Tips & Tricks

Bettie Bangs: Tips & Tricks

One of the things I most often get complimented on is my Bettie bangs.  I've had some form of fringe (or bangs) since I was a child.  So in this post, I will share with you all my tips and tricks so you too can have bangs that would make even Bettie bitter!

For my top tips & tricks, you can watch my video below.  For a more in-depth look at getting banging bangs, keep reading!  (Or even better, do both!)

 
 

The cut

You want your bangs to be a deep triangular shape with the point a few inches back from your hairline.  You also want them to be quite wide, like as far as your hairline will allow.  When you first get them cut it can sometimes take a few goes for the hairdresser to get them right.  Keep making them deeper and wider until you're happy.  Your bangs should be curved up towards the temples.  The degree that you curve them is up to you, generally, move curved styles have more of a rockabilly look.  

 
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Styling

Styling your bangs really isn't as hard as you think (or as you are currently doing).  I used to think that you needed to blow dry your fringe with a round brush and follow with a hair straightener to get a good result.  This is simply untrue.  When I got my bangs recut after years of not having them the hairdresser simply rough dried them with a hairdryer and no brush.  They were perfect.  My mind was blown.  So all I do now if rough dry them and brush into place.   I put my hairdryer on medium heat and high fan and hold it above my head point down along my fringe.  Now you roughly dry by moving the dryer side to side while running your fingers through your hair.  You do this to break the hair up and help it dry faster.  Move to the other side of the fringe and repeat.  And that's it.  Sometimes I don't even have to blow dry them as they're still fine from the previous day.  If you do need to reset them though, just dampen them with a spray bottle filled with water, brush through, and dry as above. 

 
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My secret weapons

The one thing that will take your bangs to the next level is dry shampoo.  Dry shampoo will not only refresh your hair in the days after washing, but it will also give you fringe the volume and texture it needs to look it's best.  I use dry shampoo on freshly washed hair as well as dirty hair.  If your fringe looks flat and is just not sitting right put some more dry shampoo in it.  My personal favourite is Batiste dry shampoo in Cherry.  I also have the Batiste tinted dry shampoo for dark hair but I don't really like the brown residue that ends up on your fingers and can end up on your face if you're not careful.  White dry shampoo is fine if you work it in properly using your fingertips and brush out any excess.  

 
 

The brush I use is a postiche brush, or a teasing brush, or a smoothing brush.  It's small and made from synthetic bristles which makes it perfect for smoothing out your fringe and brushing out the excess dry shampoo.  Because it is narrow you can also use it to sculpt and mould your bangs into the perfect shape.  I do this by softly brushing and pushing the hair into place with the brush.  The final touch is hair lacquer.  I use hair lacquer over regular hairspray because it adds some shine and counteracts the dullness caused by the dry shampoo.  If you use both the dry shampoo and the hair lacquer your bangs will stay in place all day and likely into the next day.  A quick brush and a spritz of lacquer will be all you'll need.  

Trimming your bangs

The most annoying thing about having bangs, especially short ones, is having to trim them all the time.  It means booking an appointment at the hairdresser and maybe even having to pay for the trim.  I'm terrible at remembering to book appointments so I cut mine myself.  This may seem like a hard thing to do but it's actually very easy.  What makes it so easy is using hair clippers!  Hair clippers have a straight edge that makes cutting a nice straight fringe a breeze.  All you do is press the clippers into your hair and they do the rest.  

Sidebar: If you are cutting your hair over the bathroom sink, line your sink with some paper towel to catch all the hair and stop it from going down the drain.  If you rinse hair down the drain it will eventually clog the drain.
 
 

To start determine how short you want your bangs to be.  I often cut them a little longer than I think I want just to make sure I don't cut too much.  Make sure your fringe is dry and styled when you cut it.  If it's wet or not styled you may end up cutting off too much or cutting it crooked.  The first cut you do will be a straight one.  This cut will be in the centre of the fringe and will be the longest point.  To cut just line up the clippers and press them into the hair.  Make sure the blade is perpendicular to your hair so you get a straight edge to the cut.  

The next cut will be at an angle in order to start the curved shape.  This is pretty straightforward.  When you get to the edge of the fringe is when things can go wrong.  Because your fringe is so wide and most likely overlaps your hairline, it can be dangerous using clippers in this area.  You could easily cut into the hairline below and make a mess of your hair.  To avoid this I use a business card.  Slide the business card between your fringe and the hairline below and use it as a shield to protect your hairline.  If you're still not 100% confident use scissors in this area.

Once you have finished cutting your fringe it is really important that you brush through it to make sure you haven't missed any bits.  Checking for rogue hairs will be a lot easier if you brush all the trimmed hairs off your face so that you can clearly see the edge of your bangs.  Also, check that the angle of your bangs is the same on both sides.  I do this by holding my brush at the bottom of my bangs and checking the angle between my bangs and the brush is the same.  If you've missed anything or you're unhappy with the shape or length of your fringe, just go back through it with the clippers.  

 
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And that's it!  If you follow these tips and tricks you're sure to have your Bettie bangs always in top form!  If you watch my video be sure to like, comment, and subscribe!  There's heaps more YouTube goodness to come!

xo Margeaux

 

Sewing Tulle - Tips and Tricks

I have just started developing a new act with the help of BB Le Buff's School of Performance and have therefore been busily ordering and planning and training but, until recently, had done very little sewing.  I started my first costume piece on the weekend - a pair of tulle tap pants!  Sewing with tulle is not fun but I have discovered 3 tricks that make sewing with it sew much easier!

 

My gown is made of ~11m of tulle!! Photo by KTB Designs | MUAH & Styling by the Bombshell Burlesque Academy

 

Sewing machine pressure dial

This is one of the parts of my machine I never paid attention to/understood what it was for.  This dial actually controls how hard the presser foot presses down on the fabric.  On my machine (a Janome My Excel 18W) the dial is on the top of the machine (number 11 below) and is set to 3 as a default.   

 

Image from the out of print manual for the Janome My Excel 18W. Number 11 is the pressure dial.

 

Setting 3 is for regular sewing.  When sewing fine fabrics you can change the setting to 1 to reduce the pressure on the fabric and prevent feeding issues.  You can also use this for when you are sewing stretch fabrics and bulky layers that you have trouble fitting under the foot. 

Image from the out of print manual for the Janome My Excel 18W.

The Walking Foot

Yeah, I'm probably not going to shut up about this anytime soon.  The walking foot, AKA my favourite foot, AKA the even feed foot, will help with feeding issues when sewing tulle and other fine fabrics.  The walking foot has feed dogs which work with the feed dogs on your machine to ensure the fabric is feed though smoothly.  This foot is also essential for sewing with stretch fabrics as well as for pattern matching.  This foot is a little pricey, but is so so so so worth it and will help you with so many different fabrics and applications.

Pin curl clips to avoid slips

This is the real reason I am writing this post.  Pinning tulle is next to impossible.  The pins will slide out so easily and excerise becomes quite pointless and annoying.  I had seen on a sewing blog somewhere someone using plastic clips instead of pins on their fabric, and I happened to have a couple of pin curl clips on my table that I had used for pastie making (I use them to hold the pastie at the overlap while the glue dries) so I decided to try using to pin together 2 pieces of tulle.  Well it worked so well I actually feel excited about it.  Not only do the pin curl clips securely hold the fabric they also have the added bonus of adding weight to the fabric which helps when you're trying to work on very light fabrics on an extremely windy day!

The clips hold the fabric much more securely than pins and reduce the slipping that you can get when you are sewing 2 layers of fine fabric together (something that can be further reduced using tips 1 and 2).  They are easy to remove as you sew and gather up when you're finished.  Plus most of us burly girls are bound to have some laying around the house.  

They are also very easy to re-position .  In the last photo I had pinned the bottom of my tap pant legs so that they were secure while I marked and trimmed them to make them shorter.  I was then able to place the off cut from one leg, with the clips still attached, on to the other pant leg and easily move the clips on the under layer to clip the top layer as well to give me a guide for cutting.  This is because the hinge point of the clip extends past the edge of the fabric. So instead of lifting the fabric to get to the pins you can just un-clip and re-clip with no issues! 

This is a bit of a quick post but will hopefully save you a lot of time and heartache when you next sew with tulle of any other similar fabric.  I look forward to showing you what I've been up to so stay tuned!

 

xo Margeaux