Alabama Chanin A-line top, modified

I made an embellished Alabama Chanin A-line top a few years ago. I really like how the upper portion of the shirt fit, but there was just too much fabric in the lower half. I know, flowy is the nature of an A-line top is; right? But on my short frame flowy is okay; swimming is not! I've since made a basic, single layered, slightly modified top. At the hem, I cut out about 8" on each side, gradually easing that up to the rib line. I used lightweight jersey, so the fit and drape are very nice.

I decided to make another embellished top using the upper portion of the pattern, drastically reducing the lower portion, and shortening the length too. The resulting shirt really does not resemble an A-line at all. It feels more like an old comfy pullover to me.

I used mid weight black jersey for the under layer and navy on top; gray paint with the paisley stencil, and variegated embroidery floss. I didn't have enough navy fabric for the sleeves. I used the gray paint to stencil the one layer of black fabric for the sleeves, and ran a line of stitching just inside the stenciled area. I used a Sharpie pen to stencil some extra elements onto the scraps of navy, and appliqued those onto the black sleeves, thus tying the color scheme together.

I've been wanting to have a go at Shashiko stitching, so I did that around the larger circles on the paisley pattern on the body and the sleeves. I didn't have proper Shashiko thread, so I used DMC embroidery floss. I really like the extra touch of stitching on this garment.

I'm waiting for some books on Shashiko stitching. I think once I learn a little more about it, I just might have to add to this top in the future. Have you tried Shashiko? Any tips you want to pass along?


  1. Ooooo! Like it and such nice photos from which to draw inspiration. Definitely will have to try slimming down the A-line top and adding those special touches of stitching. Elsie

  2. Yay! It can be tricky for me to photograph the fabric to show the details I'm trying to explain. So glad you can see it!