For those unaware, today in places where the date is written month first, 10/6, is considered Hatter day (for others, it is June 10). This unofficial holiday is based on the price tag on the hat of the Hatter in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which rather than the date actually stands for 10 shillings and six pence, but provides an excellent excuse to acknowledge, contemplate, and celebrate "Chapter 7: A Mad Tea-Party".
Over the past few months, I've been very slowly working to finish the Mad Tea Party set from the November 1965 Woman's Day magazine (Alice and Dormouse both finished in 2012) and a Cheshire Cat from a 1960's issue of Woman's Day that contained a set of cat patterns, and thought it a fitting way to celebrate the day by sharing my finally completed set!
Rather than just sharing them like I normally would, for fun I decided to stage them in scenes from both Chapter 6 and 7!
Some sewing details for those interested in how I almost went mad in finishing up the set and started wondering if I was offending Time in how long I was taking in doing so.
The Cheshire Cat
|"Did you say 'pig' or 'fig'?"|
The Cheshire Cat had the least amount of adjustments primarily due to its simplicity, so I'm going to start with it. I downsized the pattern from the original, so that it would fit in with the other dolls. This made the seam allowance on the inner portion of the legs a bit tricky, which is why my Cheshire Cat doesn't exactly sit flat. This, however, I think it makes him a bit more whimsical, so I don't mind a bit.
The Hatter was a small scale lesson in lining, as both his vest and jacket are lined. I decided to try my own thing on the first sleeve of the jacket; let's just say doing the second sleeve according to the actual instructions went better.
Next, his hat! Against my better judgement, primarily because I just wanted to be done and it was in my stash, I used poly-poplin. It does not crease or hold in place where you want it to and is certainly one of the most uncooperative fabrics to have chosen. On top of that, I had just barely enough stabilizer, which in the case of the primary piece had to be hand sewn on to the outer layer to make sure the hat didn't fold in on itself. As can be seen, the support for the top of the hat is made up of scraps shoved in there, so that will need to be replaced when I get more. Once again, though, despite spending over 6 hours on the silly thing, I was pleased with how it turned out.
The March Hare
I adjusted quite a bit when it came to the March Hare. The instructions called for the shirt opening to be at the back and the collar piece to be directly tacked to the March Hare's neck, but I didn't like that the Hatter's shirt actually buttoned in front, while the March Hare's didn't. Based on this, I ended up cutting the front of the shirt open, adding a placket, and hand sewing the collar piece onto the shirt (a truly maddening task that was made worse by not cutting the collar piece base at enough of a curve). The shirt was to be closed with hooks and eyes, which I did end up doing except at the front with the buttons covering the stitching from them.
Now, there is actually one more Wonderland pattern for the White Rabbit included in this particular magazine. I didn't really feel compelled to make it because the White Rabbit does not attend the mad tea party in the book. Additionally, one of my first stuffed animal projects that I drafted and sewed completely by hand was the White Rabbit and being ever so fond of it, I'm willing put this last pattern on hold for a much later date.
Wishing everyone a happy Hatter day filled with muchness of tea, contemplation on ravens and writing desks, the singing of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat", any other mad tea party activities you should chose to engage in, and, of course, the wearing of a hat!