Monday, March 14, 2016

A Little Alabama Chanin

In a recent issue of Sew Confident, there was an article on sewing with tissue knits. The pattern used was the Hudson top from The Sewing Workshop. Their tissue knit was light-weight cotton jersey from Alabama Chanin. Lovely stuff - 100% organic cotton made in the USA. I already had some in the stash!

The Hudson is a nice basic, a canvas for great fabric or a special technique. I have been wanting to try my hand with the AC reverse-applique technique for a while. In fact, I've made two samples and tested them in the washer and dryer. This knit behaves beautifully. 

Both the black and the red knits are considered light-weight, but there is some noticeable difference in the weight. The red is a bit lighter. I found them to be close enough for this technique.

These knits are stable and not very stretchy. They like to curl on the edges so I played around with that but let it go. They also like to stick together and to my high hip fluff. A-hem. 

Because I had already made up TSW's Ivy tunic with my cut of black knit, I had only small remnants to use in this shirt. 

After sewing the shoulder seams, I opened it out on my sewing surface wrong side up. Then I placed some pieces of the black on the shirt, also wrong side up. After pinning each piece in place, I hand-basted around each remnant.

Next I flipped the pieces over and used my quilter's pounce and a hexie stencil to transfer the design to the right side of the shirt. The real AC technique involves paint and so a lot more effort, IMO. I stitched around each chalked hexie using a running stitch and size 8 perle cotton thread. It's quite a lot like sashiko, so I loved this part.

Lastly I cut out some of the hexies, allowing the black backing to show. This is where the tendency to curl really shines. It provides a nice finish to the raw edge.

wrong side of shirt after completing it

I tried playing with the curling action to create a cuff but ultimately cut it off. I stitched plain hems and push up the sleeves for comfort. No need to try everything in one garment!

Now I want to apply this technique to a full garment. This was a fun make.


  1. Beautiful job! Thanks for sharing the quilting pounce technique. Using scraps to create the design, without doubling the entire body of the shirt with a double layer is appealing to me too. Keep it cool in the heat of summer!

  2. I love the fact that you chose the geometric design rather than a floral design. So fresh and different.

  3. I used a similar technique, but more rough and ready, by just drawing round the AC stencils with a white chalk. It worked much better than expected. I love your black and red version. It is very Japanese. TS

  4. Love your planned and intentional look. So much of AC just looks like chunks of fabric missing with patches under it (IMO). Really love the hexies.

  5. Love your planned and intentional look. So much of AC just looks like chunks of fabric missing with patches under it (IMO). Really love the hexies.

  6. This is just fabulous!! Very impressive and looks great on you too.

  7. Really nice use of the technique - I love seeing AC with red fabric instead of blue, blue, blue...And I like the top pattern you used - looks so pretty on you.

  8. Wonderful results from this technique. This is a very flattering and chic top!