You never forget your first love

Mine is sewing.

I learned to sew when I was four old from a Grandmother exasperated with my attempts to fashion doll clothes with scraps from the rag drawer and scotch tape. My first “garment” was a pillow case “dress”, cut to add neck and arm openings then embellished with tucks and gathers to make it fitted. I sewed all through high school, college and my 20’s though recently knitting has taken over. I recently found my self with a week between commitments and in anticipation of the publication of the Alabama Chanin‘s new book, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, I thought I might see just how much I could accomplish from books 1 & 2.

4 Panel Alabama Swing Skirt, Book 1:

Rose Stencil Reverse Applique, organic cotton jersey in brown and black. I don’t consider this one really finished, when I look at it I feel like it needs ‘something’ and so I’m thinking I will add some embroidery around the hem, sort of like this.


6 Panel Alabama Swing Skirt, Book 2:

Bright red organic cotton jersey with herringbone stitch on the exposed seams

I still haven’t finished trimming the loose threads… Because Book three arrived today, and I am over the moon in love.

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10 Responses to You never forget your first love

  1. Melynda says:

    Ahhh- mine too! Another reason to like you :-) Haven’t done much with the machine at all in the past years, but I know the day will come.

    • admin says:

      This is all hand sewn, I miss my sewing machine too, but it just isn’t realistic with a 4yr old who puts his fingers everywhere!

  2. MJ says:

    I love Natalie Chanin’s books! I love your skirts (especially the red one)! Which reminds me that I need to finish the skirt I’ve been working on for the last year. Now, to find some foldover elastic……

  3. salena says:

    I love Alabama Chanin! I have the first two books but haven’t made anything yet. I bought some yucky jersey from Jo-Ann to practice on before investing in the good stuff, but I didn’t like how the paint turned out so I abandoned it. I keep meaning to try again but then I get distracted by knitting projects. Love how your skirts turned out!

    • admin says:

      I did that too! With the same result, then found some mid-priced organic cotton jersey by doing a google search- it was worth it to spend a little more for better fabric I think. These are both ‘muslins’ to test the fit and practice before starting on the good stuff.

      • salena says:

        oh muslins are such a good idea. Last year, I made myself a lined A-line skirt out of fabric that I had splurged on (without doing a muslin first) and it didn’t fit. Such a disappointment. Part of what appeals to me so much about Alabama Chanin designs is that they’re made out of stretchy jersey–my favorite!

  4. BeckyinVT says:

    gorgeous, Gorgeous! I love the reverse applique and I’ve never tried anything like it! Also your herringbone stitch is so perfect, you did that by hand?

    I cut threads impulsively. I was a little more careless about them once, but my costume design professor docked points for EACH missed thread on a finished item…

    • admin says:

      All handsewn! The herringbone isn’t at all perfect, but the camera angle is! I’d get in a lot of trouble if I lost points for every loose untrimmed thread…

  5. grampa says:

    . . . i remember those doll clothes were adorable ;-}