Thursday, July 18, 2013

Anna's Garden Alabama Chanin Sleeveless Tee Shirt and Skirt.

So my addiction has gotten the best of me again. Immediately after stitching up my Alabama Chanin Fitted tee and skirt I painted and got to stitching on my new project. This time it is the Anna's Garden fitted sleeveless tee shirt and short skirt. Both patterns are from the Alabama Chanin Studio Sewing and Design book.
I choose a navy top layer and a baby blue jersey cotton bottom layer. I airbrushed the fabric with my Anna's Garden stencil. I knew I would be sewing the design in the outside reverse applique technique. With this technique I make tiny cuts in the top layer shapes to prepare it for cutting out later. When I didn't do this, I found it difficult to separate the layers and risked inadvertently cutting the lower layer.

The stenciled fabric is almost to pretty to cut away!

Stenciled fabric with small cuts in the fabric to be removed.
I have found that stitching with a magnifying glass around my neck helpful as well. I would like to think it is because I stitch in low light, but I have enough Psychology education to not live in denial here; I am getting older and my eyes are failing me! In addition to needing a better visual field, this project took a toll on my hands like never before. My middle right finger got swollen and the knuckle bulged! I developed a numbing pain in my hand and through my wrist. I self-diagnosed that it was a repetitive motion injury that would require rest for healing. In the midst of my pain, I promised myself that I will rest it when this project is complete. (I can honestly tell you as I write this, I did not keep my promise).

Fabric hooped and through my magnifying glass.
Cutting away the top layer with safety scissors and embroidery scissors.
Scraps of painted bits removed.
Front Panel stitched and cut. Cue a chorus of angels singing Handel's Messiah!

I knew that I wanted a coordinating skirt to go with the finished shirt. I decided that the back panel of the shirt would be un-embellished navy jersey. I choose to use the light blue fabric for the shirt. I used the navy button/craft thread to stitch the skirt and felled the seams to the inside. I bound the waistline with fold-over elastic that I stitched using a parallel stitch.

Outfit back on B.I.R.A

Bound Waistline
 Here is the finished product!

Anna's Garden Sleeveless Tee and Skirt

Bound using the cross-stitch
Can you tell I love it!
Here is my review of the pattern:

Pattern Description: 
Hand-stitched Sleeveless Tee and Short skirt from Alabama Chanin Studio Sewing and Design

Pattern Sizing

S,M,L,XL I made a size medium in both.

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

The shirts in the book are not embellished only on the front, but other than that yes. This top is embellished with the Anna's Garden stencil that can be made from the book. The skirt is un-embellished and looks like those in the book.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

The books give very clear instructions and inspirations for creating multiple garments. The garment construction is not difficult, but it is time-consuming. (Does time-consuming have a negative implication? It is engrossing, time-dependent, addicting, and repetitive.) The garments in the book require a great deal of work and the results appear complex because of the details, but broken down into smaller parts, easy.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?     

I love everything about the patterns in this book. The outside reverse applique stitches up faster than some others in the book. With this stencil, you feel like you are making progress especially since you are working with a running stitch. My hubby says it looks more complicated to work that some of the other techniques.

Fabric Used:

Jersey Cotton in Navy and Baby Blue

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
No alterations.

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!

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