I would like to share my first tutorial with the hive! You may remember the tulle veil that I made for my friend Miss K. This is the tutorial on how to make a similar veil. This simple veil looks best tucked under an updo. Here are some images of the veil:
How to make a simple tulle veil:
You will need:
- Ivory or white tulle (yardage depends on your desired length)
- Ivory or white thread
- Plastic comb, with the width you would like your veil to be at the top
- Sewing machine
- Sharp scissors
- Ivory or white double fold bias tape, at least 1/2 an inch
- Sewing pins
- Hot glue gun (make sure you wash your hands after handling the cord to your glue gun; many have lead on the cord)
- Glue sticks
- Measuring tape
- Steamy shower (yes, you read that correctly)
Everything shown, except the hot glue gun, glue sticks, and iron.
Before we start:
Decide the desired length of your veil. You can do this by holding a measuring tape at the approximate veil placement on your head. If you would like a long veil, you may need to tape two measuring tapes together. Add a half an inch to your desired length.
Decide the desired width of the base of your veil, where the material is gathered and attached to your comb. This measurement should be about three eighths of an inch less than the width of your plastic comb. Now multiply your desired width by 6. For example, if your finished length is 4″, then you will have 24″. This is to add fabric for the gathering. If you would like the veil to be more gathered, you can multiply your length by 7 or 8. If you would like it to be a little less gathered, multiply by 5. It is a great idea to practice until you get the right amount of gathering, since tulle is so affordable. In fact, it’s a good idea to practice gathering anyway. 🙂
Decide how many layers of tulle you would like. For this tutorial, I will be making a two-layer veil.
When buying fabric, take the measurement for your length then round up to the next yard. For example, if you would like your finished veil to be 56″ long, buy a yard and a half of tulle. If you would like it to be 89″ long, buy two and a half yards, etc. Don’t worry about the width when buying fabric; most tulle comes 45″ wide and that should be more than enough.
Steam the tulle by turning the hot shower on and letting your bathroom get steamy. I have found that this is way quicker and easier to do than dragging out the steamer!
Step 1: Measuring and cutting the tulle
Fold the tulle so you have a folded edge. This edge will be the width, not the length of the veil. Here’s an image of the folded edge on my worktable:
Now pin along the folded edge, to keep the two pieces stable:
First we will cut the length. Measure down from the pinned, folded edge. You can mark with pins if you like, but I find it easier to put a long piece of masking tape across my work table, and use that as a cutting guide. 🙂 Cut along the edge. This cut will be parallel to the folded edge.
Now we will cut the sides of the tulle to create your desired width. This is the number that was multiplied. In my case, I wanted a finished width of 4″, so I cut the tulle to a width of 24″. It is a good idea to cut a clean straight edge on both sides, as most fabric stores do a lopsided job at cutting. This cut is perpendicular to the folded edge.
Now you should have your correct width and length, and you should be ready to sew!
Step 2: Sewing in the gather stitches, and gathering the tulle:
Thread your sewing machine with white or ivory thread. Set your sewing machine to the largest straight stitch setting. This is very important!
Before sewing, pull the bobbin (bottom) thread out a few inches longer than the needle (top) thread. When we gather the tulle, we will only use the bobbin thread, and this will help you keep the two apart at a glance. 🙂
Place the folded edge of the tulle underneath the presser foot. I line the folded edge right up to the inner edge of the presser foot and use that for a guide for sewing. IMPORTANT: When you begin to sew, do not backstitch at all. You will need the line of stitching to be open and free to gather.
Begin sewing. The tulle will begin to gather itself as you go; this is normal. When you get to the end, do NOT backstitch, just bring the presser foot up. IMPORTANT: Since the tulle had been gathering while you were sewing, you need to pull a lot of thread before cutting it off, at least 12 inches. And as before, make the bobbin thread longer, maybe 17 inches. If you do not pull out enough thread, you will run out of thread when you pull the tulle flat.
When you are finished with stitch, the tulle will look like this:
Don’t worry, it will look beautiful soon! 🙂
Gently ungather the tulle, so it is flat again. It’s ok if it is a bit scrunchy, but try to get it as flat as you can. Now we are going to put in the second gather stitch. Place the folded edge under the presser foot again, but this time line the inner edge of the presser foot with the first stitch that we made and use that as a guide:
Remember, no backstitching, and give yourself tons and tons of thread at the end before you cut! Make sure the bobbin thread is longer than the top thread.
Now we will gently gather the tulle. Hold both bobbin threads (you can only gather with the bobbin threads) with one hand, and scrunch the fabric up like this:
It doesn’t really matter which end you gather from, as long as you are using the bobbin threads. You can even do a little from each side. I usually gather it as tightly as it will go, then adjust it from there to my finished size. This part can take a little while, making adjustments to ensure equal gathering across the veil. Be patient. When you are finished, it should look like this:
Now set the stitch length on your machine to the normal length. We are going to sew a normal stitch right on top of the bottom gathering stitch. This will keep the gathering from moving around in the next steps. I even do this twice, just to be sure that it won’t budge.
Next we are going to trim the excess tulle off. I usually trim close to the bottom stitch:
Step Three: finishing the raw edge with bias tape:
Take a piece of bias tape about 5 inches more than your finished width. I used a 10-inch piece. I chose to use blue, so you can see the contrast in this tutorial. Iron the tape. Here’s what it looks like when it is open:
Fold one side over about a half an inch:
Now iron the fold into place. Trim the corners into a ‘V’ shape like this:
This will prevent the edges from popping out later. 🙂
Now measure long enough to encase your tulle, adding an inch to fold the other edge over, and then trim the tape to that measurement. Repeat the folding, pressing and trimming for that edge.
Next, place the edge of the veil into the bias tape, like a sandwich. If you look closely, one side of the folded bias tape is longer than the other. The longer side has to go on the bottom. This will make sure your stitch will catch both sides of the tape, very important!
This is what it will look like, all pinned:
Now, take this to the sewing machine and stitch about an eighth of an inch or a quarter of an inch away from the bottom, where it meets the tulle. This time, please backstitch! 🙂 As you sew, make sure the gathered tulle is straight, not leaning one way or another. Don’t rush through this step. Take your time, as you may have to keep checking to make sure the tulle is in the correct place, that the gathering stitch is encased in the bias tape, and make sure that the tulle isn’t crooked. It is such a short width to sew; it’s worth the extra attention!
It should look like this when you are done:
Now we can hot glue this baby to the comb! If you don’t want a comb, your hair stylist can bobby pin the veil, as is. In fact, your hair stylist may prefer to bobby pin, so check before you start your project. 🙂