Apologies for the delay in the rest of this tutorial! Life was happening in abundance these past weeks. But the wig IS now completely finished! I’ll catch up first with pics taken a while ago, and then we can marvel at the shinies and the end result, which I wore on Saturday at the Up In The Aether Steampunk Convention in Dearborn, Michigan.
At this stage, I removed the braid that had been pinned around the crown, as I wasn’t sure I liked it there. This sort of waffling is a great reason to get a styrofoam head and some long hatpins. Play with all the pieces till you get what you like. I started adding shorter curls to the sides (these were 15 chain stitches long to start, rather than the 50 stitches I’d used for the longest curls.)
You can see my fingertips holding the edge of the styrofoam head – the wig is getting HEAVY, and you’ll need to secure the form as you work. My form had a small ledge where my fingers are; I often used a stack of books to keep it from falling over.
You can also see that the swept-up hair is starting to get messy. It’s easy to catch it on something and pull a strand loose. After pondering that, I decided to put the braid back on, as it gave definition AND helped anchor the hair it laid over.
And that’s where the in-progress pictures end. Moving ahead, you’ll be looking at the final wig. I’ll describe all the finishing touches (and mention my mistakes) so we can all learn together!
These pictures are of Yours Truly outside the Double Tree in Dearborn, taking some fresh air during the con. So, let’s talk about the bangs. They were added to help hide the edge of my hairline. I’m not totally happy with them, but I’ll tell you how they were made. I chained a starter string long enough to reach from temple to temple. The second row is the actual bangs. Chain 20, then do a single crochet in the first stitch in the first chain row. Chain 20 more, then a single crochet in the second stitch in the starter row. And so on. Basically you are making BIG loops and anchoring them to the first chain row, over and over and over till you have a lot of fringe. Sew it along the front edge and tease it down into place with your fingers. I added a second row above the first with slightly shorter chain-bangs.
Now let’s discuss making mistakes. See the band that tucks over my ear? That’s an add-on strip I crocheted and sewed all the way around the underside of the wig to extend the original cap. Remember this always and never forget. Whatever size cap you think you should make, GO BIGGER. The act of attaching all the pieces to the cap caused it to pull in on itself somewhat, so it was much shorter on the sides when I finished. That strip was an emergency add-on. So, GO BIG! And you can always turn under any excess later if you overdid it. But give yourself the wiggle room. I think I also need more curls at my ears and up to the front to disguise that. I’ll continue fiddling with it (probably until the day I die.)
Now here’s the side view! You can see the band again, and it’s clear that another handful of corkscrews would have helped hide it. Not sure what I could have done to hide my hairline better there, and would welcome suggestions. My hair was less visible inside the hotel – out in sunlight it REALLY showed.
But I did some things right, too! I love the decoration around the bun. It’s just an inexpensive bracelet from Kohl’s. It’s held together by two thin elastic bands on the inside, for ease of slipping it on a wrist – and that makes it PERFECT to slip over a bun. If you wear your real hair in a bun, it might be fun to try this trick on real hair, too! I picked up the hair-stick at the con from Jessica of Lily’s Steam Emporium. She makes beautiful things. Go visit and treat yourself to something pretty!
From the back you can see all the gold accessories much better. See how cute that hair-stick is? I added a large barrette for more sparkle, and to hide the top of some of the curls that didn’t look quite finished. From this view you can also see how I laid that braid around the crown and stitched it down firmly. This helped define the Gibson-girl effect and anchored the long strands of yarn so they were less likely to be pulled loose.
What you can’t see is the inside of the wig. I’m happy about that, cause it’s a hot mess in there. 🙂 I sewed three combs to the inside – all at the front edge so I could jam the contraption into my own hair and anchor it. One is dead center, and two are on either side, at my temples. Those worked wonderfully. I had to wrestle the wig off at the end of the day, so there was no chance of it simply falling into someone’s lap. That would have been embarrassing.
And that’s the end of this tutorial! As you can tell, I am NO expert wigmaker, though I’m a very good crocheter. I learned a lot on this project, I cursed it a few times but mostly had a great time crafting it. And I had a lot of fun wearing it, and THAT is the whole point of doing something this kooky. I call it a win!
If you ever try anything similar, I’d love to see how your project turns out!