Surrender the Brownies

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DIY Infinity-Style Chapel Veils!

on July 27, 2014

Hey guys! So, as most of you know, I ascribe to the ancient tradition of veiling in mass. IMG_4638

I started about four years ago, all on my own. I just randomly decided that I liked the look of lacy mantillas in mass, and so I got one and wore it. Eventually, my mom and sister Isabel joined me in wearing mantilla veils to mass. Only one problem- veils are such a niche market, that it’s very hard to find good ones in Vail, Arizona. You can buy online, but you can’t be sure if the color will be flattering to your outfits, coloring, and face shape. For the fashion-conscious Catholic teenager, this is a big deal, obviously. Then, last year, my mother gave me what’s called an infinity veil! If you’re familiar with the concept of an infinity scarf, it’s pretty much the same thing (a loop of fabric, pretty much) but made out of lace. I loved it instantly, but I thought “hey! I bet I could make something like this!”

Well, readers, after months of trial and error (and I’m sure more months to come, as we perfect the technique even more!) my family and I have learned how to make infinity veils! And, because Jesus loves it when we share, we have decided to give you guys the exclusive how-to, right here on Surrender the Brownies!

What You Need:

  • A piece of lace 72″ long by 19″ wide for a double loop, or 36″ by 19″ for a single loop. You can use stiff or stretchy lace. Stiff is easier to sew, but stretchy is more comfortable and stays on your head better. It’s up to you. We used both for this tutorial.IMG_4328IMG_4334
  • fine embroidery or quilting thread in a color that matches your lace. We used white quilters thread in 30 wt. You can use normal thread, but quilters thread is more heavy duty, and if you have small children who will be tugging on your veil, you’ll appreciate the strength! IMG_4384
  • toilet paper or tissues
  • needles and pins
  • sewing machine that can make a scalloped stitch
  • small sewing scissors

Step One: Prepping your lace

Cut your lace to the desired specifications, if you have not already done so. If you have stretchy lace, be aware that it is very hard to make a straight cut, so take it slow. You should be left with a piece of lace that has one factory finished edge (if your lace is scalloped, this is the scalloped edge!) and one unfinished, or selvage, edge. To this selvage side, pin toilet or tissue paper, extending the paper a bit beyond the selvage edge. Do not worry if it’s even, it doesn’t matter at all, you’ll be taking the paper off later anyway. Go from one end to the other.

Keep hydrated. This is thirsty work.

Keep hydrated. This is thirsty work.

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Step Two: Sew ‘er up!

Set your machine up with thread according to the manual’s direction. Then, choose a scalloped stitch, again according to manufacturers direction. The scalloped stitch will hold the lace better than a straight stitch, even when trimmed.

IMG_4386

I have no idea what those numbers mean. I just know they make a nice stitch that looks pretty.

When that’s done, you can start sewing the selvage, toilet-papered side. Take it slow, don’t rush, or the threads in the lace will gather and may cause knots in your thread. Not fun, and very time-consuming to fix. Remove pins as you go, try to keep your line straight, though that is not all that important- this side will be buried in folds of lace when worn, and will be all but unnoticeable.

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Step Three: Remove toilet paper and trim the selvage edge.

This part should be easy to figure out. When you are completely done with sewing the selvage edge, gently remove the tissue, moistening it with water if necessary to make it easier to remove. When that’s done, take your sewing scissors and ever so carefully, trim the selvage edge around the outside of the scallops. This part is very time consuming, and it’s not totally necessary, but it really makes the veil look more professional.

The selvage edge, post-trim

The selvage edge, post-trim

Step Four: Sew the loop.

So now you have a lovely piece of lace, and all that’s left is to make it into an infinity veil! Start by arranging the 19″ edges like so, folding roughly in half with the bottom half protruding under the top by about a centimeter (the edge may not be entirely straight, so exact measurements don’t matter overly much, but make it protrude roughly a centimeter and you’re good! IMG_4515

Now, fold the protruding edge over the top edge, like folding the top flap of an envelope. Then, fold it again. You should be left with something like this. IMG_4517

Pin!

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Now, you can do this part on a machine if you’d like, but it’s easier to hand-sew it. Work along the fold as evenly as you can, using a hemming stitch. Finish and knot your thread, and you’re done!

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 Step Five: Look fabulous!

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So there you have it!

Love to all!

-Tani

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23 responses to “DIY Infinity-Style Chapel Veils!

  1. Kathy says:

    Thank you for your lovely and loving gift, this tutorial. God bless you.

    Like

  2. Beatrice says:

    Did u hand stitch all the length of lace?

    Like

    • Tanichca says:

      Hi Beatrice! I hand-stitched only the seam that connected the two ends of the loop. The selvage edge, which was stitched with the scallop design, was done on a sewing machine, but probably could be done by hand if you were very precise and patient!
      -Tani

      Like

  3. nikki says:

    Are you willing to sell any of the ones that you make?

    Like

    • Tanichca says:

      Hi Nikki! That is our eventual plan, but for right now, we’re experimenting with different types of lace and thread in order to find the perfect balance. Once that perfection is attained, we will be selling veils!
      ~Tani

      Like

  4. Lori says:

    Hello, thank you so much for the tutorial!! You make it looks so easy. I have been thinking about wear a veil to Mass for a while and I think if I made one it would mean more to me than if I just went out and bought one.

    I just have one a couple of silly questions: on step four (it may be because I am tired) am I taking the lace folding it in half and sewing up the 19″ side and that’s what makes it a loop? The other really silly question is how do you wear it? Do you twist it as you put it on? No laughing. :)-

    Like

    • Tanichca says:

      Hi, Lori! Yep, that’s what you do. To put it on, put the wide side on your head, and the loop will drop down in front of you. Twist it, put that loop around your head and neck like a scarf, and you’re good to go!

      Like

  5. csandkc says:

    Gorgeous–my daughter & I will make one so she can veil for Lent!

    Like

  6. Natalie Nunez says:

    Hello have you started selling these yet? If so how much?

    Like

    • Tanichca says:

      Not yet, but soon! I’ve been busy with college lately, but I just picked up a black lace with golden roses on it to make new veils from, that I will be selling, for about $25.

      Like

  7. Marytzsa says:

    Hi I’m only 12 but I have been thinking about wearing a veil to mass what do you think?

    Like

    • Tanichca says:

      If you feel called to, go ahead! There’s absolutely no age limit for veiling!

      Like

      • Judy Ware says:

        I think that is wonderful and you will find a growth in your own spirituality. Every picture, stature you see of Mary and all the ladies of the church, they are veiled. They would all be so happy with you and your desire to please. You are so wise at your young age.
        Judy

        Like

  8. Mandibre says:

    Thank you for this gift!! May I ask where you find your lace? The one pictured is beautiful!!

    Like

  9. Talia says:

    I’m so excited! I just bought some pretty lace so my grandma can help me sew it into a veil- now I can ask her to help me make it an infinity one! Thanks!

    Like

  10. CONSTANCE BESSADA says:

    When you call it an infinity scarf, does that mean you put in a twist so that you essentially sew wrong side to right side?

    Like

  11. ampavitch says:

    Thank you for sharing this with me, I am blessed today that I found your site! Thank you! I am going to the fabric store and will sew one for myself. God bless you also!

    Like

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