Wild Card Prize - working within the limits of chronic illness to produce beautiful embroidery.

Alice’s Apron



Ame Blue


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Model: Sarah Jones

Outline the story …

I've always loved Alice in Wonderland, being very much a daydreamer myself as a kid. The call to go 'down the rabbit hole' of course made my mind stick on Alice. My mom had her own "Through the Looking Glass" book from the 60s, which she got as a child, and looking through that made me want to make the costume. I combined that with my recent interest in historical costuming and started looking up what people were wearing at the time Alice was written, and when the story was set. It's mentioned in "Through the Looking Glass" that both stories take place in 1871, a year after the second book was published and 6 years after the first. My skills and time are pretty limited; I'd never sewn a garment before and most of my needlework skill was in embroidery, so I decided on the apron as that seemed to be the easiest part of the outfit. I looked up embroidery patterns from 1865-1870 and designed the embroidery using those as inspiration and style guidance, as well as paintings from the time of rabbits and flowers. I wanted to draw inspiration from the era the book was written in as well as the original illustrations to guide the style of the apron. I ended up making my own pattern because I couldn't find one quite like the style I wanted.

Outline the construction…

I used about 3 yards of white cotton muslin, found some lace for the top of the bib, and chiffon ruffles for the skirt and shoulder-straps. The chiffon was unfortunately the only kind of pre-made ruffles I could find that would arrive in time, and I didn't have the time myself to make them from scratch. I sewed the pieces together with my old Kenmore sewing machine, but the embroidery was done entirely by hand with satin stitch and chain stitch with DMC white cotton six-strand embroidery thread. I used a lot of primary resources from, like Harper's Magazine and fashion plates I could find for around the time. I ran into a few issues; I hadn't taken into account the shoulder strap width when I measured for the bib section, so it's a bit wide for my model. I had smaller issues, mostly mistakes on what order to sew things together. I had a lot of trouble figuring out the waistband, and some of my stitches strayed off too. My biggest challenge was my health; I'm chronically ill and have chronic pain. I can only work in small bouts on good days. My health started declining again in mid-December and I haven't recovered yet, and it really frustrated me to not be able to work as much as I wanted. My health was the reason why I was nervous about entering the competition, so being able to overcome that enough to meet the deadline was thrilling.




  1. Avatar Caitlin on March 11, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    That hand embroidery is absolutely fantastic. I’m so glad you were able to finish this beautiful apron!

    • Avatar Ame on March 12, 2021 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you so much! It was a lot of work but I’m definitely glad I was able to finish it too.

  2. Avatar Avery on March 11, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Love the ruffles! And the that embroidery, just wonderful!

  3. Avatar Bethany on March 11, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    The embroidery brought such a smile to my face! This is such a cute piece that I would love to wear myself!

  4. Avatar Shannon on March 11, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    The embroidery is truly striking!

  5. Avatar Sue on March 11, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    This is a Beautiful apron. The hand embroidery is 💋 chefs kiss

  6. Avatar Lucia on March 11, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    It is wonderful, well done!!

  7. Avatar Phanuel Jagna Levinsen on March 11, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    This is so cute ! Love it!

    • Avatar fanak on March 29, 2021 at 1:21 am

      beautiful apron! the embroidery is incredible, i luv the rabbits…well done and good luck 🙂

  8. Avatar Amanda Hart on March 11, 2021 at 11:06 pm


  9. Avatar Missy on March 11, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    The embroidery is just stunning! I really love the shape and style of the apron too, it’s so flattering!

    • Avatar Ame on March 12, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you so much! I got really caught up in the 1860s-1870s during this project, I really love the silhouettes during the transition between crinolines and bustles, it’s a great shape and I just love the Extra-ness of all the ruffles and details.

  10. Avatar Teri Plemel on March 12, 2021 at 12:49 am

    You should be incredibly proud of this. It is lovely!

  11. Avatar Elowen Blackthorn on March 12, 2021 at 1:02 am

    I LOVE your embroidery work! I’d planned to make my first historical apron this year and now it simply MUST include embroidery! Fabulous job!

    • Avatar Ame on March 12, 2021 at 4:42 pm

      Historical aprons are just so fun, I had such a hard time narrowing down a design for it at first. Embroidery patterns from the 1800s through to about the 1950s is thankfully very easy to find for free, so I had a lot of inspiration from those. My favorite thing was mixing different 1860’s-1870s patterns together to make a new one, I highly recommend it!

  12. Avatar Laurie on March 12, 2021 at 6:05 am

    Fantastic embroidery! Very well done.

  13. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 7:50 am

    LOOVE the embroidery on this, it’s such a beautiful piece

  14. Avatar Jaclyn Spencer on March 12, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    Beautiful work, and doing these things with health issues is a challenge. You rose to the challenge and acquitted yourself nicely. Love the embroidery pattern. I’m also a fan of Wonderland.

    • Avatar Ame on March 12, 2021 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you! It is difficult to do these sorts of things with medical issues, but I like being challenged in this creative sort of way where I have to practice using up as much of my energy as I safely can without pushing myself too far. The embroidery pattern was made by taking several different patterns from the 1860s/early 1870s and sort of Frankenstein-ing them together, which was a load of fun! I had so been wanting to put a clock in the corners of the skirt but I ran out of time. Another project, I suppose!

  15. Avatar Benigna on March 12, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    That looks really good! And the embroidery looks wonderful as well.
    I would love to wear this apron.

  16. Avatar Anne on March 12, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Oh my goodness!! The embroidery! YUM. It came out stunning!!!

  17. Avatar Helen Groeger on March 12, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    I adore this….. I just love it. I dare not pick up a machine and have a go as I think I need to make something huge and out of my comfort zone…. this is soooooo inspiring soooo thank you. This is beautiful and has now made me decide to make something like an apron to say “hey I have made a start”… thank you xx

  18. Avatar Sammyra on March 13, 2021 at 7:16 am

    so cute! very fairytale feel, so lovely and delicate. you look beautiful ♡ well done!

  19. Avatar Laura on March 13, 2021 at 9:51 am

    This is an absolute dream! I love how light and airy it looks like, it suits Alice perfectly I feel! The fit is amazing and those stunning embroidery details! A very impressive piece from top to bottom!

  20. Avatar Andrea Olinte on March 14, 2021 at 6:52 am

    The embroidery is stunning. Beautiful job, well done!

  21. Avatar Lucia on March 14, 2021 at 9:05 am

    I wish my first project were so detaidel as yours! Keep sewing, you are great!

  22. Avatar Annette Fitzgerald on March 14, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    That’s really pretty, I think your embroidery is amazing ❤️

  23. Avatar Valerie Meachum on March 15, 2021 at 12:39 am

    Such delightful detailing, with the tucks and ruffles and of course that exquisite white-on-white embroidery!

  24. Avatar Zoe Axford-Whitaker on March 15, 2021 at 9:43 am

    Lovely apron, the embroidery is absolutely beautiful x

    • Avatar Gabrielle Post on March 28, 2021 at 8:23 pm

      I love your apron, the ruffles and embroidery are so pretty 🙂

  25. Avatar Emily Helms on March 18, 2021 at 2:25 am

    Your embroidery is charming, and I love how the apron is modeled with a yellow dress (and striped stockings) since that also appeared in original illustrations, in addition to the blue dress we commonly associate with Alice. I also really appreciate that you referenced researching primary sources from the Internet Archive and how you incorporated the literary and historical details into your design.

  26. Avatar Pia Palmer on March 18, 2021 at 7:05 am

    I absolutely love this apron! The details are amazing, very well done.

  27. Avatar Joshua Graham on March 18, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    That hand embroidery is absolutely fantastic – the perfect fusion of cottagecore and glam

  28. Avatar Lisa Olsen on March 19, 2021 at 2:56 am

    So adorable and the embroidery is very impressive!

  29. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 20, 2021 at 3:04 am

    Did you know that a bounding bunny is a very hard animal to embroider correctly? You have them stretched just right in stride…they almost look real! Well done! I love aprons, by the way!

  30. Avatar Laura Ingalls Gunn on March 21, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Your take on Alice is superb. Such beautiful embroidery. Truly great work!

  31. Avatar Abigail Wietecha on March 22, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    So pretty! I really like the lace edges!

  32. Avatar Carol Phillips on March 24, 2021 at 4:19 am

    Wonderful March Hares!!! And beautiful supporting embroidery! The apron is such an important garment for the era.
    And adding the striped stockings was a great choice.

  33. Avatar Bianca on March 29, 2021 at 1:09 am

    That embroidery!!! I am speechless.

  34. Avatar Lowana O'Shea on March 29, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Your embroidery is absolutely stunning!

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