Alabama Chanin

I remember seeing the Alabama Chanin books at Barnes & Noble and looking at them briefly. Afterwards I went on their website and was enchanted by the style. But it wasn't until about three weeks ago that I finally ordered my first book, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. Now my mind is set on one day making one of the gorgeous dresses myself. 

But first I have to practice on some smaller projects. I bought a second book and the basic needed tools and started with a little project from Alabama Stitch Book.

I ordered the two scissors at (it was a bit cheaper), the thread and needles are from the Alabama Chanin website. I really like that she doesn't keep it a secret how to copy her wonderful designs. And even more, offering on her website the exact same high quality tools she is using to create these wonderful garments. 

My first project were these gloves. It was a nice way to try out the stitching technique. I used some cotton jersey from my stash. I want to practice a bit before I buy the fabric from the website.

Here a close up of the embroidery stitches on the gloves. I used to do some cross-stitch embroidery when I was younger and have quite a bit leftover embroidery thread. 

The first two panels from the next project, the Reverse-Applique Corset. The outer layer is the same cotton jersey as the gloves. The underlayer is also from my stash. I didn't think these two colors would work that well together, but I really like the effect.

Here a closeup of the Reverse Applique. I am still practicing :-)

I don't have a paintbrush gun or any fabric paint (yet?), so my stenciling technique was a Sharpie marker. 


Colette Chantilly Dress

Voila! The Colette Chantilly Dress
The fabric is some polyester georgette, I think. Or maybe polyester chiffon. Either way it was a pain to work with. But the result was worth it.

I lined it with black polyester something. Since both fabrics are part of the lot I bought on sale at Denver Fabrics in Denver I have no idea what kind it is. Sorry!

The dress was a bit time consuming, due to the full lining. And I had some trouble with gathering the front bodice correctly because of the thin fabric. It stretched quite a bit while handling. But it couldn't hold me back from starting a second one :-)

Pattern Description:
This fully lined dress is designed to be made in a soft fabric. A neckline yoke and flattering curved midriff provide shape, while gathers at the bust and six gore skirt give soft fullness. Closes with an invisible side zipper.

Pattern Sizing:
0 - 18, I made a size 2

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
As usual, very easy to follow instructions

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like how the neckline is designed. And the gathered bust area. And that it is suitable for more lightweight fabrics.

Fabric Used:
I think it is a polyester chiffon

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't make any alterations or design changes

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I started already a second one. I absolutely recommend it!

I love this light summer dress.


Everything Wristlet

Now that my closet is full with a complete wardrobe I take some time here and there to sew bags and home decorating things again. I have all these nice books in my shelf with tons of mini quilts, quilts, bags etc. Not to mention all the ideas I pinned on my Pinterest boards.

One of these books in my shelf is Amy Butler's "Style Stitches". I forgot when and where I bought the book. There are a couple of really nice bags in there, and to be honest a couple of rather ugly bags too. (in my opinion anyway) Like the Fringed Hobo Bag or the Miss Maven Ruffled Handbag. Anyway, back to the nice bags in the book. Like the Everything Wristlet. I made the small size.

Before you attempt this pattern go here for measurement corrections!

fitting to my Poppy Swing Dress

I am not a big fan of embellishments, so no useless button on top of the front flap. The pattern was quite the challenge. I had to read most steps a couple of times to figure out what she means.

The biggest challenge was sewing in the zipper. It was weird and complicated, but probably the only way to put it in there with this design. The other thing is the compartment between the card holders. I am so sure I followed every step by the letter, but I still ended up with the interfacing showing. It is very confusing at times.

 I am glad to have made the small version. It is the perfect little bag to fit in just the necessary stuff without having to much baggage.

I forgot to stitch down in the middle of the two card holders, silly me! The wristlet did not fit under my sewing machine to sew the lining in the shell. I ended up sewing it in there by hand. Well, I am getting quite good with the whole hand stitching thing. But that also means I wasn't able to topstitch around the upper edge.

Next on my list from this book is this beauty, the Blossom Handbag. I haven't decided on a fabric yet.


Cambie Dress No 3

My third Cambie dress is finished, and I already wore it out for dinner. Pictures of the other two versions are here and here.

The fabric is a buttery soft voile by Anna Maria Horner from her Little Folks collection. It's Baby Bouquet in Sweet. I just love her designs!!!

The construction of this dress was, as all Sewaholic patterns, very easy and straightforward. Did I mention that I am a big fan of Sewaholic patterns. I just finished the Lonsdale dress (blog post to follow) and have the Cordova Jacket pattern waiting in my pattern stash.

Here the back. Those wrinkles look weird, it must be the way I am standing. And the dress is a bit wrinkly because I had worn it once out and then it was hanging in my slightly stuffed closet.

I made a size 6 straight out of the envelope. No alterations needed.

My dress form modeling it. The fabric was a pleasure to work with. Especially thanks to my straight stitch needle plate and foot. 

Another back view.

I lined the dress with china silk which a bought at Dharma Trading. My new go to lining for about everything. 

I hand stitched the lining to the shell at the waistband with a slip stitch.

All seams of the skirt but the back seam are done in french seams. I bound the back seam which holds the zipper with Hug Snug rayon seam binding. This red is the only color I have. Gotta order other colors like black and white.