Alice Tea Linens Tutorial

image 1 panned set all shadowed

This child sized tea linen set features Alice in Wonderland characters.  With the heavenly scented Confederate Jasmine in full bloom on my front porch, a sweet tea party could be held, if only I had a few grandchildren in house.


Making this linen tea set was such a pleasure.  The project and accompanying tutorial were just posted on Brother’s Stitching Sewcial  blog.    This is especially timely with the recent release of Disney’s new movie, Alice through the Looking Glass. A whole new generation of children will meet the characters through this movie.

The tutorial includes .pdf downloads for the corner templates (a smaller one for the napkins and a larger one for the tablecloth).  It also includes a link to download the zig zag feather stitch which I created in My Custom Stitch,  available on many Brother machines.  I find this stitch useful for many projects–baby bonnets,   baby shawls,   blankets and more.

If your machine has this feature, you might want to download the zig zag feather even if you are not planning to whip up an Alice tea linen set.  Instructions for getting this stitch from the download to a memory stick to your machine are included in the tutorial.

When I began this project, my biggest challenge was to select the designs from  the 13 designs available at   Somehow, they would be have to be color coordinated with sweet Alice’s dress because the Madeira tablecloth corners just had to be blue.



Alice napkin close


Finally, I decided that the napkin corners would have to coordinate with its many colored embroidered characters.

Please allow me to digress.  Sometimes, your instincts are just right.  Almost 20 years ago at an estate sale, I purchased about a dozen 9-10″  linen handkerchiefs in a variety of solid colors, just because.  They had never been used, as evidenced by the Made in Switzerland paper labels still attached. I’ve always loved applique and it was clear that the fine quality of the linen would be perfect for the Madeira technique.   I just knew that one day I would be glad to have them.  And that day came when I began this project.  But 100% cotton batiste or lightweight broadcloth would also work.

So I plundered through my linen handkerchief bin, matching available colors to the available embroidery design characters.  Bingo!  There were several great matches.  I made a few changes, like the color of the White Rabbit’s clothing, but with his watch he was easily identifiable.


Alice tablecloth corner

Alice tablecloth corner


Thread matching the linen was used for the pin stitch around the napkin edge and around the Madeira.  Baby tatting is featured on all corners.

Liberties were taken with the Queen of Hearts and the twins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee.  The Queen’s colors were harsh black and red, just as she was shown in the original Alice movie.

queen ibroidery


Instead I chose to deck her out in bright pink and blue.


image 1C close Queen

While the blue was not a perfect match, I deemed it acceptable.


Tweedledum and Tweedledee were also strongly colored.

Tweedle dee

Instead of red, bright pink was used again.

image 1D close tweedles bright


The other two corners were embroidered with two different Alice designs.

The  zig zag feather stitch that runs along each side of the tablecloth was created in the My Custom Stitch feature on many Brother sewing machines.  If you would

I’ve made two other tea linen sets, each with a design coordinated with the child sized tea set, each in anticipation and hopes for a granddaughter or two.   One has a Mary Engelbreit look.   The other has a rose embroidery which mimics the  rose in the porcelain set.    (Hmmmm…I see I’ve never posted that draft.  Later.) Who knew we’d have Vivian Rose to use that one?

Mamas, Aunties and Nanas who tend to go over the top will love making the Alice tea linen set.  Wouldn’t this make a grand Christmas gift for a little miss?  It’s not too early to start, you know.


The whole Alice in Wonderland story has held precious memories for me. When my Rebecca was 5 yo, Santa brought her a Madame Alexander Alice doll.  She loved that doll but I noticed that she kept calling her Alison.  When asked why, she replied, “That’s her name, Alison Wonderland!”



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