Saturday, May 17, 2014

Alabama Chanin Love

A few months ago, I saw a photograph of one of Natalie Chanin's beautiful skirts on Pinterest and became interested in the idea of making clothing using her techniques. I purchased her book, Alabama Studio Sewing and Design, and a new obsession was born.

Her website is Check out her DIY store.

My first project is a long sleeved t-shirt, (the first of three), constructed for the wedding of a close friend. They are opting for a very informal wedding on the beach at Tofino, and are wearing jeans and t-shirts. We opted for a long sleeved design as it is often very windy and cold on the beach in May. I am making a shirt for the two bridesmaids and the bride.

Here is the completed first shirt:

The clothing is sewn 100% by hand. The design is stencilled on to the hand-dyed organic cotton fabric, hand embroidered and the top layer of fabric strategically cut away. Swarovski pearls have been applied to the design. The pattern is Simplicity 5428. I adapted one of Alabama Chanin's stencil designs to make a border that frames the neckline of the shirt.

Needless to say, the bride's shirt will be more elaborately beaded and embroidered.  I have stencilled the neckline, front and back and the sleeve hems on her shirt, which will feature white on white embroidery, beading with pearls and crystals, and glass beads. I have two weeks to get the other two shirts finished....

Detail from embroidery on second bridesmaid's shirt.

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