Alabama Chanin top

Trying to keep myself motivated to sew, I visited Pattern Review and found that that were just about to start a Reverse Appliqué and Quilted Garment Contest.

Back in December 2020 the Australian Sewing Guild held a Zoom workshop on Alabama Chanin and eventhough I had admired multiple garments from Handmade by Carolyn and Maria at Finished Seams this was the first time that I had attempted anything like it.

Sample from the ASG Workshop

My friend Nieves let me borrow her Alabama Chanin books and the only cotton knit I had in the stash was the Cotton Elastine that I purchased with Sandra back in 2014 from Standrad Knits.

Fabric, pattern and book

For the stencil I really like Anna’s Garden and purchased it directly from Alabama Chanin. Off to Officeworks to get it printed, larger than A3 but smaller than A0. The next challenge was what medium I would use for the stencil, and here my sewing friends pointed me in the right direction to Material Obsession where I was able to purchase 4 x 20cm square sheets, that I taped together with clear packing tape and was ready to start.

I often wondered why I had a can of quilt basting spray in my cupboard and now it came in handy as I could spray the paper stencil and then place this on top of the Mylar film and then with a scapel I took my time cutting out all the shapes. This was achieved with 12 x 20 minute sessions so I wouldn’t upset my hand again.

Stencil cut out.

As I only planned to stitch the front of my top, I decided that it wasn’t that large and used an Artline Supereme Permanent Marker – Metallic Colour, 1.0 mm to trace the stencil onto the pumpkin fabric.

Again the basting spray was used for the pumpkin fabric to stick to the stone fabric and then I used some safety pins to keep it all together.

I had already worked out that I was going to use Gutermann Upholstery Thread 169 which I used doubled. I couldn’t help myself and cut out some shapes as soon as I thought it was safe to do so.

This again took about a week to completely stitch out the stencil and cut out the shapes. Then it was sewing the t-shirt together with the overlocker.

The neckline is bound with a 3mm self-fabric binding which is then hand stitched in place, and here is where I found Natalia Chanin’s creative embellishments Craftsy course invaluable as it explained clearly and also provided the templates for the Cretan stitch that I had fallen in love with.

Neckline Cretan stitch

Not much more to show, but here are the final photos.

Front view

At this stage I can’t comment on how the knots on the inside feel as it was only on for photos for the Pattern Review contest and will have to wait for much warmer weather before I get to wear this for any length of time.

I thoroughly enjoyed the making of this garment and will be interested to check out the cotton jersey’s at The Remnant Warehouse when we can visit again.

3 thoughts on “Alabama Chanin top

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