Monday, September 16, 2013

Beaded Alabama Chanin Polka Dot Sampler

Hello, my name is Bianca and I am an addict. All the readers say "Hi Bianca!" In my varied and storied career I have spent some time as an Addictions Counselor, Case Manager, and Group Leader, so I know the signs. I can unequivocally say I am addicted to sewing Alabama Chanin garments. They are beautiful, creative, and wonderfully detailed. I work multiple garments at a time relishing the various techniques required for each. I have many garments cut and queued waiting their turn to be stitched. I have a longer queue of garments I dream of sewing, but have yet to cut. 
I am in constant need of a fix. I was at a doctor's appointment and required to wait. The waiting grew longer and more difficult to endure because I didn't have anything to sew! I kept thinking, I could have stitched four circles by now! Call my name! (BREATHE).  I recall the tools I have been trained to use and I have learned to always have something handy. :)
There is a Mini Wardrobe Contest running over on Pattern The contest requires participants to complete four garments that must combine (without adding additional garments) to create at least 4 looks. I have entered and plan to  sew a mini Alabama Chanin Wardrobe. I plan to make a dress, a jacket, a top, and skirt to produce the following 4 looks: Dress; dress/jacket; skirt/top; skirt/top/jacket.

The kicker is that I have one month to do it! I know it is insane. I have been working on this dress for almost a year; what am I thinking? In any case, I started mentally planning my entries when the contest was announced. On September 1, I began my sewing of the top entry.

I wanted to work on my beading techniques and decided to  use my top as a sampler. I used the t-shirt pattern from the Alabama Chanin Studio Sewing and Design book. I used my polka dot stencil to add the shapes to a single layer of slate grey cotton jersey.

Polka Dot Stencil

Dots applied.
I got to work on the embellishments. I used red embroidery floss to work reverse back stitches to serve as the foundation of the polka dots. I then used an assortment of seed, chop, bugle, beads and sequins to create various beaded arrangements.

These patterns combined to create this finished top. It is hand-stitched with slate button and craft thread. The seams are felled to the inside and top-stitched. The neckline is bound using a Cretan stitch.

I am satisfied with the outcome of the top at this point. I may add more sequins and beads in the spaces over time. If I get the other entries completed, I may add them before the contest ends! Bahahahaha! What grandiose thinking! I need a meeting!

Happy Sewing!

1 comment:

  1. So lovely! That's a very ambitious project. All the best wishes that you get it done on time!