Friday, June 14, 2013
My first garment: Alabama Chanin Corset
I am admittedly a person who really likes to use hand sewing techniques to make quilts.
By veering of that path into making a garment I felt more that a little bit out of my element.
Quilting weight cotton has certain properties of staying in one place and generally not acting like jello when you work with it, as long as you keep away from the bias.
Cotton jersey fabric is of course the opposite, acting like jello at best.
Pins are your friends when working with jersey, I discovered. Reading all the directions (which I did) helped a lot too.
Natalie Chanin's book called Alabama Stitch Book has a couple of really interesting garment patterns in it. There is a skirt called the Reverse-Applique Swing Skirt that I have not made yet, but my hope is to try my hand at that very soon.
The project I made above is called the printed T-shirt corset.
The origin of the fabric I used was 2 T-shirts that I got from my favorite TexMex eatery in Austin called Chuy's. If you're from Austin, you know what I mean about this place. Yum. Unfortunately, they don't sell shirts online. Boo.
I may have been close to being able to use 1 shirt to make this corset, but I wanted to arrange the design carefully and also get a small bit of the logo on the back too, so having 2 shirts to start with was a good idea.
Cutting them out was pretty easy, I followed the instructions in the book. Sewing them up was also not hard, but I did use a lot of pins like a smart little quilter.
I didn't want to make a judgement call on if I really like the shirt until I wore it and washed it to see if it fell apart in the laundry machine.
So far, so good. First wearing included a super tight/thin tank under it because I found it a little low cut for my personal taste. I'm thinking of adding some binding around the neck and arm holes to give them a bit more heft so they will hold up better over time.
It came out of the laundry looking great, in one piece. I did hang dry it though, as I normally do to some of the clothes that I like too much to subject to the torture of the dryer.
The real reason I made this shirt was as a test run. My next one will include some applique that will be a time investment. This one is a great test of sizing & fit without much handwork devoted to decorating the fabric before garment assembly. I love the black on black corset version she has on her site, but I may end up making a brown version.
Maybe I can wear it again tomorrow. Think anybody will notice?