The books from Alabama Chanin are full of embroidery stitches! And not just your ‘norm’ either. The combination of stitches with applique, reverse applique and stenciling is truly unique and worth your examination and trial. In the Sewing Patterns book, it divides their wonderful how-to’s of stitching by Non-Stretch and Stretch/Embellishment Stitches. This is all vitally important and guides the stitcher where which stitches can be utilized on a garment. Oh so many wonderful details on it all are spread amongst their collection of 4 (soon to be 5) books! I will extend my offer oof a $5 discount on any order of their books from my website through Oct. 15 with the Coupon Code: AC$5 Find them all if you search for Alabama Chanin at my website HERE.
A wealth of information is to be had in The School of Making Custom DIY Guide found at their website HERE. It is a little hard to find, but look for the Custom DIY Guide PDF. It is wonderful that they’ve given there a division of the embellishments divided by skill level. I’ve added them below for you
Beginner Stitches: Quilting, Inked + Quilted, Reverse Applique
I agree, these look like pretty easy-to-do stitches. I just might incorporate some of this ‘feel’ and exercises on felt for my very young (age 6-8) sewing students. I can see them having fun stenciling by hand too! Perhaps a table runner or placemat? A Scarf – of the bottom bands of a scarf. Christmas gift for someone VERY special?
Intermediate Stitches: Negative Reverse Applique, Applique, Backstitch Reverse Applique
Advanced Stitches: Relief Applique, 3D (which is a combination of Reverse Applique and Applique), Couching
I’m going to (finally!) close out this 7 part series on Alabama Chanin stitching with info from their website on choosing your size. They observe that “everyone has their preference to what ‘fits’. That being said, they recommend a slightly snug fit to start because, over the course of several wearings and washings, a 10% cotton jersey garment ‘relaxes’ and begins to take on our body’s shape.” That being said, I must heartily agree and state again that my next work with these techniques will be with a jersey that has some Lycra in it for drape and retention. I just never learned, nor have wanted to work with 100% cotton jersey, and have actually taught in my knit sewing DVD, Stretching our Knit Sewing How-How, to NOT select 100% cotton jersey for knit garment sewing. While
That being said, I must heartily agree and state again that my next work with these techniques will be with a jersey that has some Lycra in it for drape and retention. I just never learned, nor have wanted to work with 100% cotton jersey, and have actually taught in my knit sewing DVD, Stretching our Knit Sewing How-How, to NOT select 100% cotton jersey for knit garment sewing. While I appreciate their ‘purist’ stance, my personal experience leads me to other jerseys when I’m going to invest this amount of time and effort.
Regarding embellishment, they state “We make an exception for projects that are heavily embellished with decorative stitching and beading since the embellishment tends to limit the cotton jersey’s ability to stretch. In this case, we suggest choosing one pattern size larger than your regular size. ” That makes complete sense to me.
SEW…there you have it, an exhaustive ‘report’ and ‘opinion’ on the elegant and amazing surface design of Alabama Chanin. I do hope this has given you the encouragement to give it a try. SLOW DOWN and enjoy it – and life. I vow to try to do so – how about you?
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