White Rabbit at the Queen of Hearts’ Court



Simon Scarle


Outline the story …

I made the mistake of first reading the Alice in Wonderland stories by Lewis Carroll when I was an adult at University, so the whole drug trip / dream vibe really made a real impression on me, but the nervous energy of the White Rabbit as he leads Alice to the rabbit hole instantly made him a character I totally related to. I’d already gotten into my current style of habitually wearing a waistcoat with pocket watch, and since then my watch chain has gained a charm of the White Rabbit: my spirit animal. However, this is the White Rabbit later in the story when he is acting as a herald in the Queen of Hearts’ court. Whilst there is a very fixed view of how he looks in that scene with his uniform tunic covered in hearts and his trumpet, which comes from the original illustrations, it doesn’t really fit with what I feel the style of the White Rabbit was nor the trippy / dreamy style of the story. This is not the outfit for someone who holds his “waistcoats and whiskers” in such high regard. So, I felt his heart covered uniform must include a heart design waistcoat, with hearts for buttons and this all needed to be made in a more juxtaposed, chaotic and dreamlike style mixing as many material patterns together as impossible.

Outline the construction…

My simple pattern’s front and back pieces came from drawing round a well-fitting waistcoat from my collection. All material came from a local charity shop. The lining was a duvet cover, and the rest a bag of cabbage. The patchwork design was inspired by this having been the stash of quilter. Most was cut into small squares, along with a few pre-made “Granny Squares” which had never reached a project. I’d never made a proper geometric quilting design before and didn’t want to waste their hard work: So, I constructed my back material from these and other material from the stash. One section used long strips and followed a “using fabric scraps” YouTube video. The front pieces were built up from squares of pale blues and reds, to make four 4x4 geometric hearts, with additional long strip boarders. I was inspired by Morgan Donner’s “Pockets” YouTube video to try two proper welted pockets hidden in the hearts. I agree with her that her description was not totally clear, but it got me most of the way and told me the right words to Google! Off-cuts from the back finished off the front pieces, and off-cuts from them became the bowtie. The buttons come from one of my other hobbies in that they were designed using CAD software and then 3D printed using a metallic plastic filament. The shirt was my first attempt following Bernadette’s “Pirate Shirt” tutorial, but with less poofy sleeves, front buttons and dress shirt style cuffs.




  1. Avatar Laura Boyles on March 11, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    Delightfully described and a feast for the eyes! Good luck x

  2. Avatar Madelief on March 11, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    Impressive use of fabric pieces! And I like the colourful outcome 🙂

  3. Avatar Rebecca Foust on March 12, 2021 at 5:50 am

    Explosion of colors, delightful patterns, Wonderful use of thrifted fabric and scraps. All this while portraying your character very well. What is not to love about this project. Well done!

  4. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 12, 2021 at 11:55 am

    I’m loving the buttons! Particularly the direction in which they face on the waistcoat. I find it’s such little details as these that really add character to an outfit.

  5. Avatar Andrea Olinte on March 12, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    Wonderfully pieced. Love the hearts.

  6. Avatar Divya RV on March 12, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    This is a very interesting and well-made piece of clothing. The waistcoat really reflects the whimsical nature of the book. Kudos to you. All the best!

  7. Avatar Teri Plemel on March 12, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Delightful and a great option for this character. I adore the tie!

  8. Avatar Jocelyn Lofstrom on March 12, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    I love this so much for the patchwork rhythm. Well done!

  9. Avatar Carolien van Alphen on March 12, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    I love it, and would totally wear it every day 🙂 Well done, and lovely story!

  10. Avatar Suzi Smart on March 12, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    I love the psychedelic vibes! Great job on adapting Bernadette Banner’s pirate shirt with less puffy sleeves, I tried the same and failed. I’m going to take this as inspiration and revisit the project.

    • Avatar Simon on March 18, 2021 at 3:22 pm

      Good Luck! I’ve got two of them now!

  11. Avatar Nancy Stange on March 13, 2021 at 5:16 am

    I love this! Especially the addition of the matching bowtie! I wouldn’t have thought of that.

  12. Avatar Ari on March 13, 2021 at 6:18 am

    Ooh I love patchwork and I love how well this fits the character! It looks great and is very fun and colorful! Good luck!

  13. Avatar Natalia V. on March 13, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Very colorful and inventive! Good luck!

  14. Avatar Lisa Horstkamp on March 15, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    Great job!

  15. Avatar Valerie on March 17, 2021 at 3:24 am

    Love the creative use of a quilter’s stash! And the final result is such fun.

  16. Avatar KC (Keowyndrial) on March 19, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    Such an imaginative and beautiful mix of colors and patterns – I love how you designed this with such thought to the character, it is such a dapper, stylish ensemble. Well done!

  17. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 23, 2021 at 4:42 am

    Wow, this outfit is colorful, fun and amazing! I love it! Thank you!

  18. Avatar Lizzie Blake on April 1, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    I adore your patchwork vest and neck tie! It definitely gives off the dreamy vibes of the white rabbit

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