I did it! My first attempt at Alabama Chanin style reverse applique is done and I love it!! Texture Clothing’s amazing knits were perfect for this project. You can enter to win some for yourself – there’s a giveaway at the end of this post!
When I first got a copy of Indygo Junction’s Slight Sleeve Top, I immediately saw the yoke as just begging for embellishment. It would be lovely in a contrast fabric or all one fabric, too. But, I wanted to play!
I’d been talking with Teresa, owner and designer of Texture Clothing about a joint project. My Sewing Workshop Ivy Tunic (above) is made from some of Teresa’s fabulous cotton and hemp knit and it got a lot of attention. So, she proposed sending me some fabric for another blog post as a thank you. And, I’m not dumb . . . at least not about fabric . . . so I quickly said YES!
After choosing and receiving two solid knits from Teresa’s stock, I began to plan the Alabama Chanin style applique I wanted to try. The Texture Clothing fabric is the perfect weight for this style of applique!
You really should take a look at some of Natalie Chanin’s wonderful books, If you can’t find them locally, click here. Here’s the basic process in six steps.
- Choose a stencil design for your applique. I used one from the Amy Butler stencil book I’ve owned for years, but there are lots of choices out there.
- Using fabric paint (Jacquard is great), stencil the design onto your chosen area.
- Let the paint dry, then back the painted area with a second layer of knit fabric. Pin the layers together so that they will stay in place while you are stitching.
- Stitch around the stenciled design a fraction of an inch away from the edge.
- Trim away the painted design, leaving a narrow border inside the stitching. Use caution so you do not cut the backing fabric.
- Add beads or just leave your stitching as is.
The Natalie Chanin book that I own is Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. I’ve looked at all of Natalie’s books and this one seemed the most useful for me. It covers all the basics of her trademark handsewn style applique and beading and includes patterns for a few piece of clothing.
After studying the reverse applique technique intently, I was ready to paint and stitch! I love hand stitching. The quiet rhythm of the needle and thread, the gentle building of the stitches and having a project that will go anywhere with me are all quite appealing. In addition to all that, my mom taught me to embroider and it’s always like having a bit of her with me when I hand stitch. I like that!
These are not colors I’ve ever seen in any of the Alabama Chanin makes and I eventually decided to trim away all of the black paint line I’d left. But, I loved them and thought they would work well for the Alabama style. I chose embroidery floss to coordinate with the backing color and I’m pleased with the look.
Over the years, after taking classes from Anita Luvera Mayer, I’ve learned to love hand beading, too. Anita hand sews everything. Seriously everything! And, it is again that quiet rhythm that makes hand beading a joy.
Beading around the neck in random colors and just a wee bit of beading near the applique finally seemed just right to me. I do love the neck encirclement, but the “wee bit” at the applique seems kind of skimpy to me now. So, I may add more at some point.
The Slight Sleeve Top
Indygo Junction’s Slight Sleeve Top is marvelous! It’s super easy and quick to put together and comfy to wear. That ticks all my boxes for a pattern and I’ll definitely use it again. If you can’t find the Slight Sleeve locally, click here.
Although, it’s primarily designed for wovens, the suggested fabrics include knits and my Texture Clothing knits worked well. They have great recovery, excellent body and drape and about 25% stretch – perfect for this pattern! x
Enter the Giveaway!! Enter the Giveaway!!
Teresa is offering a yummy box of Texture Fabric Hemp and Organic Cotton Scraps as a giveaway for us!! I’ve purchased these scraps before, they’re generous size strips and/or pieces – very inspiring and creatively useful. Great for kids clothes, purses, totes or . . . backing reverse applique. Hey, there’s a fab idea!
As Teresa says, “At Texture Clothing, we are always striving ‘towards zero waste’. We make accessories from our scraps and we also sell them too!” To see what others make from these marvelous “scraps’, click here to visit the Texture Clothing Getting Scrappy! Facebook Group. You’ll love it!!
- To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment here on this blog post. That’s it. Comment and you’re in! The winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, May 16th around Noon Pacific Time, so enter before then! (Please note: The giveaway is open to residents of the Untied States only. Thank you for your understanding!)
Hand Stitching Magic & Where to Find It
This is one of the most satisfying projects I’ve made in a long time. There’s something quite magical about stepping away from the sewing machine and blissfully hand sewing for a while. We can all use a little more bliss and magic, right!?!
Thanks for dropping by! I hope you plan a little fabulous, stress-free hand sewing soon!!
Moment of Further Truth:
The Slight Sleeve Top pattern was provided to me by Indygo Junction and the Knit fabrics were provided to me by Texture Clothing, sponsor of the giveaway. This post includes affiliate links and I may receive a small payment if you make a purchase using that link. Thank you if you do – it helps to keep The Sewful Life stitching along and I sincerely appreciate your support. All opinions are solely and truly mine and I only gush about things I love!