To celebrate my daughters and mothers birthdays next weekend we’re having an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party. I needed an Alice dress for my almost 4-year-old quick!
I cut a lot of corners to make this so it’s quick and simple, and I am proud to say that it cost me nothing at all as I was able to use materials entirely from my salvage box.
Here’s how I made the dress:
- Blue Fabric (I used an old ankle length skirt of mine – if I had purchased fabric I probably would have bought a slightly lighter blue but as far as a 4-year-old is concerned blue is blue so it’s all good.)
- White Fabric (This was one of Daddy’s old work shirts)
- Elastic (Taken from my older son’s boxer shorts – washed first of course)
I used one of my daughters school pinafore dresses as a template, roughly drawing around the top section to create my basic shape.
From my material I cut two of these pieces and unsure if I would have enough material left over for sleeves I hemmed the necklines and sleeve openings.
To allow enough room to get the dress over her head I created this easy peasy tie-up opening with a short length of white ribbon. Here’s how:
- Cut a slit along the back.
- Add another small cut to create a “T” shape slit
- Pin a length of ribbon along each edge leaving enough at the tops to tie the garment shut when worn.
- Add a small piece of ribbon along the bottom the keep the edges neat.
- Sew on the ribbon as pictured.
Pin the two pieces together and sew along the sides and the gap between the neck and sleeve openings. Apologies for the image that shows the piece being pinned in preparation for this step, anyone that owns felines will understand that at some point in any project your cat will decide to do something along these lines.
Ok poser, just one more picture then you’re off so I can finish this dress…
From the biggest piece of full fabric I’d salvaged from my old skirt I cut myself a rectangle, pinned along one edges and hemmed. If you have more material than me you can use much more for a fuller, gathered effect. For a really dramatic poofed out look you could also whip up an underskirt from white netting if you have any lying around.
Sew along what will become the back of the skirt to form a large loop with your rectangle.
Pin and sew to the top part of the dress, neaten any edges, trim any loose threads and turn out.
For the apron I used one of Daddy’s old work heavy cotton shirts.
I cut two sections as pictured above and hemmed where the pieces have been pinned.
Since this was a salvage mission there wasn’t enough fabric to make a continuous sash to form the apron tie so I did the following:
- Cut myself a selection of strips from the shirt all roughly the same width
- Pressed each strip in half
- Folded the strip out and then folded each edge into the centre and pressed again to form a strip of fabric that resembles bias tape
- Inside the fold I slipped a length of iron on hemming tape (I could have stitched these pieces together but the tape acts a little like interfacing once cooled and creates a stiff feel to the apron tie for a more dramatic bow at the back.)
- … and ironed it inside.
I stitched the strips together to form a generous length of material (saving a piece for the neck)
attaching the strip to the two apron pieces by sewing as shown by the pinned area.
attached the neck piece…
and we have an Alice dress with apron. As it turns out I didn’t have enough material left for sleeves, you can always add some if you prefer. Instead I popped on one of my daughters school blouses under the dress.
Of course no Alice costume is complete without an Alice Band…
It took me about 10 minutes if that to knock up this quicky one:
- Fold over a rectangle of fabric, stitch together, turn out and press so that the hem falls along the middle of the back.
- Do this again with another piece but not as wide.
- Thread your elastic through this smaller piece.
- Stitch the fabric and elastic together keeping the elastic pulled tight so that you create a gathered effect on the fabric once the tension is released.
- Gather together the top piece and stitch the two pieces together.
Here’s my daughter wearing the dress (which, even if I do say myself, she was delighted with)…
All together now… “Not pink, Not green, Not aquamarine, We’re painting the roses red!”
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