Monday, April 29, 2013

Alabama Chanin Fitted Tank Dress

One of the first items from the book the book Alabama Chanin Studio Sewing and Design that I fell in love with is this paisley dress. I have been hesitant to make it because of all of the hand sewing involved. Rather than make the fully detailed dress I decided to make an un-embellished muslin.

The pattern came from the third book. For this dress, I cut the size medium and sewed a 5/8th seam allowance into the dress when I constructed it. So the sizing is midway between the small and medium sizes. I found that to be the perfect sizing for me; not too tight, not too loose.

I used tan colored jersey fabric and "natural" color button and craft thread. I sewed it completely by hand using running stitches. I felled the seams to the inside and kept the knots unseen. I bound the neckline and arms using the cross stitch.

stitch details

Cross stitch detail

I love the shape of the dress and the hem that is long in back and slightly shorter in front. I do not like that the neck line is so low. I cut it higher, but had to readjust it after binding it. The higher neckline flopped over. I redid it by re-cutting to the original depth. 

Full length Fitted Tank dress

Long hem/ train in back

I recommend this dress for a thinner person. This dress is not very forgiving on the figure. I added a poncho I made last year. It works well to hide issues a cheeseburger could produce.
Worn with poncho

Pin-tuck poncho back

I will make this dress again. I think I will make it in a dark color in the paisley design. I do not know when I will start it, but my anniversary is coming up. That may be an incentive to get stitching.

I am very pleased that I was able to tick this off of my list.

Happy Sewing


  1. This looks stunning on you. No evidence of cheeseburgers I can notice! I admire your patience to handsew a full length dress. I love the deep scoop at the back and the elegant lines.

    1. Thanks Suzie. I try to take advantage of nap times to hand sew; it is very rewarding.

  2. i think that it looks beautiful! you did a great job and should be very proud.

    1. Thanks Britt! I am very proud of this dress.

  3. I have had the same flopping issue with trying to raise the neckline of this dress! I guess it just wasn't meant to be raised. I have had a little luck with cutting the neckline the same and making the shoulder straps a little shorter-you could try that. Anyway, great job on the dress!

    1. Laura, I love your suggestion of raising the shoulder straps! Thanks! I will try that next time.

  4. Beautiful I have made a lot of these clothes I love them so much. I did make this dress too, although mine is not as along.