Alabama Chanin T-Shirt

T-shirts and earrings, I'm always able to make just one more to add to my stash; and lately I'm all about the tee. My latest is using the Alabama Chanin T-shirt top pattern from the Alabama Studio Sewing + Design book, by Natalie Chanin. It's a simple pattern, a front and a back placed on the fold. I chose to make mine with long fluted sleeves since it's still wintertime, also as I'm using the deeper forest green color.

I played with the forest green and parchment colorway, but felt it needed a bridge between the colors, so I added the moss applique in the flowers and used leaf green embroidery floss for the French knots. Still not satisfied, I decided to try the storm blue embroidery floss for the embellishing, and boy, do I love that color! I can see another garment with masses of storm blue floss in the future. It's so yummy.

I had enough lightweight parchment to make this top leftover from my yellow dress. I have successfully made garments with mid weight fabric underneath and lightweight fabric on top, but this was my first attempt at putting the lightweight fabric under and mid weight over. I don't think I'll do it again. It just doesn't seem a very sturdy foundation. Wearing it, the T-shirt feels fine on, but I'm wondering how well it will hold up over the years. Only time will tell. But in the future, I'll choose mid weight for my base fabric for better stability. Though I have to say, I purposely cut the under layer hem and sleeve an inch longer and REALLY like how the parchment lightweight fabric delicately peeks out at the sleeve and hem.

The V-neck is another modification to the pattern. I folded my favorite V-neck T-shirt in half , laid it on the pattern, traced, and cut it to match. There's also a little trick to help make a neater V-neck binding.

After making your binding (1 1/4" strip cut across the grain and ironed in half), take a length of binding that would be long enough to go around the whole neck, approximately 30", but it's best to measure first on your own garment. Fold the binding in half lengthwise, right sides together.

Stitch a "V" at the crease.

Cut a notch in the "V".

Unfold the binding lengthwise, turn it right sides out,  fold on the crease, and place the notched "V" over the "V" of the V-neck. Pin, baste, and secure with a stretch stitch as you would normally sew on a binding.

I added a few extra stitches at the tip to embellish and secure it down.

I wore this top with my favorite pair of jeans and tall boots, and since it was a chilly day, I added "THE" coat. It was fun using leftover fabrics and sewing a new garment. And hey, green, just in time for Saint Patti's Day!


  1. Like the light weight fabric at the hems. Very pretty! Always get such great ideas from you on embellishing. Took advantage of the 24% off sale at AC and bought the earth Magdelena fitted t in a large. Hope it is the right size. Couldn't wait for this weather to warm up to stencil so I bought a kit. Thanks for sharing. Elsie

  2. Their kits are so wonderful and easy (no messy stenciling involved!) Let me know how it goes. It it's too small, you can always put a small strip/gusset at the side seams, so no stressing, you've got a back up plan. It's going to be great!