Troll Hair and Other Wardrobe Necessities…

“Happiness is inside of all of us, right? Sometimes you just need someone to help you find it.” -Branch, Trolls
Well sometimes that someone is a something and today that something is a giant troll hair hat. I mean how could you not be happy wearing this outrageous beehive of rainbow fluff???

More info on the jacket later in the post!

Now if you are thinking that sewing something this fluffy is just not for you let me stop you right there. Don’t be silly…faux fur is for everyone. Period.
But not to worry I’ll start you off with a few simple tips to make your first foray into faux fur (say that 10 times fast!) a wild success. Are you ready?? Lets pick some fabric…

So far I’ve discovered two rules of thumb when it comes to sewing faux fur:

1) The shorter/denser the pile, the bigger the headache. The rainbow yeti pelt pictured above may look impressive but would you guess its the easiest fur I’ve ever sewn with? Yep! Its light and thin so my machine had zero issues with it and the longer hairs were easy to keep tucked out of the way while I stitched. Highly recommend choosing something similar if you need a confidence boost in the faux fur department.

2) Bring out your vacuum! If you want to avoid leaving your sewing space looking like you had to bravely slay the faux beast before sewing up its pelt you need to be proactive about it. Before you even cut your pieces out give your yardage a good once over with the vacuum (a hand held attachment is best) and then go around each bit again as you cut out your project. Try to move the fur as little as possible before vacuuming to help contain errant fluff and be sure to give your machine (and yourself!) a once over too.

A great job for those enthusiastic yet inexperienced assistants šŸ˜‰

Ok so now that we have the basic rules sorted let’s talk about this troll hair hat….
Until I figure out how to make pdf patterns there is unfortunately no printables for this but the shape is simple enough and you can trace a cap that fits your child (or perhaps even your child’s actual head if they are a cooperative team player) for general sizing. Pictured below is my makeshift hand drawn paper pattern. I started with a simple hat pattern that fits my child and lifted the crown up into a point. Think soft serve ice cream, not hard spike…. you want it to look like hair in the end not a furry conehead. Ever play with your kid’s shampoo hair in the bath and swoosh it up into a point? That’s essentially the shape we are going for here.

For reference these gridlines are 1″ apart and the hat fits both my 3 and 6 year olds

The lining is the same around the face and neck but rounded off at the top. The head shaped lining is key because if you cut it in the same shape as the outer hat it will create a little cave into which your child’s head will disappear when they wear it.

Cut your lining fabric roughly 1/4″ smaller so it fits nicely into the outer fabric. I used a stretch fleece from Joanns and it was super easy to work with. You could use anything stretchy really but something thicker with a little structure makes your life a bit easier.

Moving on to the faux fur there are a couple things to keep in mind. #1 is making sure you place your pattern so that the fur is laying up towards the point. Messing this up with take you from neatly coiffed troll to unkempt alpaca in a flash.

Trace your pattern onto the back of the faux fur (double check the direction of that fur!!) and cut out. Scissors are better for this than your rotary cutter because goal is to just cut the backing and not the fur itself. (I hear a razor blade is effective too). You will need 2 outer pieces and 2 of the lining so trace the pattern pieces once facing up and then flip to trace the mirror image (as pictured with the fur below). Don’t forget to vacuum!

Once everything is cut out you can start piecing the hat together. For the fabrics I used a simple straight stitch worked just fine. You could also use a stretch stitch or even serge it if you like. The lining is easy peasy just put right sides of the fabric together and stitch from the back of the neck around to the forehead leaving the face and neck open. The outer is essentially the same deal but with the added step of making sure the fur is all laying smooth and away from the edge where you will be stitching. If you do a good job of this it will be virtually impossible to see the seams from the outside which is ideal so take the extra time to smooth and pin before you sew it.

I chose to leave the very tip of the point un-sewn because it was too hard to not catch the fur in the seam. Once turned right side out you really cannot tell that it isn’t stitched there and it allows the fur to fall naturally in to a sweet little swish

There are a couple ways you can finish off the hat. I like the way binding looks so that is what I chose to do. To bind the hat place the lining into the outer hat, with the wrong sides of the fabrics together. Cut 1.5″ wide strips of ribbing or a fun accent like this striped cotton/lycra knit. Start with the neck opening and lay your binding on top of the fur with right sides of the fabric together. Sew or serge the binding on, flip the binding over to other side to cover the seam and topstitch it down. Go back and trim off any excess if needed and then repeat the process for the face opening this time leaving an extra 10″ or so at each end for the ties. (If you use a knit that naturally rolls when stretched you can just give it a couple tugs and leave as is for the ties. If using ribbing, or just want a more professional finish, you can trifold the bit you left for the ties and continue your topstitching down to the ends).

Things will probably get a bit ruffled during construction but a quick once over with a damp comb will have your troll hair looking magical once again. Set it with a little hairspray and you’re done!!

Ready for another project??… Mini troll hair for your dolls! Exact same process just scaled way down

I have to say this striped faux fur looks even better at this scale

The initial inspiration behind these hilarious hair hats was actually not trolls at all but these lovely forest sprites from the new Jumping June Textiles print. Aren’t they sweet? I kinda want to recreate their whole look, right down the pink bubble tights!

This past week I got to make a couple things from this lovely print. First, a jacket pattern from Rabaukowitsch that I have been dying to try for ages. I love the offset buttons, the sweet little pocket and the pixie hood the jacket comes with. To make it a little warmer I lined it with plush fleece and bound the edges with a stripe just for fun.

Initially I planned to make the hood from the faux fur but then later realised it extended around the neck which would have created an odd “beard”… not exactly the look I was going for. I also decided I didn’t want a band at the bottom of the jacket so I modified slightly to omit it but otherwise made everything pretty much to pattern.

The second make from this JJT print was a matching outfit for our dolls. I already had the Petal Dress (a free pattern from Twig+Tale!) printed out in doll size so I used that instead of reprinting the jacket.

The petal dress also comes with a pixie hood and it’s really cute in both kid and doll sizes, definitely a great addition to your pattern collection. (*Note! The pattern does not include doll sizes, I size it down by printing at a lower %…. keep an eye out for a blog post on that!)

I hope you enjoyed this bright and fluffy adventure!
Happy sewing!