Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Santa Chronicles: Part Three

Whew! Santa has a mustache, eyebrows, and a body with arms attached. His mittens are done, so what's next?

While I continued to ponder how he would be attached to a base, I decided to attempt wig making, using the curly mohair I had used for eyebrows and mustache. But, I didn't know where to start so I looked online for some basic directions—and then modified them as I went along. First, I watched a video tutorial online at It was quite good. This site has lots of free tutorials on dollmaking. Another site with excellent wig making visuals is I didn't find this until after I made my wig, but the directions are quite similar to those I found first. In a nutshell, this is what I did:

1. Covered the head with plastic wrap and secured with a rubber band under Santa's chin.

2. Wrapped the head with a lightweight mesh-like fabric and secured it with a rubber band.

3. Drew the desired hairline on the fabric.

4. Coated the fabric with Tacky white fabric glue, using a small sponge paintbrush and allowed it to dry thoroughly overnight. The results feel a little rubbery and have a slightly opaque white appearance.

5. Peeled the wig away and checked to make sure it was totally dry. It was and felt a bit "rubbery." (If still damp, allow to dry thoroughly.)

6. Trimmed away the excess glue-coated fabric along the drawn hairline and then replaced the wig cap on Santa's head, over the plastic wrap. Since it didn't fit snugly, I pinned in a couple of "darts," then removed the cap and stitched them on the sewing machine before replacing it

7. Beginning in the back at the lower edge of the cap, I added small clumps of mohair and glued them in place with the tacky glue. I continued adding clumps in rows around the head from the center back to the sides. The top and front of the wig were tricky—I had to play with the positioning and the info on the video tutorial was particularly helpful. You just have to play with the clump positioning until you get it right. Allow to dry thoroutly and the wig is done! All in all, I was really pleased with the results. The first photo is shot from the inside of the finished wig, the second is a closeup of the interior, and the third is the finished wig from the right side.

For step 7, I actually grasped small clumps of mohair, which had been shorn from the goat, looked for the cut end and fluffed the strands a bit from the cut end down. Then I grouped several small clumps together and stitched them together just below the cut ends, backstitching twice (see the photo). Then I glued the stitched end to the wig cap, beginning at the back and working to the sides, following the hairline.

Next, for the beard. I couldn't find any online help, but having made a beard for the small Santa discussed in Part One, I improvised. I simply cut a piece of the same fabric I used for the wig cap, shaping it to fit under Santa's mouth over his chin and then up to the bottom of his ears. (You may need to shape it with a dart so it will fit smoothly, as I did.) It wasn't very wide—maybe an inch at most, but there was room for attaching 2 or 3 rows of mohair clumps. I was able to position and stitch the clumps in place since the fabric wasn't covered with glue like the wig cap was. I started with clumps at the lower edge of the fabric shape. For the uppermost row, I allowed about 1/2" of the mohair to extend above the edge, then flipped it to the back and glued the ends in place.

Here's Santa with his finished wig—but it's not yet attached. I waited to attach both the wig and the beard until the clothes were made and attached. Otherwise, it would have been in the way of my work!

And here's a close-up so you can see his eyelashes. 

To be continued!

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