Tuesday, September 4, 2012

craft book month blog hop :: alabama studio sewing + design

I'm so excited to be a part of the Craft Book blog hop at Craft Buds, and today I'm sharing a project I just finished using one of my favorite craft books of all time, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design by Natalie Chanin, which is an STC Craft/ A Melanie Falick Book. This book is seriously amazing in so many ways. 

It was really difficult for me to decide which project to make for the blog hop because I seriously want to make every one in the book, and I fully intend to in time! But I wanted something that I could work on in the car during a recent road trip, so I finally decided on the fingerless gloves. It's the perfect handiwork project if you're looking for a something small to work on while you're on the go.

Every project in Alabama Studio Sewing + Design is hand sewn using a strong button craft thread which give a great texture to the seams. I love the look of the chunky stitches which really function as both a design and a construction element with the knit fabric. I used Coats & Clark Dual Duty Plus Craft and Button thread and a cotton modal knit. The book recommends using 100% organic cotton jersey, but unfortunately all of the jersey knits at my local store were a cotton polyester blend, and I really wanted to stick with all natural materials in this project. The modal was quite a bit thinner than a jersey, and I would definitely have preferred a heavier knit for this project.

I decided to embellish my gloves with a technique called ruffle passementerie, which is made by sewing down loops of knit ropes in a figure eight pattern. I love the texture that it created, and I would love to repeat this technique on a knit scarf that I've got in the works. 

And here's a shot of my finished gloves. I love them!

In addition to amazing patterns, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design is a gorgeous book filled with tons of inspirational high fashion photography. It's really amazing that all of the garments are made from cotton jersey, and how such a simple fabric can be so complexly embellished with a variety of techniques, the directions of which are all included in the book. The instructions are well written and easy to follow, even for someone like me who had never worked with knits before, and there are plenty of accompanying photos and diagrams as well.

I think a basic tee is next on my list. I love both the long sleeved and the cap sleeved versions.

The book includes full scale paper patterns of most of the projects, which are located in the back, 

and lovely scaled drawings of all of the projects.

As I mentioned above, the book also includes instructions for many different ways that you can embellish your jersey knit, from ribbon embroidery...

to fabric paint

to decorative beading and stitching, and everything in between.

I seriously cannot recommend this book enough. It's really an in-depth encyclopedia on how to sew your own Alabama Chanin wardrobe, and after making one project, I'm hooked. I've got visions of simple tees, embellished long skirts, and I'm even toying with the idea of using cotton jersey in some quilting projects. 

Thanks so much for stopping by my post on the Craft Book Month blog hop! Here is the complete information on the rest of the blog hop. Be sure to visit all the posts for great projects and loads of inspiration!

This post is part of the Craft Book Month blog hop at Craft Buds.

Week One
Sunday 9/2: Hopeful Threads / The Jolly Jabber
Monday 9/3: Stitchery Dickory DockMe Sew Crazy
Tuesday 9/4: Olive & OllieSew Sweetness
Wednesday 9/5: Fabric SeedsThe Busy Bean
Thursday 9/6: CraftFoxesStitched In Color
Friday 9/7: Katie's KornerA Prairie Sunrise

Week Two
Sunday 9/9: Sweet Diesel Designsmissknitta's studio
Monday 9/10: Sew TaraClover and Violet
Tuesday 9/11: Sew Fantasticamylouwho
Wednesday 9/12: Projektownia JednoiglecTwo More Seconds
Thursday 9/13: Ellison Lane QuiltsDon't Call Me Betsy
Friday 9/14: Live a Colorful LifeLRstitched

Week Three
Sunday 9/16: Fairy Face DesignsCanoe Ridge Creations
Monday 9/17: Inspire Me GreyFreshly Pieced
Tuesday 9/18: Lindsay SewsThe Cute Life
Wednesday 9/19: The Littlest ThistleSew Crafty Jess
Thursday 9/20: Urban Stitchesimagine gnats
Friday 9/21: Sew Bittersweet DesignsThe Plaid Scottie

Week Four
Link up your craft book project at Craft Buds from Sept 23-30 from your blog or Flickr account, and enter to win prizes. Winners will be announced on Monday, October, 1!

To participate in the month-long contest, just link up any project you've made from a pattern in a craft book. That easy! One entry per person, and all craft book projects must have been completed in 2012. Just create a new blog post or Flickr photo (dated September 1, 2012 or later) and link back to Craft Buds in your post or photo description.

No time to create a project? This month, just follow Craft Buds and comment to win some new craft books and lots of giveaways!

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