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White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Halloween Costumes
For our fourth excursion to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Not-so-scary Halloween Party, we went back to one of our favorite movies: Alice in Wonderland. The film is full of vibrant hues and colorful characters with a lot of whimsical imagery. Hollie once played the Queen of Hearts in a school play, and she decided to reprise the character. I chose the White Rabbit, which had its own special challenges.
One of the great things about the Mary Blair design is the use of large areas of color, with limited detail, making the construction of the costumes rather straightforward.
As usual, there is no pattern for this costume. If you read my hub from the previous year, you will remember that the pattern available for the Queen of Hearts was styled after the Tim Burton film. So I had to figure out which pieces to combine. The bodice and the collar are the same style as the Snow White pattern, but the sleeves came from a medieval pattern. Luckily for me, Simplicity makes a pattern for children styled after the Queen. The size was too small, but I thought I could extrapolate.
As per my method, I made a mock up of the Queen's underskirt. Once I knew it would work, I fashioned the yellow and black underskirt. It is a separate piece, but I secured it to the bodice with snaps to keep it from falling.
I had to make the pattern for the overskirt myself. I made the curve of the border first and the panels to suit. The construction of the dress was actually rather easy, it was the crown that gave us headaches. No matter what we did, we couldn't get it to stay on her head without bouncing around. Finally after watching many beauty pagent youtube tutorials, we used strips of nylon and half the bobby pins in Sarasota to secure the crown to her head.
For the White Rabbit I wanted the clothes to be well constructed and tailored, like a gentleman of the period would wear. Hollie spotted the perfect pattern: pants, waistcoat and overcoat with tails. After making a mock up, I took the collar off an old dress shirt I got at a thrift store and replaced it with a period collar. The large bow tie is sewn right on to the collar.
The overcoat was made of red twill, and I made sure I put pockets on the inside. Pockets, as I have said before, are essential for any costume.
For the feet I ordered a pair of rabbit slippers, but I couldn't wear them all night at a theme park, so I decided to use the same trick I used for Happy and create spats. I removed the thin cardboard soles from the slippers and sewed velcro around the inside. I attached the slippers to the same sneakers I used for Happy.
The ears took a little more thinking. I bought a pair of bunny ears around Easter, but they looked small and cheap. I made larger ears, but they wouldn't stay on my head, as they were too top heavy. Hollie found a pattern for animal ears, which seem to be rather popular. I made the hood, but the ears flopped over, until Hollie suggested I put the store bought ears inside the large ears. It worked. The store bought ears allowed the ears to stay up and the hood kept it on my head. It was the perfect example of our creative process. Often times, Hollie will come up with the concept and I come up with the execution. Sometimes it's the other way around.
I added the finishing touches: white gloves, a pocket watch, and a pair of costume glasses.
We were a hit. Every where we went people complimented us. A few little girls dressed as Alice wanted their picture taken with Hollie. One kid cried out, "Nice to meet you, Queen!"
We knew we wanted to have our picture taken with Alice and the Mad Hatter. We didn't expect to draw a crowd. When this picture was taken, we saw at least a dozen cameras and phones taking our picture as well. I couldn't ask for a better compliment.
Stay tuned! Wait until you see what we have planned for 2015!