SugarVeil came out, I thought it was cool but all the mats were kind of tacky (just my opinion). It really did take a while for some better mats to be developed but they are expensive. I have used SugarVeil in a piping bag so that I could pipe onto parchment with a complicated pattern underneath. Once dried, I could pick it up and adhere it to the cake. I can be a real chicken when piping black icing on a white cake! The thing I don't like about SugarVeil is that it takes a while to dry and it dries out very quickly. Keep your finished pieces wrapped well in cling wrap or it will be very brittle and fall apart.
When I saw a video on Icing Inspirations about their new product, Dab, I bought six! It looked so easy, is ready immediately and they said it stayed flexible. I tried so many times but I could not get the STUFF to cooperate. It is really hard on your hands! I still don't know how to make that product work.
Now I have found Sugar Dress. It is easy to mix, I've even done it by hand. You can speed the process in the oven and it stays flexible for a long time. It is also very strong so when you take it out of the molds it stays in one piece. It's a little pricey, but so are the two mentioned above. You can find it on Amazon, so that is good for Amazon Prime members because free shipping!
The mat from this cake was purchased from All About Cake Art. "Virginia" is the name of the mat and it's $48.50
They have some pretty ones. I've also found several mats on Etsy that are much cheaper but don't always come in the sizes promised so read the reviews.