Alabama Chanin Daisy Stenciled Mid-length Skirt

Storm blue, twilight, black, navy, slate ~ this color palette spoke to me. I knew it would make a lovely, versatile garment; and I liked the idea of a new, longer skirt. I'm fairly short, so the mid-length skirt pattern from Alabama Chanin was perfect for a warmer, winter skirt in these most delicious colors.

Earlier this year I set about making up seven "kits" to keep me stitching through the year and into 2019. You can read more about that here. I used Alabama Chanin 100% organic domestic cotton jersey fabric in storm blue and twilight. The stencil is Daisy.  Coats and Clark button craft thread in slate and navy were used for sewing the running stitch and also for construction. I used embroidery floss for embellishing with the satin stitch, feather stitch and accent knots.

I felled the outside facing seams open so that I could see more of the twilight color, making it almost like a stripe down the seams.

At first I stitched tiny "x's" on the seams. I wasn't happy with the way that was looking, so I went back in and added another stitch to make them look more like snowflakes. It lends a slightly nordic feel to the garment.

There are a variety of things going on with this skirt design, so I like the straight lines of the snowflakes and the parallel stitch used to attach the fold-over elastic waistband.

Here is my method of attaching foldover elastic to the waistband. Put the elastic very snugly around your waist, add about 3/4", and cut. I've learned over the years to make the elastic more snug than loose. You don't want the elastic flopping over and your skirt constantly slipping down. I then put a pin about 3/4" from one end of the elastic: Fold the elastic in half at the 3/4" pin and put another pin there: Fold it into quarters and put a pin at each quarter. It will look like this.

If your seams are equidistant, the pins will match up with each seam. Pin the elastic at each seam, overlapping the ending edge about 3/4".

Next, fold the elastic over the raw edge of the waist so the raw edges of the fabric are snugged all the way up into the fold of the elastic. Stretch the elastic to fit the waist, easing each section, and pin.

Baste the elastic onto the waistband and remove the pins. If you try to stitch the waistband on without basting and removing the pins, your thread will constantly catch on the pins and make the final stitching really frustrating. (Trust me!)

Use a stretch stitch with a single strand of buttoncraft thread  to secure the waistband. I used the parallel stitch. You might also try the cretan stitch or the rosebud stitch, among others. Take out your basting thread.

I wanted this skirt to be thicker, heavier weight for warmer winter wear, so I used the reverse applique technique instead of negative reverse applique. You can see below, the right-hand side panel is stitched but not cut, and on the left-hand side the elements have been cut.

I used a loose satin stitch, the feather stitch, and knots with tails to embellish this skirt. I wish the colors were more true on the screen, but my photos just don't do the rich colorway justice. It's beautiful and will match with so many things in my closet.

On the photo above I've placed the seams differently than on the photo below. This skirt is very adaptable, and I know I'll get a lot of wear out of it all seasons of the year.

Thanks for joining me here and reading my blog. I'd love to hear from you. If you ever have any questions,  please reach out as I enjoy helping when I can.

Crazy Wet-Stenciled 100 Acts of Sewing Long Shorts

This summer friends and I played around with stencils, paint, and wet-stenciling. You can read more about that lovely summer day here. I went a little crazy with color and mixing stencils and wound up with this festive piece of fabric.

For some reason it reminded me of my son, as something he might get a kick out of. On his birthday I presented the fabric to him and asked what he'd like me to make him ~ a crazy quilt, lap throw, pillow, t-shirt or a pair of long shorts. He chose the long shorts. I had made these pants a while ago with Sonya Philips 100 Acts of Sewing, Pants number 1 pattern

He tried them on for sizing, and they were just right! Off I went to cut out this single layered pair of pants, and hand stitched it up, using a 1/4" felled seam. I opted to make a drawstring waist instead of using elastic.

I left the hem raw to add to the funky vibe of these lounge-around pants. I hope he enjoys them, and finds them as soft and comfortable as I do my more tame version. 

Dottie Angel Pattern in the Alabama Chanin Style

This is the Dottie Angel Frock pattern from Simplicy #1080.

I modified this same pattern over a year ago to make a basic top. (Read about it here.)

This top is so comfortable, I made one up with Alabama Chanin 100% organic cotton jersey, apple over white. I used the Alabama Chanin Daisy stencil.

Red Coats & Clark button craft thread was used for the running stitch around some elements, and variegated floss for the satin stitch on the dots inside the flowers.

White embroidery floss was used for the little clusters on the outer dots.

It always amazes me how different the garment looks when cutting away the top layer of fabric for the negative reverse applique technique. On this detail shot you can see the red embroidery floss used for the feather stitch on the tiny leaves throughout the pattern.

I wore this top to the farmer's market today for the first time, paired with my basic plum dress. You can read more about the dress here. The darker plum color brings this top from summer to fall. I have a beautiful Prairie Underground sweatshirt in the same plum color that will make it really cozy as the weather cools down. I think this top will look cute with a long sleeved t-shirt or turtleneck layered underneath. Throw on a pair of leggings, tall boots, and chunky sweater, and I'll be ready for winter!