Alice #1

Bodice Construction Notes

OK, I've made a fair bit of progress on my bodice, I have the body assembled, one sleeve constructed and ready to be set, and trim ready to be sewn on. I'm going to begin posting some notes on how I'm constructing it here, and will assemble something more easy to follow on the webpage I'm building. Since it can get lengthy, I'm going to put most of it behind a cut.

Collapse )

Sleeve time

Thanks for all the nice comments on my bodice draft! :D I can't wait to get started on the real thing...

I got my initial sleeve draft done and I just need to pattern it now.

I'll be doing a full write-up with pics when I do the real one, this was just to get the pattern, but it was fairly easy. I started with a rectangle bigger than I needed of organza, with the bottom of the sleeve being a selvage edge. I folded that up just once to make an elastic casing. I used 1/4" on this, but I'm going to use 3/8" blue bra strap elastic when I do my final. I put in 3 1/4" tucks, 1/2" apart and ironed facing down. I then took a rectangle of the point d'esprit and stitched it underneath the bottom-most tuck as close to the stitch line as I could, and then stitched the two fabrics together for ease of working. At that point I lined it up with my bodice draft and guestimated how much poof it would have. I over-estimated, hence the tuck in the draft. It has almost no poof at all. I was just guessing on my cartridge pleating, I marked out about 10.5" and it pleated down about right, I got about 3" of pleating on the top of the sleeve. For the cartridge pleating, I took a 3" high, 10.5" wide strip of the point d'esprit, folded it over 3 times, and applied it to where I was going to pleat. This was to add a bit of body to the pleats. I hand-sewed 4 rows of 1/8" stitches 1/4" apart to form the cartridge pleats. Once I had that in, I lined up where the pleating matches up at the top, pinned the bottom of the sleeve where it whould sit (the top tuck should meet the top of side front/back respectively), and tucked out the excess. I'm going to form my pattern based on that, but how it sits all depends on the tightness of the gathers, top and bottom, so this draft tells me sleeve height, but I plan to leave it a bit wide for fiddling room. And if that made no sense, I'll eventually post a step-by-step with pictures ;)
Alice #1

Bodice Draft

I've completed my bodice draft for fitting:

I'm fairly happy with the shape. There's just a few minor tweaks I need to do to my final pattern. I used twill to line it, but I got some corset coutil to line the real thing with. Going to work on my sleeve pattern this week which I don't think will be too hard, I just need to figure out how much the cartridge pleating will eat up, then I can start working on the final :D

Pics & Bodice

A reader sent me this link to a site that has some large Blu-Ray screen caps from the Alice movie! Great quality, and quite a few of the White Queen.
Thanks, Monica C.!

I made my first draft of my bodice pattern today and a muslin.

The blue lines were where I originally thought the white underlayer ended and the red lines are my adjustments. There's a neat trick I use when I'm doing a replica... I like to find a picture of the character facing forward, and backward, so you get a good clean even view of the bodice seams. I take a picture of myself standing in the same positions while wearing my muslin. I go into photoshop (or any picture program that lets you work in layers), position and resize my picture, and play with the opacity, so that way I can easily see where my seam lines differ and can easily adjust. If my body shape is greatly different from the actress, longer torso, skinnier waist, etc, you can always take the picture underneath and skew it to match your proportions.

I'm going to adjust my pattern, make a second muslin, then I'm going to make a full working mock-up before working on the sleeve pattern. My petticoat doesn't seem to want to sit on my waist so I might take it in a bit. I think with the skirt I'll have this same issue, and I might add snaps on the bodice lining and waistband, or maybe elastic loops and buttons so it holds the skirt in the right place but still has some give. I'll see when I get there.
Alice Rabbithole


Here's my finished petticoat!

My cat Jonesy, who's usually not a scaredy cat, is terrified of the swishy taffeta monstrosity *evil grin*
Alice #1


I've got boot #1 outside drying:

I may or may not put a second coat on it, it's going to be spiffied up with some black shoe polish anyway. I'm going to stop at the auto store and get some white auto touch-up paint and paint the eyelets white, and I'm probably going to draw on the scallop trim alongside the laces as I haven't found any trim that small. I'm also replacing the laces with silk ribbon.

I spent a whole week scrubbing the finish off this boot with saddlesoap and a brush and only got half-way through. Then a co-worker of my mother's, a former shoe shop owner, told me to use Acetone. It still takes a little elbow grease (and finger grease, I hurt one of them doing all this!) with a scrub brush to get the finish off, but it went much quicker with acetone. I recommend doing that outside though with rubber gloves. Volitile stuff. Anyway, hoping the second one goes faster, but there it is :)
Alice Rabbithole

I can has floof?

Ok, I have the ruffle gathered and pinned to my petticoat, I have the hem turned up and I stuck my horsehair in there, but I'm conflicted. I'm not sure if it looks too stiff or not. If so, I can always take it out and put in twill tape or grosgrain instead, but it wouldn't be as full as this... and it might not matter if the horsehair looked stiff because it'll be covered by other skirt layers. Opinions please? :)

Alice Color Study

Sometimes I really hate lighting....

I've been dyeing several silk samples... my organza came out a baby blue, which looked perfect based on the pictures I had at the time, and whatever color the backing is changes the whole look. I don't want to have the undersilk be too colorful, because in pictures where it shows it almost looks white, but we know it's supposed to be a pale 'almost gray' blue. I dyed several samples and this is what I got (click for full size)...

And my camera doesn't always capture the color accurately. The one on the far left I dyed with my organza, and is really too blue by itself. Pure white is the second over. I'm just not sure which one to use, I'm leaning towards the steel-gray/blue I got the second to the right sample. Next sunny day I get, I'm going to take them all outside and look at them in sunlight. I looked at these under an ott light, and when I've been taking pics I've been using the 'vivid blue' setting so it looks more blue like the movie, so I think he just upped the color in the movie.

Alice Rabbithole

Sleeve Study/Screen Caps

I already have a basic pattern shape drawn up for the sleeve which I'll post once I fancy it up in in photoshop.... it's a pretty simple sleeve shape, just elongated for cartridge pleating, three horizontal tucks, and a casing for elasic. There's a point d'esprit lace insert that's the same sleeve shape only there are no tucks and it ends at the last sleeve tuck (like I said, I'll provide a pattern drawing). I found at JoAnn's a satin flat elastic, I think it's meant for bra straps, which is a good elastic to use for this. I also was going to use the nylon point d'esprit from JoAnn's, but I found a piece of real cotton point d'esprit on ebay, so I ordered that. I also ordered some battenburg lace, which is hard to find nowadays, to make the neckline lace. It's not exactly what hers is made out of, but it's the best way to make that custom shape. Also, underneath the organza on top of the netting layer that's under that sheer bodice part are bits of the lace randomly around, on the shoulder most notably.

And then there's this little mytery I've been noticing, it seems to appear only half the time in the movie shots and never in the promo shots:

There's some under the arm some of the time, and some along the top, but the mystery is: what is this? Since it's not always there, is it sewn in? Is it just shifting? It's not part of her 'chemise' she's probably not wearing, but is it a different chemise for while she's in the dress? Is it a tacked-in little detail? I intend to add it because I'd like to add a dress shield so I'm not sweating into silk, but it's driving me nuts on what it's supposed to be. Note these other shots behind the cut.

Collapse )

Alice #1

Short video

Just a short video interview I stumbled across with Mia Wasikowska:

At the end she just says a few short things on the costumes, no real details other than with some of her costumes she had to wear a corset! Interesting.... I don't know if the codfish... erm, corset was a built in or separate piece, I'd imagine it would have been in scrap dress #2 and the red dress, the sleeveless numbers obviously would need some structure.

I've actually been looking at some interesting pics (the one in particular I want I can't find now, arg!), in which, in the DTRH Dress, she kind of slouches down but the dress doesn't slouch as much with her... I was planning on interfacing the first layer of silk satin, but I think I may put an inner layer of twill or something in there too, to stiffen that bodice up.

Thanks for all the kind words on my embroidery! :D