Alabama Chanin styled workout coverup, Part 1

Alabama Chanin styled workout coverup, Part 1

I'm not one to run around in my gym attire. Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with it, but it's not for me. I'm just now getting comfortable wearing those skin tight yoga pants to my pilates and zumba classes. So when I started noticing the little skirt coverups, I thought, now that's pretty nifty and very useful.

I've had my eye out for the perfect coverup for a while now, and last week I thought I had found just the thing, but was disappointed to discover it was only a scarf. But that did set the wheels in motion. If I couldn't find what I was looking for, I could make it. I decided, of course, it would be hand stitched in the Alabama Chanin style. I already had the organic cotton jersey in the colors I needed, black and blue slate. I wanted the thread to pop, so I chose to use dogwood. I cut a shortened, fitted skirt; for me, that was 15 inches (I'm not very tall).

Now to design a stencil. While I was doodling, trying for the same look as the scarf that had inspired me, I glanced at the archway I had stenciled about ten years ago.

I thought, hmmmm, that's a good starting point. After a few sketches, I finalized my design, gathered my supplies, and started cutting my stencil.

I didn't have enough pennant felt, so I used very stiff interfacing. I sprayed a bit of adhesive to the back of the paper design, and pressed it firmly onto the flat, smooth side of the interfacing. Working on a self-healing mat, I cut through the paper and interfacing with an exacto knife (be careful!). The interfacing worked really well. I had to tweak the design a bit, and just taped a couple areas together to make the stencil work properly.

I had some Simply Spray in dark purple. I thought the color might work on top of the blue slate color that I chose for my top layer. I wasn't sure, so I made a small sample.

I'm really glad I worked up the sample, because it was not what I wanted. So off to the store I went, where I picked up the Simply Spray in Blue Jay. I tested that, and it was just what I was looking for.

I painted the first two panels. I needed to use the mirror image of the stencil for the other two panels, so I blotted the wet paint off, then used a blow dryer to speed the drying process. I wanted that stencil bone dry when I flipped it over to spray the last two panels.

After the paint was completely dry, I safety pinned the top and bottom layers together for each of the four panels. I'll begin stitching tonight. I'm excited and have fingers crossed that all will go well and fit correctly. There's always a bit of anxiety with a new, untested design. Wish me luck! I'll post the finished piece in Part 2.

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