Long Project: Alabama Chanin #1 Done

I do not remember the first time I heard or read about Natalie Chanin and what she’s created at Alabama Chanin. I think it was a podcast called ThreadCult.

I love her philosophy of creating handmade couture garments with American grown and processed organic cotton knit fabric and hand stitched in her home state of Alabama.

Of course, that meant I had to follow her in Pinterest and Instagram. 

Her Craftsy class, Hand Embellishing Knit Fabric, is one of a few that I’ve actually watched from start to finish. I thought it would be a frugal way to have one of her garments. Except the project is a coat. Kinda big project. Scared me.

Coat pattern from Craftsy class


Then she published a sewing book, Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns.  This I could do. 

Took awhile to accumulate the materials. You can purchase kits from her. But I wanted to practice.  Bought enough rayon knit at Hancock’s going-out-of-business sale to freely experiment.  Then the unexpected find of a linen knit at Harris in MN. 

Found linen knits at RS Harris in MN

Printed patterns & stencils at Office Depot

Cutting the A-line & fitted dress patterns

Swatching hand finishing options

Finished detail of A-line dress neckline

I didn’t hand stitch any of the seams on the practice dresses. I was more interested in making sure of the fit. And also practicing the finishing techniques for the neckline and armholes. 

Modified the A-line neckline higher for more coverage and then matched it to the Fitted dress pattern. (The Fitted dress has a scooped neck.)

Alabama Chanin A-line tunic over fitted dress


They both fit well. But I like the fitted dress a little better. 

Modifications: matched the necklines & arm holes to the tunic. 

Next time: change the grain line on the tunic to the center seam or cut off the flare at the center seam. 

Now I have to decide on the ‘real’ versions. 

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