NOV, 2010ALICE LIDDELL of Wonderland dress: The sexy babydoll dress in my photo gallery was actually the property of my photographer; the long traditional one in my Brooklyn shoot was one my mother made but is so worn and getting shredded. The construction of this Dark and Strange Alice dress is going much faster than I anticipated.

Of course I modified the design slightly from the Simplicity pattern (#4015) so that may have streamlined it a bit. There are so many parts of this that have been frustrating.

PHOTO BY JAY FIFE

The measurements of the trim were not accurate. I was not going to trim the neckline mainly because I thought it would be uncomfortable. I had enough of a darling little white trim with a heart design cut supposedly to have enough for the skirt and the apron. There was only enough for the skirt. I have to get more by either driving 45 minutes to Joann’s or go to a local store and get something else. Biggest problem with finding white trim is that whites are very hard to match. If you’ve ever tried to paint a room with white paint and gone to the white paint samples, you know what I mean.

You’ll see by the pictures that my adjustable dress form looks like there’s no way the dress will fit. The form has dials and is set to my measurements. No idea why the pattern won’t fit on it but I can in fact, get it on. The neckline/shoulder area is a problem; it’s baggy. I have no idea how to adjust it considering that the bodice is lined. Maybe if I remove the zipper partially and pull it tighter at the back’s center, it will work.

The cutting of pattern pieces is one of the parts I do not enjoy. Luckily in this case, I had done it previously in anticipation of making it. It’s 1 hour of cutting the pattern. As of today’s work-in-progress pics, I have just the dress completed at the basic level; as I said it probably needs some tweaking. So that’s 6 hours of sewing today, Nov. 21, 2010. Tomorrow, the apron will be done.

NEW NOTES (Nov 21, 2010)

It’s important for me to have a pocket working into a costume (or a utility belt) whenever possible. I usually have nice matching totes or purses. I figured an apron would normally have a pocket so I made this one shown in the pics below. Since I run out of white frilly trim to put around the entire edge of the apron, I used the remnant to outline the pocket. I had debated on making 2 small pockets or a big one; obviously I went with one big one. I decided to attach the pocket on a wonky angle with a zig-zag stitch just to have a little Wonderland whimsy worked in.

I had picked up a couple of petticoats on one adventure to the local thrift store on Main Street in Flemington, NJ. Lots of great scores there and at the thrift store around the corner on Mine Street. I took the white one and shortened it to where I could change the itty bitty waist into one that fit around me. I worked in some wide elastic instead of worrying about hooks or zippers. It’s a wiggle to get it over my hips but once it’s on, it’s fine. I tried the dress on with and without the petticoat and can safely say that when I took it off, the frigid air hit my legs. So as much as I like the way it looks without it, I will either have to wear the petticoat for warmth or maybe thick tights under my tall socks.

DARK & STRANGE ALICE
SLEEVES
SLEEVES and SKIRT WITH TRIM
BODICE w/o sleeves
BODICE BACK - very concerned about it fitting since the dress form had been adjusted to my measurements.
The fraying was terrible to deal with. It only got worse as the construction progressed, especially when trying to gather the skirt.
BODICE with SLEEVES
BODICE BACK with SLEEVES
First fitting; front.
First fitting; back.
Still needs apron.
APRON:
It's important for me to have a pocket working into a costume. Attached the only remaining trim to contrast piece. Stitched to one layer of apron with zig-zag stitch. Then assembled the apron per instructions.
FINISHED shown without a petticoat
FINISHED shown with petticoat - a much warmer version for 30-degree NJ weather.