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how to make a wig with a sewing machine // #DIYwithDami // YouTube

You’ll need:

  • Mannequin head

  • Closure/frontal (I bought this 18-inch Brazilian loose wave closure from the vendor Alipearl on Aliexpress)

  • Wig cap

  • Pins

  • Weaving needle

  • Weaving thread

  • Scissors

  • Chalk

  • 2-3 weave bundles

  • Sewing machine

As you can see, I’ve assembled all materials needed, including the closure I bleached from the last video

1. First off, we start with the mannequin head, wig cap, pins, weaving needle and thread and scissors. And of course, the closure. This mannequin head is a bit large for my head size (my head is smaller than average), I bought a smaller head version, but my sister stole it when I moved back for the summer. Ideally, it’d be optimal to have a custom mannequin head so the wig will fit your head precisely.

Wig cap on mannequin head

2. The foundations of a wig are either a closure or frontal for the faux hairline. Here is the only part where you’ll have to hand sew. Pin the lace to the wig cap starting at the front edges, then the middle of the back and proceed to add more pins and adjust while ensuring the lace isn’t lifting. Tie up the hair to make sure it doesn’t get in the way.

Closure pinned to wig cap

3. Thread your needle, about two arm’s length worth of thread should be enough to make your way around the closure. Feel free to use less if you’re not comfortable with sewing and you feel as though the thread may get tangled which is not a situation you want to be in. Start a bit away from the hairline, then work back and then forward with a blanket stitch. If your thread does ever get stuck, pull at each of the threads and hopefully they will become taut. Smaller stitches will ensure that the closure is more secure than larger stitches so keep an eye out on your spacing. Try not to sew too into the lace and hold the hair forward so it doesn’t get caught in the thread. Finish off the stitch by winding the thread around the needle three times to make a knot then stitch a few times backwards to secure. I’ll be cutting the excess of the cap later when I’ve sewn all the tracks.

4. Next is to map out your tracks, I use chalk as it’s easily visible yet easy to remove. As you can see, I’m going straight along from the bottom across until the top of the cap where there is no longer space for continuous lines. You can make the gaps smaller if you’re planning to do single weft tracks. After this, continue to make rows coinciding with the lines already placed.

Track lines on wig cap

5. Now is where we can finally get to the sewing machine! Check out my video or my blog post on how to thread a sewing machine if you’re unsure of how to start. Possibly before this, align your tracks of hair along the tracks mapped out on the wig cap to ensure that you have enough hair to construct the whole wig, you wouldn’t want to realise halfway through that you’re lacking, especially if you’re doubling the weft like I am. I have one 18-inch bundle and two 20-inch bundles of Peruvian loose wave hair. I layout the hair first with the two 20s then the 18-inch bundle last at the top. One reason why I was a bit hesitant to use this method is because with all the wigs I have made I have never cut the weft (to prevent fall out, easier to repurpose hair in the future) however, since I’ll be doubling the weft I didn’t want to put my needle through the stress of four wefts to puncture while flipping over to the next track for fear that it would break, I am not using a heavy duty needle I would hate for it to snap. Maybe in the future I’ll adjust my method to sewing a single weft, so the bundles remain complete. Set the sewing machine to a medium width zig-zag stitch and set the length to near longest on your machine. For this project I decided to detach the sewing table for ease of navigating the curves of the wig cap.

Zig zag stitch on sewing machine
Stitch length on sewing machine

6. Once everything is planned and stitch settings are set, we’re ready to start sewing! Starting from the bottom track, pin the weft at the start of the track on the cap to help get the weave under the presser foot of the sewing machine. At the beginning and end of every line, make sure to secure the hair by reversing about five times back and forth. Try not to stretch the cap while sewing. Carry on down the line until the end and snip off the bundle (you can help reduce shedding by applying fray check or some glue to the cut off ends) to start on the next track then continue all the way up until you finish the wig.

Sewing weave to wig cap
Reverse stitch on sewing machine

If you decide to do double weft like me, you can decide to sew the wefts together beforehand to make it easier to sew onto the cap. I chose not to do this because to be honest I couldn’t be bothered, but it worked out well for me even so. There are some parts where there are gaps in where I got both wefts sewn onto the cap but it’s not much to worry about since it’ll still be mostly secure (just don’t miss out too much). If you find this is happening too often, try using a wider zig zag stitch. As well as ensuring not to stretch the cap too much, go slowly to reduce mistakes, if your work isn’t going through, pull the backside and the needle will stop running on the spot. Try to keep the hairs out of the presser foot as that’ll make your work very messy.

Cut weft

7. When you reach the top parts of the cap, make sure that when you’re turning corners you stop, lift the presser foot up and turn you work manually, this is a much better way of changing the directory of the thread. At the last track, join the weave to the closure to make your wig seamless.

8. Not finished just yet! Cut the excess lace as well as the excess of the cap under the closure and try on the wig. Mark where you would like your elastic to go. Wigs sometimes give me headaches, so I make sure the elastic isn’t too tight. Use a blanket stitch to secure the elastic.

Cut wig cap
Sew elastic to wig cap

And that’s your wig done, style as you wish and wear however you like.

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