Pattern: Inspired by Alabama Chanin’s Alabama Studio Sewing and Design
Fabric: Organic Cotton/Lycra Jersey Made in Canada from Hart’s Fabric
Notions: Coats and Clark Button Craft Thread, Vintage sequins (cream and small faceted silver), African metal seed beads, and Shell beads.
Time to Complete: 2 hours for the garment, 7 or 8 hours for the beading
You might recall that I was in search of an internship in the industry last fall. I ended up landing a spot at a couture bridal salon in San Francisco and it was such an incredible experience. The couturier had me dabble in a little of everything but I ended up falling head over heals for beading and much of my three months was spent hunched over with a cup of seed beads and a straw needle in my hand. It was glorious!
At the same time, my darling husband bought me the Alabama Chanin books. Since I was doing so much handwork at the atelier, Kelley knew that I’d find the books inspiring. I was introduced to Natalie Chanin’s work in 2011 when Andrea of Stitch Parade posted her stunning skirt and I’ve wanted to make something of my own ever since. If you’ve been interested in purchasing one of these books, I’d recommend Studio Sewing and Style. It has the most comprehensive information on Chanin’s techniques and several wonderful patterns as well.
Coincidentally, Craftsy emailed me this morning with their latest class – Natalie Chanin teaching Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric! If any of you have signed up, I’d love to hear about your experience. I’m banned from buying any more courses until I’ve finished one so I can’t research it myself but I’m wondering if there will be any new techniques not covered in her books.
I made this tank top last October and it is absolutely my favorite thing I’ve made! It was so fun to create, fits beautifully, and is unbelievably wearable. I was really worried that it would be too delicate to wash but I found out just how sturdy it is when I splattered pomegranate juice all over myself while making Thanksgiving dinner. After a heavy-duty pretreatment session, I threw it in the washing machine and it didn’t disintegrate! Amazing! Now I wash it with all my other clothes which means that I wear it about once a week. In fact, I have it on again today.
I’m pretty sure that eventually I will make every pattern from the Studio Sewing and Style book. My next piece is in the process of getting embellished and I can’t wait to show you the finished product!