Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Taking a detour! 1880s bustle hair and hat AKA I use fake hair

A bit of a detour here. I have been working on another bustle costume for a fashion show. Since it is a day dress I knew there would be a hat involved. I used a Lynn McMasters pattern for late bustle era hats. I chose view A because it would be the quickest to make. It is meant to sit forward on the head. The hat body was easy to make. I find with hat decorating I need to drape and walk away. In doing so I can get a feel for what looks good and meh... But first, fake hair.

I used to have really long hair. Right now it is above shoulder length. So extra hair is needed. Now, even Victorian ladies who had long hair used hair pieces. Most women did not have the hair volume for many of the more fancy styles. Right now I use 2 pieces. An accordion wiglet and a fake braid. The wiglet is very curly and has 4 combs. The braid has a clip on one end.

Please bear with me as this is a somewhat quick tutorial and a bit messier than normal.
First I part my hair ear to ear. Then I pull my hair up into 2 pony tails, leaving the front free. That way the top and bottom combs have a base to hold. Shown below.

I then use a small diameter curling iron to curl the front of my hair. Since I am brushing it out I am not super picky about the curl placement. I did not do a real good job here of parting my hair ear to ear. But you get the idea.
A VERY crooked part!
Curled. Now I comb it out and divide it into 3 parts. I twist it, pin it and fluff a bit so it doesn't lay too flat.
I find it best to use second day hair. It has more body and is easier to work with. Now I will put on the wiglet. I secure the top comb above the top stubby ponytail and the bottom comb under the lower ponytail. Then I pull the wiglet wide and insert the combs at the back sides of my head. I secure with extra pins. Here is how it looks.

Now I will wrap the braid around my head in front of the wiglet. Starting at the base of my neck, up and over to the other side. I use many pins.
Now ideally I would have done a better job of parting my hair. The wiglet needs to be a bit higher as does the braid. But this was a quick go around to see how my hat would fit on my hairstyle.

Yay hat!!! I used a brand called Look of Love for my fake hair. Bought via Vogue Wigs. The color number is 6 and quite a good match for me.
Above is a picture of my hairpieces in action at a fashion show. It does a good job of creating a nice look for the bustle era.


  1. How did you make/where did you get that curly hair piece?

  2. I am interested in where you got the hair piece too...as the unknown above...