Building a Small Closure
When my friend, Leo, asked me to build a wig for his mother, I did not hesitate. His mom had just been diagnosed with cancer and would be starting chemo and radiation treatments soon. Not everyone looses their hair during cancer treatment, but there is a good chance it will happen.
Leo’s mom had just cut her hair in to an adorable bob with bangs and wanted a wig similar to that style. I wanted to find a nice, human hair wig that would match this style and not break the bank. I typically start with His and Her’s out of LA (www.hisandhers.com). With Leo’s help, we decided on Montana by Vivica A Fox
Once I received the wig, I noticed that it had a small skin top. This top added a strange bit of volume. It stood taller than any other part of the wig, which all laid sleekly to the foundation. I knew that this wig would be worn almost everyday, so I wanted it to look as natural as possible. The rest of the wig fit well .
I decided to alter the wig and add a small closure on the crown of the wig. Essentially, I was going to remove the skin top and ventilate a small section of lace in the place of it.
I like to utilize as much of the hair as possible from any skin tops I remove from wigs. I typically remove the skin tops from the foundation of wigs by seam ripping the stitches that attach the plastic to the wig foundation. I do this rather than cutting the foundation and the skin top out of the wig because I like to leave a little bit of foundation to sew the lace to. Also, if I am removing a skin top, but sewing tracks of hair rather than ventilating I like to keep the foundation as unaltered as possible. Any cuts to a wigs foundation will create a weak spot. I like to limit this as much as I can.
For this wig, I chose to lay the lace underneath the foundation. Typically, if I want the hair to lay as flat as possible I will lay the lace underneath. If I don’t mind any volume, I will lay the lace on top of the foundation. It doesn’t make much of a difference and is mainly a personal choice. Once I laid the lace, I sewed the foundation to the lace using a venti-stitch. This is the process of sewing with invisible thread and a ventilating needle. You use the tail of your knot to lead into the next knot. I like to use this process while stitching two pieces of lace together. For other sewing I usually employ a standard whip-stitch.
Once the two pieces were attached, I drew out my pattern using a pencil. The pencil lead will easily rub off and not stain the lace. I curved my sections to create a swirl at the crown. The curve will a hide the break between the sections better than straight sections. I have six sections, one for each direction or side of the hexagonal lace.
The dot in the photos represents the center of the crown rather than the center of the lace circle. The blue is painters tape to allow for contrast between the lace and wig block.
Once the closure was completely tied, I removed the wig from the block and flipped it inside out. I then sewed the lace to the foundation again. I prefer to have two rows of stitching 1/4 to 1/2 apart. I feel like this extra row helps strengthen the alteration.
From there I proceeded to the styling step in my process. I cut a few inches off the bottom of the wig, creating a shorter bob.
I hand delivered the wig to my friend, Leo, as we joined them for New Years Eve. I’m currently waiting for his mom to try it on and give me her feedback.