Reverse applique corset a la Alabama Chanin

I finally finished my first Alabama Chanin piece while on Christmas vacation. I used some jersey cotton from my stash. It is a very intense red and purple. It was initially only planned to try out the techniques, but as it turns out I really love the color combination.

If you haven't heard of Alabama Chanin yet make sure you go and check out the website. I absolutely love the designs, and if I could afford it my whole wardrobe would be Alabama Chanin Style. 

This corset is from the book "Alabama Chanin Stitch Book"
So far I have two of the three books, but the third one is high up on my wishlist.

This corset is completely hand stitched. 

I love that the designer, Natalie Chanin, shares the how-to for her designs with everyone not only through her books, but also offers the original supplies in her online store. And beyond that offers workshops at her factory in Alabama. I wish I could attend one someday! (I don't get paid to write this, I am just a huge fan obsessed with her designs :)

Anyway, back to my corset. I didn't have any spray paint to transfer the stencil design on the fabric. Instead I used a Sharpie marker. For my next project I will use the stenciling technique from the book.

 The reverse applique was fun to work with. It took quite a while until I had all pattern pieces ready to be assembled. The actual construction was surprisingly fast. A really nice project to do in front of the TV.

For the reverse applique the pattern pieces have to be cut out twice, once in each color. Then the pieces are layered upon each other. The stencil should be applied to the top layer before cutting. After the pattern pieces are layered it is to be stitched around the shapes of the applied stencil, and after that one has to cut out the top layer fabric 1/8 inch away from the stitching line so the second layer shows. Once all pattern pieces are embellished this way the top can be constructed.

I used the cretan stitch to sew the binding on. I still have to work on more even stitches, but I love how it turned out. 


My Giant Vintage Star Quilt

The pattern for this quilt is from In Color Order by Jeni Baker. You can find the free tutorial here. After I found a bunch of really nice Giant Vintage Star Quilts in her Flickr Group.

My sister made one of these quilts and it inspired me to make one too. I needed a cuddle blanket for watching movies.

The fabric is Dowry by Anna Maria Horner. I used this Fat Quarter Bundle. The piecing of the top and back was a matter of an afternoon. It went together so quickly, and uses less fabric than one would think.

The backing fabric is cuddle minky in purple. The back shows nicely how I quilted it. Just straight lines left and right of the long straight joining seams. It was done within an afternoon, including the binding. I used the leftover stripes to cut the binding.

I love this quilt. It is so amazingly soft and cuddly. 


Laptop sleeves

Last year a befriended couple asked me if I could make some sleeves for their laptops. They picked their own fabric and style. Here are the results, the only handmade Christmas presents 2013:

The print on this one was bigger than anticipated. With only one yard ordered I had some problems to fit the print properly, which led to some beheaded birds.

See that seam down the middle of the back? Let's better not talk about that one! It's rather embarrassing.

Luckily this one stayed intact, besides the velcro tape he is hiding behind.

This print was much easier to cut and fit on the pattern ;)



Back from my vacation

As the title of this post says, I am back from my Christmas vacation. I spent two weeks on Bainbridge Island, WA, at my older sisters house. My two younger sisters from Germany came visiting too. It was a lot of fun. And since my older sister sews too I got a lot of inspiration for upcoming sewing projects.

My sewing related Christmas presents

Sewing pattern for Iris hoodie

Draping: The complete guide, Lark by Jamie Christina, Hawthorn by Colette Patterns

They do have a little sewing shop on the island which happened to have a sale while I was there. I couldn't help but to buy some fabric.

The pink fabric is a poly chiffon with sequins that I got from my sisters stash. The black lace with sequins is from the fabric store.

From left to right:
Chambray by Robert Kaufman
Essex Yarn Dyed Linen by Robert Kaufman
The most amazingly soft Italian cotton from the fabric store!
Black stretch corduroy from my sisters stash

Anna Maria Horner:
Dowry Flourish Cherry
Postage Due Kalediescope
Field Study Linen Parenthetical Berry

 Anna Maria Horner Field Study Ghost Wing
Horse Print on cotton from Spoonflower

Sarah Jane's Children at play by Michael Miller

I also got two Anna Maria Horner Fat Quarter bundles. One of them is already a quilt top, and will be blogged about later. And a fantastic interlock knit in gray (also from the little fabric store) which is already sewn up into the Lark pattern. I just have to add the closures and it will be ready for pictures and blogging.

Now I really have to start some stash bustin'!