Beaded lace bridal hair piece

One great pleasure for anyone who does any sewing is working with amazing fabric. I was lucky enough to be able to work with some exquisite beaded lace which leant itself beautifully to being used for a hair piece.

The way most laces are made mean that they won’t fray so it is possible to clip out the details and use them in creative ways. For this hair piece each layer and petal was wired individually to lift them up and give volume to the finished floral spray.

The image at the top shows the hair piece tucked into a lovely soft up-do.

Below are close ups showing the front and the back. The wire visible from the back as well as the clear comb. I would usually cover the comb base in some silk but in this case the lace was so delicate that the invisible comb was much more subtle.

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What a good idea.

I found this image from a vintage pattern (I am assuming 30’s-40’s ish) and I thought it was a lovely idea.

A veil is joined into the waist and can sit over the head as a veil or down the skirt as a bustle.

The Image shows the veil ending at about her wrists but I would guess it would be possible to make it longer, this might just mean that the back of the skirt might need to be lengthened so the veil won’t drag on the floor.

 

Bridal show – 30’s Bias dress and veil

This dress was a challenge, The model who was planning to wear it had to pull out close to the date, I was so lucky that the beautiful model below was willing to help out a stranger and fit the dress to perfection.

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The dress is made in a heavyweight polyester satin. It has a bias cut halter bodice which I closed with pearl buttons. The skirt is not exactly a bias cut but falls like one, I draped the skirt from one whole piece so the grain isn’t straight down the front but it isn’t exactly 45 degrees either. When the skirt was closed the last of the fabric was allowed to drape at the back as an asymmetric train.

Here are the details of the veil, some close up pictures and construction comments.

30’s veil details

I really wanted to show off the details of this veil. It was a bit of an experiment using the crochet detail but it all ended up looking so wonderful with the dress (and my lovely model) I am really proud of it.

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Here is the crochet detail on the wire base. The tulle was sewn along the base to keep it against the head in the Juliet cap style worn in the 30’s.

The tulle I used is a soft bridal tulle. It falls more like silk tulle than nylon tulle. It was perfect for this look.

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A simple little Veil

Along with the dresses used in the Bridal show I also made a few veils. This simple veil was made to complement a simple silk dress. The veil was designed to fall to the back with no allowance made for it to go over the face. The veil was attached to a small comb and the comb edge covered in a grosgrain ribbon.

This is the perfect veil for when you are planning flowers in your hair. It weighs almost nothing so can be tucked in under your floral comb without complicating the whole look.

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Making a veil like this is a simple process. With a cheaper tulle it is possible to make a test run before the good tulle is cut. This means that you don’t even need to know exactly what you want, we can stand in front of the mirror and play.

 

Coloured veil

Here is a little collection of coloured veils. A bright coloured veil offers a wonderful contrast against a white dress. Use the same colour highlights throughout your bridesmaids flowers and invites to tie the whole look together. These images use mostly russian or birdcage veiling but colours can also be found in bridal tulle for a more traditional style.

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Foundation techniques – Crinoline hem

To create a wonderful curl at the hem of a skirt a woven trim can be used, Sometimes called Crinoline braid or horse hair braid. Originally woven from horse hair this trim has been used as a stiffener throughout victorian fashion. Developed in Synthetic materials it was used for hats in the 20’s and kept the skirts wide in the 50’s. The flexibility comes from the way it is woven in a strip so is technically on the bias, this allows it to be shaped through curls and circle skirts.

The width and weight can be selected depending on the application. Here is an example from the house of adorn.

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Below shows the braid used to emphasise the curl in a ruffle.

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Here and the top image show a heavier version holding the shape in an amazing gown. Zac Posen uses this technique a lot.

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A more subtle example where the braid is used just to add some extra stiffness to a straighter hem. You can see a little line where the top edge of the braid is tacked inside the skirt. Without it this skirt would be falling closer to the legs and the fish tail would not be so exaggerated as it is.

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Here it is left visible as a contrast at the hem. Dior Haute Couture.

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A fine strip of crinoline can be used to give the same curl to the edge of a veil.

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Silk v Nylon

A little discussion about tulle. The exact weaving technique is what defines tulle but the material it is made from makes it behave as if it was an unrelated fabric.

Silk tulle

Bought back into the spotlight by Katherine middleton and worn perfectly. Silk tulle is made of the same technique as nylon tulle but it looks and feels completly different. It has more drape and inertia than nylon and depending on the quality can look a little more opaque.

Kate shows the way is falls straight down, looking lovely over the face. She also has a wide attachment around the whole front of her tiara. this holds the tulle open so its sheerness can be seen.  A narrow atachment lets the tulle fall straight and none of its transparency  can be seen. I personally think that the kate method is the only way to use silk tulle.

2 veils showing the fall of a silk tulle veil with a narrow base, lady Mary showing how seemingly silk tulle works best with tiaras.

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Nylon Tulle

Normally my fibre snobbery would prevail and I would prefer silk fabric over a synthetic but not when it comes to veils. The threads the fabric is made of are much finer and lighter than silk so the tulle has a lightness and can be incredibly sheer. It also has some stiffness which holds it more open and allows the sheer layers to all be seen. It is also quite inexpensive and available everywhere. I have also seen it in more shades than silk which is usually only white and ivory if you are lucky. Nylon tulles come in white, ivory, The poorly named ‘nude’,champagne and almost caramel (as well as almost all bright colours if you want a coloured veil, I should make a post about coloured veils, against a white dress they are brilliant)

A simple light circle from bhldn (look at the distance from her shoulders the veil is sitting compared to lady Mary), A 60’s bride showing what is possible when you embrace the pouff, A tiny little blusher in an almost invisible whisp of tulle.

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Ulyana

I don’t usually fawn over celebs. I would rather meet the ladies who made the dress in the atelier than the ones who wore it down the runway. In saying all of this I am quite smitten with Ulyana Serngeenko, Russian designer and style icon.

Lets not waste any more time talking….photos say it all.

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Every now and then I get it into my head that I am going to wear skirts all the time but it never happens. I sometimes sit at my sewing machine in my target jeans and feel like the fairy godmother in a cinderella movie of my childhood who couldn’t use her magic on herself.

Swiss dot Tulle, I love you too

I recently posted about how wonderful tulle is and if you didnt think it could get any better I still have 2 more posts to go.

Swiss dot tulle is a soft fine mesh speckled with tiny little embroidered dots. It can be softer than usual bridal tulle so used for more simple shapes where the dots are the main feature of the dress.

It also makes wonderful veils. Shown above a swiss dot tulle veil as the centreipeic of a wedding day, the dress a simple strapelss sheath. Below a stunning veil of swiss dot tulle edged with a cobweb of chantilly lace.

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A simpla asymmetric dress with layers of swiss dot tulle left raw edged.

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The dots have a cuteness to them that lends itself well to 50’s style tea length dresses.

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I have seen swiss dot tulle in fabric shops I have visited as well as the fine cotton voile version which is just as lovely.