Having completed my daughter's tan dress using the Elizabeth Stewart Clark's Sewing Academy Girl's dress pattern (https://www.thesewingacademy.com/shop/) I felt confident in undertaking a bigger project.
My husband has always been a big fan of Alice in Wonderland. My daughter loves Emma Wiggle (http://www.thewiggles.com.au/). I love original garment inspiration. So after a few months of discussion and planning we found a way to mix all three into an amazing dress.
Stock Art Image of Alice from Google
Original Dress from the MET Online Collection
I started with yellow cotton as the original inspiration is described. I was surprised as I expected it to have been made of wool. The braiding was hand sewn using a black cotton soutache braid.
I started with the sleeve design as it was a simple loop. The ends of the braid were pushed into the seams and hidden inside the dress as can be seen with the sewing of the waist braid. Once the waist was decorated I then finished the construction of the waist by closing and hand stitching the inside waist closed. This means that non of the black thread can be seen inside the dress.
It took me a few days to finish the waist as I was only working on this a few hours at night.
The completed top half of the dress.
Once the rest of the garment was complete I began work on the skirt. This design was a lot more complicated. I created a design on tracing paper then transferred it to the skirt with invisible/washable ink.
To help keep the braid smooth I used an embroidery frame while hand sewing. I began and finished the braid at the centre back seam, with the braid ends hidden inside the garment.
I chose to place the braid higher up as I wanted a deep hem on this dress as I am 6ft tall and expect my daughter to grow fast (which she is). I wanted this dress to have a long life.
**Edit - When my daughter turned 3 years of age she requested her first crinoline and that required me to drop the hem significantly, so I was very happy with this decision. She loves this dress and it has had an amazing amount of use.
Playing indoor croquette while on holiday.
Enjoying the day with her apron on, a rare occasion.
Homestead station vacation
(yes I know my collar/chemisette is missing.... All this toddler sewing has left my wardrobe looking sad and in need of repairs)