Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Alabama Chanin Anna's Garden Fitted Tunic

 What is it about summer viruses that are so heinous? We have been going round and round with a bug in our house, and city. Our pediatrician says it is everywhere and we have to let it run its course. So as I, and our kids have been down, I have been hand stitching another Alabama Chanin creation. This time I have ventured into making the fitted tank top from the book Alabama Chanin Studio Sewing and Design.

For this tank, I used a baby blue cotton jersey fabric for the top layer and a lime green jersey cotton fabric for the bottom. I used the lime fabric for the bias binding secured with Slate colored button/ craft thread. The front is a a double layer of fabric and the back is a single layer. I stitched the design on the front only, using the Outside Reverse Applique technique. With this technique you stitch 1/8 of an inch outside the painted and stenciled shapes. When done, you cut the shape out removing the painted parts. 

This is a good project if you do not have an airbrush or if your painted images are less than perfect. You cut that part out anyway, so it does not matter. As a matter of fact, you can probably stencil using a pen, sharpie or crayon (well, maybe not a crayon)! If you have a great airbrush and equally great painting skills, this project might sting a bit. It hurts to toss your fabulously  painted shapes into the trash!
Alabama Chanin Fitted Tunic with Short Skirt
For this tunic, I cut the size medium and sewed a 5/8th seam allowance into the shirt when I constructed it. I found that to be the perfect sizing for me. Because I find the neckline too low for my tastes, I took a suggestion from a blog reader to shorten the straps. I fitted it before adding the binding and I took out about 2 inches off the straps. I secured the layers with a running stitch, so it went together really fast. I didn't have to start and stop the stitches as often as in the negative reverse applique.

Anna's Garden Fitted Tunic

Back details
I paired the tank with a modified version of short skirt pattern from the book. I simply added width to the panels and cut it into six panels instead of four. I liked the idea of the extra seams up the front and back so I just fiddled with it until it worked.

Here is my review of the pattern from the book.

Pattern Description:

Hand-stitched tank tunic from Alabama Chanin Studio Sewing and Design.

Pattern Sizing:

S,M,L,XL I made a medium with a 5/8 seam allowance.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, in that I followed the instructions. My color choices were my own.

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 pattern, so I raised the straps about two inches.

Fabric Used:

Jersey Cotton in baby blue and lime green.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: 

I only embellished the front of the top.

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

Yes and Yes! 

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ready for a vacation with the Passport Dress

As a nursing mom of a little one, I have to be wise about what I wear. I need clothes that allow comfortable and easy access to feed my little guy. When choosing what to sew, I have had to keep that in mind. The Passport Dress has been in my pattern case since it was released in 2011, but I was pregnant, then feeding on demand. Now that Little Man is getting older and nursing less frequently, I can choose different options to make.

Last Fall, I took advantage of a fabric sale at Joann's Fabric and found this fantastic, retro, wavy, print for a steal. It is a cotton with a little stretch from I guess, a bit of spandex. I decided to use this fabric for this dress because I figured that it would be very forgiving as there is only 2.5 inches of ease. I had a bit of concern about the dart details being lost in the print, but I love the print so much I decided to forgo that concern.

Here is my review and completed project photos.

Pattern Description: Misses' Passport dress & jacket. Lisette Sew Your Style pattern.

Pattern Sizing: 6-22, I made a straight 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes and the illustrations helped when the words confused.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the pattern design; the pleats in the shirt and the V pleat in the center. I love the placement of the division of the bodice and skirt, not at waistline, not empire. Very flattering placement.

Fabric Used: Stretch cotton from Joann Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made no changes whatsoever! This dress went together great and I didn't need to change a thing.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes! You will have to stop me from making too many. It is rare to find a pattern that comes together so well and looks great too! I have another cut and ready to sew and a green linen that is calling for a passport dress! I will add an invisible zipper next time, though the lapped zipper worked fine here.

Conclusion: I love this pattern! Love my dress!

Pleat details

Got my bag, and ready to go!

I love this dress!
I am ready to take a trip. Where to go...

Happy Sewing!