For centuries, the veiled hat has added a touch of mystery and modesty to fashionable outfits. Whether adorning a wide-brimmed bonnet or a trim Trilby, the drama of a veil enhances what milliner Stephen Jones calls: "the cherry on the cake, the dot on the 'i,' the exclamation mark, the fashion focus." Jones' 2012 veiled beanie hat stormed the catwalks and is already a classic modern accessory, costing hundreds of pounds. Follow his fashion lead by adding a birdcage veil to your own favourite hat. You'll have a unique style statement for a fraction of the price.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Your favourite hat or 4 inch square of felt fabric
- 1 metre of nine-inch wide Russian or birdcage veil fabric
- Needle & thread
- Dressmaker's pins
- Hat combs
- Silk or fabric flowers
- Feathers or other hat decorations
- Fabric glue
Offer the Russian veil up to the hat, either on top of or below the brim according to your preference. Gather the veil with your fingers until it achieves the fullness you want. Cut the veil to the required length.
Cut a four-inch wide heart shape from felt, if you do not have a hat. The top of the heart will be the front of your hat. Cut the Russian veil to a 16-inch length, making sure to cut just below the knots in the net to avoid fraying.
Gather the veil with the needle and thread, starting at one of the nine-inch ends. Use a simple running stitch to catch each knot. Work up the end of the veil, along the top and then down the other end. Pull the thread to gather the veil slightly and leave a long length of thread before knotting it at the end.
Arrange the veil on the hat or the felt heart. Pull the end thread to gather the veil into shape. Use dressmaker's pins to hold it in position. Adjust the veil to create a balloon shape to billow over your eyes when you wear the hat. Sew the veil into position on the hat or heart. Remove the dressmaker's pins and cut off the loose length of thread.
Continue with the felt heart, if you do not have a hat. Turn it over and attach two hat combs onto the long sides, close to the point of the heart shape. Use the needle and thread to repeatedly loop through the fabric and the top of the comb. The combs will secure your hat invisibly on your head by pushing into your hair.
Cover the sewn ends of the veil with flowers, feathers or your chosen hat decorations. Either sew or glue them onto the hat until secure. Allow any glue to dry. Position hat or heart on your head and tease the veil into place, either over your eyes or asymmetrically over the brim of the hat.
Tips and warnings
- Experiment with the position of your hat; move it forward or tilt it over one ear for a more fashionable look.
- Add drama to a tired hat with blood red or black veiling.
- Sew a good luck charm into the design.
- Glue sequins to the edge of the veil for added style shine.
- Count the number of pins you use and make sure you remove them all.
- Only use non-toxic fabric glue.
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