Back in the summer after seeing that remarkable embroidered veil which was worn by Meghan Markle, I knew it was time to digitise some unique designs for veil embroidery. The Rachel Kathryn Bridal collection is named after my eldest daughter. Some designs really lose their depth and detail when they are stitched out in just one colour. The collection has been created to keep the details of this distinct embroidery using various white and ivory threads, and successfully on sheer fabrics.
The veil that I embroidered is featured in the current issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery which was published today.
For these designs I have chosen a hint of colour as well as the subtle shades of white, ivory and cream so the beauty of the embroidery is clearer when photographed. If you stitch out them out in one colour some of the depth would be lost, so I suggest using several very similar shades as I have done. Substitute the more distinct colours with some of the other colours listed below, or if embroidering for a wedding you may like to pick out the colours used for the flowers or bridesmaid’s dresses.
I have used the following Sulky Rayon colours for my collection:
- 1071 Off white
- 1002 Soft white
- 520 Bone
- 1127 Medium ecru
- 1082 Ecru
- 1213 Taupe
- 1808 Velvet slipper
- 1820 Fruit shake
- 1063 Pale yellow green
However the "red" colours listed above can be changed to other pastel colours:
- 1001 Bright white
- 1086 Pale sea foam
- 508 Sand
- 1218 Silver grey
- 1077 Jade tint
- 1325 Whisper grey
- 1022 Cream
- 1801 Flesh
- 1082 Ecru
Lay your threads out and see how subtle the difference is between the whites and ivories. I love some of the pale greens available, which are almost white. Try to use at least four different threads, and the overall effect will be much better. When embroidering something as special as a veil and including monograms a little testing is crucial. As well as testing the embroidery I suggest that you wash out, dry and press your samples, so the process is familiar when you create the actual project. I have tried using heat away stabilisers in the past when I was making veils but I never liked the results.
Embroidering on sheer fabrics can be daunting but not with these designs which have been especially digitised to easily embroider out on tulle, so they are perfect for bridal veils. Remember when designing a veil the overall shape of the embroidery is important. A heavily embroidered veil is not appropriate for a heavily embellished wedding gown which is why Meghan's veil worked so perfectly. During the wedding ceremony the bride has her back to everybody and so the overall look is very important. Perfectly positioned embroidery can complete her outfit and the inclusion of monograms adds a personal touch.
"It is important to note that when embroidering on sheer fabrics that the embroidery is not quite so even as the fabric is not dense enough to hold every stitch exactly."
Use a good quality wash away stabiliser when embroidering on tulle and other sheer fabrics. I used one layer of Floriani Wet N Gone, hooping both the sheer fabric and stabiliser. It may be useful to trim all the jump stitches underneath as you go but certainly before you wash out the stabiliser. When just the lower edge of a veil is embroidered, I place the finished veil in the shower washing away all the stabiliser. Obviously if you have embroidered all over, the whole veil will need to be washed carefully by hand. Any traces of stabiliser can make the veil sticky or give it shiny patches. I used to hang my veils up in the garden to drip dry! Try to keep creasing to a minimum and be careful when pressing it afterwards as too hot an iron will melt the tulle.
Veils are notoriously difficult to photograph, as you can see! I did the embroidery before gathering the head, and also before finishing off the edge. As there was plenty of embroidery around the edge of the veil, I opted for just a cut edging. There is nothing worse than a heavy edging that stands out in the wedding day photos and spoils the overall effect of lightness. I was very sad that when Meghan, the Countess of Sussex got married earlier this year we were not able to immediately see all the lovely detail on her silk veil which had been painstakingly embroidered by hand to represent the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, taking 500 hours of embroidery using silk threads. The edging on her veil comprised of delicate scroll work and the embroiderers had to wash their hands every 30 minutes during the process. However if you search online using the phrase "Meghan veil detail" and then select images, you will find close ups, but they are all copyrighted so I cannot share them here.
The first two sets in the Rachel Kathryn collection have been released today and there are two freebies to download.
Happy New year and embroidering in 2019 from Hazel