I made new mantillas for Lydia and Anna as gifts for their Confirmation. As you can see, this is a medium length style that gently graces the top of the shoulders for a lovely, feminine look:
For the body of the veil I used bff white lace which I found at my local Hancocks. This is a reasonably priced lace with a soft hand and a nice drape. To figure out how much lace I needed I measured the distance from shoulder to shoulder, going over the top of the head; this measurement was approximately 36".
This lace is scalloped along the selvages (side edges) so I decided to leave the scallop intact and use that part for the front edge. The lace is 54" wide, so one yard of lace was just enough for two mantillas. I cut my yard of lace in half to make two pieces, each 36 x 27". For the trim I used a 'white daisy bow'edging, also from Hancock's, though I don't see it at their online site. I purchased 3 1/2 yards, and I used it all to make the two mantillas.
I decided it would be easier to sew the trim onto the lace first, before cutting the shape out, in order to keep things smooth and even and seeing as I didn't have a pattern. I laid out each piece of lace, right side up, on a table. Then I positioned its piece of lace trim, right side up, on top of it in an arched shape like so:
To do this I started by lining up the edges of the trim with the sides of the lace and pinning them in place. Then I lined up the center of the trim with the center of the piece of lace fabric and pinned it as well. Then I shaped the trim into a nice rounded arch and played with the positioning until it looked symmetrical. I just did this by eye until it looked right. When I was happy with the shape I pinned all of the trim in place:
As I said, I did not cut out the shape at this point - I just pinned the trim on top of the lace fabric in the proper shape. My trim is such that I just carefully cut the end between daisy motifs for a clean finish - it did not need to have the edges turned under or anything. I left everything laid flat out on the table to do the sewing so I could be sure everything stayed nice and smooth without any wrinkles or bunching. Starting at one edge, I hand stitched the trim onto the lace:
I worked on the right side, just taking very tiny overcast stitches all along the edge of my trim like so:
I kept everything on the table and just lifted up the outer edge with my left hand so I could do the sewing. It took about an hour of hand stitching to get the trim on one mantilla. When the sewing was finished I turned the piece over to trim the lace fabric. Leaving about a half inch seam allowance I carefully cut out the mantilla along the trim line. I left the veil spread out on the table so I could clearly see what I was doing as I cut it out.
I cut very slowly and carefully!
And that's it!
I also made them pouches to go along with the veils. It's very nice to have something to put the mantillas in for transport to Mass and afterwards to keep them fresh and clean. I based the pouches on the tissue pouch tutorial found here. ( I don't bother with a template or interfacing. You can also see other similar pouches I made in various sizes for my purse in this old post.) When sewing the final edges together, I just position the flaps so they overlap like an envelope rather than butting up against each other as in the directions. My finished pouches are approximately 5 1/2" x 9".
My original pieces were probably about 9 1/2" x 13" or so. I cut the pieces of outer fabric from a fat quarter I had. I like to use a satin fabric for the inside layer so the lace veil slides into the pouch easily:
And incidentally the scraps of the lace fabric - the little triangles from the corners - are just the right size to make petite tie on veils for little girls. I just trim the two sides with lace and then add a long piece of satiny seam binding along the front edge leaving long tails to use as ties. So sweet!
A special thank you to Josiah for taking the pictures for me while I was sewing. If you have any questions or anything doesn't make sense, just ask.
Updated to add: Several people commented on the little girl veil so I will show you how I made ours. They are just triangles approximately 16" on the short sides and 24" on the long side. I trimmed the two sides with an inexpensive ruffly lace as seen below - I just zig zagged it on by machine. For the front edge, I used one long piece of satiny seam binding/ribbon type stuff - about 50". I folded it in half lengthwise, pressing it with an iron. Then I zig zagged along, using the center section of the ribbon as a binding for the long edge of the lace. The lace gets encased in the fold of the ribbon - it helps to baste it onto the lace first before the machine stitching. The picture of Kateri shows one I made a few years ago - they went together very quickly and were just inexpensive lace and trim. From the looks of this close-up (stretched out, grubby) veil picture I see my littlest girls could use some new ones. (ahem)