Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Alabama Chanin Short Fitted Tank Dress with Random Ruffles


I am slowly and steadily stitching away at my Anna's Garden fitted tank dress that I airbrushed months ago. It has four panels that need to be extensively stitched. I work on it every now and then, but then I get impatient; I want it done now! More specifically, I want more Alabama Chanin pieces in my wardrobe. To that end, I step away from it to and work on a faster project
This time it is the Short Fitted Tank Dress from the book Alabama Chanin Studio Sewing and Design. I decided to make it using random ruffles for embellishment on the front. I chose to add a neck ruffle and a strip of contrast to the neckline. I found that pinning the random ruffles onto the dress front easier, than ruffling it as I went along. I got a few more pin pricks that way, but it went a lot faster.



I felt the neckline was too low for my liking so I added the gathered  ruffle to give more coverage. It did the trick in the front, but I think it made the back too heavy and it doesn't lay as flat as I like. I folded the ruffle in half before stitching it in place. Next time I will use a single layer for the ruffle. Not a wearing deal-breaker, but good to know for next time.

Here are is the finished garment as well a review of the pattern.







Be careful in marking the center front and side seams on this one! I am pretty certain I didn’t do this and sewed them wrong. Look! I think the side seams should be center and the center seams on the side! Grrr! I am glad at least that I made this mistake on this dress rather than another, with more embellishments. Lesson learned. I plan to resolve this issue by paying attention next time and wearing this one with a bolero I plan to make. Regardless, I like the dress and will wear it happily!

The problem seems obvious now!





Pattern Description:
Four panel tank dress from Alabama Chanin Studio Sewing and Design

 
Pattern Sizing:
 

S,M,L,XL I made a medium and sewed it with a 1/2 inch allowance.
 
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
 

This dress is a combination of multiple elements from the book brought together in one piece. It looks like I intended.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
 

The books give very clear instructions and inspirations for creating multiple garments.
 
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?     

I love everything about the patterns in this book. I do not like the depth of the neckline on the dress however. This dress is muslin to test increasing the modesty level with the added ruffle.
Fabric Used:
 

Jersey Cotton in Tan and Brown

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
 
I made the fitted tank dress in the short length. I added four strips of brown random ruffles on either side of the center seam. I added a brown gathered ruffle to the front and back neckline. On top of the ruffle I added a 1.5 inch strip of tan jersey that I secured with a herringbone stitch. I bound the armholes with strips of jersey using a parallel stitch.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  

Yes and Yes!

Conclusion: Great books and start to an awesome addiction. 

Happy Sewing!

4 comments:

  1. Hey! I enjoy reading your posts! I totally understand the impatience with longer projects and just needing "more AC clothes now!) I am currently working on a fitted babydoll dress with dot appliqués and a few appliqued flowers. I have to sew on 200 more dots!!! so anyway, yesterday I decided I needed another swing skirt-only embellished with patch pockets, so it is underway now as well!

    one question: I do not recall AC recommending to add a 5/8" seam allowance. I think the pattern includes a 1/4" seam allowance. Am I missing something????

    one feedback: I agree that the ruffle around the neck does wonders for raising the neckline just a touch. I have don't a pleated ruffle instead of a gathered one which did seem to "stand up" well because it was so structured. It took a while to get the pleats measured and folded and all, but I think it was worth it! But I think the gathered one looks better on this dress since it goes with your random ruffle stripes!

    p.s. I have been so worried that I would mix up the center and side seams too! Very easy mistake to make!!! It still looks great! Good job!

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    1. Thanks Laura for your kind words. Your AC projects sound fantastic; I would love to see them.

      I agree that the pleats would probably stand up better and give it more structure. I thought, like you observed that the gathers worked with the ruffles.

      About the seam allowance, I think I got idea from the first book, but I could be completely wrong and don't have the book on hand as I type this! It may be as you say. The way I explain it is the sizing that seems to work best for my figure. I have lost weight since tracing and cutting my patterns and didn't want to re-cut them. :P I may have imagined the allowances... I hope it hasn't screwed up anyone's sizing.

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  2. this is such a great project. you did wonderful and i don't really get what, if anything, was off. :) love your posts!

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    1. Thanks Tiff! It is not a deal breaker problem, but the sides by the bust should fit closer, rather than poke out off to the sides. I am working on another top and when I post it, you will see the clear difference.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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