My very first birdcage veil – finished!

So today I opened up my parcel from MacCulloch & Wallis and set about making my own birdcage veil.

Making my first ever birdcage veil

I had a metre long piece of merry widow netting, 9 inches wide. I needed to make two veils so I cut it in half. Now thinking about it I should have really checked out what other sites suggested for length but I forgot to so the material I had to work with was a little less than I hoped.

I also ordered a clear comb and a teardrop fascinator base. I haven’t ended up using the comb yet but still may do so on my second veil (one for my friend who is also going to the same event).

Piece of merry widow veil

So I sat down and started to sew as per the instructions I had found earlier in the week. Or so I thought. Yet again I only realised I had missed off a vital step when I tried to pull my veil together.

What had I forgotten? Only to cut off the top corners (oops) that give the veil its birdcage look. Silly me.

So I carefully pulled out my thread (I had to use burgundy thread as my black has oddly gone walkabout…strange how that happens when you need stuff) and started again, this time remembering to cut off the corners.

I started by securing the thread to the finished (nice and pretty) edge, you know the one that will be draped across your face. Then I sewed through every other little box, weaving in and out so three edges were sewn. I then pulled the thread to gather the birdcage being careful not to break the thread or the delicate little boxes.

Poofy birdcage veil

I didn’t want a huge poofy look (see above) so after about an hour of prancing about in front of the mirror (including a full dress rehearsal, since my weekend attire of joggers and sweats don’t do justice to a pretty veil) I had a veil that was ready for the next stage. Decoration.

My first thought was to use a black flower hair clip that I wore to a wedding. It looked OK but just wasn’t quite the look I wanted. So I decided to attach the veil to the teardrop fascinator.

Birdcage veil attached to teardrop fascinator base

I stitched it along the curved front (again with the burgundy thread, where the hell is my black cotton!) and placed it on my head to have a nose. Not bad. Now how to attach to said head.

Ultra cheap owl like feather hair clips from Primark

Did I mention that I had bought some very cheap hair clips from  Primark (or did I, perhaps not). Two lovely feather hair clips for a pound. So I sized it up first by attaching the clips to the base and just plonking it on my head. Success! I then attempted to attach the fascinator base to my hair using the clips and it worked.

Feather hair clips attached to fascinator base

My finished birdcage veil

My birdcage veil will help me get into character

Is it easy to make a birdcage veil?

So now I’m all set for Sunday. Just need to make one more birdcage for my friend (luckily she has her own black flower hair clip to use) and that’s it for our Secret Cinema outfits. The other half’s Trilby arrived (at last…no thanks to Yodel) so he’s sorted too.

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