So I bought the basic ingredients for my Alice in Wonderland costume. The next step was to do as little as possible to them to get them to work.
I don’t have a ton of photos of this part, but in short what I did was:
To the blue dress?
- Removed the shoulder pads. Duh.
- Shortened the hem – quite sloppily. I wanted the bottom of the white wrap-around underdress to show below the hemline, so I took up the hem of the blue dress. Except that all I did was pin the hem line up, and then stitch it into place. The sewing machine kept skipping stitches, the hemline is uneven, etc. etc. But it’s a costume, and I didn’t have much time. Oh well.
- Removed the decorative bright brass buttons and replaced the functional ones with some dull, dark blue buttons. The only goal here was to keep the buttons from being seen through the rather thin apron material.
- Added a snap to the very top of the neckline, just below the collar. The first picture here shows the front of the dress with half the buttons (the ones for show) removed, and the other half replaced with dark blue ones. If you zoom in on the photo, you can just barely see where the decorative buttons were removed on the left, and you can also see the snap that I’ve put up on the collar. The second picture shows exactly where the snap pieces are, and the third shows how it looks with the snap closed. Not quite the peter pan collar I was looking for, but not bad.
To the white underdress? I did absolutely nothing.
To the nightgown? I practically took the whole thing apart and sewed it back together again. The real advantage of using a nightgown is that I was able to keep trying it on and marking it as I modified it. Specifically, I started by trying it on as-is. It was so small that I cut it up the back and put it on like a back-button shirt. I saw that the straps were too short, so I cut them and tried it on again. Or rather, sort of held it into place. I marked where the neckline SHOULD have gone, where the waistline SHOULD have been, where the side edges of the apron should be, etc. etc. Then basically cut it down and hemmed all the edges. At that point, I had an apron with with no shoulder straps and no tie around the waist. But I did have marks where those should be. So I used the extra material to make straps and just basted them sloppily in place.
And, being me, I already had the black mary-janes and the white knee socks.
For reference, this is what the outfit looked like at this point, before I got input from friends on what else to do.
Primary suggestions for improvement – if time permitted – was to shorten the sleeves and add ruffles to the apron. Personally, I would have liked adding a pocket to the apron. Also, if I had it to do over again, I would have made the apron wider. Right now, it doesn’t really flow with the skirt. It’s just too narrow / small, basically.