I made this picture for a Swedish medieval sewing group on facebook that I am in and thought that I can just as well share it with you to.

The question was “how does different shaped veils look from behind”

And of course the shape differs depending on shape, size and draping of the veil, but here are some simple styles pinned to a St. Birgittas cap with measurements for the veils. My favourite is the half circle.

Veil shapes

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Wearing my veil - 1
I thought thought that I would share with you how I put on my veil and wimple, my modern me have short hair, bangs and piercings, very non medieval of me.

Wearing my veil - 2
I start of by braiding the front part of my hair, I try to pull the braids forward a bit, that makes them look better later on.

Wearing my veil - 3
One braid on each side, at my temples.

Wearing my veil - 4
The last hair I pull back, as you can see there is not really that much hair, I wish I had long hair, but I am far to lazy to wait for it to grow out so I crop my hair every autumn, so in summer it is slightly longer than in these pictures.

Wearing my veil - 5
Then it is time for the St. Birgitta’s cap, this is the best thing ever as you use it to pin everything on.

Wearing my veil - 6
Stuff the bangs inside.

Wearing my veil - 7
The St. Birgitta’s cap have long ties that you cross in the back.

Wearing my veil - 8
And then cross in the front and put over the back of your head.

Wearing my veil - 9
When I wear my St. Birgitta’s cap in the way that it sits best on my head, I feel that it sits to far back on the head to look good with my frilled veils. So I have finished of a piece of linen fabric with the dimensions 44*8 cm.

Wearing my veil - 10
I make a small pleat in each end.

Wearing my veil - 11
Then I pin it to my cap.

Wearing my veil - 12
Here you see that I have pulled the braids to the front, this makes sure that they are visible when the wimple comes on.

Wearing my veil - 13
Then I take my wimple, it is 115*50 cm and is hemmed with a thin double folded hem.

Wearing my veil - 14
I put the wimple under my chin.

Wearing my veil - 15
I pin it onto my St. Birgitta’s cap, not on top of my head but a bit to the back of my head and I pull it tightly around my chin. I usually have to make it tighter during the day as the linen stretches a bit with the moist and heat from my body.

Wearing my veil - 16
I fix the back so that it hangs nicely, I sometimes put a pin there especially when it is a windy day.

Wearing my veil - 17
I put some pins in the neckline to, to keep it in place.

Wearing my veil - 18
I put them in like this.

Wearing my veil - 19
It makes the pins almost invisible, the only thing visible is a small dot and you can see in the circle.

Wearing my veil - 20
Then I put the braids inside the wimple and put a pin through the braid to keep it in place.

Wearing my veil - 21
Like this.

Wearing my veil - 22
Then I pull out the pretty pins. I always loose my pins that are in my wimple and neckline so there I use ordinary pins and they are never visible. But for the visible pins I use these nice ones from Medeltidsmode.

Wearing my veil - 23
Then I take my veil, It is a full circle veil that is 91 cm in diameter, I folded in 25 cm and then I have attached my simple frilled veil to it.

Wearing my veil - 24
I put the veil on my head.

Wearing my veil - 25
Adjust it to sit nicely.

Wearing my veil - 26
Then I put a pin on top of my head, making sure to catch all the layers including the St. Birgitta’s cap.

Wearing my veil - 27
Then I pin the veil to the wimple.

Wearing my veil - 28
Like this.

Wearing my veil - 29
The pin on top of my head.

Wearing my veil - 30
And that is it, I remove my lip piercing and the transformation is finished, now there is no bangs, no piercings visible and the short hair looks like trendy braids.

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.

Starched frilled veil - 8
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.

Starched frilled veil - 13
And then fasten the frill with small stitches again.

Starched frilled veil - 14
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.

Starched frilled veil - 19
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.

Starched frilled veil - 25
Now it is done and time to starch.

Starched frilled veil - 26
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.

Starched frilled veil - 27
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.

Starched frilled veil - 29
Sometimes the dowel pins stick to the fabric and you have to use some force to remove them. Look how crisp it has become.

Starched frilled veil - 30
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.