-Cartoon version: Hair is short tapered looking cut, choppy/kind of wild, clear two tones->red and orange, black tiger stripes on right side. Ears are lighter skin color, right side has stud and additional hoop earring, also small cut on right ear.
-Doll version (upcoming release): Hair is auburn, chin length, very flat and straight along edges. Right side is slightly lighter orange with a few black tiger stripes painted on. Ears are basically the same as the cartoon version but have silver studs on both side, additional hoop on right side and small cut on right ear.
I knew the wig was going to be complicated for this project. I am not a hairstylist by trade.. In fact cutting hair instills a fear in me. Perhaps this started in childhood when my mother lined up my sisters and I in the bathtub to cut our bangs in the dreaded bowl cut technique (with an actual bowl on our heads to make sure it was done straight. Maybe it was playing hairdresser with my siblings and many cousins for years, snipping off small pieces of their hair whenever they were over and then hiding it behind the TV stand in the family room. Not that persay, but the vocal scolding I received after my mother found a pile of hair the size of a cat after a few years of it going on. Or watching one of my sisters hysterically cry as if in pain whenever she was *forced* to get her butt-length hair cut (we did at times actually think she was being tortured).
Regardless, I was going to cut this wig and it was going to be GREAT. *pats self on head* Getting a wig I could use was actually very difficult. I think there was a red wig famine in Toronto this year. What made it more annoying is that I was searching unsuccessfully for a wig that was actually nearly identical to my own hair! Eventually I did find one that I could work with. I set it up on a wig head and then printed out some reference images of both the cartoon and doll versions. From there, I just started cutting away at the wig, reducing the length and changing the part in the front as to emulate side bangs.
The next step was to figure out how to do the orange strips of color and the black tiger stripes. I considered using permanent marker on the hair for the black but after experimenting found the color bled like crazy. I found a great alternative, one I had never seen before! In the toy section at Walmart I found a toy by Barbie called "Designable Hair". I couldn't believe it! On the Barbie website provided with the kit, you are able to design a pattern and choose colors through a program online. Then you just load the paper with the hair extensions on it into an inkjet printer and print away! Unfortunately I was running low on ink so I added a bit of color to the back of my extensions to pump them up but overall it's a pretty awesome idea! I drew a pattern inspired by Toralei's hair in Adobe Illustrator and then uploaded it onto my Barbie template. After letting it dry, I tried using hair clips but in the end opted for just sewing the extensions straight into the wig cap.
The ears were created by taking apart some costume ears and using the plastic shape as the base for Toralei's ears. I covered them in flesh colored polar fleece and hand sewed them close. I then used the same hot fix studs as used on the shoes in order to emulate her stud earrings. The hoop was interesting. I wasn't sure what I was going to use but ended up finding some do-hickey (scientific word clearly) in my toolbox that I manipulated to look like an earring. I thought about sewing the ears directly into the wig but decided against it. Instead I attached hair extension clips with hand sewing and they were strong enough to keep the ears on the wig.