For a long time now, I’ve been thinking that it would be wonderful to see more women in An Tir wearing frilled veils. People always comment about how much they like them, but no one thinks they have the time to make one. And in all honesty, I can understand why some are reluctant. I have made five different ruffled veils now, and most of them took between 75-100 hours to make. Of course, each of those required a fair amount of research and experimentation, and were made using medieval techniques.
What if I could use a few simple short cuts to cut down on the time involved in making a frilled veil? Could I make a ‘department store’ version of the ‘couture’ veil? Could a ruffled veil be made in a single day? I was going to find out…
Supplies needed for this Quick Ruffled Veil:
Machine hemmed (rolled serge is perfect) oval veil
Bias tape maker (just the simple style)
‘Disappearing’ fabric marker
I started by pressing a fairly long plain oval veil.
I decided to start by using something that I already owned, an oval veil that I had purchased online years ago from Revival Clothing(http://www.revivalclothing.com/linenrectangularandovalveils.aspx). This was actually my very first veil. It was machined hemmed with a serger rolled hem. Because of this, I no longer really liked to wear the veil, preferring to wear veils that have been hand hemmed. However, this made it a perfect place to start for my Quick & Easy Ruffled Veil.
Next, the veil was folded in half and cut into two half ovals.
The front edge of the half oval was pressed for hemming.
After the unfinished front edge of the veil was pressed, I did a standard rolled hem around the entire semi-oval veil. This was a fairly quick and simple process, as the curved portion already had a serger finished edge. I find that hemming is always quicker when fabric has been serged first.
The remaining half of the veil was cut into two inch strips.
Fabric strips are run through a bias tape maker and then pressed.
The next step was to cut the remaining half of the original oval veil into two inch strips using a quick rotary cutter. I then ran these strips through a bias-tape maker, pressing the strips flat with an iron. After these strips were pressed into 1 inch bias tape, I then folded them in half and pressed them flat again.
Double folded & pressed veil bias tape.
When the bias tape was completely pressed, I used a simple running stitch to sew the two sides together. I did this by hand, but it could be done using a sewing machine, if you are short on time. Then I used a ‘disappearing fabric marker’ to mark every half inch on the veil tape. By marking with a pen instead of using straight pins, a significant amount of time was saved. After that, I used the same fabric marker to place small marks every quarter inch on the front edge of the hemmed veil. By stitching the veil tape to the veil at a 2:1 ratio, a nice ruffle is created.
The veil strip is hand sewn with a running stitch.
Temporary marks are placed on the veil tape and on the edge of the veil.
Finally, the veil strip is sewn to the front edge of the veil with a whip stitch. I would line up the marked dots and anchor with two whip stitches. Then I would bend the veil tape the opposite direction and do the same thing at the next mark. After the veil strip is permanently attached, I simply sprayed some water on the edge of the veil and all of the blue marks just disappeared.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with this veil. The entire process took me about 10 hours to complete. I made mine on a Saturday, but I think that this project could easily be completed in a week if you spent an hour or two working on it each night. That is a realistic time commitment for most medieval veil enthusiasts. 🙂
A 2:1 ratio of veil tape to veil edge creates a lovely ruffle.
The finished veil at a Yule Feast in An Tir.
Twelfth Night is merely a month away for many of us, but this is still plenty of time to create a simple and stunning ruffled veil.