While I was at work on Monday, I got a text from a friend about scheduling a sleep over with Lydia and as an aside, she asked if I could keep my eyes open for something that her daughter could wear to be Alice in Wonderland for Halloween. I decided to stop at my favorite thrift store (the AmVets near my house) to start watching for either a blue dress or a blue shirt and skirt and a white apron.
For 89 cents I picked up this Rare Editions blue smocked cotton dress. (I can sell the dress alone at consignment for ten times what I paid if things don't work out, so no worries here! The dress is sleeveless and Alice has sleeves, so....
for 89 cents I also got this blue short sleeved t-shirt. Next I needed something for the apron. I found a white ruffled curtain valance, but they wanted $3 for it. Instead....
for 89 cents I got a white cotton tunic shirt with pretty lace details. First, I put the t-shirt under the dress. No sewing required and it will add a little more warmth for a TN October night.
At that point the dress was finished, and still unaltered so it can always be taken apart used as just a regular dress later. The only part that required work was making the apron. Here is what I did.
I cut the sleeves off an then cut the bottom half of the tunic free from the top of the shirt. My idea all along was to use the sleeves as the waist band/ties and the bottom half of the shirt would get cut open and gathered.
I laid it out and decided that it needed a top part to the apron to really look like the classic illustrations of Alice. The problem was I only had a few scraps of fabric left, not enough for a full front of an apron.
That is when I remembered the Alice themed quilt that my mom made for Lydia's Alice in Wonterland, Tea for 2, second birthday party. She was kind enough to give me all the scraps.
I played around with a few options and decided that the tea party scene fit the front of the apron the best. Then I just had to figure out how to work around the scraps of white shirt that I had left.
I decided to cut the bodice of the white shirt into four sections. I used the two side pieces so that the lace made a border around the Alice image. The picture below doesn't show it yet, but the other two pieces of lace, the small ones from the middle of the shirt were each half as long as the center of the apron. (Boy did I get lucky on that!) So I sewed the lace together and used it to frame the top of the Alice image.
The sleeves were cut apart and sewn end to end to make a nice long waist band.
It took a little finishing work, but all total this costume cost less than $3 and right at 2 hours of my time!
It needs a good ironing, but my friend should be up to that! Who knows, maybe in a few years, Lydia will wear this costume and I can be the red queen! Hmmm, I might have to keep my eye open at the thrift store for something red.