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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reviving An Old Passion

Well, the only thing this has to do with knitting is that I am working with a Cotton Jersey knit fabric. With an honorarium book token I went off to Chapters to pick up a book on dyeing I had seen....but I came home with a sewing book:

'Alabama Studio Sewing + Design' 
A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe.

Its from the company Alabama Chanin which is all about simple, stylish, quality wear made from cotton jersey knit. I love that is's 100% cotton as I only wear natural fibres (those 'personal Summers' require no synthetics)! And I love that I've been doing hand stitching which I used to do a lot when I was waaaay younger and growing up in England.


Here is my first outfit, consisting of a long sleeved T and elastic waisted skirt. Yes, every stitch is done by hand, the side seams, neck binding, top stitching, even sewing on the waistband by hand.  I started while I was on holiday by the sea...so relaxing and escapist. Using cotton jersey I got from Designer Fabrics in Toronto....and grey was the  best colour I could find, at about $6 a yard. I cut a bit and practiced some o the stitches in the book...straight and stretch.
Here you can see my stitches in the seams and around the neck.  Also, a note, none of the edges are hemmed....just left a nice raw cut edge. (So that makes it easier!)
I then went on to make the camisole. The pattern for the T was a bit small so I had to cut it a bit larger and it fits me well (not so much this size 10 form) so when I cut the cami I did the same and it came out a bit larger. I stitched two more 'darts' into the back of the cami to bring it in and it fits better now....I may do a couple in the front. There is a cami pattern with more seaming...maybe next Summer for that.






























Stencil sample.
There is lots of stencilling in the book and in their work but I haven't decided how or where to embellish. I could cut some shapes out and stitch them on or just stencil. Until I decide I first did a test patch....which I might turn into a cushion, but for it's first wearing, to a friend's art opening featuring flowers, I just stencilled a long strip and wore it as a belt.



Well,  now that I have done my first three pieces I'd like to make a long dress.....


Hand stitched elastic waist band.



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