Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Making the White Rabbit

To make Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit, I bought a couple of metres of white fun fur. The only problem with the fabric was that my cheapo sewing machine wasn't up to the job, so I did the main part of the costume, ie. everything but the waist-coat, by hand. I used a shop-bought whole-body Halloween costume (of a skeleton) that we already had to help me as a template and for a guide with sizing.

I cut two shapes for the body & leg part of the costume. I hemmed the bottom of the legs. Then I sewed the two pieces together at the shoulders, but having learned from the shepherd I left head, foot and arm-holes (yay me!) and then sewed the rest of the way around.

Next I made the sleeves of the suit, cutting out rectangles, sewing them into tubes and attaching them to the main costume.

I then cut a slit in the back at the top, and hemmed around the neck-hole and down the side of my slit.

Then I attached velcro flaps to make a fastening.

I had toyed with the idea of using a woolly pom-pom for the tail, but settled on stuffing a tail made of two circles of the fun fur, and stitching that to the appropriate place. This was a bit fiddly and I needed a long strong needle, and preferably a thimble.

The head-piece was fairly complex to do.

First I cut out these shapes, having checked the size so I thought it would fit son. I sewed the two A pieces together along one side, marked in yellow in the diagram below. Then sewed on the B piece along the top edge, as marked in blue. The red area indicates where to leave a gap for attaching the ears. I hemmed along the black edges.

To make the ears, I sewed two sets of the C pieces together, leaving the short straight side open, forming two tubes. To try to create standing-up ears, I made a frame out of some of the children's craft stuff and inserted them into the fun fur tubes.

Then I sewed the bottoms of the ears to prevent the frames escaping, slotted the ears through the head-piece and sewed them into place.

It sat quite well on son's head, so I decided not to add elastic to go under his chin to keep it on. I think actually I should have added this, cos then he could have run without losing his head. The ears didn't actually stay upright, unfortunately, so he ended up a lop-ear.

The waist-coat was simple enough. Pretty much a rectangle for the back and two front panels out of a stiffish shiny blue material.

The pocket watch was a cardboard circle covered in gold-foil, with a paper clock-face, on a cheap chain we had hanging around. I just attached it to the waistcoat with a safety pin.

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