Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bridal Veils

I've enjoyed all of your posts over the past couple of months, but feel like I've 'gone missing'.  Life has been busy between selling our home in late March that we had been in for 28 years and moving into a condo with wonderful sewing space!  April brought our daughter's engagement and announcement that they would get married n November!  Summer brought failing health and passing for my father-in-law just shy of his 90th birthday.  We should all live so long, but sad that he will miss his youngest granddaughter's wedding.

I knew that with such a short engagement, I couldn't undertake the wedding gown with confidence but did want to contribute in some way so decided to do the veil.  Sarah wanted a fingertip veil with an elbow length blusher.  It would be attached to a comb rather than any kind of headpiece.  I read through lots and lots of articles, tutorials, and books, and still I found myself struggling at the end, though we are happy with the result.

First, for the materials.  I chose silk tulle, despite it's prohibitive price, because it is so much softer and falls so nicely, with no stiffness at all.  I am sure I could have found it on line, but ended up ordering it from Delectable Mountain Cloth in Brattleboro, Vermont.  They only stock natural fibers and the shop has so many beautiful fabrics!  

I trimmed it with 8 yards of re-embroidered alencon lace which I hand-stitched to the tulle.  This was an amazingly slow process - taking 12 hours!

I used two yards of tulle and folded it in quarters in order to curve the edges.  I then unfolded it and refolded it so that the top layer came down the the elbow length we wanted.  The lace was sewn to the top layer first and then to the underneath layer.  Because you want the right side of the lace to show, there is a spot where the two layers meet where the lace switches from one side to the other and you need to be careful to match your motifs. 

If I did this again, I would probably cut it differently, less of an oval/rectangle and more of a circle.  Because I had not cut a circle, my dilemna was that if I gathered only a small amount in the center, the ends would fall into points with the middle a shorter length.  I didn't like that at all.  But I also didn't want to gather the whole width and have the lace framing her face.  So, as a compromise I left 20 inches on each side and gathered approximately 32 inches in the center and attached it to the comb.  This worked well because the tulle frames her face and the lace falls into three layers, at her shoulders, elbow and fingertop.  After all, if you sew lace for 12 hours you want it to show!

The wedding is in 8 days so I will follow with more pictures on the bride.