Thursday, July 2, 2020

Mad for Madder: Another Alabama Chanin Top

I don't know what it is about Alabama Chanin garments but once I complete one, I feel the need to start another. There is something so oddly satisfying about the creative process involved in completing a project like this, never mind the many steps of preparation and the countless hours of sewing called for. 

As with the previous tops I have made, I used the Alabama Chanin t-shirt pattern included in the book "Alabama Chanin Studio Sewing + Design." I used the round neckline and cap sleeves. 

I have always used the reverse applique method but this time I tried the negative reverse applique method for the first time. 

The top layer is stenciled with the chosen design. 
I used "New Leaves" stencil and airbrushed with "Sand" Createx Fabric Paint. 

Here you can see the bottom layer underneath the stenciled fabric. 

*A note about the bottom fabric. I was inspired by an AC top I saw in Pinterest and I wanted to recreate it. However I didn't have the exact same cotton jersey so I had to dye mine. 

I used the natural plant Madder Root to dye my white cotton jersey. 

Back to the negative reverse method: I sewed the two layers together by using backstitches 1/8" inside the appliqué shapes. 

Here you see the stitches in progress. 

A view of the wrong side of the underlying fabric. 

A view of the two layers. 

The front of the top completed as far as appliqué stitching is concerned. 

Now it's time to cut off the top layer 1/8" outside the edges of the appliqué shapes. 

Partially trimmed. 

The front of the top completed!

I only embellished part of the back.

I also embellished the sleeves. 

I used feather stitches on the neckline binding and sleeves. 

And now for some more eye candy!

What the inside looks like!

And for more info, check out my review posted at

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Summer Sewing

I can't believe my last post was in February of this year. Although I haven't written anything about my sewing projects, I have been productive. Most of the garments I have sewn were simple casual tops so I thought a post on the construction details was not reallly necessary. One of these days, I will just share a round up of those finished projects.

 Meanwhile to get my blogging mojo back, I thought I would start by sharing a favorite of mine which is the Alabama Chanin tee.

Pattern: Classic T-shirt pattern from the "Alabama Chanin Studio. Sewing & Design Book." I used this pattern several times before and have tweaked the fit since to suit me better. I changed the neckline to a V silhouette.

Fabrics: As with previous shirts, I used two fabrics on front and one on back.

  Main fabric: navy blue organic medium-weight (9.8 oz) cotton knit 
  Backing fabric: camel organic lightweight (4.6oz) cotton knit

Stencil: Anna's Garden which I used twice before already

Paint: I added a few drops of Pearlized Createx Airbrush color (Pearl White) to Transparent Creates Airbrush color (medium gray). I had trouble with my airbrush tool resulting in uneven and splotchy finish on some of the stencil shapes so I touched up the borders using Silver Metallic Sharpie pen. 

Thread for stitching appliqué: 100% cotton embroidery floss in camel. This came in a spool of 75 yards. I used four strands which were doubled and knotted. I only used one spool and there was enough left. 

Needle for hand stitching: Japanese steel size 9 sewing needles (T.E.C. Tokyo brand) purchased from Etsy. 

Scissors for trimming away the top layer: curved tip Kai scissors size 5

A peek inside the construction process.

I used backstitching to sew around the appliqués.

View of the inside. 

Handstitching in action.

                                   I used a 1-1/2" wide binding and Cretan stitch for the neckline. 

I also used same binding for the sleeves

I cut the back of my tee to allow for a center back seam and after machine sewing together, I used backstitches to topstitch. 

                                                              I left the lower hem unfinished. 

Here's a time lapse video of the cutting process. No matter how careful I was, I accidentally snipped three small holes in some of the appliqués which I fixed with patch and bonding agent. 

And now photos of the finished garment.

Wrong side of the garment.

Inside view of the neckline.

                                                         Inside view of the center back seam.

Inside view of the sleeve binding.