I took a number of photos while making the wig, so I thought I would share them as a post.
This wig was made following the 1770’s Pouf tutorial at Demode Couture. It was a great tutorial and really explained things well. The portrait I was trying to imitate was this one:
I started with a “Grandma” wig from Lacey Wigs.
I sewed 2 toupee clips into the front of the wig to help hold it in place on my head. Then I attached the wig to my hair styling mannequin head using T-pins after measuring the head dimension and making sure it was close to mine. I spread the hair all around to try to even it out in the front and back.
Then I made a cage out of floral wire and stitched it to the top of the wig using a curved needle. A curved needle is hugely important, because it makes things go much faster. Then I put a loofah in the top of the wire cage and wrapped some tulle around it. I put the loofah in to smooth over the top and to have something solid on top to pin into. The end result looked like this:
Then I started taking sections of hair and ratting them and pinning them at the top. I left a little bit hanging all around to smooth over the top. I liberally applied Aqua Net about every 5 seconds. It was a little strange buying Aqua Net after 20+ years…. I put in lots of bobby pins and in the beginning I overlapped them.
Then I started smoothing the remaining hair up over the ratted sections.
I realized very quickly that while there was a lot of hair in this wig, there was considerably less in the back than I have seen on most other wigs. There also wound up being a gap over the ears.
Because of the gap over the ears I wound up taking some loose hair I had purchased (in more of a black and grey color from Variety Beauty for about $.88) and sewing through the middle of it with my sewing machine, making some wefts. I sewed the wefts in place over the ears and smoothed the top part of the wefts up onto the top of the head. I took the bottom part of the wefts and put them in curlers. Then I hit them with the steam iron until they were too hot to touch. When they cooled down, I took them out and pinned them into place to cover the rest of the empty spot over the ears.
I took some additional loose hair and made some more curls by wrapping it around a dowel and hitting it with steam, and wrapping them around curlers. It was taking much longer than I really wanted to take to make the wig, so I resorted to scavenging from other hair pieces. I had an old Southern Belle Attachment from Lacey Wigs that was beyond using anymore and took the large curls from that. I took shiny tight curls from a bunch of loose curls I had also bought from Lacey and cut them into manageable sections and clipped/pinned them into place to cover the back. The end result was rather colorful.
At this point the wig was essentially done. I took it into my garage (where I had a spray painting station set up) and proceeded to spray the crap out of it with silver colored Krylon paint for plastic. It blended most of the colors together and made the wig look powdered. I missed the very bottom of the wig, so it still had some red showing through.
I trimmed any loose pieces hanging about. I also sprayed some long sections of loose curls to attach as love locks. They wound up with a more mixed appearance that I really liked. After they dried I sewed toupee clips to them in order to attach them to the wig.
After everything dried I re-pinned some curls and gave the entire thing a good going over with Aqua Net. I transported the wig to the Con by packing it in it’s own box wrapped in tissue paper. I included a foam head for the wig to sit on at Con.
When I arrived at Con I set the wig onto the foam head and attached the hat via ribbons and alligator clips. Then I attached the pearls to the front and back of the wig with open bobby pins that I crossed with regular bobby pins periodically for stability.
The wig wound up rather larger than the photo displayed it, but it helped me to play up the ridiculousness of the outfit. Because it really does look rather like a cake.
The wig was surprisingly light on my head. My neck got a little tired of holding it up, but the worst thing about it was all the pins I used to hold it on. I had two French braids on either side of my head that were pinned at the nape of my neck, and this held the bottom of the wig in place. The toupee clips and bobby pins had it very secure. I was able to dance and bend over somewhat without feeling like it was going to fall off. It did take another person to help get it off my head at the end of the night, but it really felt comfortable otherwise. I do advise sitting in a chair against a wall if possible, as you can rest the wig there and give your neck a bit of a rest.
It was a lot of fun to wear with the entire outfit and I really want to make more. Maybe not quite so tall, though.