Monday, November 3, 2014

The George Washington Wig

For our school's Book Character Parade, The Third Grader had to choose a historical figure that would also work for his grade level book report project.  The parade was on Halloween (oh yes, costumes aligned with the curriculum), so the ensemble would also have to last all day long and still be in good enough shape for trick-or-treating in the evening.

He chose the Father of our Nation, President George Washington.  Because we didn't want to rely on a purchased costume ordered from who-knows-where, AND we wanted The Third Grader to be able to use most, if not all of the pieces again, we avoided thrift stores and hit the clearance racks at Target and Walmart.

We spent:

$6 for the oversized denim button down collar shirt
$7 for dark blue sweatpants
$12 for black house slippers
$6 for a white knit cap
$2 for one bag of winter "snow" (batting)

He already owned the white tube socks and I had the grosgrain ribbon, white felt, and sewing thread and needles in my craft room.



He has jammie pants and slippers he can use now, and an oversized shirt that he can grow into, instead of a one or two-time use costume.

How did I make the wig?  


First, I cut the plastic visor out of the cap.


... and carefully cut off the knit visor covering, leaving the cap with headband:


Unrolling the "snow" carefully, I had The Third Grader hold it in place on his cap-covered head.


 We pulled the sides back, pinning them in place, and cut off the excess.



Trying to figure out how long the "snow" would have to hang in the back to make the ponytail look right, I took a length of black grosgrain ribbon and tied it in several spots until we found just the right location:



 Wanting to add low curls to the sides, I rolled single layers of the batting and pinned them in place.




After I carefully removed the hat with pinned batting from his head, The Third Grader was THRILLED to have time to practice reciting his speech.  

See the cap?



I hand stitched the batting onto the knit cap with embroidery floss:


The knit cap was extremely easy to sew through, so I was glad we had nixed the search for a white baseball or canvas cap.


 During the final fitting, we decided to give the ponytail a tapered look, by gathering the ends together and tying them tightly with white embroidery floss:




Ta da!

All in all, the creation of the wig took me an hour from start to finish, and thankfully lasted all day, and all trick-or-treating long.


For the ruffled collar, I scalloped the edges of pieces of felt, and then sewed them together across the top.  I attached a button to the back extension of the collar, and cut a slit in the opposite side.  The rectangular piece of felt was tucked under the denim shirt and the scalloped edges were fluffed out over the top.



 What kinds of costumes did you create in October?

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