During the 2nd year of my Ph.D. program, I promised someone that I would make a handout of how I made my crispinettes, and I didn’t, because between classes, an internship, and teaching, my life was chaotic. So, now I am remedying this. This project was done after instruction from Dame Angele (Diane Lynn). Note: I make no claim to authenticity; this should be considered a costume item.
- brass mesh
- wire cutters
- nesting glass bowls
- additional fabric that mimics your hair
- suede leather in your hair color
- hot glue and gun
- decorative edging (whatever you like, gold and/or pearls work well)
- fake hair (synthetic works fine)
- flannel in your hair color
- thick needle and thread
- cord (optional)
Instructions (photos at bottom):
- Cut 2 circles of the brass mesh with the wire cutters. A helpful equation to guessing the diameter of the circle is to multiply the diameter of the intended sphere by the square root of 2. d_c = sqrt(2)*d_s
- Cut 2 circles of the fabric that mimics your hair in this same size.
- Using glass bowls or other similar items, place the mesh between two bowls and use the bowls to dish the mesh into a half sphere shape. Continue working with smaller bowls until the desired result is achieved. My final sphere diameter was about 5″. Repeat for the other side
- Place the fabric that mimics your hair inside the half sphere. Repeat for the other side.
- Take a strip of the suede about 1″ wide and at least the length of the circumference of the sphere and hot glue it to the outside and inside edges of the mesh. This provides a foundation for the rest of the work, keeps the fabric in place, and covers the jagged edges. Repeat for the other side.
- Apply your decorative edging to cover the edge of the suede with hot glue. Repeat for the other side.
- Cut a circle of the suede that has the diameter of the sphere. Remove from it another circle that has diameter about 1″ smaller (so there is now an “empty circle” that is about 1″ around the circumference). Cut a slit about 1″ wide so that it is running roughly parallel to edge of the half sphere. Hot glue the empty circle to the suede on the edge of the mesh. Repeat for the other side.
- Make 2 braids from the fake hair that are about 4″ longer than the circumference of the half sphere. It can be useful to hairspray them. Take one braid and poke the ends through the slit you created in step 6, hiding the ends on the inside of the sphere. Cut to size if needed to make the braid stick out slightly along the outside edge of the sphere; I try to position the middle of the braid along the edge. Hot glue the hair to the suede empty circle you made in 6. Repeat for the other side.
- Cut a similar empty circle out of flannel and stitch in place over the hair. This will keep the hair from itching your head and protect it from coming loose.
- If you have a different mechanism for attaching your crispinettes, do that now. Otherwise, create a “headband” strap out of flannel and sew the flannel on the “headband” to the flannel on the half spheres securely. Mine was about 2″ wide and about 8.25″ wide. It should be the right length so that when you place this over your head, the crispinettes hang where you choose. Also, if you have a coronet, take into account that the top of the crispinettes have to hang lower than the bottom of your coronet.
- Optional: my crispinettes were constantly falling forward towards my face, probably because of how I hold my head, even with the crown holding the band down. I attached a cord to either side of the back of the crispinettes so that I could tie them behind my head and hold them in place. I always wore a veil with mine, so this wasn’t an issue.