DIY Wedding Veil: Part 1

March 27, 2015 in Projects

wedding veil part 1

Sewing is soothing to the soul (as many of us know)! Wedding planning can be fun and exciting, but can also be very stressful! So, why not take a break from the planning, calm your nerves, and sew your own wedding veil?! They’re so easy and it’s so rewarding to make this accessory for your very own wedding (or for a friend/relative)!

cropped veil

 In part 1 of the DIY Wedding Veil series, we’re going to talk Veil Shape and Pattern. I’ll walk you through the different styles of veils and how to cut your fabric to get the shape of that style! In the next part, we’ll go over how to trim and finish a veil! You’ll need to figure out your veil dimensions first before buying your tulle fabric. After you have your dimensions (scroll down for assistance), you can figure out how much tulle (or organza or chiffon) to purchase. You’ll also need a fabric marker (not fine point).

Here are a several veil styles:

*A quick Google image search will show real-life examples of each style.

  • Standard Cut (smooth curve or with square corners),
  • Oval Cut
  • Rectangular Cut
  • Handkerchief Cut
  • Waterfall Veils: the Cascading Cut Veil and the Angel Cut Veil
  • Veils with no gather at the comb (unlike the styles listed above): the Mantilla Cut Veil and the Drop Veil.

Once you’ve chosen the veil style that suits you and your dress best, check out the typical veil lengths image below and decide on how long you’ll want yours to be. Then, reference the chart below for the shape you will need to cut from your fabric. And, finally, read the following information about your specific styles near the end.

Ok, so, here is a nifty graphic from Simply Natural Event Planning who wrote an article on How to Choose the Right Veil! This article gives helpful length tips, as well as fabric widths! Length will vary from person to person as we all have different body types. So, you’ll need to measure exactly how long you want it to be. Literally, measure where you will wear it on your head to where you want it to hit and add an inch for allowance at the comb.

For gathered veils, you can use a 58” width fabric for a less full veil or a 108” width fabric for a fuller veil. Many of these can be gathered completely at the gather or fold line or just in the middle 15” to 20” (or more for 108” fabric widths) to create a different look. Research center gathered veils and compare the looks. Again, some veils are not gathered at all.

Now, that you have the style you want. Find the style below and find the shape you will need to cut out. The gather line is where your comb will be placed at the top of the veil (if the gather line is in the middle of the shape, it’s a doubled-over veil). Your width is parallel to the gather line and your length is perpendicular to the gather line. So, using your desired length and chosen width, you have the dimensions you need to cut out your veil, as well as, the shape needed to get the style you’re going for. Use the shape below and make it the dimensions you need on your fabric. Scroll down for an example at the end.

Veil Shapes

Here is some more information for each veil style (skip to your specific style):

  • Standard Cut (smooth or with square corners): The Standard Cut Smooth is basically cut like a slice of watermelon or half oval. With the Standard Cut with square corners, the corners can be as defined or as soft as desired. The curve or “U” shape is where the trim is placed and the straight edge top is where the veil is gathered and attached to the comb.
  • Oval Cut: The Oval Cut Veil is basically like the standard cut, mirrored, cut as an oval. You can cut it on the fold lengthwise and widthwise, so as to get the same curve for all 4 “corners”. This veil allows for 2 layers folded over at the specified fold line (not right in half, but to where the top layer hangs shorter than the lower layer). When cutting, decide the desired length of the first and second layers and add those together to get the length you’ll need to cut (of course, you’ll need to divide this number in half if you cut on the fold lengthwise). The entire width can be gathered completely or in the center of the fold line. Trim would be added around the entire perimeter of the cut oval.
  • Rectangular Cut: Like the Oval Cut, the title of this style says it all; it’s cut as a rectangle. It’s gathered in the center of the long side of the rectangle and the corners hang lower to create the points of the style. Having a hard time visualizing what this would look like? Hang a towel on a hook and observe how it’s 4 corners hang down. It can be a single layer or double layer veil depending on where you gather (observe gather placement in picture above). This style is typically, center gathered. Trim would be added around the entire shape perimeter.
  • Handkerchief Cut: This style is cut in the shape of a square, turned like a diamond, and typically gathered in the center. It creates 2 layers. If you place your gather line right in the center lengthwise, you may have all 4 points hanging at about the same length. If you place the gather line up a little, you’ll have one long and 3 shorter points (may not all be even with each other, creating a nice texture to the style). Trim would be added around the perimeter of the square.
  • 2 Waterfall Veils Styles: The Cascading Veil and the Angel Cut Veil are basically the same cut, but, the Cascading Veil has a nice curve at the bottom, whereas, the Angel Cut comes to a precise point…both very pretty! Both can be cut as a single layer or cut 2 (varying the lengths of each) to create a double layer (then, gather both together). The full width is gathered. Trim would be added around the entire shape except for the gather line.
  • Mantilla Cut Veil: Can be cut like the standard cut with curves or corners. It isn’t gathered. Trim would be added around the entire cut perimeter. It can be pinned in the hair or attached/glued to a comb.
  • Drop Veil: Can be cut as an oval (however large or small, as desired, shorter or floor length; you’ll probably want to use a 108” width tulle depending on how long the width will hang down). It is not gathered and typically drapes over the face. Requires a lot of trim and it is placed around the entire shape. It can be pinned in the hair or glued to a comb.

Other things you can choose for your veil:
The Comb – metal or plastic…plastic is typically sheer, metal is nice because it’s mold-able.
The fabric – tulle (matte or sparkle) is used most often. Some have used organza, which is less sheer and stiffer or chiffon, which is more lightweight (than organza) and flow-y and also, less sheer. We won’t go into birdcage veils in this tutorial, but, those are made with millinery netting.

And finally, to cut your veil, use the following examples to assist! If your shape is symmetrical one way (ex. the standard cut veil), you’ll fold your fabric in half widthwise. If your shape is symmetrical two ways (ex. oval cut or handkerchief), you’ll fold your fabric twice (or, into fourths).

The first image below is the standard cut veil (you can use the same technique with the single layer cascade and angel cut). You’d fold your fabric in half width-wise, as shown below and cut the top edge even/straight. You can use a disappearing fabric marker (not fine) to sketch out your shape (luckily, if you mess up, tulle is pretty inexpensive)! You can use 58″ for a less full veil or a 108″ tulle (or you can cut it a little smaller) for a fuller veil. Open it out and you have the shape you need (should look like the specified shape in the Veil Pattern Shapes Image).

Standard CutFor a two-way symmetrical veil (like the oval, rectangular, and handkerchief cut), you can fold it width and lengthwise. Draw your shape with a disappearing fabric marker (not fine) and cut. When you open it out, you should have the desired shape (oval or square).

Oval Cut2If you think you want to trim your veil, measure the edge that will be trimmed and purchase that much trim in yardage. The trim will need to follow curves well. Stay tuned for Part 2 on how to make you veil! I’ll show you an easy way to trim your veil with a serger!

wedding veil part 1 copy

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