Saturday, 14 August 2010

Don't throw out that ... tablecloth! Bridal birdcage fascinator

My fascination with ... fascinators started a few months ago, when I started thinking about the headpiece I would wear at my wedding. I absolutely loved the idea of a veil mysteriously covering part of my face, but the prices of the birdcage veils that I liked were a bit too high for my budget! I figured it cannot be THAT difficult to make one, so I started looking online for tutorials. Surprisingly, I could not find much on birdcage veils, but I did find out what materials I needed to make one. After long hours on my computer and on the phone with suppliers, I found the best price (so far) for the netting at The Trimming Company ( for £1.10 per metre plus VAT (they call it 'merry widow' veil). For this fascinator I used only about 40cm of the veiling. The rest of the materials are:

  • an old tablecloth, which is made of really good ivory cotton and has a nice slightly raised pattern. Unfortunately it is very worn at certain places and I could not use it. 
  • A teardrop fascinator base (£1.90 from the same shop).
  • ivory beads from an old necklace
How I made it:
  • The first part was the hardest and the most time-consuming. I cut a piece of fabric from the tablecloth to fit around the base, leaving about 2.5cm seam allowance. I stretched it over the base and secured it at the edges with pins. Then I flipped the base on its back, and starting at the pointy part of the base I stitched the fabric onto the base, folding in 1.5cm as I was going along, so that I don't leave raw edges. I used clear plastic thread, so that the stitches would be invisible.
  • Then I went around the edge of the base and sewed small ivory beads all the way around, using the same plastic thread.
  • After I was done with the base, I started making flowers and leaves. This hat has three rose-shaped white flowers and four leaves, which I stitched on the round part of the fascinator (partly because the fabric was a bit discoloured at that part, and I wanted to hide it). At the centre of each flower I glued a big ivory bead. To vary the patterns, for the leaves I used a different fabric of the same colour.
  • Finally, I added the veil. Veils come in 9'' and 12'' widths. For this fascinator I used 12'', because I wanted it to cover most of the face. I left the pointed part of the base bare to show off the pearl bead design. 

In this picture you can see the two different kinds of fabric used for the flowers and the petals.

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