Archive for Monday, July 25, 2011


Remnant Rehab: Cut wedding expenses with a homemade veil

July 25, 2011


Everything about a wedding can be expensive. When my friend Sarah Foil, Lawrence, asked me if I could make her a veil, she had an idea of what she wanted — a short, simple, one-layer veil. The example she showed me cost $65. I haven’t figured out how that price is justified because I made this one for less than $10. It wasn’t even all that hard, and it only took a few hours.


• Pencil and paper for pattern

• Ruler

• Rounded objects to help draw a curve

• Scissors

• Tulle

• Pins

• Rotary cutter, if you have one

• Clear thread

• Hand-sewing needle

• Beads

• Comb

• Sparkly topper

View of homemade veil for Sarah Foil, Lawrence .

View of homemade veil for Sarah Foil, Lawrence .


  1. Measure to determine the length of the veil. Sarah’s sat on the back of her head and brushed the top of the back of her dress. To determine a width, I measured from shoulder to shoulder. That was just to give me a number to work with — the way it hung didn’t actually touch or cover her shoulders.
  2. Sketch a pattern on paper. (I used newsprint, of course.) I started by drawing a rectangle 18 inches long by 12.5 inches wide. I wanted to round the bottom corners and have it curve gently to the top. I used a plate and a hip curve to do that. You only need to do one corner because you’ll lay the pattern piece on the fold.
  3. Fold the tulle in half and pin so it won’t shift. Lay the pattern piece with the straight edge along the fold and pin.
  4. Cut out the tulle. I used a rotary cutter to avoid jagged edges. The tulle won’t fray, so I didn’t finish the edges.
  5. I added several small crystal beads for sparkle. I actually did it last, but it would be much easier to do it before the fabric is gathered and sewn onto the comb. Decide where you want the beads.
  6. This is the easiest way I found to attach them: Cut a piece of clear thread 6 inches to 8 inches long. Slip the bead onto the thread and slide it to about the middle. Take the same end of the thread and slip it through the bead the same direction as the first time, so now there is a loop holding the bead in place. Do this for all the beads you plan to use. To attach the beads to the tulle, put both ends of the thread through from the front and tie them in the back. I triple-knotted mine just to be safe. Clip the ends of the thread close to the knot.
  7. Thread the needle with clear thread. Tie the end around one end of the comb. Sew a running stitch along the top of the tulle and gather the top until it’s the same width as the comb. Starting from the opposite end of the comb from where the thread is knotted, attach the tulle to the comb.
  8. To top off the veil, Sarah had a piece from a tiara she owned and cut off the wire sides. I sewed it to the top of the comb over the tulle using the clear thread.

Sarah was a beautiful bride, and I was happy to be able to contribute to her big day. Congrats, Sarah and Tyler Harnett!

— Copy editor Katie Kritikos can be reached at Follow her at


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