If paying $300 for a skirt or $3400 for a dress is too much for you, how about you make your own! She does the fabulously unthinkable thing of giving her fans all the tools to build their Alabama Chanin wardrobe at a fraction of the cost in her three books. She provides the patterns, the stencil artwork for download, the sewing techniques and inspiration for you to begin the slow and satisfying process.
|Alabama Chanin sewing books|
I have since purchased the other books and dived in. I have traced patterns, cut stencils, painted fabric, and sewn and sewn and sewn. Here is a sampling of what I have made using her techniques.
With all the details required for her garments, I thought I would start my projects small and began making the uber cute bolero from her third book. I used the spiral applique technique and the herringbone stitch. It was so satisfying to make this and I worn it a great deal last summer.
|Spiral Bolero front|
|Spiral Bolero Back|
After constructing the bolero, a few skirts, and a couple of failed projects, I decided to tackle a dress or two. I thrifted some lovely tan jersey fabric from the local Value Village and used some plum jersey from my stash. I used the paisley stencil and tank dress pattern from Alabama Studio Sewing and Design. I made this dress in a single layer and am happy with it because of the Texas heat, but I think I prefer the heft of a double layer garment.
|Alabama Chanin Paisley Tank Dress|
|Detail of the skirt|
|Detail of the herringbone stitch on the neck and arm bindings.|