How to Make Vintage Bridal Headpieces

by Andrea Hamilton

Juliet caps fit closely to the head, allowing the veil to cascade.

Digital Vision./Retrofile/Getty Images

Items you will need

  • Wide Russian netting
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • 3-inch plastic comb
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Fabric
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Tulle netting
  • Pins

If you are looking to implement the fashion and glamour of decades past into your wedding attire, consider making your own vintage-inspired headpiece. Though many styles have come and gone, one of the most recognized styles includes wide-net birdcage veils, most commonly seen from the 1940s to 1960s. Additionally, Juliet cap veils, first seen after the premier of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," were worn throughout the 1920s and 1930s. They were then revived in 1953, when Jacqueline Bouvier married John F. Kennedy.

Birdcage Veils

Step 1

Lay out the length of net veiling with the finished edge facing you. This edge has a scalloped finish, and it should not be cut throughout the veil-making process.

Step 2

Cut the netting down to an 18-inch square. Trim away the top corners to create a trapezoidal shape. The cut corners should be 3 inches from point to base.

Step 3

Tie a length of thread to one of the corners where a finished edge meets an unfinished edge. Weave the needle through the netting's unfinished edges until you reach the other finished edge.

Step 4

Pull the thread taut so that the netting gathers. Tie the thread's loose end to the netting's finished edge.

Step 5

Place the veil against the plastic comb. Ensure that the comb's teeth point up and away from the veil and sew the two together. Weave the thread through the comb's teeth and over the bridge to keep the two secure.

Juliet Cap

Step 1

Measure your head from the crown of the head to the nape of the neck. Superimpose this measurement onto your fusible interfacing and cut out a circle bearing this measurement as its diameter.

Step 2

Cut out the circle. Cut seven 2-inch slits around the outer edge, as this will allow you to shape the flat circle to your head.

Step 3

Preheat the iron. Draw the slitted portions of the fusible interfacing together, overlapping each slit by 1/2 an inch. Iron each overlapped slit to reseal it. This will give the interfacing a rounded shape so it conforms to the shape of your head.

Step 4

Cover the interfacing with fabric, trimming away the excess. Ensure that no portion of the interfacing can be seen and iron the fabric to the fusible interfacing.

Step 5

Gather the tulle so that it is the width of the Juliet cap's bottom edge. The veils on these headpieces usually span from earlobe to earlobe. Pin the veil in place and sew to secure. Trim away any excess fabric from the hemline.

Tips

  • Wear the birdcage veil by sliding the comb forward into your hairline and flip the veil over your face. If necessary, you may hold the veil in place by inserting a bobby pin into the netting.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Retrofile/Getty Images

About the Author

Andrea Hamilton has enjoyed being a writer since 1996. She has been published as a poet in "Fine Lines Magazine." Hamilton holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Iowa State University and is pursuing a Master of Arts in creative writing from London South Bank University.