Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ready for the Big Day

After approximately 50 hours of handwork and over 1500 4mm pearl beads, Corin's bridal veil is finally ready for her big day this Saturday, June 23rd.  I was really excited about this project, and even though I made my own bridal veil when I got married almost 21 years, I still wanted to research techniques before tackling hers.  In the process, I learned some things that I'd like to pass along.

Pictured below is the type of veil I purchased.  I thought this would be a good option since it was already gathered and the length was exactly what Corin wanted.  This veil also comes with a plastic comb which could be easily detached from the veil because its teeth slide through loops on the veil - a seemingly convenient option for reception-wear.

I liked the idea that the veil's hem was already sewn - again, a time-saver (so I thought).

What I didn't notice on the veil I purchased is the hem was not stabilized, so the stitching created a "bow" effect in the veil near the hem.

I very much wanted to complete this project as quickly as possible, so I experimented with different techniques to attach the pearl along the veil's hem, including using glue.  Now, I used glue to attach iridescent sequins to the poufs in my veil, as well as sequins and pearl trim to the leaves of the headpiece, so I know white glue dries clear and would be invisible on the netting.  However, I did not like how the pearls looked on Corin's veil.  So, I decided to stitch the pearl on by hand.  (So much for this being a quick project.)

Because the veil's hem bowed under, I noticed a "wave" to the veil's hem once the pearl were added.  This effect bugged me, but when I consulted with Corin, she said she liked it because it looked like the pearls were flowing with the veil.

While working on the top tier, I tried several different beading "patterns" to manage the "wave".  By the time I made it to the bottom tier, I finally settled on one that I think did a pretty good job of keeping the beads in place.  I'm considering posting a tutorial to demonstrate the beading pattern.  I think it's pretty neat, and is extremely secure because thread passes through each bead at least three times.  Those pearl are going nowhere!!

The veil loops which accommodate the comb became distorted when pulled, so I just clipped clipped them off.  This meant that once the beading was complete, I'd have to attach the comb - again by hand.

First, I attached the comb to the veil with invisible thread - just to keep it from shifting positions.

Next, I threaded a large-eye needle with 1/8-inch-wide double-faced satin ribbon... attach the comb to the veil.  There were some tough spots where the needle didn't want to go through, so I used my needle-nose jewelry pliers to pull the needle when needed.

I slid the ribbon between the comb's teeth on the visible side of the comb.

And, here's the comb completely attached to the veil.  This side of the comb will be covered by the veil...

...and this side will be against Corin's hair.

The veil will have a slight "pouf" as she wears it.

Now, I remember what a challenge it was for me to hang my veil, so I wanted to include a hanging loop.  I used my loop turner to slide under the ribbon "stitches" at the comb's center...

...and pull through a length of satin ribbon...

...and closed it with a simple knot.

I used my loop turner again, this time to slip the knot under the ribbon stitches, but it slid straight through to the other side of the stitches.

So, I used my awl instead to push the knot under the stitches.

I then secured the knot under the ribbon with a few stitches and invisible thread.

Here is the completed veil...

...hanging by its attached ribbon loop.

I really enjoyed making this veil for Corin because it gave me an opportunity to try some new hand-work techniques.  My big "take-away" from this project - a pre-gathered veil is fine, but if you plan to add beading or embellishment to the actual veil, then make certain the hem is stabilized.  I think it would create a much smoother effect.

Thank you for taking time to read my post and please leave comments below to let me know what you think.

Be blessed!