Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hand Stitched

I can only go so long before I need a project that will require a whole lot of hand stitching.

I made a stencil of this Alabama Chanin design a while back, but never actually got around to using it.  Until now!

And then a few months back, I made a muslin of Vogue 9125.  It ended up more snug than I like in a woven, but it seemed that it might work in a stretch fabric.  This just happens to be one of those designs that suggests both woven and knit fabrics which I really do not understand.  In this case, the dress appears to be drafted more for a knit than a woven.

Time for a change of plans!

Which meant that I would not need any extra seam allowance to play with, so they were trimmed off of the muslin/pattern pieces. 

I had just enough white cotton jersey stashed away for the dress, so it seemed like it was meant to be.   

Then I had to decide on a color scheme - and this is what I came up with.

The oversized stencil design made this a fairly quick project.

At least, quicker than my previous hand appliquéd projects!

For this particular dress, I decided to use a double strand of embroidery floss to appliqué the two layers together.

It is not the strongest thread option out there, but the massive choice of color options makes the embroidery floss very tempting.

And since this dress really does not have much negative ease, I did not anticipate a problem with my thread choice.

I did use a button and carpet thread for the seams, just to be safe.

The topstitching, however, is embroidery floss.  (I definitely have a tendency to choose difficult to match fabric!)

I was slightly concerned that the large motifs that would be cut away might make my fabric choice a little too thin for my taste, but it turned out just fine.

And then a whole lot of hand stitching later . . .

and I had a new dress!

I continue to love the raw edge look that the original Alabama Chanin pieces have, but I just cannot get used to the idea of leaving edges raw.  Especially with fabrics that curl.

I did, however, use a single fold, so those raw edges are on display from the inside of the garment.  What a rebel, right!  And I guarantee that this is just about as anti-seam binding as I am ever going to get . . .


  1. stunning, its really beautiful (and bless your patience!)

  2. Marvelous, just like all your other dresses. I would never have the patience to do that much hand sewing (expect seams). But I'm tempted to try the technique.

  3. WOW,this is beyond stunning! :) I am a rather silent reader of your blog, but the amount of work you have put into this project is simply overwhelming. I just had to say how much I love the final effect :) Chapeau bas!

  4. Soooo gorgeous! I started an AC dress and decided I didn't like the colors and who wants to go through all this stitching for something you don't love. This is making me want to start a new (probably smaller) project, though! I need to get some of that felt stuff for a new stencil. The paper I used was a PITA.

  5. Wow! Gorgeous! I've admired AC clothing for years and yo sewing is great inspiration.

  6. The muslin screams, "Joan Holloway from another day!".

    Laura Mae, between the dye job and the hand stitching (never mind you wearing it - which we are ALL awaiting), you have started the new year off with a "BANG!". One can not but imagine where this dress takes you.

    Consider some "hip hardware", as you'll need a small cart to lug all the compliments this stunner is certain to receive (and do photograph your admirers as you tell them you dyed the fabric and sewed it yourself - what a "year-end round-up" that would make!).

    Currently in "total awe of you" (with my next rant only in draft form),

    A man fan (you know the one)

  7. All the fitting work would be amazing enough, but you also made your own unique one of fabric!!
    Lovely on the dress form, can't wait to see it on you!
    I always read your posts, and today I realized I need to tell you how much I enjoy your blog!!

  8. This is an AMAZING achievement!!! Makes me want to start an AC garment TODAY.

  9. Woweee!! That is truly inspirational and so gorgeous. I really enjoy reading your posts and this one just knocks it out of the ballpark!!

  10. This is SO beautiful. The colors are nothing short of delicious.

  11. This dress is just amazing! You will be just stunning.

  12. Wow! SO much patience. Great results from all of that hard work.

  13. Oh my, this is so beautiful!! You chose the perfect colors and the stencil works well with this pattern. Lovely to see the AC technique in a more structured garment too.

  14. Stunningly gorgeous work. What method did you use to make your stencil?

  15. Stunningly gorgeous work. What method did you use to make your stencil?