This costume was made by thrift store finds, refashioning old clothes, and a dab of creativity. Most of the items for this costume didn't cost me more than $10. You can try this out too by picking up items to make your own Mad Hatter!
Step 1: Jacket
What I used:
Jacket: Thrift Store Blazer ($3)
Vintage Buttons ($5 at the antique store)
Vintage Brooch (Ebay For $4)
Rit Dye (Purple) ($2.98 at Walmart)
I bought a jacket that fit. It was beige so I took care of that with a dark purple Rit dye. It is also an option to simply buy the color you want from the start. I thought plum was a Mad Hattery color and it matched my skirt fabric so I decided to use the dye. The buttons were a simple matter of sewing on vintage ones I liked from my button jar. Any pin or brooch would work but I selected the one from my collection I liked best for the lapel.
Step 2: Skirt
What I needed for the skirt:
Formal dress plum colored (free)
elastic waist band from an old skirt (free)
Silk multicolored scarf (free)
Various chains from the craft store
2 vintage brooches (already had these)
Other things to hang off the chains such as keys and a compass (I found items at thrift stores and antique stores for under $5)
I started with a formal dress that I had received free. I cut off the top to a length I liked. I gathered where I had cut and added a large square scarf which I cut a hole in the middle to fit around my waist over the gathers. Next I sewed on the elastic waist band which I had cut from an old skirt I didn't like any more.
For the bustle look in the front, I sewed buttons on to the front of the skirt and on the wrong side I attached metal rings at even intervals in a line I measured out. You can also do this in the back if you like. At the bottom I attached a piece of ribbon about 8 inches long. This part got threaded up through the rings and then tied in a bow to give the bustling effect.
Next I made a belt adornment with chains, using jump rings attaching items I had selected that were Steampunk in nature to the chain. I pinned the chains on either side of the skirt with brooches I liked.
Step 3: Shirt and Scarf
What I used here
Clearance Shirt (from Maurices $4.50)
Neck Scarf and brooch:
Thrift store scarf (50 cents)
Cameo brooch ( ebay $5)
Handkerchief (Thrift store 50 cents)
I picked out the most Mad Hatter like shirt I could find. This can be anything!
Next I made the pin to attach to a scarf I planned to wear tied at my neck. I found one similar to the one from the original illustrations. I sewed the handkerchief behind the brooch so it would hang down over the scarf.
Step 4: Thread Bandolier
What I used:
Vintage Spools of thread (thrift stores for $2 for all)
Leather belt (Thrift store for $1)
String or thread (Michael's beading area for $2-3)
Ribbon (Michaels for $2-4)
Rings (From my stash)
Thick chain ($4 at Michaels)
I picked out a belt I liked. I attached spools of thread with string together in a ladder pattern and then added metal rings to each end. With the metal rings I tied with ribbon the thread ladder to the belt.
I added a chain, beads, and ribbon as decoration.
Step 5: Hand Gizmo
This I made with various items from my stash, lots of glue, and an old belt which I turned into a strap for the hand. I used an assortment of vacuum tubes, watch parts, and jewelry findings on a wood piece I found at Michaels. I also used lace to cover up the glue on the bottom I used to attach the belt (which i cut down to size).
Step 6: Other Gadgets
I also made a mini time machine box that doubles as a storage box. This was made from an ignition coil from a model T Ford, telegraph parts, wire, vacuum tubes and velvet for the inside. I used things from my stash to adorn the outside. For this part I attached the heavier parts with a two part epoxy. But you can use this as inspiration and make your own device!
Step 7: Other Accessory Considerations
I was lucky to already have a top hat. You can find one online for as little as $10 for a felt one. Add a sign into the rim of the hat that says "In this style 10/6" to give your hat the Mad Hatter flare. I used card stock for mine but any paper can be used. I also decorated hat pins which I added on the other side.
The Made Hatter should also have a teapot. I was lucky to find mine for $2 at a thrift store. I added embellishments from my stash for fun. I also found an inexpensive tea cup to use. The glasses where another thrift store find.
Step 8: Enjoy!
With a little searching and creativity you can make your own Mad Hatter Steampunk costume!