The Cheshire Cat is an intelligent, mischievous, and ultimately mysterious character who features heavily in most adaptations of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. While taking the physical form of a cat with an exaggerated grin, the Cheshire Cat can speak, dislocate his head from his body, and appear and disappear at will, either wholly or partially. While the Cheshire Cat's appearence varies between adaptations, he is most often associated with the pink and purple color scheme from the 1951 Walt Disney version. The Cheshire Cat often perplexes or annoys Alice, spouting philosophy, speaking in riddles, and sometimes even attempting to help her or cheer her up. Ultimately, however, the Cheshire Cat most often takes pleasure in misdirecting or confusing her.
When some local cosplayers decided to throw an Alice In Wonderland themed Tea Party with an Elegant Gothic Lolita twist, I couldn't resist joining in as my favorite Wonderland character, the Cheshire Cat. Since I had two days and $20 to pull off this costume, I pulled most of it straight out of the closet. The dress was a typical EGL off-the-rack dress I already owned, composed of a black satin corset with punkish ripped pink and black tulle and lace skirt. I also had a matching pink and black teased to heck ponytail wig that was just wild enough to fit the absurdity of the character. I then went to Target and bought a black umbrella with pink trim and three pairs of purple and pink striped knee socks straight off the clearance rack. I took the first pair of socks and cut the feet off, using the leg part as arm warmers and stuffed the feet with quilting batting and sewed them onto the wig as ears. I took one half of the second pair apart and used the fabric to make a cat tail, which I also stuffed with batting and attached to the dress. Finally, the third pair I wore as actual socks. I then grabbed some black lace fabric out of my scrap pile and made lace bows for the back of my skirt, the ears, and shoes. Finally, I opened the umbrella and cut out each panel of waterproof fabric with a pair of scissors, only leaving a strip at the bottom with the pink trim and a thin strip over each metal arm of the umbrella mechanism. I then used the paneling as a pattern to cut out new panels from my black lace scrap and sewed it to the umbrella to make a lace parasol. I balled up the final sock and sewed it to the top of the parasol as a little orb and topped it off with a bright fuchsia ribbon I had lying around. Although this costume started out as kind of a last minute thing, it came out more elaborate than I had planned, and I was really happy with it at the time. In retrospect I'm actually really proud of how I managed to pull this out of nothing and it was actually pretty dang cute!