My daughter’s Mardi Gras choice for this year is Te Fiti from Moana. The most important part of this costume is the wig and I was quite excited to make it.
The costume party is a day the kids anticipate during the whole year. Many towns and villages celebrate the so called Masopust or Fašank (Czech Mardi Gras) and costume parades are a big part of it. And every preschool has a costume day as well. Kids look forward to it and parents usually have a lot of work with it because besides making Christmas cookies making the costumes at home seems to be another national sport of ours. Of course, this could also be a Halloween costume or Cosplay costume.
This year my daughter chose Te Fiti from Moana (Vaiana). Te Fiti is the mother of all islands, she gives life. After the demi-god Maui steels her heart, she transforms into the lava monster Te Ka and can re-gain her original form only if her heart is returned. She is a goddess completely covered in grass and flowers and this costume has three parts – wig, dress and heart. The wig being the most prominent one and the star of this tutorial. At the end I’ll also show you how to make the dress which it super easy. And as for the heart, that will be the topic of another tutorial.
A few words about the difficulty level – you need a lot of time and specific material but no special skills. You’ll need the sewing machine only for the dress and just for making two straight lines, no need for it to make the wig. I’ll guide you through the process with a lot of detailed photos.
The basic material I chose for the wig is a crochet beanie and (lots of) wool yarn. The wig is decorated with Polynesian flowers. I chose orchids and hibiscus but there are more types, for example the plumerias which are often used to make Hawaiian lei. Just look online and you’ll find the typical Polynesian flowers to choose from. Of course, these flowers are artificial.
An before we start, I’d like to invite you to check out more of my Costume tutorials.
- lots of wool yard – I used 13 balls of 160 meters (50g) and of grass-green color, 55 % cotton and 45 % acrylic – a little more yarn would be better so I would consider this the minimum amount.
- green crochet beanie
- about 10 artificial flowers
- green thread
- any green fabric
- sewing machine
Te Fiti Costume Wig – Tutorial
We’ll make the hair strands by winding it around some flat board, I used a table wing. Just make sure the board or table you choose is as long as you want the hair to be. So wind the yarn many times around the table. For these first strands I made about three from each yarn ball.
Cut a small piece of yarn and tie the strand in one place.
Take the whole strand carefully off and bend it so the tied piece is in the bend. Cut the opposite side.
Now you have a long strand tied in the middle.
Make six of these strands to start with.
Tie to the beanie
Tie these six strands close to the edge of the beanie, three on each side. Mark the center front of your beanie, for example, by sewing on a button that you can later cut off. This will be your orientation point.
Take the two ends of the yarn you used for tying the strand and pull it through two holes next to each other to the wrong side.
Pull on the ends until the strand is tightly on the right side.
Tie two knots.
And pull the ends back to the right side. You don’t want the loose ends on the inside of the wig, they would complicate putting the wig on.
The strands should be tied on like this.
This is one side with three strands (don’t forget to tie another three to the other side).
Then make another 5 strands and tie them a little higher and in the spaces between the strands in the first line. So you’ll have 2 strands on each side and one in the back. Don’t tie anything to the front yet.
This wig has bangs to cover the front of the beanie. To make the strands follow the same steps but choose a shorter board or table. Make the bangs longer than you need (you’ll cut it later) but not as long as the rest of the hair, you’d waste too much yarn.
Make two strands and tie them to the front of the sides of the center mark (button in my case).
Cut a short piece of yarn and pull it from the wrong side to the right side in the very center of the front.
Take a piece of both front strands and place them in the center.
Tie them. Later you’ll check if this is enough for the bangs on your wig and if not, add some more strands you can just tie them on like you did with the first strands,
Hair on top
For this step I recommend to place the wig on something round like a bowl upside down. Or maybe you have the head of a figurine at home, that would be ideal.
Now it’s time to cover the top of the beanie. Start in the center top, tie one strand of hair. I alternated between thicker and thinner strands and later covered spaces with thin strands. As you can see, this time we don’t just leave the strand hanging, we separate the halves to left and right and create a parting.
Cover the beanie from center top to the back.
And then from center top to the bangs.
If you don’t have a figurine, how is the time to call your child to stand as a model and put the wig on them. You’ll be braiding two braids to attach the flowers to.
You need to make two French braids to which you add only to the top strand, not to the low strand. If you add to both, it will take too much yarn off your wig and you don’t need the braids to be too thick.
Tie the two braids together in the back but not all of the hair, just a few yarn pieces from each braid.
I used hibiscus and orchids.
Use a needle to sew through the back of the flowers and then lead the needle under a strand of the braid and back through the flower a few times to make the flower sit tightly in the braid.
Cover both sides of the braid, the back and also the area above the bangs. You can add some flowers in the loose hair.
Cut the bangs.
And this is all. Here are some more photos before we get to the dress:
Te Fiti Dress – Tutorial
You can use any green fabric you like, I used printed chiffon that resembles leaves. Cut a rectangle that’s twice as long as your child’s height neck to ankles and as wide as wrist to wrist when your child spreads their arms.
Fold the rectangle in half to make the length half and in the center of the fold, cut an opening of the head (or fold it once more and cut off the folded corner).
Topstitch about 20 cm where you see the red dashed line. These will be the sleeves for the arms.
And that’s all for the dress!