|Alice Liddell In the Botanical Garden|
Botanic Gardens have been around since 1544. This type of garden is one dedicated to the collection, cultivation and display of a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names. They are often run by universities or other scientific research organizations for preservation and research, but also for the pleasure and education of visitors; little children like Alice was!
|Ready to take a stroll.|
For the fabric, I chose two Italian shirting cottons. One was a white, semi-sheer, almost gauzy fabric with blue thread lines running through it. The other was a luxury shirting cotton with teeny tiny woven chevron stripes running the length. Unable to find what the artist of the illustration intended, I chose textured fabrics to compromise.
In my struggle to find the best ribbon trims for this dress, of which it needed several in different sizes, I chose a 2mm silk for the tiniest double bands, a 1/8" silk for the mid-band on the overskirt, and a lovely double-faced silk for the hat. I had on hand the tiniest "crochet" lace for the collar (which was just as much a pain to insert as was the lace on the other collar!), and the pleated ruffles were all hand made. Yes, they were.
I had on hand a blue voile which I cut many long lengths of, folding over once, and then adding a fold over edge to encase the trim. Each time the trim was added to the edge of the bolero jacket, the double-bell sleeves, and the 32" width of the skirt, I pleat-folded and pinned each pleat in place before machine top-stitching it on. Just for fun, I counted how many pleats this outfit took. No less than 350. But, it was a meditation, a quiet, pleasant pastime to build the embellishments of the costume.
|Alice did not like snails.|
I noticed a sash, which I will playfully call a dish towel sash, because it looks like a fancy dish towel or guest bath hand towel to me. I wasn't quite sure how to handle this piece, so I made one long length with identical ends, and draped it over a thin belt that is held in place by waist-side thread loops, then buttons in the back. It, too, has the pleated trim, and silk ribbon trim.
|Lovingly tying her hat's ribbon on Gingko Biloba|
When all the hand-stitching was done, it was time to make her pretty straw hat, which I did today. I do enjoy making hats and decorating them. This one has blue vintage forget-me-nots with pink stamens that I hand-painted over the yellow.
|Close up of fabric and trims.|
My table is once again neat and clean, and ready for the next project whatever I decide to do. I have some silk dupioni coming in the mail, and have threatened to make two Jumeau style dresses for the 9" Lawton dolls. I don't know why I've been a stubborn mule about making such pieces, but they fall into the category of why I don't sew French Fashion. Its been done, done and done again. But, I do want the challenge (and new dresses for my little ones), so they will get made. Why not?
Earlier this year, my friend Betsy pointed out to me that Robert Tonner had made an Alice Liddell many years ago. What?! So she directed me to the archival catalogs on his website, and there she was, two little Alice Liddell's made in 1999. How I would love to own both for the novelty of them. I do remember the catalog, but I would have skipped over these dolls (back in 1999), as they did not come with a trunk and a few other dresses. We keep learning and growing...
Miss E. Mouse (If the text wrapping looks strange, sorry! I tried to fix it and couldn't)
|A Side View|
|God Bless Robert Tonner!|
|San Francisco's Botanical Garden - The Moon Garden|
|Mr. Dodgson's Little Companion and Friend|