More and more brides are choosing to go the DIY route for some of their most important bridal accessories: their wedding veil, the garter, the bridal sash, and even some shawls and capes! Depending on how adventurous you are, you may even commission your mom, grandma, or a family friend to help make your wedding dress itself. Now that is quite bold.
The problem for DIY brides is that it can be difficult to find the right fabrics and materials for your wedding veil or bridal cape.
After all, the materials are the most important part of making sure that your head-to-toe look feels expensive and elegant. Therefore, finding the right raw materials can delay some brides. The difference between an inexpensive, poorly constructed lace and a gorgeous, corded French lace with fine threading can be the "make it or break it" for your wedding day ensemble. It transforms your look from something dowdy to a masterpiece fit for royalty.
When you visit your local Joann’s, Michaels or Hobby Lobby, you man not be able to find a fabric that you like or that is fine enough for your special day. Don’t get discouraged! I recommend turning to Etsy or to online sellers for beautiful fabric options that are high quality.
As a bride, you need to keep things simple. To help things simple, I am going to share a round-up of my favorite supplies for DIY brides.
Please keep in mind that you may not need all of these supplies – the exact materials that you need will depend on your bridal accessory, the finishes & trimmings that best match your gown, and the pattern that you use to bring your creative bridal vision to life.
Recommended Sewing Supplies for Bridal Veils + Accessories
Wedding Veil or Cape Fabrics
Before you actually purchase your fabric, here are a few general tips regarding the materials you select to craft the main body of your veil.
Make sure that your fabric is:
- Soft: You will be wearing this for at least several hours, so make sure that you don't choose a scratchy fabric that is irritating to your skin.
- A coordinating color to your gown: It should match or be 1 shade lighter than your dress if you are wanting a more traditional bridal look.
- Fray-Resistant when it is cut: unless you are trimming your entire veil in a lace or ribbon edging, you will need to make sure that the fabric doesn't fray when you cut into it.
- The right width for your style of veil: Most tulle fabrics are 54'' or 108'' in width. For longer veils, you typically will need a fabric that is 108’’ in width rather than the more standard 54’’ width fabric. It is okay to make your long veil out of a narrower fabric. Just keep in mind that your long veil will be a bit more narrow if it is made out of the 54’’ width fabric. This style is lovely in its own way, and it gives a more minimalist look.
Example of a 54'' width narrow cathedral veil
Okay, finally the good stuff! Let's talk about where you can purchase the fabric.
108’’ Width Bridal Illusion Tulle Fabric (can be cut in half if you need 54’’ width fabric) from Hope Couture. Bridal illusion tulle is the sheer fabric that is used on most wedding veils. It is softer than traditional tulle and comes in a wide variety of colors.
Ultra Soft Off White English Tulle for soft capes or veils. For brides who are wanting a draped cape or draped veil, you will need to use a heavier and weightier fabric in order to achieve the right drape. English net is my top choice for this, and you can purchase it from Mary Not Martha. This fabric is also ideal for brides who want a slightly more vintage feel to their wedding veil.
Ultra fine and soft veiling that is a gorgeous alternative to English tulle can be found at Shop Luxe Tulle.
Sparkly Patterned Star Fabric for Celestial Capes and nontraditional brides from Lace Lindsey
Wedding Veil Embellishments, Beading and Bridal Trims
French, Chantilly, and Guipire Lace Trim from Mary not Martha
Bridal Accessory Closures, Pins, and Combs
Metal Hair Combs pre-wrapped in fabric to save you some work from Tatiana
Brooch Pin non-decorative (for capes only) for spaghetti strap wedding gowns from Amazon
DIY Sewing Essentials
E600 glue from Bling That and That or Amazon. This glue does not yellow like others. Please use glue with caution on veils and never use glue on lace. I only recommend it for beading and if the pattern calls for its use.
Singer Sewing Scissors. I have these hanging up in my studio right now. They are large enough to get the job done while the plush rubber handles make them easy to grasp.
Where to DIY Your Veil and Accessories
As you purchase materials, you can also begin to think about where you will be making your wedding veil. I recommend working on your veil away from your pets so that their sharp claws don’t interfere. I love dogs and cats, but this delicate sewing is best done in a clean environment without their possible interference. Most of the horror stories that I hear about veils being ruined have to do with animals.