January 16, 2009

Alabama Stitch Book

I picked up a copy of the Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin while browsing my local Border's Books last week.  The background:  Natalie Chanin is a clothing designer that located her production company to her small rural town in Alabama.  

I love her designs, mostly organic in nature featuring leaves, flowers and the like - all elements that excite me, the avid gardener and nature lover.

I also love the idea of repurposing old T-shirts into wearable art.  I found my T-shirt material at my local Salvation Army store and felt really good about my purchases of a gray/brown, red and gray T-shirts all for $3.00 each.
A trip to Joann's Fabrics for the perfect quilting thread to match the fabric paint I found in a few shades darker than the gray/beige T-shirt I picked up at the Thrift store.  I hurried home with my materials and proceeded to cut out my stencil.
This skirt in the book will be perfect for this Summer - I want to make one in navy, brown and red.
Another skirt with an appliqued border around the bottom edge.  I want to try this one as well in grey and black.
My stencil of a Jayhawk cut from a gift box left over from Christmas past.  I used a tile blade for printing instead of an exacto knife.  TIP:  Always cut toward you pulling the blade toward your body turning the paper as needed.
A pink T-shirt with a gray/beige background with khaki fabric paint around the edges.  This was so quick and easy to do.  I finished the stencil in about 30 minutes - it can be reused again and again.  

The fabric paint was applied with a sponge brush and I used safety pins to attach the gray/beige material behind the painted stencil.  

I used a straight stitch around the outside edge of the stencil with the aid of an embroidery hoop to add tension to the fabric.  I then cut away the inside of the top lay approximately 1/8" from the stitched line.  

I completed a T-shirt from start to finish in just over an hour - quick fashion in a jiff.  I am ready for my next stencil - maybe leaves this time......

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