We are getting bees again this week. My husband has had hives of bees before, but since we moved we haven't had bees. . .now that we're getting some, I want to be able to take an active part with them as well! He has a bee suit, but I decided that I would like something of my own to work with him. Looking online, the prices for bee jackets are pretty pricey, the lowest being a little above $50. Well, that does not fit into our budget :) so I googled patterns or homemade bee veil and didn't have luck in finding any good ideas. SO -- I took a look at a few bee jackets and made one for myself!
Here it is!
AND you know what? It cost less than $10 and was pretty easy to make! Here is a little explanation of the parts of it so you can make one for yourself!!
First of all I bought two extra large men's white button-down shirts from Goodwill, washed them, and then put them both on at the same time so the parts were all lined up. I sewed up the button placket to within a few buttons from the top (so that I can pull it on over my head still) and back down the other side, sewing the shirts together and closing up the "between buttons" gaps so no little buzzy friends can crawl inside.
Next I found a wide-brimmed hat with a stiff brim all around. I cut a piece of an old white sheet to follow the brim (actually two of the same shape/size)
I stitched that white fabric together in the center of the oval and then made a little casing for elastic right up there at the center. I cut a piece of thin elastic to fit the crown of the hat and inserted that into the casing. This will ensure that the veil sits tight on the hat, without openings.
I folded in the lower edges of the white fabric to make a nice finished edge and then cut the netting.
I took the netting that I had bought at the fabric store and measured around the brim of the hat and also put the hat and shirt(s) on and measured how long I'd like the netting to be. (it was 13 inches for mine). I cut a rectangle with the length being the measurement around the brim and the height being the, well, the height :) I cut a little strip of fabric out of the white sheet fabric and used that to stitch together with the ends of the netting to form a cylinder shape (the sheeting was to give a little more strength/stability.
The netting was then placed with the top edge between the layers of the crown fabric and stitched down with a zigzag stitch to secure it. I then stitched a bias tape strip onto the lower edge of the netting, for ease of working with it and for stability.
Here's a picture that shows the back of the netting and the bias tape on the lower edge:
Next I cut a strip of white sheet fabric that was shaped like this: with the long edge measuring the length from shoulder to shoulder along the bias tape edge. I stitched this onto the bias tape edge of the front of the veil and then put it all on and pinned the white fabric to the front of the shirt where it belongs and the bias tape edge to the back of the shirt in position (well, I had to have my daughter pin it on the back for me!) Then I carefully took it off and stitched the veil to the shirt by stitching along the bias tape on the back section and along the lower edges of the white fabric section.
Here's what THAT looked like:
To finish it up, I made casings and inserted elastic at the wrists and waistband, nice and tight so that no little bees can find entry there :)
So! What do you think? Pretty easy way to save some $ and it's just as thick as my husband's bee suit. Should work well!
Here are the materials used:
2 men's white button-down shirts, large enough to slip on over your head while buttoned up
1 large-brimmed hat with a nice stiff brim
netting for the veil (I used netting from the fabric store, the kind you'd use to make a petticoat)
narrow elastic for around the hat crown and both your wrists
wider elastic for the waistband
old scrap white sheet (or other white fabric)
and of course stuff like sewing machine, pins, thread, needle, scissors, etc.