Sunday, June 4, 2006

The making of a veil, part I

This past Friday, I trekked through torrential downpours and drizzly mists, splashing through the streams and puddles of the Fashion District in search of some tulle and veil supplies. I got so wet, even with my umbrella shielding me from above. I'm not sure if it was wise to wear my platform flip flops that day b/c the lack of traction on the bottom led to some pretty scary slips (interesting how some of NYC's sidewalks are a lot more slick than others) but I think if I had been wearing sneakers, my shoes, socks, and feet would've been soaked, leading to many hours of discomfort after the first drenching (as opposed to the constant wet and dry cycle, which is a pretty gross feeling too).

I decided to take the train to 34th Street-Herald Square and walk up and across to end somewhere around 40th and 8th. My first stop was Toho Sohji, a Japanese place that sells all kinds of stuff to make jewelry, from beads to charms to feathers. I was looking for a 3" metal hair comb b/c I've heard those hold in your hair better than the plastic ones. Toho had various sizes and they also had the plain metal bands that are used to make tiaras, inspiring me to create one, if I can find the perfect design. I foolishly decided not to buy the haircomb, thinking that I'd comparison shop. When the rain let up a little, I walked up the block to M&J Trimming. They have nice lace, flowers, and ribbon all neatly displayed (as I blogged about before) but no 3" hair combs. The person helping me even told me to try Toho, but I had one other place to try so I didn't go back.

The next closest stop was B&J Fabrics, which is located in an office building, on the second floor. It's a huge, brightly lit space with lots of ppl milling about. I stopped at the front to put my umbrella in a bag and asked whether or not they had natural sparkle tulle. The guy had no idea what I meant by "natural" and I explained that I wanted something that wasn't white, not ivory, but something in between. He said it'd be best if I had a sample but all I could offer was the sample I pictured in my brain (note: not helpful to anyone). He did point me to the general area of the tulle, where I found large swatches of fancy embroidered selections (in various colors) hanging on rods, like the clearance section in the back of Old Navy. Then I saw a bin of bolts of tulle, ranging from whites to bright colors like yellow, pink, and teal. I picked up a small roll of dirty-looking tulle wrapped in brown paper (not really dirty, but that's what off-white looks like compared to bright white -- the color of my dress). I had no idea how much this was and when I walked towards the middle, a person at one of the wide tables told me the price and cut me 4 yards of the stuff. He wrote out the 'bill', rolled up the tulle and put it into a clear plastic bag. All this happened so fast, I felt quite idiotic that: 1) I forgot to look up how much material to buy for a floor-length veil and ended up asking the guy, who I think, misled me by saying 4 yards was good (I think I need less), 2) I forgot to ask whether this really was sparkle tulle or regular tulle (I have no idea what the difference is but I was told to get the sparkle variety by an acquaintance who has experience in such matters), and 3) I forgot that I had one other fabric place to check out before making a decision. And I could've sworn that the guy quoted me $1.95 a yard but when I went up front to pay, it turned out to be $2.95 a yard. Oh well. At least I was able to pay with cc and there was no tax.

My final stop was to be Daytona Trimmings, 251 W. 39th St., between 7th and 8th. Despite the good reviews that I've read of this place, I was a bit disappointed. Not only did they not have any hair combs but they were less than helpful (2 workers stood around chatting while I tried to ask them a question). The store is a bit dingy-looking too but the reviews of it are good enough that I would go back if I ever needed some trim. And if I hadn't found the tulle at B&J, I would've gone to Rosen and Chadick on 40th St., by 7th.

Today I unwrapped my tulle and hung it up in my closet so that gravity could take care of some of the wrinkles (hopefully). When the tulle is laid out and fluffed, it looks so nice and dreamy. :) Anyway, I just have to get the hair comb from Toho and then I can begin construction. Hopefully these sites will be helpful:
And some general veil info (can someone please do a Knot Bio on tiaras/headpieces?!):
I also came across these sites for craft resources in NYC (fabrics, yarn, etc.) which will be useful once I'm done w/ this wedding stuff and can do other crafts:
And just a mini-aside/update from all this veil talk.... After a crazy commute to Brooklyn after the already crazy and wet day (a lot of trains had issues b/c of the heavy and sudden downpours so the buses were packed and I ended up walking in the rain from Wall Street to Ctown, where fiance had parked his car), we checked out an apartment. Not sure if we like it enough to put in a bid but it is definitely coming down to the wire and we need a place to live!

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