I made an all-white “road warrior” costume for the 2017 Austin Carnaval Brasileiro. I’ve been “incubating” the idea for several years, and this year I finally “pulled the trigger” on it.
Since the costume is for the Carnaval, it needed to be super sexy! That means short skirt, bared midriff, spike heels, etc. However, one element of the costume that I settled on early on was a “mohawk” headpiece: nothing says “road warrior” like a fierce mohawk! This is how I made mine. (I’ll write about my costume soon.)
I used buckram for the “base” of the mohawk. The base is basically a form that sits on my head and that everything is attached to. Since I wanted to sew everything to the base, I can’t use, say, plastic. I used brim wire (“millinery wire”) at the form’s perimeter to give it the necessary stiffness. I zig zagged the brim wire to the edge of the form:
I left adding the joiner for last, so I’d know exactly what length the wire needed to be.
I wanted the “body” of the mohawk to be of the same white sequined lace that I used for the rest of the costume. Obviously, the lace won’t stand up by itself. It will need to be backed with something stiff yet transparent to show off the see-through nature of the lace. I wanted something similar to the acetate from, for example, Whole Foods baby spinach boxes. The problem is the boxes are not large enough. I’d have to piece several pieces together, which is doable, but it would have meant having to eat a truck load of spinach. I like spinach but not that much!
I did a test to make sure I can sew on the actetate, because I will need to sew lace, Velcro, etc. to it:
The acetate can be stitched easily, using normal sewing needle (80/12 Schmetz Universal) and thread (Gütermann), without it tearing or the stitches getting messed up.
The mohawk will obviously need to stand up by itself and not flop over. It also needed to be light enough to not present a problem staying on my head, or be a pain to wear a whole night. I decided to make two acetate+lace mohawk shapes and attach them so they’d have a wedge cross section: attached at the outside/top edge, and spread apart at the base and attached to the long edges of the base. The wedge cross section ensures that the mohawk will stand up by itself and not flop over.
To secure the mohawk on my head, I zig-zagged elastic cord to the base, adding a cord keeper to ease adjustment:
This work well, but I think I will add a hair comb or two to the underside of the base to make it even more secure.
The final touch, which really made the mohawk look like a mohawk, was a strip of feather trim tape along the edge:
Now to make the rest of the costume! And make it in time for the Carnaval! 🙂