Did you know Kendra wrote a book? My BFF Kendra wrote an awesome book about how to style 18th-century hair & wigs, chock full of historical research & documentation. It was ready for sale at Costume College 2014, so I wanted to help promote it. I decided to wear the wig I modeled for her in the book at the CoCo Gala with my black silk francaise (coincidentally, it was draped by her).
And then it got weird … in the book, my wig had a ship in it. So how about having a miniature version of her book in it? And then miniature books as jewelry? And pages of the book as roses decorating my dress? And print the book’s table of contents as a stomacher? Yeah, I went there. Kendra, our friend Karen, & I were all wearing 18th-century gowns with wigs made by her for the Gala, so we all went with this theme.
Kendra’s husband made the books for our wigs, & I made the book jewelry. I found a great tutorial on making dollhouse miniature books (proving, yet again, that you can learn to do anything on the web). To adapt it for jewelry, I embedded eye pins in the books with E-6000 glue, adding pearls & faux crystals to glam it up a bit. The overall design was vaguely based on 18th-century styles so the jewelry would go with our outfits. Kendra sent me PDFs of the cover & a selection of interior pages so I could make the jewelry & the paper rosettes.
The stomacher was a last-minute idea & a little wonky. I used print-on-silk from Dharma Trading Co. that you run through an ink-jet printer. The stuff prints beautifully, crisp & clear, but it can go off-grain very easily when you remove the fabric from the sticky backing. It’s better for small pieces than a full 8.5″ x 11″ sheet. So it was bubbly & didn’t lay smooth when I sewed it to a silk backing; should have used more spray-baste. Ah well, it was a one-time gimmick costume, & the effect still worked.
While I’d briefly worn this wig to model it for Kendra’s book, this was my first time really wearing it. And my hair had only grown back about 2″ or 3″ — not enough to make pincurls to help secure the wig clips in. It was hanging on for dear life and hurt like a mofo, but it looked really good. Beauty is pain! And I lasted through dinner and danced to a couple of songs (even stomping to “Come on Eileen,” heh) before I finally took it off. Instantly felt fine.