Sweater: Woman Within
Tunic: Made by me, Blank Canvas Tee pattern + Alabama Chanin modifications
Sorry to be MIA for a couple of weeks there, things got crazy at work and I had some house guests. Blah, blah, blah. Let’s just say I’m relieved to have the time to get back to sewing and blogging! I have SO MUCH on my to-sew list.
I completed this project back in January (I think), right after I bought myself the very exciting new Alabama Chanin Studio Style book for my birthday! The birthday presents that you give yourself are always the best, aren’t they? You always get just what you want!
I wouldn’t say the creation of this tunic was exactly intentional, but thats ok! I like how it turned out! I was trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to make a second version of the 3 Hours Past Blank Canvas Tee. I think the pattern is just drafted for someone that is much more well endowed in the boob-al region than I am and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to fix it. I’ve downloaded the Maria Denmark Kristen Kimono Tee in hopes of further investigating this kimono tee thing. I really kimono sleeves- in theory. In actuality, they haven’t treated me that well yet.
Anyways, I had dyed up about a yard of the nine yards of white jersey fabric I bought for a steal of a deal in Dallas over Christmas vacation and was trying to make it into a tunic length Blank Canvas kimono sleeve tee. I had the reached the point of
wadding up the project and leaving it on the floor for the dog to chew desperation when my Alabama Chanin book arrived! Inspiration struck! I cut the failure of a tunic down the front and used the center front seams and neckline of the Fitted Top pattern to remove a large chunk of fabric from the center front and create a much more fitted silhouette through the bust. Of course, it required a bit of grading.
I can go into the details later if anyone is interested. I seriously think that this pattern is SO FLATTERING and have made up a tank top since and am currently working on a dress. I finished the seams on the machine, since I had already started the tunic that way (all Alabama Chanin stuff is supposed to be hand sewn), and then figured I would add some more Alabama Chanin flair in the form of some hand embroidery on the neck and sleeve bindings.
After much consulting with the book, I managed to do a passable job. I seriously had zero experience with embroidery, especially on a knit fabric, so if I can do it you can too! I used one of the illustrated stretch embroidery stitches on the neckline and sleeve bindings and top stitched the front and side seams with embroidery thread. Surprisingly, the top stitching added a nice bit of heft to the entire top, making it much less clingy than it would have been otherwise, considering the cheap fabric that I used.
The neckline is a bit big and gapey due to the fact that I didn’t approach this tunic with even the faintest idea of how it would turn out, but its fine for causal wear or with a tank top underneath for the office.
Anybody else working on some Alabama Chanin stuff? Want to compare notes? I have to say that I am fully obsessed but am still a bit terrified of tacking the applique/ reverse applique section, not to mention the beading! Plus, nothing makes you feel better about spending all your time watching
season two of Game of Thrones very intellectual TV than hand sewing using heirloom techniques.