Simple Sewing

DIY Alice in Wonderland Costume Pattern and Instructions

Alice In Wonderland costume

Alice In Wonderland costume dress

DIY Alice in Wonderland Costume

Time I’ve know I needed to make an Alice in Wonderland costume:  TWO MONTHS

Time I’ve had the fabric: TWO WEEKS

Days ’till Halloween:  TWO (Until the school Halloween party)

Doing it all in one night:  PRICELESS but EXHAUSTING!

Materials Needed

Let me start out by saying I didn’t use a pattern, cut major corners by not ironing anything, and even used the manufactured edge to save hemming.  It’s a costume…short and simple.  I used 2.5 yards of blue cotton fabric, and 7/8 yards of white lining fabric as well as three yards of white ribbon I just had on hand.   Buttons too…I suggest buttons, but you’ll have to read on for that painful discovery.

DIY Alice in Wonderland Costume Pattern

To start I grabbed one of Princess’ Sunday dresses.  I grabbed this particular one due to its basic lines.

Princess' Dress

Next I laid the dress out on one layer of the blue fabric and traced an outline of the right half of the dress, allowing a good inch for seam allowance and wiggle room.  I just grabbed a piece of sidewalk chalk.  Love the stuff.

Outline dress

After tracing the right side of the dress, I cut along this line just to the center of the neck and hem, creating the  silhouette of half a dress.  Be sure not to cut down the middle.   Then I folded the right side over to the left to find the mirror image of the other half of the dress.  With it folded over I could then cut out the left half to be a perfect match to the right side.  Still with me?

Folded dress front - Alice in Wonderland costume

To create the back panels I next took another piece of the blue fabric, folded it in half and laid the folded front panel on top of it.   I placed the center fold of the front one inch from the fold in the new layer of fabric.  This way I could get an exact match of the front side seams onto the back, leaving a space for a seam in the center back.  Just look at the picture.  It’s easier.

Folded back of dress - Alice in Wonderland costume

I cut along the outline of the front, but this time I also cut the fold in the back.  This creates a center back seam.  We want one in the back but not in the front.

Cut back fold only

Cut back fold only

Sewing Alice in Wonderland Costume Together

Finally some sewing.  With right sides together, I actually pinned the front to the back on the sides and shoulder and sewed them together.

Sew sides - Alice in Wonderland costume instructions

Next came the sleeves.  I lacked confidence once I reached this point so I looked online.  Isn’t the internet wonderful!  I found a great video tutorial on Whitney Sews ,and that boosted my confidence.  The sleeve shape is basically a bell curve.  I looks something like this.

Sleeve unfolded

Note how I used the manufactured edge along the straight side.  This way I don’t have to hem the sleeve.  Like I said at the beginning…this is all about cutting corners.  I created the sleeve in the same way I did the dress.  I just folded a piece of fabric in half, traced out half  a curve and walla, a sleeve.

Traced sleeve - Alice in Wonderland Costume instructions pattern

I sewed along the short straight part and turned the sleeve right side out.

Sewn sleeve

Sew curved part of sleeve into the dress arm.

Next I slipped the sleeve inside the dress, putting right sides together.  I almost started pinning the sleeve in backwards but quickly caught my mistake and started pinning the curved part into the dress sleeve opening, gathering as I pinned.

pinned sleeve

I repeated this for the other sleeve and created two pleasantly puffed sleeves.

Puffed sleeve

Next, the back seam.  I sewed half way up the back seam starting at the hem.  Then I turned the two open sides under slightly.

Back seam

Here is where the horror begins.

It shouldn’t have been hard, but I made one painful mistake:

SNAPS….

Oohh the pain!

I thought snaps would be easy; that they’d make the project go faster.  I had about eight snaps and only needed to put in four.  But by the time I had two snaps in I’d destroyed all the others, and spent a good hour of my precious time doing it.

Maybe other people have better success with snaps, and maybe one day I’ll look up their tutorials online, but it won’t be for a while.  The pain is still too fresh right now.

To make a long story short I ended up with two snaps and two buttons along the back seam.

Don’t judge me.

It was painful enough and I’ve learned my lesson.  Next time I’ll just do the buttons in the first place.  They were quick and easy compared to the wretched snaps.

Back buttons

Two snaps and two buttons…I’m as pained as you are.

A quick hem of the neck line and bottom and the dress part was done.

Blue dress

Alice in Wonderland Costume Apron

I used 7/8 yard of white, shiny, lining fabric.  It was cheap and I liked the shininess of it.  Once again I just eyeballed it by laying it out ontop of the dress and tracing out half an apron shape.

Trace apron

Then I hemmed all four sides and sewed two pieces of white ribbon to the top.  They will tie in the back behind my Princess’ neck.  A third longer piece of ribbon will go around her waist.  I’ll probably tack it into place on either side of the apron when I have her try it on.

And there it is. An Alice in Wonderland costume all finished.  Now I just need a black ribbon for her hair and white tights.

Alice In Wonderland dress

She is going to be so cute.

April

I’m Linking to:

Blue Cricket Design , Creations by Kara , We are THAT Family , Someday Crafts , My Backyard Eden , Beyond the Picket Fence , The Shabby Chic Cottage , Somewhat Simple , Fireflies and Jellybeans , Tales from Bloggeritaville , House of Hepworths “HoH”Between Naps on the Porch , Beyond the Picket Fence , Life as Lori , Just a Girl , The Shabby Nest , My Romantic Home , Remodelaholic , Finding Fabulous , Tidy Mom , Be Different…Act Normal , Tatertots and JelloSaturday Soiree at A Little Lovely, Funky Junk InteriorsMaking the World Cuter , Made by You MONDAYS by Skip to My Lou ,   The DIY Show Off, Tools Are For Women Too, Craft Edition ,

12 Comments

  • Awesome costume! Princess will look great. What about the rest of the kids? Are the twins also doing Alice in Wonderland?

    (BTW, love the dress you used to make your pattern. Super cute!)

  • *I’m so impressed! I sewed a dress for my daughter and it took me a MONTH! So amazing!

    Found you on TidyMom, Happy Halloween!

    • Hi Jenn,
      Thanks for the compliment on my daughter’s costume. She had a great time wearing it and even asked if she could wear it to church tomorrow. But lets face it…it isn’t exactly “church worthy”, especially with the special situation in the back. It is really fun though for playing in.
      Hope you had a great Halloween too.

  • *Love your tutorial!! Thanks for sharing it. I am making a costume for character day at the school I work at. Using the dress guide for “Lilly” of Lilly’s purple plastic purse. Your tutorial is so easy to follow. I just couldn’t get the sleeves right and couldn’t seem to find the right Whitney Sew’s video. Would you be willing to point me in the right directions to find it. Thanks again for such a wonderful tutorial.

  • It’s dress as your favorite book character time at school for my daughter and those shiny packaged costumes are YUCK! I bow to your greatness!

    • I agree. Those overpriced, low quality costumes are not worth it. But just think, for a few dollars and a few hours of lost sleep you can make a cute, sturdy costume that will last. Best wishes to you.

  • Thanks for showing your last minute dress making. I used a lot of your ideas to make one for my little babe and it turned out great!!! (And all from $2 remnant fabric!!)

  • thank you so much for making this, I’ve been wondering how to make this dress forever and this is the perfect tutorial for me! I’m making it for my halloween costume. Again, thanks!
    *Hug*

  • Thank you so much! You have saved me such horror with your tutorial I have a day to complete and with your help I may be able to sneak in a coffee break! You rock! Keep up the great work!