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The 14th Quarterly Challenge is over, so it is time to start thinking about the next one!

Challenge #15 is the “UPDO” Wig Challenge!

Updo wig Challenge 15

This is for all you crafty wig wranglers! Anime, historical, anything goes.  Enter your amazing wig transformation here!

The submission deadline is October 1st, 2017 at midnight CST.

The Rules

1. The submissions window opens on July 1st, 2017 and closes October 1st, 2017 at midnight CST. Any wig/hairpiece finished within the last year qualifies. When you began your piece doesn’t matter as long as it was FINISHED within the time period of 7/1/2016 – 10/1/2017.

2. This challenge encompasses all sorts of genres– fantasy, cosplay, vintage, historical, etc. Creative materials are welcome! Wigs with attached accessories will be considered, but this is not a hat or headpiece challenge. The focus is on the wig: styling, materials, and character portrayal/research (if applicable). Recreate a look from your favorite TV series or historical portrait, or design a completely unique piece of your own!

3. 75% of the piece must be made or modified by you. 25% of your entry can be unaltered/purchased items. We want to see your creativity and hard work on display, not someone else’s! Recreations of fashion plates, paintings, digital artwork, etc. are perfectly fine, but if you do reinterpret or take inspiration from someone else’s previous design, please give proper credit to them in your submission description. If you recreate a character’s hairstyle from a show/artwork, please include the character’s name and the title of the show/book/artwork in which they appear!

— You are not required to enter a challenge to join the Facebook Group, but it is encouraged!—

How to Submit Your Challenge Entry

Challenge entries must be submitted to:

before midnight CST on October 1st, 2017.

Submissions must include Your name, a TITLE for your entry, Up to 5 PICTURES, and a DESCRIPTION.

PHOTOS: Photos are VERY IMPORTANT and can make or break an entry! Wigs can be displayed on forms, manniquins, wig stands, or modeled by a person. Make sure you have at least one straight-on front shot so all the details can be seen! Include close-ups of specific details you are proud of like embellishment, process photos, texture, how it looks with the whole outfit, etc.

Special note for this challenge: You may include a copy of your inspiration image without counting it towards your five photos. For example, if you created a wig for Jessie from Team Rocket, you may include a picture of her + your five photos. Please include the source of your photo, such as the artist’s name or a link if you got it from the internet.

DESCRIPTION: Along with your photos, include a description of your piece. Tell us about what makes your entry special! Did you try any new techniques? Is it made for particular person/persona? Have you worn it to any events? If you ran into any problems you had to tackle, tell us how you solved them. Judges greatly appreciate construction details!

See sample submission here.

Be sure to give credit to any artists if you chose to reinterpret their artwork!

If you can, please include a photo of the artwork and/or a link to the original source.

HAVE FUN! This is not something we want you to agonize over. This is to be a fun and inspiring challenge for you as a costumer to help you grow and express yourself. And if the entire thing doesn’t get finished? Oh well! Share or submit what you have!

Limit of two (2) entries per person per challenge.


Costumes posted in Facebook comment sections will not be counted as part of the challenge—they must be submitted via email ( to qualify. Contestants can share the progress of their outfits on their blogs or on the Shear Madness Facebook page. However, please do not post entries in their final state on the Facebook page until after judging is complete.

Judging and Awards

The judges will review the entries and the winners will be announced during the first week of October 2017. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners, as well as honorable mentions as chosen by the judges. Winners will be given a Shear Madness logo with their winning placement for display on their blog/website and will have their creations featured in the header on the Facebook group page from October 2017 to January 2018. All submissions will have a photo featured on the Challenge’s final blog post!

Group administrators and moderators have the final say on any rules for challenges and may update them as needed.


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Challenge #14 “UNDER IT ALL” was about the foundation garments whose greatness is usually hidden under other layers: corsets, chemises, petticoats, bloomers, and more!

Under it all challenge 2

The entries for this challenge were all fabulous, displaying creativity, research, and clever problem-solving!

Without further ado, here are the winners of Challenge #14:

Third Place: “Edwardian Horizontal Seamed Corset” by Sara Huebschen


Sara says:

“I made this corset from a historical patent that I scaled up to create the pattern. The really neat thing about it, and the part that was a fun challenge, was that it has all horizontal seams. The only vertical stitching on it is three small darts at the waist and the applied boning channels. In order to accent the seaming, I decided to pipe the seamlines in a contrast fabric. The body of the corset is a single layer of brocade coutil, and the piping is a purple taffeta.

“The boning channels are prussian tape applied on the inside of the corset, and the boning is a combination of flat steel and synthetic whalebone. I wanted to go more traditional with this piece since it was more of a historical reproduction than most of the corsets I make, so I went with the synthetic whalebone and single layer construction.”


“The fit model is my wonderful friend Jackie Moore, who not only let me use her for fitting but also went out in the cold in January to take some lovely pictures. Outdoor photos are by Birdskull Photography.”


Judges’ comments:

The purple piping really sets off the panels and looks fab in the black coutil.

It’s so fun to see that crazy pattern made up, and the color choices and use of the contrasting trim makes it look so modern and edgy. Plus, it gives a really fantastic shape too!

A really attractive piece, the colors are wonderful

Congratulations, Sara!

Second Place:  “My 18th Century Sewing Adventure” by Marika Brimacombe!

Pockets and petticoat

Marika says:

“The pieces that I am submitting for the challenge are an 18th century shaped petticoat, hand embroidered pockets, and clocked stockings and garters! The rest of the pieces in the photos are the part of my 18th century undergarments ensemble that I have been working on for the past 2 years, including my 1740’s Stays, a shift, and pocket hoops.”
pocket close up

“I started this project as a video series back in May of 2015 but after a surprise pregnancy had to put it on hold for a while.  After giving birth to my daughter I started the project up again and after 2 years I finally finished the Undergarments!!

I am still in the process of finishing my video for the stockings but it should be up on my channel soon!”
Judges’ comments:
Very cool stockings! And the pockets are perfectly executed with colorful embroidery as was so prevalent.
“I just love this collection, and covet the stockings. Nice work on the embroidery of the pockets, and I would love to know more about the garters – were they hand woven? Embroidered? Purchased? How are they fastened?
I love the thought of having something so decorative that hardly anybody will ever see.


Congratulations, Marika!

First Place:  “Symington Corset” by Michelle Fitzgerald!

new sym 3-4

Michelle says:

“I’ve been working with this antique corset pattern (Symington #31300) for a few years now, and have been playing with finding the ideal Victorian shape that still works on my modern, swaybacked, not very squishy body. After trying the pattern totally un-altered, and altered almost beyond recognition, I really like this 3rd version which has very minor alterations from the original.”

new sym front

new sym back

“I’ve taken in the back a bit to account for my swayback, and trimmed the front hip edge a bit (it was super long and poked my legs!). That’s all.”

new sym detail

“I also wanted to try out paper-cord in those corded panels at bust and side for the first time–huge difference from the 2mm window cord I had been using! The paper cord really is wonderful to shape and mould, and it holds the shape very well. It’s what was used in many of the 1880s factory-made corsets. Unfortunately it’s still too short in the ribcage for my tall body, but my mannequin models it well. :)”

new sym side

Judges’ comments:

Absolutely fantastic!! You can see the skill that went into this with the fine cording channels and top-applied strips for the boning. Even the closer grommets at the waist area is period correct. A reproduction worthy of looking like it stepped out of time.

I’m fascinated by her use of paper cord and I’d love to know more about what she used and how she inserted it. The details and shape on this corset are truly spot on, and to my eyes, it looks like it could be an actual historical garment. I’m incredibly impressed!

Congratulations, Michelle!


The judges also decided to award the following entries Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions for Creating a Complete Under It All Ensemble:
“Frontier Whites” by Samantha Benton and “Edwardian Underthings” by Melissa Sowers

Excerpt from Samantha’s “Frontier Whites” entry description:

“I began this ensemble in 2002, after first watching the PBS series Frontier House which is set in 1883. The scene where the bride’s trousseau is laid out just captured my imagination, and I knew, even if it was completely impractical, that was something I wanted to make, have, and maybe even wear…I imagine this set of whites as belonging to someone who hadn’t quite finished her trousseau (totally me), and years later after a few babies, needing something new in the new silhouette, decided to make use of the bridal whites she had left in her trunk, unfinished and therefore unused. It was as much fun remaking them as it was starting them years ago. Thank you for the deadline!”

Judges’ comments:

I am pleased with the entirety of this project, all of the elements included...I appreciate all of the information given [in the entry’s full description], it really adds to the understanding of the size and complexity of the collection.

Ingenious use of piecing to get the petticoat to the correct shape. Nice, functional shaping of the corset as well. Beautiful, if simple, ensemble.

Excerpt from Melissa’s “Edwardian Underthings” entry description:

“I made these Edwardian Underthings for Costume Con 34, held in May of 2016. These include a chemise, bust padding, bum padding, corset, combination, and petticoat. The combination included the corset cover and split bloomers. The chemise, combination, and petticoat where constructed from lightweight cotton. The corset is heavy cotton canvas with cotton outer layer. And the padding was constructed from a cotton blend with poly filling. The chemise, combination, corset, bust padding, and petticoat where decorated similarly to historical garments I found in my research. I was a little concerned that I was not going to be able to achieve the desired Edwardian shape without some extreme corseting, but found that with the padding it did not need to be as tightly laced as I thought.”

Judges’ comments:

Corset is lovely with good starter-shaping before adding the separate padding. Fun fabric for the hip and bust pads! This is a great initial look for the Edwardian S-bend silhouette.”

Honorable Mention for Creative Trimming!
“Steampunk Slytherin Corset and Petticoat” by Nancy Tozier Sieling

Excerpt from Nancy’s entry description:

“I started with the corset from Simplicity’s Tardis pattern, shortening and modifying it to meet my needs…It is embellished with lace and metal, including a serpentine zipper pull. I used black fringed lace for the upper and lower trim. I was able to machine sew the upper and lower edges of the trim, but all the long fringe pieces had to be sewn in place by hand. The trim on the center front and the straps is the same lace with the fringe removed. The corset shoulder straps hold hardware that is both decorative and practical, as it allows for the costume cape to be worn back on the shoulders as an alternative to wearing it closed at the neck. It also sports a metal swivel hook hanging just below the right hip of the corset to attach a bag to.

Judges’ comments:

I love the creative touches that convey the Slytherin theme, and it’s fun to see undergarments that work so well as outerwear. It really makes quite an adorable dress, and I like that it doesn’t come across as ‘sexy’ even though it’s a corset. And the use of that fringed lace around the edges was brilliant!

Honorable Mention for Unique Engineering!
“Steampunk Crinoline” by Sara Örn Tengstrand

Excerpt from Sara’s entry description:

“My entry for challenge #14 is a steampunk crinoline. It is based on an 1850s/1860s cage crinoline, and is meant to be partly seen under the skirt of the dress it will be worn with. My idea was to have a marked contrast between the green and “living” feeling of the dress, and a crinoline with a distinctly mechanical, metallic and man-made feeling. It is decorated at the part where the skirt will be raised to show the crinoline…The construction of the crinoline took some considering. Drafting it was quite easy, as I based the measurements on my 1860s hoop, but made it shorter and slightly wider at the top, to get a more pronounced skirt shape. Figuring out how to make it hold together was harder. Most crinolines I see made today either have the steel hoops coated in fabric and then sewn to the vertical bands, or is made of fabric with the steel hoops sewn in. I wanted the steel hoops to be seen, so covering them in fabric was not an option. I was not able to find a description of how to make it like I wanted, so I had to make something up myself.”

Judges’ comments:

Resourceful and innovative on her construction of various metal bits and steel wire. The metallic faux leather adds to the depth of the Steampunk garment while also being functional.

Good thought processes and solutions to the unique challenges presented by a ‘metal-only’ crinoline.

A big thanks to our panel of Challenge #14 Judges as well!

Jennifer Rosbrugh


Teacher to hundreds of sewing and costuming students since 2004 both online and in workshops and conferences, Jennifer dreams of the nostalgia of the past and brings it into her modern life through creating costume ensembles spanning 1780 to 1920. She is a dark chocolate, Jane Austen and bustle dress fanatic. Find her at her blog, and enroll in her classes at

Jennifer Thompson


Jennifer is an artist and seamstress who is obsessed with fashion history. She tends to focus on the Renaissance through the mid-20th century styles, but sometimes dabbles in fantasy costuming and modern sewing as well. You can see many of her fabulous costumes on her blog, Festive Attyre!

Leah Lloyd


Leah Lloyd has been making costumes since the ripe young age of 4, when she wrapped a bunch of scarves around herself and shuffled out to the living room where her mother was watching the classic Mummy. It’s been downhill since then, including receiving a degree in Costume Design, and a Clothing/Headwear Laurel in the SCA. And someday she will cull the fabric hoard in the attic. Really.

Thanks to all the wonderful entries we received for Challenge #14!  We look forward to seeing what you have in store for Challenge #15!


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Challenge #13 ” THE BIG TOP” was all about fun, excitement, the bold and the daring!

Come one, come all and behold the magic and wonder of our winners’ Challenge #13 “Big Top” creations!

Third Place: “Tiger Tamer” by Cynthia of Country Dove

Cynthia says:

I’m happy to be able to share this with someone. It was a TON of work in the making (took over a year to figure part of it out) and I was very happy with it.”

The pictures are my daughter Brianna, who models, and these were taken at a photo shoot. One of the pictures is professional (dark blue background one – from Menka Belgal) and the rest were my pictures from the photoshoot.

Judges’ comments:

I love the concept. I love the pocket hoops as cages. The colors are lovely.”

Very cute and would be extremely fun to wear. The colors are bright and she looks like she stepped out of a graphic novel.

It is such a unique idea to use the pannier as a cage! The dress itself is simple, but I love the secret skirt.

Congratulations, Cynthia!

The creator based this design on a piece of art he/she found on Pinterest. If you recognize the original inspiration artwork, please share in the comments below!

Second Place:  “Turn of the Century Showgirl” by Lori Clayson!

Lori says:

“This is my circus entry I made for myself to wear to a recent party. The concept is a turn of the century circus showgirl.”
Lori’s inspiration image:

“My favorite part to create was the the mini hat because I had fun learning how to make ribbon rosettes and curling feathers.”

Judges’ comments:

The concept is great, and I think she did a good job translating the photo…I love the fabric.

This is a lovely, classic showgirl look with a Victorian/Steampunk twist. She is obviously having a wonderful time in her outfit, and I think that confidence really adds the finishing touch.

My goodness, that detail is amazing! Especially on the hat.

Congratulations, Lori!

First Place:  “Victorian Circus Girl”  by Mara Perry!

Mara says:

“I made this outfit for Costume College 2016. They had a circus themed Friday Night Social. I spent some time looking at vintage photos of circus performers. It was a really fun project! I knew I wanted to stick with the 1890s. As luck would have it I found 3 yards of brightly colored harlequin style fabric at the thrift store. Score!!! 3.99! I had some black cotton sateen in my stash, so a costume was born. I used Truly Victorian walking skirt TV291 and Truly Victorian Ripple bodice TV496.

“The skirt was simple. I just shortened it to knee length. I used the bright fabric on the front panel only. I also sewed little moon and stars sequins randomly on the skirt. The bright orange scalloped trim was an antique shop find. A whole gallon ziplock bag stuffed with organdy picot edge scallop trim. The trim was strung together. I dyed it orange and gave it a nice press. On top of the orange trim I used black string fringe and black sequins.”

“The bodice had a few changes. I used the TV490 ballgown sleeves. they are pretty dang cute! I was running out of black cotton sateen and harlequin fabric so I used some black clip dot lawn instead. I left off the collar since I knew I was going to use my orange trim anyways. I kind of wanted a ruff look around my neck. The front is closed with 3 sets of blue ribbon ties. The bodice is trimmed with red chenille ball and black sequined trim.
“That hat! It is from a 1940s clown suit pattern. I had a great time making it!

One purchased red crinoline, black tank top, white tights and my American Duchess Tango boots.
This is just an example of how creative you can be with existing patterns.”

Judges’ comments:

Fantastic seams and tailoring…Love the attitude!

The fit is superb and it’s a very Victorian look: the color scheme looks straight out of Victorian fancy dress plate!

I love the colors and how the bodice stands out!”

Congratulations, Mara!

The judges also decided to award the following Honorable Mention awards:

Honorable Mention for Most Colorful Commentary: “Circus Lolita Mannequin” by Leah Lloyd

From Leah:

“This has been on the stupid mannequin since before DragonCon, and then I got my awful 6 month depression and touched nothing until about 2 weeks ago and started thinking ‘hey I should make that Circus Lolita for Zenkaikon I have a month, right?’ and then Liz literally the next day posts the reminder of the cutoff date being today and I am like CRAAAAAAP and she is like “post what you got!” so I am like CRAAAAAAAP and if you need filler bunny, here is my Circus Lolita which is NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING FINISHED”

“I bought two acid green silk saree, initially planning to make them into the most eye-searing screw you Victorian Early bustle gown, and that never happened, because i am lazy like that and have an attic g—— full of d— bins and shelves of fabric that I don’t even remember why I bought the d— yardage in the first place and what was I thinking and yeah never gonna make that, so Imma use if for this other project that I then also completely forget about and am then surprised when I dig it out looking for something else. Anyway, one of the saree is this great habatoi with pink omg ugly trimming on it and I figure that will be great for the skirt ruffles but the layout/yardage of the pattern is freaking stupid and I can’t use the pink the way I want to so g—— it. The other saree has these no-s— real metal bits set in the fabric, like some poor bastard had to set these gold leaf rivets or something in the weave just so which is great except when I start to cut it I realize I am using my silk scissors to cut g—— metal leaf and that was some s—- so there was some cursing there. And then I realized after sewing it together that the section I used had a blemish right on the nipple but hey that is cool because I have like 6 yards so no problem. I sew up the bodice (again) and the collar and then I realize I should have assembled the lining a different way what the f— was I thinking d—– okay I can make it work whatever, at least I have the front placket in correctly. ”

“The placket is cheap cotton broadcloth and an overlay of green sheer no kidding with pink g—— polka dots who thought this was a good idea to produce but it’s perfect and I have had it in the stash since 2008, so better use it before it rots. It may end up being used on the hat too. Or not. At this point, who the hell knows how it will look. Took me 4 g—— months to realize I didn’t like the original design of the tailcoat which is why I got stuck in the first place.”

“But wait, there is MORE! I legit found these ribbons (of which I bought 4 rolls each because goddamn ruffles take up freaking acres of yardage and they suck but better to have too much amirite) and there I was in this Amish fabric warehouse in the middle of Cowflop, PA, and I find shelves of pink and green I shit you not polka dot ribbons for like .50 a roll and I am like B*TCHES and it’s a fuzzy pic but you get the idea.”

“And these hair falls holy crap yes, plus cyberdreads of green and pink because gurrrl you know I have them and it’s gonna be insane if I can just make it not suck. And, you know, finish it.”

“But anyway, here is my initial sketch. Only the gods of sewing know how it will turn out.”

Judges comments:

She was such a trooper for submitting her outfit even though it wasn’t finished. That takes pluck and I admire that….the commentary she submitted is over-the-top hilarious and the outfit looks like it will be loads of fun when it’s done.

I can’t wait until the day it is complete – green and pink is one of my favorite color combinations!

Thanks to all the wonderful entries we received for Challenge #13!  We look forward to seeing what you have in store for Challenge #14!