Hello everyone! My name is Bianca and I run The Closet Historian, a fashion, costume history and lifestyle blog. It's great to be here on Chronically Vintage, I feel super honored that Jessica has asked me to do a guest blog post for you all while she's on a well deserved getaway to Vancouver! As an avid seamstress and crafter, I decided I would share a quick and easy (but rather glamorous) DIY project with you all!
One of my favorite vintage style accessories has to be the birdcage veil. Though they have reemerged in bridal fashion, often in white or ivory, I am surprised more people haven't started slipping them on for cocktail hour. Nothing adds so much vintage glamour so very quickly, except perhaps a swipe of red lipstick!
I really like wearing veils (or veiled hats) on the regular. Luckily, unlike some vintage trends that are hard to re-create, this one takes only minutes once you have gathered the correct supplies!
To do so, you will need:
- A needle and thread (in a color to match your netting)
- Two bobby pins
- At least a half yard of veiling (also called French netting or Russian netting). This is actually easier to acquire these days than you would think, as vintage has become so much more popular. It is readily available online through places like etsy, if you don't happen have any specialty fabric or millinery stores nearby.
Veiling comes in several widths, and for this quick little veil I would recommend 5-9" inch veiling. Of course you could always buy a larger width and cut it down to size, as veiling will not unravel or fray.
Once you have gathered your supplies, cut your length of veiling to anywhere between 10" and 14" inches long, the length will decide how far around the sides of your head (and towards the back) your finished veil will reach. I cut mine for this example at around 13" inches.
Cut around an forearms length of thread (longer threads get tangled too easily!) and double thread your needle (aka, tie the ends of the thread together creating a large loop containing the needle).
Each of the two short sides of the veiling will be gathered, wrapped, and a loop formed for a bobby pin. This is done by weaving the needle over and under the diamonds of the netting at about an inch inward from the cut edge and then pulling the thread tight. Wrap the thread around the gathered netting several times and knot to secure.
Then fold the extra edges of netting back towards the body of the veil and secure again by wrapping and knotting the thread. After you have everything secure with knots, carefully cut off your extra thread. You can then slip a bobby pin through the small loop of netting you created.
All you have left to do is repeat the same steps on the other side of the veil and presto you are finished! You can also embellish your finished veil by gluing on sequins or tiny rhinestones for extra sparkle if you feel like it.
It will look like this when it is finished and ready to be worn. Though veiling can be sewn onto hats themselves, you can also wear a veil like this one separately underneath or over a hat for an extra touch of vintage pizzazz! Creating a larger veil is still simple but requires buying a wider width of veiling and cutting it into an angled shape (see graphic below) before gathering the edges. For these longer veils, a gathering stitch is run along the entire side and top edge, from the bottom of one side to the other.
Instead of pulling the thread tightly and wrapping like you would for the smaller veil, leave about 6" inched of thread to play with before you secure the knot. You will then be able to move the netting along the thread to get the right volume and shape when you put the veil over your head.
Though making a veil really is a quick and simple DIY, they are so fun to have in your accessories stash to pop on whenever a little extra vintage glamour is needed – plus they’re a perfect craft for those who may want to dip their toes into creating millinery related projects.
I want to thank Jessica again for asking me to pen a post for you all, she really is just the sweetest blogger I know! If only everyone online was as generous and kind as she! If you are interested in more vintage inspired DIY's and sewing, please feel free to visit me over on The Closet Historian. Thank you for reading and have a lovely day!