Alabama Chanin Factory Tank

Planning ahead a couple years ago, I purchased a large quantity of Alabama Chanin 100% organic cotton jersey in Carmine and Apple. I was going to use it for a tea towel class, but the class was cancelled. So even though I'm not a huge wearer of red, I thought I'd make use of my stash and stitch up a few garments.

The Alabama Chanin Factory dress is one of my favorites, so I've been dying to try the Factory tank. A girl can always use a new tank; right? The princess seams are very feminine and pretty.

The hem flares slightly, but is not too voluminous.

I'm glad I tried it. The fit is very nice, flattering, and comfortable. I made the basic version, no embellishment, to make sure the fit was good. I modified the neckline into a V.

To add depth of color, I utilized scraps I had in Ruby for the trim. I secured the binding using the herringbone stitch with burgundy thread. The seams are outward, felled.

This top sewed up in no time flat! I'm sure to be making more of the Alabama Chanin Factory Tank tops in the future.

YOLF~ Year of Living Frugally

Last month I came across this article from the New York Times that really resonated with me. I sent it to a couple of girlfriends, and we all decided that 2018 would be YOLF, the Year of Living Frugally for us. We would be our support group.

We all do fairly well, trying to recycle and reuse; mend and repurpose instead of tossing things into the refuse. But I am still subject to that impulse buy; overspending on a new pair of shoes when I don't need them, picking up fresh flowers every time I go to the grocery store, not planning meals well and ending up with rotted food. Though saving money is great, it's more about over-consuming, waste, bringing home yet one more thing that I don't need, one more thing that I would look at and later feel guilty for purchasing. I don't want to add to the landfill: I don't want to add more stuff to my home, my life. I want to be smart and purposeful with my purchases.

Articles like this from BBC, "Used Clothes: Why is Worldwide Demand Declining?" make resisting that purchase a little easier. Having a group of friends make a pact, is helping even more. We have a group text and text each other when we get tempted, when we need a little extra will power, or just to be silly. We've all come up with ideas of how we can be frugal ~ utilizing the library instead of buying books; having the extra cup of coffee at home instead of the drive-through; fresh flowers once a season instead of every week; having friends over for dinner instead of going out. Hiking instead of going shopping is great exercise, gets you out into nature, and doesn't tempt. We ask ourselves "Is it a need or a want?" before we dig out our wallets now.

Bottom line, this pact with friends is fun, brings us closer together, gives us a common goal, helps us save money, and helps the earth by reducing our carbon footprint, one unneeded item at a time.

So what do you think? Does YOLF interest you? Perhaps you have family or friends that might like to try this? Do you have any ideas on ways to help cut down on wasteful spending? I'd love to have you join in the conversation so we can all share and learn how to conserve and be more frugal from each other.

Alabama Chanin Magdalena Throw Pillow

A couple of years ago I went on quite the pillow making spree. You can see all the details here. Looking through my stash recently, I was delighted to find an extra piece of stenciled fabric just waiting to be sewn into another throw pillow. I had given all my pretty pillows away as gifts, and didn't have any for myself, so this one I would keep for our new place.

Since I had plenty of embroidery floss, I decided to outline the Magdalena pattern with the chain stitch.

Instead of the usual reverse applique, I added French knots in a few of the spaces for textural accents.

This is the pillow before the French knots.

and after.....

I cut a double layer of plain fabric into two rectangles and attached them onto the back of the embellished panel, then added a couple of ties and loops to finish off the pillow.

I used Alabama Chanin 100% organic jersey cotton fabric in Natural; Magdalena stencil; sand paint; and ecru embroidery floss. I used Coats and Clark button craft thread in Dogwood to construct the pillow.

I'm happy to have just the right pillow for my cozy corner.