Alabama Chanin Camisole Dress for my Girl

After years of procrastinating, last month I decided it was time to stitch up a dress for my sweet girl. We pondered over color choices...carmine or apple or burgundy or green...stencil choices, technique, sizing, pattern modifications. In the end she chose Alabama Chanin medium weight jersey, Apple over Natural, Angie's Fall stencil, reverse applique, Alabama Chanin Camisole dress pattern with a raised V-neck, and a shorter hemline that is taken up at the waist to keep a full "skater" skirt.

The modifications were easily made. I took a t-shirt neckline that I liked, vertically folded it in half, and traced it onto Pelon. I taped the new neckline over the existing pattern neckline.

For the shorter length with the full skirt, I cut the pattern at the high hip, and brought the bottom of the pattern up about four inches. I taped the bottom portion of the pattern onto the upper portion of the pattern, and tapered the sides to fit.

I wanted to make a test dress first to ensure it would fit properly before putting the time into the embellished version. I happened to be looking through the Organic Cotton Plus website and saw two of my daughter's favorite colors, Smokey Teal and Atlas Green. They both would make the perfect basic dress, but which color to choose? At $10 a yard and free shipping, I chose them both! Plus I found the prettiest hemp woven fabric that I couldn't pass up. I'm not sure what I'll make with it, but I just HAD to have it.

My daughter liked the idea of Natural trim on the Smokey Teal, plus the Smokey Teal was a similar weight jersey to the Alabama Chanin Apple and Natural fabrics that I had for her embellished dress, so my first go was with the Smokey Teal. It only took a few hours to cut and stitch the six seams on the dress. I waited to fell the seams and add the binding until I was sure of the fit. 

She stopped in to try it on, and she looked so pretty ~ color, cut, shaping, length were spot on. There was one minor adjustment to an upper back seam, then I started felling seams that night. As I added the Natural binding I wondered whether to stitch the rosebud stitch in slate or cream. I decided on the cream and used embroidery thread that was very subtly variegated.

I bound the hem for a little pop. Eventually, perhaps on some cold winter's evening, when my sewing queue has dwindled, I would like to add some random embroidery at the hemline, Alabama Eyelets, French knots, and whatnot. But it's summertime now, and this dress needs to be worn ASAP! Happy girl with dress number one, ready for a midsummer's outing.

Dress number two is another single layered basic, tone on tone binding with the hem left raw, in Atlas Green. This simple version takes just a few evenings of stitching to complete.

Dress number three will be the Apple over Natural, Angie's Fall stencil, embellished version.

This will take a few weeks to make. I'll post pictures when I've completed the final frock.

Happy Summer Stitching!


  1. I love the first dress ! It is so fresh and young looking! I made my daughter a skirt from the old leaves stencil and she loves it. Then she took two of my leaves runner kits and a couple of extra pieces for side panels and made herself one! She is also using a lot of my scraps for quilts she makes while watching the Giants (((-: She's an Alabama convert.

  2. How awesome that she's now making her own! And I always knew those scraps could be used somehow. I'd love to see what she's doing with them.

  3. I love the greens, and of course the embellished color choice will be beautiful. I am curious what paint color you will use. Also, I noted that your stencil looks like pennant felt....did you cut it out yourself. If so, how many matte knife blades did you use! Lol

  4. Thank you, our favorite is the atlas green too. I'll be stenciling this morning before the heat sets in, and I've been mulling over which color to use. I think I've decided on dark gray....unless I change my mind again!

    I purchased the stencil from Alabama Chanin years ago, and yes, it is pennant felt. Since it is a placement stencil, I believe it would take a couple, maybe three blades to cut out. There's a lot of long straightish lines, so it probably wouldn't be too difficult, just those tiny bits would be a bit testy. Cheers!

  5. After consulting my paint color swatch sampler, the last minute decision was made to use Saddle Brown, a dark brown. Love it!!