Thursday, October 3, 2019

The D-Shaped Veil--Complete!

My pretty hem!
At last my veil is finished, as you can see from the photographs accompanying this post.

I didn't quite manage to finish it during September.  I thought I would, till I came down with food poisoning on the evening of the 27th, and spent most of the weekend (after the vomiting stopped) in bed!  I thought of finishing it on the 30th, when I was feeling better, but even so I didn't think I could get the photographs taken and uploaded in time, so I decided to wait.

The first few photos show:  a close-up of part of the hem, right-side out; a close-up of the hem, wrong-side out, and the veil, lying flat, as a whole.  My stitching was not perfect, but the result looks fine after ironing the veil and hem carefully.  (Note:  the fabric is a pale light gray; the photo showing the hem from the right side comes the closest to showing the true color of the fabric.  I have no idea why the fabric looks so green in the photograph showing the wrong side of the hem.)

The not-so-pretty part.
My husband has been frantically busy with work, so I haven't gotten any photographs of the veil in wear.  In addition, I haven't been able to find my hlad or my wimple.  Perhaps it's just as well that the other accessories are going missing--it would be awkward to feature so many images in a relatively short post. I will post photographs of me wearing the veil eventually, but for now I'll just say that, of the techniques I tried, I like Edyth Miller's way of pinning the veil the best, whether or not it's provably period. Her technique produces the nicest looking result and requires the fewest accessories to achieve.  Overall, I'm satisfied with the outcome of this project.  This veil is certainly wearable, and I'm sure I'll find uses for it.

The September challenge for the Historical Sew Monthly is "Everyday."  After I saw Hvitr's post about her St. Birgitta's cap, which she submitted for the September challenge, I realized that my veil also qualifies.  It's made from wool, a common medieval fabric, and it's short--practical for every day.   So I will be posting photographs of it on the HSM Facebook page, eventually.

The Challenge--September: Everyday 

The whole thing.
Material: A piece of pale gray wool (blend?) gauze, roughly 19 inches (48 cm) by 30 inches (76 cm), donated by a reader of my blog (thanks again, Alison!).

Pattern:  I was inspired by Elena's post on her blog, Neulakko.  It's a D-shaped veil, as the photograph taken of the veil spread out on a flat surface shows.

Year: Medieval period. It's tough to be more specific than that.  Elina, who made the veil that inspired me, reenacts the 14th century, but similar veils crop up throughout the medieval period all over Europe, and might even have been worn by Viking women.

Notions:  Guttermann brand silk thread, in a pale gray which perfectly matches the fabric.

How historically accurate is it?  The whipstitch I used was certainly known in the medieval period, and wool is a period fabric. However, I'm not sure that my veil fabric is pure wool, and I don't have any leftover scraps to perform the bleach test on. Further, I'm not perceptive enough to determine from period artwork whether that artwork confirms the use of D-shaped veils, but the final appearance of my veil is not a bad match for at least some period art.  So 50-60%.

Hours to Complete: About 3 hours.

First Worn: Trying it on; my husband has yet to take photographs of me in it, because he is working on an important project.

Total Cost: Less than $4 USD--the cost of the silk thread I used to hem the veil.


  1. I'm sorry to hear you've had food poisoning, that's just awful.

    It's great to see the finished veil. It turned out really well and I bet it drapes beautifully, since it's made from wool. Also, thanks for the shout-out!

    1. Thanks for all of your kind words.

      Re: the shout-out. You're welcome! Unfortunately my husband is really busy with work now so I haven't been able to get him to take photos of me wearing it. Those are coming though! Really!

    2. Oh I know how it is. Life gets in the way. I look forward to seeing the photos when they happen.