Saturday, 19 May 2018

STUMPWORK TUTORIAL - Hairdressing and Final Touches

Previous parts of the tutorial can be found here:

Part 6 - Hairdressing and Final Touches

Here is the sixth part of a tutorial for stumpwork portraits, inspired by Fay Maxwell, whose excellent book Ladies with Hatitude I warmly recommend.


The most enjoyable part of making a portrait is hairdressing.
Hair can be made out of stranded floss, yarn, banana silk, or almost anything...

long and windblown

a perm gone wrong,

a shade to go with the dress?

I settled for stranded floss,

and made a number of loops.

fixed them at the top of the head

and the sides,

tightened and tucked in any stray strands.
I then stitched a couple of beads for earrings.

I added a fastening for the dress.
A bead fixed loosely with string.

 to make the loop.

Finally, I added a blush with a red pencil.

We are nearing the end of this tutorial for the basics. I hope you have enjoyed seeing the portrait grow, and maybe have had or will have a go yourself. The perfect way to use up those small pieces of scrap fabric.

A request for millinery has come in. So I will make one more tutorial part, for making hats.
This will be posted on Monday.

Then I will in future add further tutorials for many more hairstyles, hats, clothing....


  1. My Stumpwork lady has gotten a hairstyle and she is stunning (if I do say so myself!)

    1. She certainly is! You made a fantastic portrait, and I hope you will make many more!

  2. It is so good to see the various threads for hair - the long version makes her look sweet,young girl. Some twists could also act as hats. I've trying to create a face and need more practise.

    1. You are right, these threads could be used to create hats, but tomorrow's hat tutorial will be with fabric.
      Don't worry too much about a 'perfect' face. My portrait have very different size eyes but one eye is hidden behind the hair so you don't notice.

  3. Replies
    1. Yes, as soon as the eyes and then the hair is done, these portraits come to life.

  4. même non terminées, les trois coiffures sont bien,
    elle est très élégante
    J'aime beaucoup

    1. Here is Google translation:
      even unfinished, the three hairstyles are good,
      she is very elegant
      I really like

      Thank you Mattia,
      There are so many hairstyles. I will make tutorials for others later.

  5. I have enjoyed watching this all come together ... and Tanya's too. Wish this had been our challenge.

    1. I usually stretch these portraits over a piece of cardboard to be a framed picture or a greeting card. They can also be made into brooches, especially if you give the back a nice finish. We COULD make a brooch for a challenge one day, but I think we should stick to the Cathedral Window challenge for next year's Tokyo Dome show.

  6. Isn’t it interesting how different hairstyles change the look and personality of each lady.

    1. It is! We could make 'Before and After' portraits to show the power of image consultancy!

  7. Replies
    1. Yes, that must be the reason there is big business in wigs, toupees and things to cover one's head when there is no hair.


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