This post is specially for Strikingreality! :-P
I feel it’s essential to make a disclaimer first that I am no expert on making hair fascinators. This was my second time trying (i did a tiny trial before making my actual bridal one) and I’m sure the masters who makes these things for a living do it far more effective and skillful than I did.
I also didn’t take any pictures of the process because I like my crafting in my dark messy little room where I’m free to experiment and change my mind when I want to, so I need you who intend to read through the boring stuff below to have a really imaginative mind.
I wanted a birdcage veil instead of the standard veil because I feel it fits my theme better and I can never imagine myself behind one of those long veils. I got a 12 inch width English veiling (Ivory) from pocketsaurus@Etsy and am extremely happy with it. I also followed closely the tutorial by Mary Ann with slight variations to customise my own gigantic head. Previously I got a 9 inch veiling but that does not even come close to covering my forehead. I wanted one that goes just slightly below one eye and the 12 inch is doing that just great.
In her tutorial you will see that she cut the veil 30 inches in length. I made the fatal mistake of cutting the veil too short the first time round and when that’s done, there’s no salvaging it unless you want that peek-a-boo style behind your fascinator. Personally, that first one was sitting a bit awkward on my head. So I got a 2nd piece and cut it a bit longer than 30 inches, given my big head. Basically, the longer it is, the puffier it’s going to be when you scrunch the edges together. If it’s too much for you, just trim off the extra length.
Mary Ann used a comb in her tutorial which she sew on by one of the corner of the nice edge first so that if there is any necessary changes you can still easily trim the other edge off. Instead of using a comb, I sewed mine onto a clip, which I feel is easier to put on and remove since for our traditional tea ceremony, I didn’t want the veil on, choosing instead to have it later in the evening for our solemnization.
In fact, my hair fascinator and birdcage veil were made separately because I wanted the versatility to change my look. After we were done with the solemnization, I pinned my birdcage veil in a slightly different manner so that it appeared shorter than it really is and not covering my face. You can probably tell better if you’d seen my night shots that the veil was still there, but less obvious. So hey! That’s 3 different looks there without a makeup artist!
2 looks 1 accessory. Left: during the tea ceremony only the hair fascinator was used. Right: birdcage veil was pinned under the same fascinator, though now it was inverted, instead of having the sparkly bits in front, it's now toward the back of my head, leaving the long ostrich fringe trim just slightly brushing on my forehead.
gemstones were added to the nice edge of the bircage veil. I spaced them apart so that they are not overwhelming nor heavy enough to cast weird shadows on my face. Who don't like a little glitter!
To make the birdcage veil fit better, my makeup artist taught me to use bobby pins to pin the naughty parts down before clipping the hair fascinator over to hide them. It’s really easier than it sounds because I was able to do that all by myself before the ceremony with a puny mirror.
my crash course to learn how to put on my DIY birdcage veil by myself later before the wedding ceremony
To make the hair fascinator, I first cut out the felt base where I would be pasting, sewing and other unorthodox methods of attaching my feathers, pearls and gemstones on. Depending on the shape you want your fascinator, say if it’s a flower, you may want to cut a circle, if it’s a tiara-like band, you may want a rectangular-shaped base. I wanted a fan-shaped one, but instead of cutting the felt out like a fan, I cut it out in a heart shape, just because.
Once you decided the shape that you need for your base, cut 2 identical ones out from felt. You really want to have a colour of the felt one that is similar to the colour of the fascinator you would be making. However if you have dark hair like me and your fascinator is going to be a dark-coloured one, then a black felt is perfectly fine.
First, display the ornaments (feathers, flowers, beads, crystals, lace.. the sky’s the limit!) you want onto the felt base.
Once you’re happy with your arrangements, start attaching them to your felt base. Personally, I first glued the feathers down (I used my trusty white craft glue, but really, you need a hot glue gun), made some simple stitches as insurance onto the glued feathers and covered them up with the lace pattern which i also glued onto the feathers. Next I sewed on all the pearls and stuff onto of the existing layers. These add as triple insurance that things don’t start falling out. Along the way, you will realise that, hey i need more feathers here or there’s a gap that needs touching up, no need to fret. The whole project’s not ruined as long as you don’t throw your hands up and declare it. If you need some touch-ups/cover-ups, this is the stage to do so. As long as they are done on this layer of felt which will be concealed. If you seen the back of my felt base, you would had seen a messy lot of knots and a lot of threads zig-zagging across the whole felt. Once we are done with that, roll the clip/comb up with some fabric or ribbons and tighten them with stitches and glue. Sew the fabric side of the clip onto the second piece of felt so that the ugly knots and stitches are hidden. Apply a mixture of fabric hardener and glue over the back of the warzone created on the first felt base. Press the two piece of felt together, with the ugly sides facing inward toward each other. Wait to dry. The next step is optional, but I like my stuff to last longer so I’ll just do a simple stitch around the felts, just in case. ( see picture above)
And that’s really all there is to it… at least from my end! Feel free to post any questions or comments if I had neglected anything, thanks for popping by today!
love and lotsa bunny hugs for this chinese new year,