Saturday, September 8, 2012

Criss-Cross Step Ponies with Ribbon

Fall is here!  Which means, among other things, that Little Miss is back in dance class.  With her long hair, I used to challenge myself to see how many different ways I could do or accent a bun.  While the buns will (obviously) not translate well into short hair styles, some of the accents will!

For this style, start with a rectangle on top of her head.  Divide this into four equal square-ish shapes, like so...

Beginning with the front left square, remove the temporary hair band.  Part it into two equal parts.  Tie off the front one with an elastic, as shown below.  Then add the hair from the other part to it and tie that off with another elastic.  (I'm calling these 'step ponies' but I've also heard them called French pigtails and other names.)  See below (before I've added the second elastic):

Next, remove the temporary hair band from the back right corner (light pink in the above pic).  Divide this square into two as well, and cross the midline with the hair that's already in progress to add it to the front section of the two.  Then add all that hair into the back section, tying it all off with an elastic to make a palm tree. 

Do the same thing to the other side, crossing over the other side's hair in the middle. (This could all be done in inside-out French braids (aka "Dutch" braids or cornrows) as well.  Since Little Miss' hair is so short, step ponies tend to hold together more easily than braids!  You won't be able to tell when it's covered in ribbon unless you look closely.  But do whatever your preference is.)  It should look like this at this point: 

Now for the ribbon!  You can, of course, do this style without adding the ribbon.  It's cute on its own.  But if you like the look of the ribbon, read on...

You'll need two fairly long pieces of ribbon.  I used white 1/8"-wide polyester (satin-y) ribbon that I bought at a craft/fabric store for about $1.  I re-use the ribbon pieces until they're too short to use.  (I often trim them at the end; you'll see.)  You'll also need a craft needle.  You can also get these at craft/fabric stores.  They're great for hair because they're not sharp. 

You're going to stitch up and down one step pony with each ribbon.  Start on the right.  At the base of the palm tree, insert your craft needle (threaded with ribbon) like this:

Leaving some ribbon out (about 8 inches or so), keep stitching around the step pony until you get to the top.  Stitch around that elastic a couple of times if you want, then stitch back the way you came, taking care to position your stitches so they criss-cross each time.  It's also a good idea to make sure that your ribbon isn't twisted after each stitch.  It looks much nicer if the ribbon lays flat around the hair.  After doing one 'side,' here's more or less what it should look like (not perfect, but you get the idea):

Take the two pieces of ribbon at the end and wrap them around the elastic of the palm tree a few times, going opposite directions.  Then tie a bow.  Trim the ends to the length you want.  Do the same to the other side.  Congratulations, you're done!

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