I have decided that the new year is the perfect time to get over my fear of working with knits. And my love of hand sewing and the Alabama Chanin aesthetic is going to get me through it!
Last month I treated myself to Alabama Studio Sewing & Design and Natalie Chanin’s Craftsy class. I think I would recommend the Craftsy class more than the book for construction and sewing help and advice. The book is gorgeous and has many luscious pictures of hand stitching and beading; it will definitely get you excited about hand sewing, but will not hold your hand through each and every step.
There are a few patterns included with the book; I chose the skirt as a good place to start. They are nested on regular bond paper and most are in two disjointed pieces. This is not especially fun to work with, but since I only needed two of them (skirt front and skirt back) it was not too much trouble. I ended up using some tracing paper and a tracing wheel to transfer the lines to easel paper.
Before I spend hours and hours on hand appliqué, however, I decided I needed to make up the skirt pattern in a plain knit fabric. Last week, I ran into JoAnn Fabrics to get my hands on some cotton jersey. Except they did not have any - all of the knits had a large polyester content. Yuck. I ended up with a cotton rib fabric with 1 or 2 percent spandex, I think. It is not perfect, but has at least given me a chance to practice.
The rib knit is, of course, a bit more stretchy than cotton jersey, but it has given me the courage to move forward with this knit fabric/hand appliqué adventure.