alabama chanin style: test-driving a work-in-progress for casual friday

ok, first things first: i think i am now a complete knit convert. i started out, as i think a lot of newbie sewers do, a little afraid of them and all of their stretchiness and the idea of a serger or a zigzag or heavens forfend, a double-needle.

BUT.  how do you resist the allure of a project that can be creative and fulfilling…and finished in an hour?


this, i do not know.
but that is not what i’m here to discuss today.  because really what i am doing, as this first flush of excitement fades, is making the knits even harder to complete.  what i’ve decided to do in my knit work on my “collection” using alabama chanin techniques.  for me, that means finishing most of the major seams by machine (instead of by hand) but then embellishing them using the hand-techniques so beloved by natalie chanin and her elves.


on this top, that meant finishing the neck binding with what alabama chanin calls a “rosebud stitch.”


and then i opened up the side seams and finished them with a long, lazy catch stitch.  i’m loving the look so far.

so why is this a WIP and not a FO?  because of what i have planned for the back.  i hope to get back to all y’all on that shortly – i’m planning a massive experiment in stenciling and fabric dyeing this weekend at my upstate studio, assuming i can find enough clear plastic table cloths to cover the house!  on this top, for example, i plan to use some of the stencils i splurged on (again, from alabama chanin, but i hope to share some more thoughts on stenciling soon!) in addition to some embroidery patterns and create a design that will riff on a few awesome graphic elements that repeat themselves in my house.  this includes my peter max heart and flowers:


and this great hummingbird motif in my entrance hallway.


and here’s my major splurge stencil from alabama chanin.

Kristina's Rose Stencil Artwork - From Alabama Studio Sewing + Design

it is available for free download on their website, in case you want to give it a try.

more to come as more progress gets made…it will be a long and fun weekend (i hope!)  what should i marathon on my studio tv?  decisions, decisions!

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7 Responses to alabama chanin style: test-driving a work-in-progress for casual friday

  1. Clio says:

    Digging the catch stitch seam! It’s very cool looking.
    I tend to have a similar problem – I’ve never me a project/pattern that I couldn’t complicate!

  2. That’s how I felt too…wovens feel so time-consuming to fit and finish in comparison! And I hear you on the what-to-play-on-TV dilemma. It feels wrong sometimes to watch/listen to something incongruous with what I’m making.

  3. CherryPix says:

    Great application of Alabama Chanin techniques…I love that look!

  4. Gjeometry says:

    What a great knit top! I was also new to sewing with knits and have sewn 3, so far, and it’s really quite easy! I have not used the serger yet, just got it for free, an older model. I hope I can figure out how to use it!! But, the regular machine works just fine. I love the embroidery details you added to your top. I also love that blue and red heart painting. Lovely.

  5. oonaballoona says:

    seriously, you’re going to have to go to detox for knits, man! i banned myself from the jersey aisle at mood. i’m loving these stripes, though, so maybe i need a reprieve…

  6. Pingback: WIP: t-shirt, alabama chanin style | puu's door of time

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