When a family asked me to design a shoot for them around an Alice in Wonderland theme, my mind was immediately whirring away! Here’s a breakdown of the Queen of Hearts costume I designed for the mom of the family.
First up, was the sketch.
I tackled the headpiece next, using poster board, cardboard, artificial roses (red, of course!), and a headband.
Queen of Hearts headpiece construction

Queen of Hearts headpiece
Then, it was the collar. I did a lot of research about Elizabethan whisks and decided to model the queen’s collar after them. I used 3 partial decks of playing cards in varying sizes, 16-gauge wire, needle and thread and glue.
Queen of Hearts whisk construction

Queen of Hearts whisk
I used a red tulle skirt that I had made earlier with a white corset, stitched up a ruched shrug the day of, and made pleated cuffs and a pleated neck piece. Below is the completed look. I will post images from the shoot soon!
Queen of Hearts costume

Queen of Hearts costume

4 thoughts on “The Queen of Hearts Costume Design

    • Thanks so much, Lynn!

      If you have a sewing machine and know basics (and I mean basics- I’m no seamstress!) the cuffs and neck piece are actually pretty easy. I started with a large rectangle of white fabric for each piece and ironed pleats into them until they were the length I wanted. I don’t have the exact dimensions of the fabric but leave it three or four times longer than you’ll want it to end up on one side and the exact width you want on the other. If you have been pleating a while and it looks like you’ll wind up short of fabric, don’t start over-just sew on another piece. The seam is easy to hide in a pleat. I left the edges raw because I liked the look but you could also hem those before you start pleating.

      Once you’ve got the size you like for the wrists and neck, sew a zigzag stitch down the center to secure the pleats. I put this seam a little off-center on the neck so you can adjust that to your liking. Over that seam on the inside, sew on your ties. I used strips of the same fabric (with raw edges again) as ties but you could also use ribbon, if you like. I liked the wrist ties left really long.

      If you need help with pleating (it’s really just a lot of measuring and ironing), there are a ton of great tutorials online.

      Hope that helps! Good luck with your project! :)

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