Monday, August 25, 2014

Doll Hair- Wool Locks for Monster High Dolls , Hand Dyed Now Available for SALE

Well ya'll know I am a doll hair addict, right? I write a lot of posts about doll hair and tutorials about it, and post pretty pictures of wool locks of every color. I have showed you piles of hand dyed locks. Here's more: ( because I can't help myself )

I buy tons and tons of wool locks in all colors because I like the look and feel of it. Then I started making more and more wigs for the Monster High and Ever After Dolls.  I have a surplus of hair. Yet, I can't help buying more whenever I see a new pretty color.

And because I am not satisfied with being limited to the colors available that I can find online, I have learned to dye my own locks. I just bought 15 brand new colors of Jaquard Acid Dye from Dharma Trading. A full POUND of  white Cotswold locks came in the mail the other day. I am used to buying wool locks for doll hair by the ounce, which is actually quite a LOT of hair cause it is so darned light. A POUND is a TON of hair.

This is a full POUND of Cotswold Locks

Now check these out:

These are only a small sampling of the wool locks for doll hair that I am now offering in  my Etsy shop.

If you want to purchase locks for your Monster High Dolls in amounts appropriate to the size of the doll, my bundles are for you. When you buy online from some fiber artists what you get is an unsorted clump of tangled locks. In fact, this is how most sellers offer it. As a doll artist, I have to pick the locks myself, which personally I LOVE, but I doubt most people want to do this. It is very tedious and time consuming.

So, I have already done this. All my doll hair bundles of wool locks are picked and sorted and separated and ready to use. The amounts are done not just by weight, because that can be very inaccurate. I KNOW how much hair you need for a Monster High Doll head because it's my job to know this. It's what I do. Wigs, dolls, hair.  You get an amount that will do one head with probably a little left as long as you apply it correctly.

 If you find you do not have enough hair when doing a rehair or wig with my bundles, it means you are applying too many rows, applying it too densely, or too much on the lower and back of the head. I usually use far less on my own wigs and doll's heads than I am including in these bundles, so rest assured, there is enough for ONE Monster High or similar size head and you should have some leftover.

I plan on writing a comprehensive tutorial on how to work with wool locks to make your own wigs and apply directly to the head. Hopefully I can get this done soon.

COMING SOON- Yeah- you guessed it- More HAIR STUFF.

Guess what else I am going to be offering soon??? DREADLOCKS for dolls!!!
Stay tuned !!

Friday, August 1, 2014

How to Make a Wig Cap for a Doll- My NEW Best Method Tutorial

For more than ten years I have been making wig caps for my dolls the exact same way. As a matter of fact, I have an entire giant wig cap tutorial on my website. It appears to be a very popular method as it is very easy. It involves muslin, Mod Podge and a whole lot of time to dry several coats of Mod Podge. Recently I discovered, by accident, a way I like better.

I was trying to figure out a way to make my own saran or nylon doll hair wigs. After purchasing some saran wefts on eBay I looked up wig tutorials on how to make one of these saran wigs using wefted hair for my Monster High dolls. I found some nice BJD wig tutorials that fit the bill nicely.

The tutorials I found showed that the wefted hair was either sewn or glued to a wig cap, but if I wanted to sew them, I couldn't use the same hard wig cap style I was used to making. I had to think on this. I found a pattern in my drawer that I used to make fur wigs. The pattern is from Antique Lilac and is available for download. You can view it on their website.

The pattern they offer in size 5.5 is perfect for Monster High and Ever After High dolls. So instead of cutting out the pattern on faux fur as I usually do to make a fur wig, I cut it out on heavy felt. Not flimsy lightweight felt, but heavy felt from the fabric store. These are them below, all cut out.  Felt is perfect for a wig cap because it doesn't fray and it is easy to manipulate as it is a firm fabric, not floppy and soft.

I altered the pattern from Antique Lilac a little bit to be better suited to my needs for Monster High and Ever After High doll wigs. The original pattern is 4 pieces, but I did not need to have the center section be two parts. It isn't needed for a wig cap. This is my newest wig tutorial.

Wig cap patterns cut out of heavy felt

 After you cut out the sections- one center piece that goes over the top of the head, and a right and left side, they need to be sewn together. It gets a little weird cause you are sewing a curved section to a straight section.

 Line up the middle section with one of the sides. I always start in the front and sew front to back. I do this part by hand, and then go over both sides with the sewing machine when I am done. I do this because I sell my wigs in my Etsy store and I want them to be as strong and sturdy as possible. If you are making these wigs for your own Monster High Dolls, you may not want to bother machine sewing them.

So line up the front of one side with the middle and start sewing them together. You have to manipulate the center section to fit to the curve of the side sections.

After you have sewn one side, sewn the second side to the center section. I use an overcast stitch to sew it by hand. When I go over it on my sewing machine I use a straight stitch. The reason I don't do the whole thing by machine is that it is too difficult to hold and turn around the curves.

Once you wig cap is sewn, try it on your doll for size. You may find that you need to take a little in at the back if it is too loose. I just sew a dart on the inside of the wig cap if it seems too loose. You will also want to trim around where the ears are to ensure a proper fit, but be careful not to remove too much. I find that the wig caps fit better if the ears are somewhat covered.

When the wig cap is sewn, it is inside out, so turn it the right way when you finish it up.

At this point if I was making a wig cap for a saran wefted hair wig, I would consider the cap complete.

However, most of my wigs are made from Tibetan Lamb, Mohair or other similar sheep locks. Keeping this in mind that the fibers are glued to the wig cap, a harder wig cap suits my needs better.

 So with the doll's head covered in plastic wrap, I put the wig cap on the head. I use watered down Mod Podge as a stiffening agent and paint it right on the wig cap with an old paintbrush. Make sure to wash your brush right away when you are done. I use one or two pins to keep the wig cap from shifting on my doll's head.

 After the first coat of stiffener dries in a few hours, I apply another. The next day the wig cap is ready for me to make some wigs.

The reason I like this method for making wig caps for my Monster High or Ever After High dolls is that to me it looks neater. Yes, no one sees them once the hair is on, but I like knowing it is all nice and neat nonetheless.