I used a heavy cotton (it's supposed to be used for lining curtains) that I don't think I washed before making the veil (not a bad thing- you'll see why in a moment). I started with a 30" x 24" (roughly) rectangle and created four pleats at about .25" wide each along the shorter end. I used the machine to stitch each pleat down in two places.
I played with it for a while and realized that I needed to trim about 4" off the end, and taper it at the back so that I didn't end up with a lot of bulk. As I played with it, I was battling 2 issues- the fabric was stiff causing really ugly points as it tried to go over the curve of my head, and I put the pleats too far back from the front edge. So I threw it in the wash.
After pulling it out of the dryer and realizing that it wasn't as stiff, that's when I thought that I might not have washed it previously. But in washing it, the pleats developed a lovely perpendicular rippling from the stitching that I think adds a nice quality and helps them stand out more.
So, I folded back the extra on the front to bring the pleats closer to the edge. This seems to be fixing the point problem.
My hair isn't quite long enough to do the braid loops in a period fashion- I have to rely on some modern hardware- but this veil style doesn't look as good without them. I don't often show this much hair- I think that's why my husband thinks this look is sexy.
This was an insanely easy project (with the help of the sewing machine), and I'm glad I decided to go ahead and make it. Now I'll have something new to wear this weekend!