Starched frilled veil

The trendy thing at the moment among re-enactors seems to be the frilled veil. Everyone makes one and after my try last year with my non starched frilled veil I was very exited to make a new veil. This time I wanted to try the nice starched kind.

I first read about frilled veils over at Medieval Silkwork and it was something I had never seen before. But after knowing about them I started to see them in so many pictures. It is often like that, that you don’t see things because you don’t know what to see. This is why it is so interesting to talk to other people about how they interpret a pictures, we all see so different things in the same picture.

Here is a picture of a four layer frill.
Four layers seems popular.
Layered frills.

Then I just had to figure out the best way for me to make them. First I wanted to do the measuring and marking before the sewing, but well I ditched that for this really simple “no measuring” way.

Starched frilled veil - 1
Starched frilled veil - 2
Starched frilled veil - 3
Starched frilled veil - 4
Starched frilled veil - 5
First I cut a really really thin linen fabric into strips, I needed about 3,5 meter to make my frill that is about 80 cm finished.
The strips are 6,5cm wide before hemming. I cut them 100% straight by pulling out threads to use as guides for cutting. I also pull out a thread at 1 cm on one side, to guide me when doing the hem.
Then you sew together two strips using a really small felled seam and make a thin double folded hem. I do not hem all the way but leaves about five cm on each side of the long strip. When hemming and sewing the strips together I use silk thread.

Starched frilled veil - 6
To make the holes when starching the veil I am using wooden dowel pins, these I also use when sewing the thing, here is where the no measuring comes in. I start by putting my first dowel pin in, I put the first in the middle of the sewn together strip. It is important that the felled seam is put as you see in my picture, this way it gets almost invisible in the finished veil.

Starched frilled veil - 7
Then you add dowel pins and pin as you go along, one pin for every one dowel pin. Pull the fabric snug around the dowel pins.

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Starched frilled veil - 9
After a while you will notice that the pins are getting hard to handle, not is the time to do some sewing.

Starched frilled veil - 10
Take the dowel pins out, now you get an idea of how it will look later.

Starched frilled veil - 11
Where the pins are you are now going to sew together with some small stitches at the same place.

Starched frilled veil - 12
To go to the next pin you can go in the hem without the threads showing.

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And then fasten the frill with small stitches again.

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Work your way through all the pins.

Starched frilled veil - 15
Now it is time to make more frills. I put in three dowel pins in the frills I just sewed, this makes it easier to make the new dowel pins snug. Then you continue on, pinning and sewing until you get to the end of your strip.

Starched frilled veil - 16
As you remember you did not hem all the way out on your strip, now you put the last dowel pins in, mark with a needles and then take it apart again.

Starched frilled veil - 17
You can now cut of the excess fabric and hem the strip and the side of the strip.

Starched frilled veil - 18
Then you can sew the last stitches on this side.

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Continue on the other side of the strips in the same way, and when you need to attach the third strip you make sure that the felled seam ends up like in the picture, in the middle of the fill. To make it more invisible. And you finish of the end of the strip as you did on the other side.

Starched frilled veil - 20
Now you need to pleat the back of the frill. I do not measure at all, using the threads in the fabric and how the fabrics wants to lay you can get nice pleats anyway, and it is not deadly important that they are 100% exact and the same.

Starched frilled veil - 21
Starched frilled veil - 22
Starched frilled veil - 23
I sew my pleats down with big backstitches, hare I used a waxed linen thread, but these will not be seen so it is not important what kind of thread you use, I had the waxed linen thread already on the needle so that is the reason why I used that in stead of silk.

Starched frilled veil - 24
Then I took a strip of linen cut straight on the grain and enclosed the raw edges, just as you bind anything in a bias strip.

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Now it is done and time to starch.

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It was my first time starching anything and I decided to use a modern starch for this time. I used potato starch and water. I took 1dl cold water and whisked down 2 teaspoons of potato starch in a pot. Then I put the pot on the stove and kept whisking, it is supposed to simmer but not boil. And then with the heat it turns into slime.

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Then I applied the slime with my fingers to the fabric, generously on both sides. I let it sit for a few minutes to make the fibres soak up the starch. Then I took away the excess starch with my fingers, so slimy! Then it is time to put in your wooden dowel pins, my frilled veil took about 125 wooden dowel pins. Then you need to let it dry, I hanged it on my drying rack in the sun.

Starched frilled veil - 28
When it is completely dry you can take the pins out.

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Sometimes the dowel pins stick to the fabric and you have to use some force to remove them. Look how crisp it has become.

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One stitch broke when I took the dowel pins out, but it is only to sew it back again.

Starched frilled veil - 31
Then it is only to sew onto your favourite shape of veil, I put mine on a half circle veil of the same thin linen as the frill.

Cathrin Åhlén
And this is how it looks. The starching held up VERY well, I used it several days and at the battle of Mästerby it even held up to a light rain, I was quick to throw my open hood on but the ends of the frill was still in the rain. All I had to do when I came home was to take it of and put the dowel pins in again and to let it dry. The next day it was as crisp as when I starched it the first time.
As long as the starch is not washed away I believe that if the frills looks a bit flat you can mist it with water and put the dowel pins in and let dry, that would refresh the frills without having to re-starch it completely.

How I wear my steuchlein

I thought that I would show you how I prefer to wear my steuchlein.

wearing my steuchlein - 1
I start with putting my wulsthaube on.

wearing my steuchlein - 2
Then I throw on the steuchlein

wearing my steuchlein - 3
Oops a bit of.

wearing my steuchlein - 4
It is nice to have that star so that I know it is on straight.

wearing my steuchlein - 5
Then I tie it in the back.

wearing my steuchlein - 6
Like this.

wearing my steuchlein - 7
I throw the tail to the front to make it easy to tie it.

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Finished

wearing my steuchlein - 9
If one wanted you could always use needles here in stead, to minimize bulk.

wearing my steuchlein - 10
Then I adjust the steuchlein over the wulsthaube

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Tighten it in the back

wearing my steuchlein - 12
Hold it in place with my left hand

wearing my steuchlein - 14
The other hand twist the tail part into a tight twist.

wearing my steuchlein - 14
When you have twisted for a while, you can let go of the left hand and use it to twist, it goes faster with two hands.

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Then I put the twisted tail over my head, holding the back in place

wearing my steuchlein - 16
Like this

wearing my steuchlein - 17
The twist goes around the head.
And is tucked under itself.

wearing my steuchlein - 18
Tada! like this. At this point I usually throw my hat with ostrich feathers on.
And this is how I wear my steuchlein and here is also a sneak peak of my new 16th century German blouse

16th century German – steuchlein

As I am in the progress of making a new shirt to my 16th century German dress, I also needed a new steuchlein to wear over my wulsthaube since my old one is in raw silk just as my old shirt. And here is how I make my steuchlein complete with a pattern diagram.

steuchlein - pattern
So here is my pattern, I put the long side against the fold of the fabric and that is also the reason that my steuchlein is 150 cm long. I use the width of the fabric. In the end it is mostly like a liripipe pattern, but without the cape part.

steuchlein - cut and ready
I use a thin linen fabric from medeltidsmode.se and sew with silk thread, because I like it and I find that the linen thread I have is a bit to thick for this fabric.

steuchlein - end on tail
Start with hemming the end of the end of the tail, I cut my selvage away here, since I do not think it is that pretty and hemming with that gets so bulky. If you have nice selvage you can just ignore the hemming part and use the selvage as it is instead.

steuchlein - small running stithces
Then I sew the long seam that forms the tail part. I sew with small running stitches, using backstitch here is in my eyes just a waste of time since there is not any strain on this seam. Running stitches will work just as good.

steuchlein - scraping seams
Then I scrape the seams so that they lie flat. This is a period way of getting your seams smooth without ironing them. This is a bone tool that I use when I work with leather, but you can use whatever you like tree, bone your fingernails. I use my fingernails when I scrape my hems.

steuchlein - at tail
In the end of the tail, I fold in the raw edges and sew a bit. So that no loose threads will poke out.

steuchlein - felled seams to here
steuchlein - felled seams
Then I fell the seams. Not all the way since most of the seam allowances is in the tail part so that felling those would be a waste of time since they do not get any wear or is ever seen. The fabric is also cut slightly on bias here, so the edges will not really fray here anyway.

steuchlein - hem at bottom
Then I hem the bottom part. As you can see here, when working in linen fabric I like to pull out threads to know where my fold lines are. This ensures that the edges are 100% on straight grain.

steuchlein - double folded hem
My hems are double folded and when finished 0,5 cm wide, thin and nice.

steuchlein - pulling threads
Then it is time to hem the front of the steuchlein, I pull threads here as well, to know where to fold. I am going to hem it with a embroidery stitch, so I pull two more threads out to guide my stitches.

steuchlein - at face
Fold the front in, scrape the edge to make it flat.

steuchlein - hem at face
Here I have a single fold hem, using the selvage. Since it will not be seen and helps holding the front together. If you want to you can just hem it as it is now and then you are done.

steuchlein - herringbone stitch 1
steuchlein - herringbone stitch 2
steuchlein - herringbone stitch 3
steuchlein - herringbone stitch 4
steuchlein - herringbone stitch 5
But as my new shirt is with black embroidery I want to use the same thread on my steuchlein as well. So I decided to hem with a herringbone stitch.
So here are some pictures to explain the stitches. I sew with a thread that is slightly waxed to make it easy to sew with.
Here you can understand how it helps to pull out those threads. The embroidery is the exactly the same height all over.

steuchlein - herringbone stitch at back
On the back it looks like this.

steuchlein - hemmed front
I made a star it the centre front, to make it easier to put on right.

steuchlein - finished
steuchlein -  detail
And then you are done!

steuchlein - different ways
With this steuchlein you can make a lot of different styles very easy.