One of the things I noticed when I went wedding dress shopping (or shopping for anything for weddings for that matter) was how overpriced the veils are. Though personally I wouldn't spend £2000 on a dress I can understand the hefty price tag when I look at the intricate detail and expensive fabric. But £100-£200 for a veil? Really?! They're just a long piece of netting as far as I can see. I wasn't sure at first if I wanted a veil, so definitely didn't want to fork out all that money. So I decided to try and make my own on a budget. And here's the result...
First you need to decide two things about your veil... how long you want it to be at the back (eg. if you have a trail to your dress, do you want it to be the same length?), and whether you want it to go over your face. Once you've decided you need to get those two measurements as shown in the handy diagram below!
Once you've got those two measurements you can add them together to see how much fabric you need! As for me, I decided I didn't want a part to go over my face, so thought I would just double the length of the back to make for a more substantial veil. That was 3m, which cost me £6 in my local fabric shop. I went for the only tuille style fabric they had, which was a bit courser than I might have liked, but was the perfect colour to match my dress.
So once I'd measured and bought my fabric I could start!
Lay your fabric out on the floor (there will be too much of it to do this on any table) and trim off any rough edges to make sure edges are neat and straight. Measure and mark your fabric to the lengths you have for the front and back, to find the fold point. I marked mine with bulldog clips so I didn't leave a lasting mark on the fabric, but you could use pins or tailors chalk.
Sew as you would for tacking (big simple stitches of about 2cm) along the fold line from one side to the other, making sure you secure it at the beginning by knotting or stitching back on yourself. Do not secure it at the other end!
Hold the end of the fabric in place and pull gently on the end of the thread to gather the fabric together (gently being the operative word here - if you tug too hard you might break the thread and have to start again). If your stitches were loose enough the fabric should start to gently come together as you tug on the thread.
Keep doing this until it looks like this:
Once you've got here you can secure your thread by going back on yourself/knotting. However, this won't be enough to hold the veil permanently. Which leads us to...
I used a sewing machine to secure the fabric by stitching small, close stitched over the top of the gathered fabric. You could also do this by hand, but I would recommend a machine if you have one!
And you're over half way! All you need to do now is attach your veil fabric to a hair comb at the point of gathering. As I knew mine wasn't going over my face, I folded it before I sewed it into my comb, but if you want it to go over your face I would recommend a less decorative comb to stitch subtly onto the back of your fabric at the gathering point.
You'll need to do this by hand, going in and out of the gaps in the teeth to stitch your fabric to your comb. The comb I chose had a small gap between the teeth and the metal leaves, and I chose to slide my fabric into that space to conceal the edges and give my veil a more seamless look. It cost me £3 in Primark.
Make it really secure, as this is what's going to hold to it your hair!
Once you've finished that... you have a veil!
For decoration you could stitch little flowers over the gathering point, or use a more decorative hair comb like me.