This was the costume I wear for Halloween last year. I wear this during work because our office has costume contest every year. I actually have not had a chance to watch Alice in Wonderland from Tim Burton, but was intrigued to recreate the Queen of Heart character. She is short and petite just like me. I am just a tiny bit under 5 feet, so I thought to myself, “She is perfect!”
I handmade this costume with the help of my daughter. She also made the crown and scepter for me. Furthermore, the makeup and hairdo is also her effort in trying to recreate the look. I was going for inspirational look, something more original with a personal touch, so I did not try to get a heart wig nor a bald cap to completely replicate the Queen’s head.
We spend about $25 for the entire costume. The most costly material was the bottom dress which was made from a curtain found in our local Saver (thrift store). The curtain has a very beautiful print with a perfect color that nearly match the Queen’s dress in a picture I found on Google. The curtain has the valances already sewn together with beautiful tassels trim sewn along the edges. The entire piece has a Victorian vibes, so I find that it kinda match with the timeline in the movie. The top of the dress, the red panel inside the bottom dress, and the hearts are made from left over fabric I had from previous projects. I used the sewing machine to sew big main pieces together and hand sewn a lot of the details on the dress. Other things like ribbons, lace trim, rhinestones, plastic or glass gems, pearls and beads are used to add detailed touches to the dress. My daughter bought some of those from eBay and also recycled some from things we already have at home.
I first used a tank top as a guide to make a basic shirt without sleeves for the top piece. I used cheap black satin like fabric to make the shirt look fancier rather than using cotton or knit materials. Then, I cut out puffy sleeve pieces and attached them to the shirt. In addition, I used the sleeves of an old lace shirt to attach them to the bottom of the puffy sleeves. Then, I used white lace trim to attach it at the bottom of the lace sleeves to create ruffles for the wrists. I attached the trim using pleated techniques to create ruffles effect. I used cheap white cotton material and cardboard to cut out a trapezoid/crescent like shape to make the collar. The gold chest piece was hand sewn on. I used 3/8 in red satin ribbon to attach the lines down the gold chest area to create the corset look without actually having to wear the corset.
For the bottom dress, I tried to used the entire curtain, rather than cutting it to pieces since I did not want to waste any material. So, I measured my waist and hip, and tried to fold and fit the entire curtain to make it into a circle skirt. I only cut down the length of the curtain since it was made for a tall window. I sewn a red piece of satin in the middle to create the illusion of two layers dress. I attached the bottom and top together leaving the back open to attach the long zipper down the middle. It was a difficult task trying to smooth out the back when attaching the zipper together. My daughter cut out smaller hearts from gold satin fabric and bigger hearts from black felt. She actually hand sewn all the individual hearts onto the red panels. We was not able to use fabric glue due to our material was too thin and glue just seeped through. It was the most tedious job and she had so much patient.
I put finishing touches to the sleeves like sewing on small round black beads to the 1/4 in red ribbons before sewing them onto both sleeves. I added a gold cord running from one shoulder to the other to hide the sewing line of the gold “corset”. My daughter gave me an old necklace chains and she used cheap pearls on eBay to add onto the chains so I can add them to the chest area. She also painted cheap heart gems, found at Dollar Tree, with red shimmer nail polish. She attached them with hot glue.
For the Crown and Scepter, the main material was made from fun foam. My daughter bought one pack of large sheets foam and a pack of smaller size. She drew the crown onto the large sheet and use the smaller size to draw hearts of the scepter. The foam was thin, so she actually had to layer about 2-3 layers for a lot of the parts. She use hot glue to attached the layers and use Modpodge to paint onto the foam as a primer before using multi-surface acrylic paint to paint several coats of gold. Modpodge is a trick to help create a layer for paint to attach without having it soak into the foam. It was also a way to curve the foam for the crown. She used red nail polish for anything that required red gems and the reason is nail polish has high shine finish. Rhinestones is attached along the edges.
My daughter did my makeup and hair using mostly makeup products that she owned. And we did a trial with the makeup look before deciding on the final look since it was a bit challenging to truly replicate the unique look of the Queen. For the hair, we actually used up the temporary red hair spray from our previous year. My daughter curled my short hair and shape it to almost a heart shape.
The result came out to be more than I expected. I love my dress and to me it was my very proud DIY project. My boss was amazed at what my daughter and I did. Everyone gave me big compliments for the whole look. Some of my friends and family did not even recognize that it was me in the picture.
Queen of Hearts (Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland) costume submitted by Thuy N.