Friday, August 7, 2015

Beaded Appliqué

Here is actual proof that not all of my sewing is selfish.  I do not like to make a habit of sewing things for other people because, generally, they have no idea how much work is involved, but every once in a while I make an exception.

I had so much fun stitching up my other Alabama Chanin projects that I decided to make Mom her own Corset Top for her birthday.

The fabric was leftover from my previous Alabama Chanin adventures so all that I needed was some dye.  I picked up a tub of "lilac" fiber reactive dye from Dharma Trading Company on my way home one evening and got to work.

For a bit of contrast, I added some "sapphire" dye to half of the remaining cotton jersey.  The difference is subtle, but I really like how the colors came out!

Instead of cutting out the tiny portions of appliqué, I decided to use beads for added texture.

And I added a length of binding along the bottom to encase the raw edge.

I already have another hand appliqué project in mind, but I am not sure if I will get to it before the seasons change.  But there is always next year!


  1. That is beautiful. I love the way you have taken the Chanin technique and sort of raised it a level. Instead of the kind of "crunchy" feel of the Chanin garments, yours look much more couture. I love the beading. What a lovely touch. Hours of work, I imagine.

  2. Overheard Conversation #23:

    "It's well past Mother's Day, and here she is creating a statement piece with her time and talents."

    "Mmm hmmm. And I thought making a gift of clearance Russell Stover's in June catapulted me into the "good and gracious child", category."

    "You're a giver."

    "Laura Mae's dyeing skills are amazing!"

    "Downright enviable, if one were even a smidge petty."

    "The seams on that piece showcase her mother's nipped waistline to stellar effect."

    "Best I can tell, they look to be the same size."

    "More than a forecast, this is indicative of the offspring sporting a formidable figure beyond the foreseeable future."

    "Remind me to put in a hockey mouth guard before you speak."

    "The skillfully edited beadwork demonstrates tasteful restraint and a well-developed sense of style."

    "As two who take pride in being tastefully restrained in all aspects and manners, it appears we may actually have some common ground with her after all."

    "That's why we follow her blog, she reminds us so very much of (pause, with shoulder shrug), US!"

  3. Gorgeous! I've been tempted to start something likes this with all the beading & couching but I'm afraid it would take to much time away from my knitting. Maybe one day...

  4. What a great gift for your Mom, I know she will treasure it. You've almost convinced me to try this technique...unlike others I love hand work. Your work is beautiful.

  5. I've never been a fan of Chanin's, just a little too earthy for me. But you have brought the skills she teaches to a much higher level. Gorgeous and thanks for elevating all our sewing aspirations.

  6. Oh my! This is so gorgeous. I am wondering how did you sew the embroidery on the binding? That is exquisite! The color is really lovely.

    1. There are 4 Alabama Chanin books that demonstrate the techniques and have her patterns. She also has a Craftsy class and website.

  7. I like Chanin's stuff, but the thing I detest is the knots and thread leftover in the inside of the garment. How did you finish yours? any tips?

  8. This is the most beautiful thing I have seen in quite awhile! Thank you for sharing!

  9. I sewed for my mom because she sewed for me when I was growing up so I figure I owed her. Americans have benefitted from the low wages paid for imports and do not realize fine clothes take hours and hours that often turn into weeks to complete a suit or couture garment. Let them learn to sew if they want the heirloom clothes we have painstakingly labored to create.

  10. Wow, this looks really awesome! Thank you for sharing the interesting post.