Billis rendering

Detail showing dyed spandex

covered skullcap

chin straps were zigzag stitched down either side then whipstitched to the caps

Billis wig, prior to bangs

The strips of bangs were made by folding grass over a length of spandex, ironing it flat, then zigzag stitching the straw to the spandex.

Detail showing band strip construction

Two rows of bangs were sewn in and then trimmed.

“Beehive” rendering

poster board pattern for base of beehive

The pattern was transferred to inch-thick foam, which was cross-stitched together.

I applied a thin layer of expanding foam to the inner surface of the base for added stability.

Spray adhesive was used to loosely attach the base to the skullcap. I then hand-stitched the base to the skullcap.

After stitching the base to the skullcap, I covered the entire base in the straw-colored spandex.

The bow rigging was constructed by wiring the leaves and attaching the wire to an elastic band. The band was made to me removable in case the wig needed to be quickly restyled.

Bow rigging detail

“Dairy Queen” rendering

The base for DQ was made by layering expanding foam on top of itself atop an extra fosshape skullcap.

The fosshape skullcap was removed.

The actual skull cap was barge cemented to the foam structure.

Once completely dry, the foam was roughly sculpted to the (final) desired swirl.

4-foot lengths of grass skirt (approximately 4 inches wide) were enclosed in a straw-colored mesh “stocking.” This allowed me to more easily style the swirls and also kept stray straw from sticking out at off angles.

A heat gun was used to shrink the straw-colored mech down as much as possible after the straw was completely styled.

Straight pins were removed and replaced with U pins which were then painted to match the straw. The comic book bow was sewn to a large wire U pin and stuck into the foam.

“Lady Godiva” rendering.

Constructed much the same as the Billis wig: a center seam runs down the center of the skullcap, and the skirting is sewn around the entire perimeter of the cap.

After being sewn to the skullcap, the flowers were tacked to each other to make the arrangement look fuller.

The skirts were then braided. At the end of each braid are two removable elastic bands which attached to the actress’s wrists. This facilitated easy restyling.

“Victory Roll” rendering

The skirts were sewn down the center of the skullcap and then around the rest of the perimeter. I then stitched the straw-colored mesh down either side of the center seam and wrapped each “half” of the wig’s straw in it. This allowed me to roll the sides evenly and also provided a way to sew the finished curl in place.

Detail showing the mesh “sock”

After the rolls were tacked in place, the starfish were cemented tougher and then attached by sewing the two lower starfish to the rolls on either side of center front.

(Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2015.)



Follies Grass Skirt Wigs

Each of these wigs was build on a Fosshape base. These bases were double-layered Fosshape that was fused together under an iron. After fusing, the fosshape caps were hand-wired around the edges, including the keyhole. The caps were then covered to varying degrees (based on visibility) in straw-colored spandex, and elastic was added to the keyhole openings. All the chin straps are whipstitched to the Fosshape caps. Some of the wigs have black felt lining (Beehive and Victory Roll) for a more snug fit.

South Pacific