I also love costumes: wearing them, making them, acting in them. And, I have hosted a few big costume bashes, the pirate party, complete with 30' pirate ship in the front yard and me tearing down my curtains to make my costume were probably the most phenomenal. I had guys show up as characters from Mad Max (1979) wearing full-on torn up tires with spikes as part of their costumes! I'll have to dig out the photos. They were pre-iPhone days. So many are probably printed.
As I love costumes and parties so much, for one of my milestone birthdays, I wanted to have a big costume party. I was really into Alice in Wonderland (way before the Tim Burton movie emerged), but wanted to be the Madd Hatter because he's a much more interesting and fun character. He's weird and of course he's played by my hero, Ed Wynn in Disney's cartoon version.
I dug through my vintage pattern stash and stumbled on Advance 8222 (above right). It's a 1940's/1950's kids jumper pattern. Seeing the girl in blue on the envelope, I had a vision of myself acting silly as the madd hattress. BINGO! That's the pattern.
I graded the pattern up. Really, I don't know that I'd even call it grading. I just fudged it. I had little knowledge and just tried to see how it would turn out. I don't think I even added bust darts.
I wanted the skirt to stand out and have a frilly petticoat. So I make one of black tulle fabric then added a red ruffle using tulle ribbon. Whew! What I chose not to include was a lining fabric between me and the petticoat. That damn thing stuck to me with every move. I was constantly pulling at it. Good to know that's why lining is important with tulle!
I even had a madd hattress hat custom made by Topsy Turvy Design to match the dress. I love that hat!
The dress was worn, loved, worn more, then used as part of my clown costume when I took Personal Clown at Freehold Theater. It died after a tragic clown experience. I could never put it back on again. Some day, I may tell you that story. You'll probably find it hilarious and simultaneously tragic. After all, the clown is born in the moment of tragedy.