Saturday, 10 October 2015

I'm late, I'm late!

My eldest son was recently invited to the 13th birthday party of a girl at school. It was to be a Mad Hatter's Tea Party and every guest was instructed to dress as a particular Alice in Wonderland character. Mr 12 was assigned 'The White Rabbit'. 

If I was feeling less than excited about conjuring up a white rabbit costume, it didn't last long. I heard a sentence from my son that I have waited twelve years to hear: "Mum, can you teach me how to sew so I can make a white rabbit costume?" Music to my ears!

The first step was a visit to Remida creative reuse centre in Perth to gather supplies. I took both my boys and their friend since it was school holidays. I love seeing their inspiration being fired up as they imagine what they could make from all the goodies there. The problem is holding them back so we can fit it all in the car!

We managed to find everything we needed for the costume apart from the ears, glasses and red binding for the tunic, all of which we had at home. That means this costume was essentially free, apart from my yearly membership fee of course.

The tunic is made from strong, white nylon fabric. We folded it over, cut the top a bit wider than my son's shoulders and tapered out slightly to just below hip level. We cut another piece the same and made a hole through both pieces just big enough to get his head through. These were sewn together (by my son) at the neckline, then one piece pulled through to give a clean finish. We used wadding at the front between the two layers. I sewed the cross on the front and bound all the edges with red lycra binding from my stash.

While I was doing that, my son used a heart template to trace and cut out the small hearts from red sticky paper. The larger heart was traced on the computer screen from one we found on the internet. The paper wasn't sticking strongly enough to the fabric so I stitched around each one to hold it in place. The sides of the tunic were held together with a small line of stitching.

The ruffle was made from four long strips of net curtaining, approximately 15cm wide. We cut a piece of 1cm wide elastic a bit longer than my son's neck measurement. The net strips were placed on top of one another, the elastic stretched to maximum capacity and sewn with zig-zag down the centre of the strips. We then joined the ends of the ruffle together and it could be easily put on over the head.

Next the clock. We used a piece of plastic poster board and drew two circles to cut out with a scalpel. The top and back of the clock was covered in gold stickers. I cut the numbers freehand from black stickers. Red arrows for hands and done!

We were both thrilled with the way the costume turned out and we had such a nice time together sewing, sticking, chatting and laughing. The party was last night. All the characters looked fantastic and it was reportedly "The best party ever and no one believed we'd made the costume!" Success all round I'd say.


  1. Very professional result from materials that cost nothing. You are the Queen of piecing!

  2. Great costume and even greater was the fact that your son was interested and involved in the making of it. You must be so pleased.

  3. Impressive costume...great imaginations and a fun memory!

  4. What a wonderful project to do together. Wonderfully creative solution to the problem and the outfit is awesome. There will be many more fancy dress parties in your future and I'm looking forward to them!

  5. Well, I felt a bit tearful reading that. How wonderful to share an activity like that with one's child, especially a son (both my kids seem to enjoy 'differentiating' from us parents though on one thing we agree: we all love animals). I've also heard people say that their parents were too busy or too impatient to teach them things like sewing and cooking; what a shame.

    I love the appearance of the stitched on hearts - they look jelly sweets.

    Remida isn't something we have here. What a great idea.


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