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Hand-Crafty Halloween

Alice and the White Rabbit Costumes

ON THIS PAGE: White Rabbit | Alice in Wonderland

The classic story of Alice in Wonderland can come to life this Halloween as you recreate these whimsical costumes for your children. Two of our cover kids, Abby Watson, six, and her brother, Walker, four, make the perfect duo as Alice and the White Rabbit with the help of their mom, Rebecca. On previous Halloween nights the two children matched as character twosomes such as Wendy and Peter Pan and Jesse and Woody from Toy Story. So, Alice following the bunny who may be late for a very important date, fit into their holiday tradition.

White Rabbit

What you will need:
White bunny rabbit outfit
Red vest
Yellow bow tie or 1 yard of yellow grosgrain ribbon
Pocket watch

Rebecca started her project with her son's white rabbit costume. "I knew I could make Alice's dress, but I thought the rabbit would be harder to recreate," she says. While shopping at Marshall's, Abby was the first to spot the rack of bunny costumes, and couldn't wait to alert her mom. After finding the right size, Rebecca knew the costume would be a success when Walker hopped around the store saying, "I'm late, I'm late for a very important date."

The rabbit's accessories were easy to find on Ebay, Rebecca says. "I thought about making the vest, but I wanted to look on Ebay first to make it simple. I got two vests for $1 one red, one black."

Using the red vest, she wanted to make his bow tie a contrasting color. Again on Ebay, she found a yellow bow tie for $3.00. If you can't find a bow tie, you can use one yard of yellow grosgrain ribbon tied in a bow around the bunny's neck. "Just make sure to cut the tails of the bow really short to make it look more like a bow tie," Rebecca says.

Rebecca didn't have to buy a pocket watch because her husband already had one. She attached it to the vest's button and pinned it to the side. Instead of a pocket watch, she says you can find a big, plastic clock at local party stores to use as more of a caricature of the Rabbit's watch.

Alice in Wonderland

What you will need:
Dark sky blue material
White panty hose
Twin sheet
Black Mary Jane shoes
Blond wig
1 yard of black satin ribbon

Rebecca found a pattern for Alice's dress at Joann's Fabrics. Finding the perfect blue, which she describes as a dark sky blue, was Rebecca's next step. The dress is made out of sturdy, heavy cotton material. "I had to find material that was sturdy and would last. It had to keep its form, keep the pleats and puffy arms," she says.

While looking for white material for Alice's apron, the cloth she found was either too thick or flimsy. Rebecca decided to use a twin bed sheet she had at home. "The best part of the sheet was it already had a hem, which saved me time," she says.

Because Rebecca has been sewing since she was eight, making the dress only took about three hours. For less experienced seamstresses, Rebecca suggests making the project a two-day venture. On day one, cut out all the pieces, pin them in place, and sew the simple straight seams. On day two, she recommends finishing up the detailed work including the pleating of the skirt and sleeves. Rebecca says the hardest part while making the costume was measuring and getting the sleeves even across the top of the shoulder.

Pleating the skirt can be a little challenging. The skirt is made of three pieces sewn together to make a large rectangular tube, which then needs to be gathered to make a full skirt.

After you've pleated the skirt, you have to make it the right size to attach to the dress's bodice. "If it's pleated too tight, you have to let it out. If it's not pleated enough, you have to gather it more," she says.
Once the dress and apron were finished she hand stitched the apron's straps to the dress at its shoulders to keep it in place. Rebecca bought a one-piece petticoat to enhance the dress's already full skirt. After the dress was complete, she began put-ting together Alice's accessories.

"I wanted the details the tights, shoes, the black ribbon. I didn't want her to look like the Swiss Miss girl in a blue dress," Rebecca says.

With white tights and black Mary Jane shoes, all Abby needed to complete her look was the wig and headband. Rebecca found a blond wig at a local party store, and bought a yard of black satin ribbon at Michael's. If you line the back of the ribbon with the loop part of a Velcro strip, the headband will stay securely in place and not slip. You can also use bobby pins, Rebecca says.

Making the costume was fun for Rebecca, and she really enjoyed having her kids help in the process. "It's fun to create something from a piece of material, and see it change form," she says. "Also, the kids see me putting my time and effort into their costumes, and they appreciate it more."

Rebecca's Sewing Tip: Run two straight stitches around the top [of skirt tube]. When you pull the thread to gather, if it breaks, you have a backup thread.

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