by Jim Kovalcin
|Photography by Ken Warren (official photographer
of the Balticon 36 Masquerade), Jim Kovalcin, and Gunther Anderson.
All Copyright 2002.
Have you ever noticed how all the old Disney heroines dress the same? Sure, they use different colored fabrics, and some of them have aprons, cloaks and whatnot, but they all use the same pattern for the dress. Well, we noticed, which was convenient, since nobody seems to make an adult-sized Alice In Wonderland dress pattern.
But if you look at the Disney dresses through the fifties, they've all got the same short, puffed-out sleeves and bell-like skirts. So we grabbed a Minnie Mouse pattern for the dress itself, and Donna used other existing patterns for the other elements.
The dress costume had seven elements we needed to capture. The dress itself, the pinafore (the white apron), white tights, bloomers, a petticoat, the black Mary-Jane shoes, and the blond hair. The shoes, wig and tights we bought off-the-shelf, though not without some difficulty. Apparently fashions have changed since the 1840s.
The dress, had a few major changes from the pattern. Donna first lengthened it by some eight inches (since Minnie liked to show off her knees more). And since the chest needed to be able to expand considerably, we replaced the front panel with spandex. The pinafore was normal fabric, and in fact you can see it being pushed up in the photography. But the dress itself expanded. This not only gave the balloon somewhere to go, but kept it relatively evenly rounded.
Finally, the collar and neck-line we used in the end was the Minnie Mouse rather then the Alice In Wonderland one, simply because it was easier, and nobody was going to notice from the audience.
The petticoat was actually a full-length petticoat given to us by an old friend of ours (Hi, Muffie!), who is very, very thin. This worked to our advantage, because we needed it to be both wider and shorter. So Donna cut the top foot or so off it, and it fit fine. She also sewed on and gathered four more rows of netting to increase its poofiness.
The bloomers came from a set of patterns of period wear Donna already had, and were done so quickly I never even saw them in processs.
The pinafore came from a Simplicity apron pattern collection, trimmed with lace. Donna widened the strap so that it looked more like the wide bow in the Disney movie.
Cel from the Disney movie