Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Magic Hair! Simplicity 2065

The final piece of the Rapunzel ensemble is ready, so Halloween can commence. The pattern (Simplicity 2065) also included instructions for a yarn "hair" piece, which Myra has been calling her Magic Hair.
While I really thought the pattern had generally good instructions for the dress, those for the hairpiece left much to be desired. I actually wish I had taken pictures of the process so I could do a little tutorial, because anyone attempting this thing will want to pull their own hair out.
Here is the finished hairpiece. It is basically a braided loop that has been attached to a long braid. It sounds simple, and really it is, but Simplicity's directions are terse at best and inaccurate at worst. You start the process by cutting lengths of yarn to their specifications. There is only one set of measurements, despite the fact that the pattern includes sizes 3-8. The first set you are instructed to cut is for the braid that hangs down.  You are to cut 60 36 inch pieces for each braid segment, then braid them all together and tie off both ends. I found it nearly impossible to braid the segments without tangling the yarn, so I tied off each segment individually, then braided them and tied off the braid. Using scrap yarn to tie off blends nicely. The second segment, which forms the crown part, is to be 18 inch long segments. Seriously, that has to be a typo. Even for a 3 year old that is woefully inadequate, and Myra (and in fact all of my children) have HUGE heads. Instead, I used the long braid that I already had made (which was the 36 inch pieces braided) and wrapped it around her head to approximate how much yarn I would need. It overlapped by about 4 inches, so I went with 34 inch pieces of yarn, which I thought would be a bit too long, but ended up being just right. I only trimmed about an inch of tails off. Crazy. So, measure, then overestimate. Trimming is MUCH easier than redoing the whole thing.
The other complete inadequacy in these instructions is the attachment. All Simplicity has to say is "Hand sew or glue the crown portion into a circle, them attach the braid, covering the intersection with a large flower." Hand sew a bunch of yarn tails together??? I really had no idea how to go about doing that, so I didn't.
Instead, I took some scraps of jersey and overlapping the ends of the crown, tied them together with the jersey strips. I used jersey partly because I had just cut out a cardigan and it was lying around, but also because the stretch allowed me to get the ties really tight. I then laid the braid over the intersection of the crown and lashed it on with more strips of jersey. I'm really glad I paid attention at camp when I was a teen. Who knew I'd use all those knots one day?
After the braids were secured, I hot glued some of the sequin trim I used on the skirt to the bottom of the braid, then hot glued the flowers in place.
I'm glad I struggled through putting this together, because it totally makes the costume, but I hope my notes make it a little easier on some of you. I think as a finishing touch I'm going to crack open a yellow glow stick so the hair actually glows on Halloween night. Was I the only one who used to paint themselves with glow sticks as a kid? Everyone I've said that to IRL looks at me like I'm crazy, but won't it be cool if Rapunzel's hair actually glows?

19 comments:

  1. The wig looks great! I love all the flowers in it. Go for the glow...it'll be a great touch!

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  2. I LOVE this! I pinned it on my pinterest account. I hope you do not mind. You are amazing!

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  3. Thank you for the tips!!! I am making the the same costume for my daughter and I am grateful that you saved me some frustration! Yours came out beautifully, but they way:)

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  4. Your little cutie will be dressed to the Halloween nines! TFS

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  5. your children look very cute. Halloween has not caught on in Australia but my 12 year old and her friend want to try this year - I hang my head in shame - I bought her a plain mask to decorate herself !

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  6. Working on the same pattern...must finish tonight (ack!).

    I did follow their instructions and I agree - terrible. However, I am going to put Gracie's hair up in a bun and pin the hairpiece around it. I also came up with a way to attach it to itself with yarn. I'll post on my blog very soon.

    I'm currently in the middle of doing a modified version of the dress with no zipper and stretch crushed velvet for the top.

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  7. Wow, the hair turned out amazing! I'm sorry the instructions were so poor, I know the feeling with that on costume patterns lately.
    The hair really looks good though, better than on the envelope, more natural. I hope you post pictures of her from Halloween when she is wearing the whole outfit, she'll be so cute!!

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  8. Now you're making me want to go out shopping looking for a yellow glow stick. What a great idea!

    I thought the worst part of the hair instructions (other than the crappy measurements) was the picture that showed three pieces of ribbon after you fold it in half. Um, what?

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  9. The final product looks great, but what a horrible process! She looks so happy with it.

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  10. I agree! This totally makes the costume. It's perfect!

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  11. Great job! Looks like it was complicated. One of the times I'm glad I have a boy.

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  12. I think a little girl who is Rapunzel would adore glowing hair! That's a great idea!

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  13. That is soooo super cute that I am definitely not letting my daughter see this post!

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  14. I wish I'd searched for Rapunzel hair before I tried to follow the pattern! I've tried twice and failed with the head band part (and I'm a knitter, I should be good with yarn!) I was going to try with 28", but I'll go with the 34" I think. Thank you.

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  15. Just curious what you did for the flowers? I've looked at all the usual suspects craft stores and fabric stores but no flowers are to be had. Where did you find the flowers for the hair??

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  16. Just looked everywhere for flowers and was wondering where you got your flowers? Your hair looks great!

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  17. Thanks everyone! Myra loves her magic hair still and wears it all the time. I'm surprised at how well it has held up.
    @CHEF - The flowers were just inexpensive stems from Walmart. I removed the blooms from the stems and hot glued them on.

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  18. Hi ~ hoping that someone out there can help me, as see that the posts here are from 2 years ago...... I just made this gown for my 6 yr old granddaughter and now starting the braid. Wondering, is each section of braid 60 strands of yarn or is the 60 strands divided into thirds to braid? Yours, as does the picture on the envelope, looks too thick for only 60 divided to braid. Thank you for any help......

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  19. As I recall, it was 60 strands per section of the braid. I used sport weight yarn, and it worked well. One thing to watch out for is the crown section. Simplicity says to cut lengths that are far to short to go around the average kid's head. I would measure your child to be sure that the crown is big enough for her. Good luck!

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