Sunday, September 29, 2013

Alabama Chanin Anna's Garden Corset and Long Skirt

I have always liked the hand-stitched corset from Alabama Stitch Book. For whatever reason, I never made one didn't think I would. That was until I saw a version made by  Nixxi, on Craftsy. She embroidered the June's Spring design to her sand colored fabric and stitched it using a baby blue colored embroidery floss. I think her end product is delightful and it brought this pattern back into play for me.

Even after making my beaded sampler top, I decided to change my entry for the mini wardrobe contest to include a corset. I had a white cotton jersey sheet in my stash that would serve as my fabric source.  I stenciled my fabric in "Anna's Garden" using  grey paint I blended. 

Painting the fabric
The pattern for the corset is from the Alabama Stitch Book and includes all the instructions to create this corset top and a multitude of other garments. They are sized xs-xl. I traced and I cut the size medium.

 I find A.C. necklines too low for my tastes so  I raised it about 1 inch. I sewed my corset with double stitching; once to secure it then again to top stitch. I had my seams fell to the inside of the top.    I chose to bind my neckline and armholes using a strip of white jersey fabric.  I secured the binding with a herringbone stitch using slate button and craft thread.
Anna's Garden Corset Front
  I really like the rounded hem on this.

 I am glad I raised the neckline and think it could still go up just a smidge more.
Herringbone stitch on bindings
Stencil close up
I am happy with my corset and the fact that the only significant alteration to the pattern was raising the neckline. It was really quick to stitch and I will certainly be making more.

To go with this lovely top, I needed a coordinating skirt. I selected the Long Skirt option from Alabama Studio and Sewing and Design. 

I had not made this pattern and thought it went great with the top. I love that the front is shorter than the back which has a train. Again, I made this by re-purposing the white jersey bed sheet. I traced and cut the pattern and began sewing.

The construction was easy but a tiny bit tedious. The seams are super long and needed to be stitched once with the seams inside, then, stitched again on the outside. After the sides were stitched up, I added fold over elastic (foe) to the top waistband. The pattern called for 1 1/2 in foe, but I didn't have any. I bought a spool 3/4 of  foe elastic on sale and a ridiculous price years ago and decided to use what I had on hand.

It was a bit fiddly to work with, but basting it in place instead of pinning, solved that problem. I attached it using a parallel stitch.
 Here is the finished product.
Skirt Front
Skirt back (I am stooping so the curve can be seen better.)

I really like this outfit! I will be making this again, and again. As we come upon the holiday season, this has been added to my gift giving list. Are you my friend?

Happy Sewing,


  1. Just discovered your blog when I was looking for Alabama Chanin corsets. Your skirt and top are absolutely lovely. Did you make that stencil or did you buy it from the AC website?

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I am proud of the work I did on this outfit though the neckline is a bit low for my liking.. I made this with a stencil I purchased from A.C. I still do a lot of hand-sewing, but I no longer use A.C. products. I have fallen out of love with the company. You can read about why in this blog post.

    2. Whoa! This looks serious. Off to read your post.

  2. Bravooo; good job!

    I have been watching her courses via Craftsy all afternoon. I'm up for this. ISO affordable medium weight jersey knit for I have not upwards of $60 for two yards.

    1. Hi Lyric, thanks for stopping by. I've not looked at this post in so long. My, I changed since then.😛 It appears, by this comment, you've seen the link for why I no longer support Alabama Chanin. If you are looking for a source of organic cotton Jersey sold by decent people, check out Nature's Fabrics. I am their brand ambassador and I recommend them because the fabric is great (I actually partnered with them because of their organic Jersey and they came highly recommended by a friend). I especially love that you're not paying $30 a yard for it. I found the organic Jersey works well, as does the regular. I have also starting selling stencils (more in the way) in my Etsy store as an option for those who enjoy Jersey hand-sewing but have decided not to support AC. All the best to you!