“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”
Alice in Wonderland is such wonderfully strange fun. I’ve loved it since I was little. You should have seen me in the role of the queen of hearts in a kids production of Alice. I accidentally beheaded a foam flamingo during the croquet scene, and then managed to save it with an ad lib “Off with its’ head!” Good times.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of this crazy and inspiring children’s story, Sara from Made By Sara is putting on a series dedicated to sewing Alice in Wonderland inspired things. Can you believe it’s been 150 years since this was written? It still seems so fresh and unique. We’ve read the books to our kids – Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The poetry and banter and crazy situations…..so much fun.
While it was super tempting to do something really big and in your face ALICE, I was caught by a wave of practicality. Everything must be needed and useful in the kids wardrobes. Which meant….no dresses. But we do have stripes!
“How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!”
When I think of Alice in Wonderland, so many different scenes and characters and themes come to mind. You have cards and hearts, mushrooms, rabbits and walruses, waistcoats, blue dresses, oysters, painted roses, striped cats, weirdo twins…..the list just goes on. One thing that always speaks to me though: STRIPES. And violet said that she wanted a Cheshire cat outfit. She was probably expecting a costume, but she still loves what I came up with. It’s a riot of stretchy stripes.
She ate a biscuit marked “eat me” and immediately shrunk down to the size of a chess piece.
Originally I planned to add a big grin to the center panel of her butt, but I ran out of time and she kept trying to steal the pants from me. I decided to break up the mass of purple tonal stripes with some green. It wasn’t until after I’d made the pants that I remembered I intended to make the pants mostly green and use the purple up top. No wonder I had so much green left over and barely enough to make the pants. Duh
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.”
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Her tank has a freezer paper stencil with her Cheshire cat quote “we’re all mad here.” I feel like this should be on our doormat.
The Cheshire Cat was a pretty wild personality, and a habit of changing color and shape. So I wanted her outfit to look like it was in transition, changing from one thing to another.
The leggings are the fancy pants pattern – also from titchy threads – which I won in a giveaway ages ago. It’s worth paying for. Fabrics are also from gnats.
Next I have a rather looser interpretation of Wonderland in Clover’s outfit.
“O Tiger-lily,’ said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, `I wish you could talk!’
`We can talk,’ said the Tiger-lily: `when there’s anybody worth talking to.”
There’s a recurring theme of flowers in Wonderland, and this sweet and dreamy double gauze seemed like something Alice would enjoy wearing while daydreaming along the edge of a pond in summer. I’ve been hoarding my Nani IRO double gauze for ages to make myself something, but here it is on one of my kids. My original plan was to make her something fun in a flamingo print fabric, but everything I found just wasn’t what I wanted. It was all so…..tropical. Now I hear that the Miss Matatabi site is a good place to look for flamingos, but I didn’t know when I was shopping. Oh well!
On the bottom she’s wearing some blue knit mushroom fabric. Alice has a tendency to get into trouble while tasting mushrooms, and this fabric seemed perfect to me. Whimsical and quirky.
And of course an accent of stripes. Because – stripes!
Clover was so excited about her outfit that she wanted to wear it all day before we took pictures, which included two trips in the car and a walk through a mall. Plus rain. So her double gauze acquired a somewhat kerfluffled look.
Still. I love it. So sweet and summery.
I learned a lesson during this shoot. If you’re going to give your kids props that involve chocolate chips that will melt all over their faces and bodies, save it till the end of the shoot. Otherwise you’ll be prying the leftovers from their angry, crumb covered fingers and busting out the baby wipes while your toddler runs away with the cookie bag and wipes out. Repeatedly.
Clover’s top is self drafted by me. I didn’t own, nor could I find, a pattern for exactly what I wanted. So I grabbed some butcher paper and draped it on her. One muslin later, I had a pattern. Who knew I could do that?! Curiouser and curiouser. I can’t actually remember now where I got the double gauze, but it was probably at Finch
Her pants are the mini hudson pattern from True Bias
I made them in a size far too big for her in order to not have to mess around with lengthening a smaller size, and I think I should just cut the smaller size next time. This is the second version of these same pants that I’ve made and both are wildly oversized in the top section, even for pants with a slight drop crotch (ew, crotch is such a weird word!). But they look a little Tweedle Dee too, so it works. Fabric is Art Gallery knit from Gnats shop
Thank you so much for stopping by. There’s a giveaway for a slew of patterns, if you care for that sort of thing. Enter the rafflecopter below or go to the Made by Sara blog to enter
Have you read the Wonderland books? Do you have a favorite character or quote? I really love the poems and silly songs.