Monday, October 28, 2013

From a Four Panel Swing Skirt to Paisley Corset

My very first embellished Alabama Chanin project was started three years ago and was overly ambitious. I decided to make the four panel swing skirt from the Alabama Stitch Book. My plan was to use a reverse back-stitch with embroidery floss to sew a negative reverse applique. I decided to use the Paisley stencil because it is a large scale design and I thought I would finish quickly.
I used a spray bottle and red fabric paint to transfer the designs to my fabric. I can't remember now which paint, but it was too thick and sat on top of the fabric making it a bit hard. At the time I was too new to this whole thing to know it was a poor paint choice. I used six strands of embroidery floss for my reverse back stitches (it should have been done with four). The density of my floss coupled with the double layer of fabric made it slow going. In addition, the tension of the fabric and thickness of the thread did not make a smooth process. Over the course of a few months I got two and a half panels of the skirts stitched.

As time went on, I realized that this was not a project I wanted to complete. I put it in my unfinished projects pile where is mocked me for almost 3 years.  After redeeming my polka dot caplet I got inspired to breathe new life into this project. Rather than continue with it as a skirt, I decided to transform it into another corset. Fortunately, I had enough of the panels finished to make it! I choose to  embellish the front only using black bugle beads and copper colored sequins to embellish specific features of the paisley design.

Adding sequins with my handy dandy beading glove made from the sleeve of a sweater and double sided tape.

Sequins and Bugle beads along the neckline.


I followed the instructions outlined in the book and stitched the corset in a double layer of cotton jersey.
For this version, I did not raise the depth of the neckline like I did last time. The parallel stitches with beads along the neckline  keeps it from shifting too low. When I make the corset again, and I will, I will  cut it higher as before.

I am very satisfied with the re-purposing of my unfinished skirt into this corset! I am even happier to have one less item in my work in progress pile.

Happy Sewing!

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