Friday, March 23, 2012

Redesigning a wig

I haven’t styled too many wigs during my cosplay career. Years ago I somehow came to a conclusion that it was difficult, messy and altogether a long process. It became something I consciously avoided…until recently. After styling two wigs in one week with major style change, I can finally trash my prejudices. It’s not hard and it doesn’t take hours after hours. All that is required is some clean table space and patience. Maybe that is the trick; I might have become more patient. 

First thing was to raid our closet, which somehow has been invaded by costumes and other supplies. I grabbed one of my many second-hand wigs. (Greetings to all the Finnish cosplayers who kindly pass on their old wigs at Aniki!) The wig is nice quality, but pretty thin on the back like some long wigs tend to be. In my case it wasn’t a problem since I was making a short one. I tied the fibers on a ponytail and cut it off to be used as thickening wefts. Since I had still some burgundy fibers left, I mixed them in as highlights.
The wefts I made by sewing the fibers on black iron-on interfacing. I hand stitched the wefts on the wig; five rows on the back and four overlapping ones on the front. With that amount I was able to hide the base web, which was ivory. I repeat, ivory on dark purple wig. Someone’s brain has seriously farted.

The back flips and the small top crest I shaped using hairspray and a blow dryer. Following is the process in pictures. I apologize about the varying quality of the photos. I only had my old digital camera with me. But then again you can follow the day turn to night and to the next morning.

Wig in its original length.

Roughtly cut and wefts added on the back.

More wefts and styling started with feathering the ends.

First back flip in making.

Back done.
Shaping the top crest.
Styling complete.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Well, I didn’t finish the red wig… But I might as well reveal that the costumes we are certainly going to make this year are female trolls from World of Warcraft. They weren’t mentioned in the post where I revolved around costume plans for this year. To be frank, I might as well delete the whole post because the content isn’t anyhow correct anymore. It seems that I’m at work for whole holiday season. So it's no for going to conventions or at least for two days, which means no competitions as they usually are held at Saturdays.

You’d think that I would be a wreck, but I’m not! I’m too excited about our trolls. They are going to be our characters for Tracon’s show competition, if that kind of contest is part of the repertory. Plans changed also on that front, because our original plan was to use characters from Star Wars universe. Not a bad switch, I’d say. Wow characters are certainly more familiar to the audience in roleplay/anime convention and show class gives nice freedom with the costume design and construction.

The construction part offers again new methods and materials. We are going to take our time and hopefully get the costumes in presentable stage in the summer. What I’ve noticed with some Wow cosplayers, the costumes are never really finished. They just keep upgrading, like in the game.

The red wig I presented in the previous entry was mine. Thanks to a nice flow I got going on yesterday evening, Yoki’s wig was finished just few hours ago. As my high tail up-do reached over my shoulders, I decided to make Yoki’s wig short.

It still needs some trimming and styling on the sides, but it has to wait because for that I need Yoki's head. The bone necklace is also something I made yesterday from leftover Das clay. The feathers were the result of an experimental dyeing process with disinfectant... Weird.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blended wefts and high ponytail

I didn’t remember that making wefts was so easy! I really surprised myself with them and with my old wig, which actually has been featured in our blog. Here is the link to my previous post. In short, we dropped the costumes I had planned the wig for. Over a year and a half ago I just shoved the wig into my closet and almost forgot all about it. Until this morning that is, when I looked it up thrilled and motivated to re-style it. I got free day from work and because we had discussed about our costume plans with Yoki last weekend, I decided to start on that front. And this is what I got done today.

Oh, a shovel!

I’m really, really pleased with the wig. I made some blended wefts from the long ponytail I had cut off the wig mixed with burgundy red fibers, also remnants from last decade. I’m not going to write about making wefts, there is many tutorials about them in the web, but I’m going to give a hint to those who find tulle hard to work with. Use iron-on interfacing. Stitch the fibers on the glue side and when you have trimmed the excess carefully iron the interfacing between a piece pattern paper. I fried few fibers, luckily they aren’t visible.

Wefts on base before cutting...

...and after.

Next to making and sewing wefts, I cut the wig so that the extensions blend in. I feathered the wig quite heavily, but made it look chunky, like if it had been cut with a knife. Almost nothing went to waste; what I had cut, I rolled and teased into dreadlocks, which I then attached right back where they came from. The bangs keep their shape thanks to hairspray.

I still need to attach the ponytail properly. When I’ve done that, I will come back and possibly reveal what costume I’m actually making.