAnn's experts, that ironing on tulle would melt the tulle, so I glued the appliques on instead.

While I was at JoAnn's I also picked up 1/8 of a yard of tulle to experiment with -- I didn't want to ruin my veil by accident!

First things first: Getting rid of the corded edge. The tulle was sewn to the cord very simply, and I easily detached it using a seam ripper.
(Notice the purple edge on the top of the photo? Our camera LCD seems to be going out, so a patch of funny colors shows up at the edge of all of our photos now. I hope someone buys us the new camera we registered for!)

Next, I made a bobbin of the silver thread, rigged up the whole machine, and tried out a couple techniques. I wanted to make a very thin border of silver thread at the edge of the veil, so first I tried sewing in a straight line. It worked, but didn't look good -- the line of silver thread was so thin that I realized I would have to go over it at least three times, and that didn't seem fun. Next I tried setting the sewing machine to a zigzag pattern. That ended up working really well -- as the machine made the zigzag pattern, it ended up rolling the edge of the veil under, so I ended up with a finished, rolled edge.

Here's the sewing machine in action:
You can see the silver finished edge of the veil in the background, and the way the machine is rolling the raw edge of the veil as it goes. I didn't expect for this to happen, but it was really good that it did. After one go-round with the sewing machine, I was initially impressed with the way the veil turned out, but when I put it on my head, my sister and I decided the silver edge wasn't really that noticeable. So back I went, sewing the edge one more time. The foot of the sewing machine had trouble sewing all the way to the comb the veil was attached to, so I was left with a bare, raw edge for about an inch on either side, and when I was done with the sewing machine, I finished those parts by hand.

And here's the result:

Nice, right? It has a subtle sparkle and looks a little more delicate than the corded edge. All of that took just a few hours one evening a couple days before Christmas, as my sister and I watched TV. Quite relaxing, actually!

Next up: Adding the appliques.


Blablover5 said...

Very pretty. It's amazing how much of a markup there are in veils.

Good call in getting one already attached to the comb for cheap and altering that.