A Modern Mad Hatter

Project Run And Play Modern Made Hatter

This week’s theme for Project Run and Play was to make an outfit inspired by a child’s story book.

Gigi wanted me to make something from Alice And Wonderland, and I wanted to make something from one her favorite books, The English Roses. So I’m doing kind of a mix up of the Mad Hatter meets the English Roses.

Project Run And Play Modern Made Hatter


The Mad Hatter is known not only for his top hat, but also for his large bow tie and his bold use of pattern and color. The English Roses are also very colorful and fun, but have more of a sixties look. Meet The Modern Mad Hatter. A mixture of pattern, color, and whimsy. Carnaby Street style!

The fabric used for both fabrics was kindly sent to me by The Confident Stitch. I had planned to make myself a skirt from the pretty floral rayon, and a top from the striped ponte knit, until I realized they were perfect for this week’s theme! Let me tell you, it was hard to give this fabric up. Gigi says the pants are “So comfy and thick, but not too thick. They are just perfect.”

Although I didn’t have making an Alice in Wonderland outfit in mind when I ordered this fabric, when it came it just seemed so perfect for this week’s project. I was actually working on a dress inspired by one of the Flower Fairies, but gave up midway through, as I just wasn’t feeling it. Plus, I’m trying to create all of my own patterns for this challenge, and while some things look great in my mind, they don’t look the same when I start making them. So I started over on Saturday. After I got back from a track meet.

That’s when I noticed on the selvedge of the flowered rayon that it’s a line called Wonderland from Cotton & Steel! That made my mind up. This rayon is so much nicer than most of the rayons I buy in the downtown LA fabric district. I love it and want to make myself something soon, with the leftover yard. I didn’t really have a design in mind. Instead I let the fabric tell me what it wanted to do. and it wanted to be made into big sleeves! The bow tie is some gingham voile I’ve had for years.

The Saint James ponte knit is also of high quality, made of rayon and a bit of lycra, with good recovery. Perfect for a boatneck top or leggings as shown.

The tunic pattern was drafted by me using the basic bodice and sleeve slopers provided in the Building Block Dress Book from Liesl Gibson. I used the same slopers to create my pattern for my Let’s Go To Egypt dress from last week. To make the bodice, I created an empire waist bodice by raising the waistline, then I added a rectangular gathered skirt . I pivoted the sleeve pattern to create bishop sleeves,  and added little cuffs to gather the sleeves into. I made a tie neck bow collar by cutting a wide piece of gingham on the bias. Cutting the bow on the bias makes it drape more softly around the neck.

The legging pattern was made from tracing an old piece of leggings she already had. I sewed three inch lengths of fabric right sides together then turned them right side out and gathered them down the middle to create ruffles with no exposed seam allowances for the pant hems. Gigi has always liked those ruffly leggings, and I’ve never made her a pair. And of course, this year it’s all about ruffles and giant sleeves!

We had a lot of fun taking these photos. So did Pepper.

Now go on over to PR& Play and vote for me! Actually, just vote for your favorite one.

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  1. Sandy Osborne says

    This is a fun look! The picture with Gigi drinking tea with her pinkie up just cracks me up. (On a side note, that chair is perfect for this shoot.) Those leggings with the ruffles are adorable — I want some 🙂 And I love the top: the fabric is pretty and the yellow accents are so appealing. I think Gigi has a future in acting – hee hee ;-D And I noticed the changing of the shoes . . .
    As always, GOOD LUCK — my vote goes to you

  2. says

    Love how you interpreted this week’s theme! That top, I seriously want one for my daughter. It’s ADORABLE!

  3. Carol Gardiner says

    Gigi is such a character, the perfect model for your outfits. I love all the ruffles. I’ll have to show my sister, her granddaughter is a total fan of ruffles. Such a fun outfit.

  4. says

    I loved looking through all these pictures! Your daughter is so darn cute and looked like she had a blast. This whole look is so fun and I absolutely love that print!

  5. says

    This is pretty much the perfect interpretation of a modern mad hatter! It’s amazing. I love that tunic so much and all the color/pattern mixing is spot on.