EL Wire Bridal Veil

Weddings these days are crazy, am I right? I'm planning for my own right now and I'm trying to keep it simple (haha), but I can't resist making as much of my accessories / decor (and the website, and the invitations, and, well, all the paper goods) as I can. When it comes to my veil, there is no exception.

The style for our wedding is shaping up to be something that I've been calling "Future Minimal". The color pallet is pretty much black, white, metallic silver, and hints of clear. I have had the plan to make edge-lit acrylic table numbers for the wedding since at least the beginning of our engagement (might put those up in another post - stay tuned!). I attended an LED class at my local Makerspace to learn more about how I could best make 12-20 edge lit signs for the wedding. At that class, I got to check out EL wire, which I had seen used in costumes, but had forgotten about. After that class, I had the bright (See what i did there?) idea to try to make a glowing veil using the EL wire.

I googled around and watched a few traditional veil DIYs to see what shapes are commonly used - sky is the limit it turns out. I decided to go with a half-oval for mine. I still may add another tier or blusher (that's the part that goes over your face). I also found out about EL tape while I was shopping for the wire, so I am thinking I will make a headband out of that for the reception.

Let's get making!

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools:

  • Sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Fabric marker
  • Ruler / measuring tape
  • Fabric glue

Materials:

  • A light, shear fabric or netting of your choice. I used organza, but I have since found out that tulle will not fray.
  • Matching thread. I used 50% Polyester - 50% Nylon and it seemed to work ok, though it was a bit of a pain for hand sewing.
  • EL wire - you need enough length to do your perimeter. Since it can be cut, I went long and got 16 feet.
  • Battery pack - mine came with the EL wire and includes blink and strobe settings.
  • A side comb or other barretts

Step 2: Making the Basic Veil

First, I ironed my fabric. Many people suggest a press cloth for organza, but I assume they are referring to silk organza. I believe my organza was synthetic, because ironing it on the silk setting with no press cloth and no water in the iron worked best for me. Your mileage may vary.

I used a cloth measuring tape to see how far I wanted the veil to drop from where I wanted to wear it on my head. I settled on 22 inches. Then I tried to measure a length that could wrap around my shoulders if I wanted to wear the veil that way. This came to 38 inches, but I rounded up to 40 inches. I added 1/2 inch of seam allowance to each side of the width, and to the bottom of the length, and then rough cut the resulting 41" x 22.5" rectangle. With the rectangle folded over, I used my fabric marker to sketch out a curve. I tried to make it end about tangential to the bottom and sides of the rectangle.

I ironed my half-oval to get the fold line out. Then I began to iron a 1/4 inch seam allowance all along the curved edge of the veil. After that step, I notched the curved edge. Notching helps remove fabric when the seam allowance is longer than the seam. Typically you would notch after sewing, but my plan was to fold the fabric twice to make a casing (I just had to look up that term) along the edge of the fabric so that the raw edge would end up inside the casing. This would hold my EL wire and look neat and tidy. After notching, I ironed the second 1/4" seam allowance with the raw edge folded under.

Since I wanted to sew just along the edge of the casing, I opted to use my blind hem foot. A blind hem foot has a little guide for the edge of your fabric to ride along, so your needle comes down right by the edge. I adjusted the guide until I was happy with the placement of the stitches. Then I sewed along the curved part of the veil very slowly, folding the next bit down before sewing it. I did this slow approach rather than using pins because I do not have any smaller pins that would have been best for this delicate fabric. I did not backstitch at either end to lock the stitches - you do not want to do that with a fine, shear fabric. Instead I pulled the bobbin thread to the front at each end and tied the top and bobbin threads together. I ironed the sewn piece once more.

Step 3: Finishing Your Veil

At this point, I put the EL wire in and held the veil like I would wear it to check it out. It was looking pretty good. Then I removed my wire to finish up the veil.

Note: my EL wire came with a little nub on the bitter end. This was great, but the nub did have a little burr on it that caught on my fabric a bit when I was removing the wire. The burr was easily removed with a hobby knife, but that's something you might want to check for before you start threading the wire through your veil.

To gather the veil, I simply hand stitched along the straight edge of the veil, and then pulled the thread like a drawstring until the veil gathered to the length of my side comb.

I watched a few DIYs on attaching the side comb and was glad I did! I would have attempted to whip-stitch the veil to the comb, but I learned a neat method that I think worked better. I took a long scrap of my organza and tied it to the comb as shown. I then wrapped the base of the comb, hiding the end from the first knot. I put a dab of glue at the end to hold the wrap in place. Finally, I stitched the veil to the wrapping on the comb, paying attention to the orientation of the veil and comb.

Step 4: Add the EL Wire!

This step is simple, just thread the EL wire through. When you are happy with it, cut the EL wire to size - keep the nub for the end if you got one of those!

Note: The battery pack does emit a semi-annoying tone when on. My plan is to hide the battery pack in my hair, which I hope will muffle the tone it emits when on, and also make for a cleaner look. Regarding the tone, I believe I have read that you can get a smaller battery pack if you shorten your wire, which may be quieter, which I might look into. I will try to remember to update this 'able with some pictures from my actual wedding day in the future.

Thanks for reading! What did you think? Did you make one? Let me see it in the comments!

Make it Glow Contest 2018

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Make it Glow Contest 2018

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