Here is our quick tutorial to make mantillas for both a mini doll (about 6′ tall) and a full sized American Girl. Cowgirl made a few different versions but these were her favorites. They are very simple and a good activity to practice stitches. I had planned on going out to the fabric store to buy new lace for this, but then I did a little budget audit and discovered that although there is still plenty of month left, I’ve come to the end of my spending money. So, this is a make-do projects. Below are two versions that Cowgirl created using supplies we already had. At the end I have dimensions for if you wish to make a traditional triangular veil for either doll. Thanks.
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This is actually my favorite out of what she made. It is a very simple design but very cute. it could make a very nice first communion veil for the doll if you made a little white dress. This could easily be adapted to make a veil for the full-sized doll. I will put changes in length for that at the end of this.
We found some very pretty 3.5″ wide, gathered, white lace. Cut a 4″ long piece of lace. This is big enough for a beautiful veil but it is difficult to get it to stay on the little doll’s head. So we decided to incorporate a ribbon that is then tied under the doll’s hair.
Using 1/4″ wide pink ribbon, Cowgirl made a tie down for the veil. She cut a 9″ piece of ribbon, then found the middle of the lace and ribbon. She placed a straight pin at a right angle matching the center of both items together. She then stitched the ribbon, starting one inch to the left of the center and stopping one inch to the right of the center. This was enough to hold the veil down for the crown of the doll’s head but still let it flow freely.
I apologize that I only have after pictures, there where just too many things going on while she was doing this. She really did it all by herself, just checking in periodically to let me know what measurements and materials she used.
To adapt this to a full-sized doll, use 6″ wide lace and 1/2 inch wide ribbon. The veil will be shorter but you could add a layer of lace to the bottom as a trim to make it longer. Cut a 14″ long piece of lace and 24″ long piece of ribbon. Find the middle as above and begin stitching from 3″ left of the center to 3″ right of the center. Voila, veil!
Full-sized Doll Veil
This is a layered veil that gives the effect of tiering. I think that a tie down would be advantageous on this veil as well, but it does stay on the doll without it. You could also use mini-clips like this that can be found at a local pharmacy, department store, etc. (Our are apparently missing, so we couldn’t demonstrate how perfectly they would work 😉 This was Cowgirl’s favorite creation.
Using 3 1/2″ flat lace, cut the following lengthes 15 1/4″, 12″, and 8 1/4″. The tiers were then pinned to each other with the scalloped edge placed over the straight edge of the lower level. Cowgirl then carefully stitched little stitches using the tiny holes along the scalloped edge as a guide.
That’s it, simple enough!
Triangular Veil Pattern
This is my pattern that I planned on making until I asked Cowgirl for assistance finding lace and tulle because I realized shopping was not on the agenda. Her creative juices started flowing and well it was a good afternoon project. She is now wondering if she could sell doll-sized veils on Cathswap or etsy. Anyway, on a piece of thin paper such as tracing or tissue paper (newspaper works as well as long as you are careful not to get the newsprint on your hands.) For a mini doll, draw a triangle with a top side of 4″ and two other sides of 3″ each. A full-sized doll would require a triangle with a top of 16″ and other sides of 14″. Cut out the paper triangle and pin it to your chosen fabric, with sharp scissors cut out your veil. I would use a polyester lace for this even though I prefer cotton, because it is less likely to unravel and can easily be sealed. Simply run a lighter briskly along the edges of the veil and the polyester will melt just enough to seal the seams. You could alternatively stitch on a small trim to finish the edges as well.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment box. I will be back next week with more of this series. Thanks.