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Well WELL WEEELLLLLLLL, Guess who is back again.....Soorry, I've been Lost in Space for awhile and managed to find my way back home again....LOL (this was in no way referencing my previous long ago thread for Penny Robinson Lost in Space...Lmao jk jk););)

So for starters a little history lesson on yours truly, I am an artist and one whom LOVES to make things or create things out of anything. I also if you didnt already know am also a construction worker (daily grind) and mechanic (home business). They call me a jack of all trades but in reality I just wear a lot of HATS!! Well, this year starting around May 8th my NOW 13 year old Charlie started to ponder the idea of a Halloween costume. This of course came at a huge surprise as I thought she would be altogether out of "the game" because she"s you know...a TEENAGER!!! Man the time passed soooo quickly I haven't been able to process that all the way through still. lol

So we started looking around for ideas and she came upon one that honestly has become true to my heart. So I had since back in 2010 watched Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland many times and then later on the second Alice in 2016. Now, having worked at Disney World back in 1997-1999 exclusively in Tomorrowland, I was very fond of ALL that was within that area....including the Mad Hatter's Tea Cup Party ride. I loved anything and everything Disney related, which also involved the animated Alice in wonderland.

So that was it, we had found our costume idea via Charlie and I knew I had to act fast. As previously stated in my past thread for lost in space, my time is VERY limited and the work flow I have never seems to end. This costume replicating is now a true passion for me, I LOVE trying to recreate things while also learning new things along the way. Now, Charlie also asked me to try something else which meant more of a challenge UNTIL I found a quick easy way (yeah sorry, had to cheat a little on this to make it Seems she wanted her little sister, Eva, to be part of this replica costume idea.

The mission, replicate this Mad Hatter (johnny Depp version) for Charlie:

Second Mission, figure out a way to still have time to replicate Eva's costume.......but there's a problem!!!! Seems that this version of Alice in Wonderland 2010 is more a grown up Alice....Eva is 4 years old!!!:confused:
So sitting down in my office, looking through pre made online costumes I stumbled onto a way to make this work both quickly and to where it wouldn't look odd. I managed to have found a site which replicated in their own way costumes for children. This meant a TON of time saving as I wouldn't have to try to take on 2 costumes at the same time AND much like last time my wife could actually piece the costume together for me.....sorta a win win for us all.

This thing was PERFECT and the true Beginning of getting my 4 year old Eva to get used to cosplay....just like her big sis Charlie did!!! lol (Sorry EVA, dad is making sure you like costumes so he can keep his art alive even through retirement...LMAO)

So here they Mad hatter and my Alice ready for 2023!!!
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Now of course there are a bout a million different versions of these 2 charaters and now I wanted to cement in a million and I spent quite a few hours on my phone looking through any and all images I could find, even having to go back and rewatch the movies to gather info. I didnt get as many pictures gathered and man'O'man were there a ton of ways I could of gone with this. Luckily charlie decided she wanted to represent the Brown suited Mad Hatter and not the other versions of him from the 2 movies. This at least narrowed the field and allowed me to gather about 76 pics that I could use.....unlike my previous costume which took a LOT to look through!! lol

So the mission began......having to round up anything I could in the shortest amount of time. Time is a VERY valuable thing and much like the rabbit I did NOT want to be late for this!! So off to Joann fabrics, Goodwill, Target, Wal-mart and Hobby Lobby we went in search of anything I could use.

There were quite of bit of different selections and with time slowly but surely running out already, I had to make decisions on the fly. Some of the fabrics purchased were either a hit or a complete flop....which meant spending a little more than i wanted and having to scrub them in the end because they just didn't work. Being all too new to this all still (even with knowledge I learned from the past) I was not able to do what i TRULY wanted to do...which was make this all from scratch. This all meant having to rely on Goodwill for a lot of the main wearable pieces, which would cut down on the amount of time having to spend measuring and cutting patterns to fit around her.

Being in a rush is definitely NOT fun, so I wanted to meet the October deadline as much as possible. So the hunt for a coat and pants and whatever I could find was wife LOVES Goodwill so every weekend she would ask if I wanted to go!! lol Unfortunately for me I HAD TO because otherwise how would I make this happen!! ha ha

First time I went....complete failure, second go and third attempt meant I was growing steadily irritated and my Anxiety level rising. It wasn't until charlie had found a coat, except it wasn't what I was looking for BUT I still kept it in case I could still use it.

The hunt continued and just couldn't seem to get anything to work....still kept that coat though as I knew I could somehow still use it....even though it wasn't what I was looking for. So instead of focusing on that ONE item, I decided to try to look for shoes that could possibly work. Well that proved to be just as bad because non of the normal stores carried a decent shoe that would of looked close to what he wore or that was CHEAP. I had to keep in mind this was supposed to be "JUST' a costume for Halloween as I had not planned on doing any cosplay events.

So back to Goodwill I went, it was like being caught in a continuous loop within the rabbit When will I ever find what i'm looking for.....and then my daughter finds 2 pairs of shoes she absolutely loved while at Goodwill THANK YOUUUU CHARLIE!!!

So I had a beginning to this costume FINALLY but with a slight she LOVED the dark toned shoe but it was needing repaired (i still bought it just in case). Then she had spotted the lighter colored shoe and wanted them just for like an everyday shoe to wear, then while standing there trying to figure out what other shoes to look at she got an idea, Bless her heart because it HELPED a TON in the end. She asked me if there was a way to sorta make this Mad hatter a little bit on the girls side by maybe finding a shoe with a higher heel that also looked like the dark toned shoe. The light bulb went on in my head INSTANTLY and I formulated my next move, to where she had NO IDEA what I was planning. I asked her 5 different times if she was dead set on the lighter colored shoe to use as a daily regular or IF I could use it for her cosplay. She told me the same thing..."no no, if you can make it work I'd rather wear them for costume, but dad, they look nothing like the actual shoe he wears!?" lol

I got home and within an hour (NO JOKE)......I got my plan into place, I was to skin the darker toned boot and place it over her other boots, DONE!!

We now have a somewhat "female version" boot for the Mad Hatter as per request! lol

Now, last time I worked with gluing things I had one hell of a see I had ran into a HUGE issue in the past with my Lost in Space Penny costume. One of the seems I had glued in that looked and felt secure had fallen apart on the day I was to meet/greet Maxwell Jenkins of that series. I learned that day, at the cosplay event, of a glue used in a cosplay repair booth which SAVED our entire costume from falling apart at the (glue was from Surebonder and was specifically for fabrics white and black). Since then I knew this was my go to hot glue because it held on tighter than anything I had tried in the past. So a LOT of sticks got murdered while getting these boots mended together!! lol

These are the replica boots I managed to find online that pretty much were dead on with the ones from the movie....

and the real deal from the movie....the above pic REALLY helped get some needed detail onto my next steps

The end result....I since then added a lot more details was this!


This all took a total of about 4 days.....with me waking up at 4am each day before construction work etc, tired doesnt even begin to describe my days!! LOL
The end Result I was pleased with and so was Charlie whom quickly got very excited I was able to complete these in a short time.

After that got completed, I was on to my next thing.....this time rather than focus on the coat (STILL COULDN'T FIND ONE or Pants that would work!!! lol) I decided to focus on the smaller things.
So next stop.....the scissor holding pouch which luckily I had found a video online of the making of Alice and happened to have featured it!! THANK GOD because it wasnt easily visible butr I was wanting as close to a replica as I could.

I didn't get as many pics as I wanted of the process but here is the end result......I had originally place a button on one of the slots because I had bought out all the scissors at Hobby Lobby and was still missing one. The button idea didn't quite work for me so I waited 2 weeks until they re-stocked them. Then ordered the super large pin, while adding 2 small scissors on each side earlier(sorta my own personal and the rest is history:


Those two items really started to get me going on what would be my journey for the next few months!!

Next Stop, that darn Coat I can't seem to pin point........


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The end of May was already upon us and the ticking of time not stopping for anything.....HERE WE GO AGAIN, ANOTHER GoodWill run and what was now my 8th or 9th time, lost track sorry!:rolleyes: I was getting a little discouraged but I knew if I didn't try once again that I could miss out on an opportunity to find what I wanted/needed!
So I went with the tiniest bit of hope that maybe this would be the day...June 3rd!!

I can truly say my excitement level was at an all time high and you could say I went Mad as a Hatter because holy cow I FOUND ONE!!! Then 25 minutes LATER I FOUND the PANTS!!!! WHAT!!!????? The day I had a little glimmer of Hope turned into an incredibly AWESOME day as I could start moving forward now with 2 big items!!
As soon as I got home I worked on a few cars I had lined up (have to keep funding these cosplays of and after began cutting/stripping away things I didn't want on the trench coat and began to get the proper length for her etc.

The next process was to figure out the end of the sleeves and begin my next favorite thing to do now...sewing (never in a million years would I have ever thought that...LOL)

So I got the ball rolling on that and every morning at 4am, as previously stated, I got to working on this.....whether I was tired or sick or not in the mood....I pushed through. The girls were counting on me to get this done and I wasn't about to disappoint them!

The sewing began after a few trips to the fabric stores to find different ribbons etc so I could make sure to match everything to the teeth! More sewing and I finally had one side completed:

So after both sides were done I went and tested something on some other pieces....I used a razor and cut little slits on each of those ribbons which cause them to fray and gave them a bit of a worn/fuzzy look. The next step was to figure out the side pockets. Seems that the trench coat had vertical pockets....but the Hatter coat had Horizontal!! Sitting there trying to figure out how I was going to try and pull this off something hit me....WAIT A SECOND, I have another coat I saved!!!! haha haaaaaaa YES!!!!! So that coat quickly became my center of focus....except its white and my trench coat is tan and how the heck am I going to get the fabric Dyes to stick to 2 different materials that are opposite!

Once sewn in the coat started to come pockets in and i figured since the Hatter made things from nothing and custom tailored hats and made a dress for Alice in the movie...this would help solve the difference in textures (I have artistic freedom for that right? lol). So that problem solved I started adding the ribbon to the coat to continue that texture he has on the original coat, still razor cutting them after sewing so they fray away.

Now to solve my next problem.....color. I performed some Dye tests on small individual pieces I had left over from both coats and the colors would not match...OF COURSE one lighter than the other and different material composition!!!! I again sat in my office pondering at how I would achieve the tones needed to closely resemble this Hatter coat. Then I remembered that DUH, on my lost in space pants I ended up having to paint with spray paint...PROBLEM SOLVED!!!
A few hits from multiple rattle cans, a little time outside in the baking sun (get the spray odors away) and some in between drying time to start painting buttons......DONE!! I managed to get as close as I could to the colors which also included a bit of a fire torching with my butane to give it a burnt like look etc. Lol Every effect I could do to this to get this as close and also added the pink fabric to the pocket!!

The back was also done and that was even harder to figure out since they don't really show a lot....only a paper drawing I found of what someone describes from a barely visible picture! lol

With the Coat somewhat out of the way (I still needed more buttons on the cuffs, bird patch on left breast plate and a dragon fly on top front left shoulder) I got to working on other stuff.
During all this time I am still researching the patch and where to find any more pics of said buttons, dragonfly etc....not fun!!
The next thing I'd try getting out of the way is that Thread Spool Bandolier.....I saw a ton online but just didn't like how they looked. I wanted it to resemble the movie one as much as possible while also allowing it to be taken off easier.

So I began obtaining the materials that closely resembled what he wore and started to get to work.....long process for this small of a feature!

Each of these done 1 by 1 as fast as I could switch them...then a little drop of glue to seal it from coming apart at the end........DONE!!

Now, the original Bandolier had 25 spools attached....which is exactly what is in the movie etc. My problem is that I didn't want to put in all 25 because I wanted this Bandolier to represent something. I took away 5 of the spools to represent my daughters future 20th birthday when that time comes, the last year before she turns 21 and is a legal adult. I don't know until when I will be making stuff for her to wear but I wanted something on this costume to have a personal meaning for both my wife and I. Breaks my heart to know that with each passing year they get older and older.

This costume truly started growing on me even more when I read this article online....Really put this all into JUST MORE than a costume for was a symbol of both youth slowly changing into adulthood and also the passing of the torch. If Charlie no longer keeps with these then little Sis Eva can pick up from where we left off!

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Now the next step after the Bandolier was finished was to tackle the pants, finding them was a huge relief but the fitment was a bit tighter than expected around her waist. So I quickly began to undo areas around and once I cut off the bottom of the pant legs to proper height, I used the extra material to add around her waist so these wouldn't be so snug. Also cut the sides open in order to get the pieces added to them, that was probably the easiest thing to have done and made a world of difference to the pants. After that was completed, as shown, the next step was to get the stitching of the vine/flowers onto it.

The problem was to stitch that by hand would have taken wayyyy too long AND to try to sew it in would have been even longer, having to change spools on each. So I dug into my bag of "HURRY UP" figured I could obtain the same effect if i used puff paint....again problem solved!

VS.Mine....not too Shabby!!

By this point I am getting closer to the end of June and July is just around the corner.

Then something I wasn't expecting happened, something I was not thinking about at all as my targeted deadline was October PLEEEEEEENTY of time.....or so I thought! lol

So i'm sifting through Instagram feeds (as I do every morning, like my old school when THIS POPS UP and now I'm Starting to get that damn Cosplay Event itch!! DANG IT!!!

Seems these folks decided to make this happen here in little old Des Moines, Iowa and no joke...the event center is like less than 7 minutes from where we live!!! OMG, upon looking at the date I see it falls in September AND its on my birthday weekend!!!!! WHATTTTTT, How Freaggin' Cool???!!!!!!!!????? My brain decided to go on high alert as it is end of October Deadline, GONE and replaced with what is now my birthday gift for myself!!! lol This I had to check out even further and found out there is a contest we can enter the girls in too...TRIPLE WIN!!! I mean seriously, I can enter contest and show off the costume on the girls, it's on my birthday weekend AND it is only 7 minutes from home....I COULD NOT PASS!!!

So now the race is on, I had to make this happen even though I wasn't even planning on it....this just got bigger than JUST a Halloween costume. This means I now have a cosplay replica, Halloween costume, Birthday gift with A TON of meaning sewn into each piece....I had to push myself and so I did!!

The vest was my next target and this one I had to do from scratch, Everything on this is machine sewn from start to finish AND she can easily wear it without the top coat...

Then came the process of having to cut each little square

Painted each one to resemble the look of the movie one

Finished one whole side before going to the next side while also making sure each square got glued and sewn around the edges. This one took me quite some time to do and in between I would stop to do other things.

I began getting the smaller bits out of the way too.....had to order a Bow online (which was a bit small) then somehow the order gets messed up and I ended up with 2 bows for the price of 1. Someone accidentally sent a second one and much to my LUCK, I used it in my favor. I made the Bow bigger in the end and the fabric somewhat matched the original movie one, I just could NOT find anything around here that could closely resemble the one from the movie.

Once I completed the Bow it was time to test it on Charlie along with the vest.....all this time measuring and building the thing and I didn't even check for fitment!! LMAO:oops:

IT ALL FITS!!! now it was time to finish this vest!!

ANDDDD DONE!!!!!! I am by then exhausted but the one thing driving me is knowing I can show it off, FINALLY get into a contest with it and have fun while my birthday is near and all here at EXCITEMENT!!

Next stop, the under on all the pics found the shirt under the vest worn by Johnny Depp is Pink, but this is my daughters replica and she asked if we could use Lavender....request granted!! So I found some old fabric at Goodwill (yet again like for the 15th trip at this that would be perfect for the cuff/wrist area. Can you tell she was excited too!!

Well with a little paint job from a helpful helper....

and some sewing soon after dry time was completed.....

So with every passing moment I knew I had to take advantage of ANY off days from construction along with using some weekends for the costume. This meant having to steer customers away from the shop in order for me to stay on time and on task on certain occasions. Lucky for me I always have some of the best customers ever and understood I needed some personal time off, and every second counted towards this I call my Journey/Mission!!

Testing a bit more of the stuff that was

Smaller parts got done wayyyyyy ahead of schedule because of gloves, ordering socks (which was hard to even find a pair that could work) and all of the Hatters hand jewelry etc.

Even had time to finish up a little bit of stuff for Eva's Alice costume....did the bow and added Absolem as a butterfly....have 3 magnets on three areas on box to move him to, added the DRINK ME bottle with a key on a chain AND a little bit of the card symbols on her personal artistic

Every small detail i can add to anything...I DO!! lol

By this time with all the stuff getting worked on as fast as possible.....we were already at the end of July.
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August 5th, 2023 (Captain's Now I'm REALLY pushing to get stuff done as soon as possible before September draws near! The next and final thing to accomplish is the one that almost got my (pardon my french) ASS kicked and it was supposed to be EASY!! I mean dude, I built a freaggin Lost in Space Penny Robinson suit so this hat should be cake walk for me...WRONG!!!!
The pictures made it look easy but to be honest I guess I just wasnt ready to know how to go about this all.....what I thought would work DIDN'T and what didn't DID!! lol

So we went to target one night back in June and had found what i thought would of worked perfectly for the hat. It was adjustable, light weight, CHEAP and I could cut it up and mess up without freaking
So I did, I cut the sucker up recently and began the process.....Keep in mind I am by no means a E.V.A. Guru or it was a bit challenging on this one to get the proper shape.

After giving up 4 times on the previous way of wanting this to work........I had to resort to what then became obvious....DO A FRAME DUMMY!!! lol


Once I was happy with the result (pictures got a bit distorted, sorry!!) THe next step was to began covering it....of course AGAIN I was thinking easy until nothing I did with the EVA foam wanted to I began cutting pieces and getting them put together.
Next step was to cover it with some caulking, sand it a bit, seal the EVA foam via heat, and paint it so I can have a base coat to work with.

The next step was much easier than the beginning and only required a bit of effort. It was to cover the whole thing in fabric to give it the look of the movie one.

This fabric pretty much erased any imperfections I may of had which meant I could proceed with paint.....except SOMEONE wanted to give it all a test was ME!!! Duhhh, I learned in the past to test for ANY and ALL possible issues as I didn't want to freak out last minute lol

Everything FITS and ALL was strength tested, I WAS BEYOND HAPPY!!
Now I am excited and closer to the finish here is the hat as it gets finished. With some coloring in, all glued and the pink Scarf around it.....I began doing some fake stitching to the edges.....used that surebonder glue I spoke of before!!

Under side finished

Added flowers to the back scarf

Then the tassle at the end to give it and even more closer feel of the movie one!! here is reference pic from movie on the right.

The peacock Feather on the left hand side along with all the "stitching" around the edges

To save me some time (this was ALL just recently done mind you)....I managed to find some small replica pins to add to the side. Then the 10/6 was added to them along with the ribbons on the hat close to peacock feather.


I also had to go back to re-visit the Coat.............I had finally found the bird patch and the dragonfly and got them on right away. I had previously also sewn in the inside lavender piece which I could see on the poster.

The last element to do on that coat were the ribbons AND finish up the buttons as well.....
For that I employed some help and BOTH very beyond excited!


Also since this is STILL a Halloween costume as well I went ahead and had ordered their Trick or Treat Bags to match!!

Added just a few days ago even more details.....this one was one I had in mind since I had seen them at Hobbu Lobby on one of my previous Eva will have the Blue diamond earrings while Charlie will have the 2 movie book earrings. The watch was also added since the Hatter in the movie had is set and battery taken out so the time stays at 6pm, which is Tea Time!!

and LAST but not least....I wanted to incorporate Music to all this and found a perfect way. Eva will carry this clock purse which will have my small speaker and charger inside. It is the same idea I had for my Penny costume for Charlie.....Went ahead and got the music score by Danny Elfman already to go!!!
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Now TODAY....August 29th,2023....I am finished, I am off work (my Boss/Best Friend Todd had some teeth pulled....poor we took time off for him to heal) and I am beyond excited for this up coming show.

I may end up doing an Alice photo and video shoot at one of our places around here once all is done...... the picture bellow are my next to last test run of almost everything on.

There is ONE Major LAST piece of this puzzle I need to do on the day we go to the show.....
CHARLIE'S MAKE UP!!! We will see hopefully if I can get THAT replicated

Unfortunately, the eyes were my only thing I could not get ordered on time as I wanted to make have her do eye exam so they would of fit perfectly....ohh well, ya can't win them all!!

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