Monday, May 26, 2014

Alabama Chanin Gored Dress: Plum and Paisley


This is my experiment with a paisley border--the beige shapes are all appliqued on and then stitched around in two rows of running stitch.


The embellishment goes all the way around the dress. And since I lengthen the dress by ten inches, and extend the cutting lines on out at an angle, the skirt is almost a complete circle--quite a bit of border!


I used Alabama Chanin medium-weight jersey in Burgundy, with Nude scraps for my paisleys.


The neck is bound with my new favorite stitch for binding--a blanket stitch turned around backwards so that the horizontal bar sits right beside the raw edge. It makes a very firm, no-nonsense stitch and doesn't compete with the fancy frills of the embellishment.

15 comments:

Kristin said...

That is beautiful! I really need to try one of these dresses. I love the embellishments.

jill said...

Another beautiful dress Ann. I really love the paisley border.
blessings, jill

CTVKath said...

That is a beautiful dress. Love the color. The blanket stitch at the neck is my absolute favorite stitch in the world. I have small children and need 30-minute projects so I put iron-on applique on dish towels and t-shirts and church clothes then finish it off with the blanket stitch. It is soothing to do. And I turn it both ways.
Happy Day,
Katherine in Atlanta

Stevi said...

Gorgeous! Do you machine or hand sew the dress?

Vija said...

Lovely, Anna! Have you tried a 6 gore skirt, based on the dress pattern? I just finished one (that I too did detail work around the bottom border of) but am having difficulty deciding how to finish the waistband. It's double-layered and quite weighty. The suggested way won't be tight enough to hold. Any ideas?

Anna said...

Stevi, it's all hand-sewn.

Vija, I've done a skirt or two. I made a floor-length skirt from lightweight (Hobby Lobby) jersey that I finished with fold-over elastic--that works. I've also made a jersey casing for regular elastic--that looks sloppy but holds the skirt up. I have found that in order for FOE to work, the skirt needs a substantial amount of waist-shaping so it's not dependent on elastic alone. That can be done by nipping the side, center back, and center front seams in before finishing the top. The jersey's stretch will let you pull the smaller waist up over the hips.

Mother B said...

Absolutely gorgeous!!

Wendi said...

Lovely!
I'm working on a rose applique tank dress in the same burgundy. Wish I had thought of lengthening it! I made one plain prototype in brown to test how high I wanted the neckline, but I never actually *wore* it for a day before commencing on the rose dress. I found out that its short enough that I have to be careful how I move about when chasing the young one.

Lisa said...

I'm making an a-line skirt now from their dark gray jersey, with some ivory stitching down the mid-front and mid-back seams. I bought the FOE, and yesterday realized that because I made it fuller - I don't like snug clothes - it won't work; it'll only work out if the skirt is fitted. Hmm! I didn't think of that when I bought it. So, I'll make a casing - the skirt is only one layer.

Lisateresa

Lisa said...

Oh - very beautiful, by the way. The appliques lay nice and flat, and the double stitching looks pretty.

Lisateresa

Polly said...

Vija--I have found that it is essential to shape the skirts by nipping in (significantly!!) at the waist, as Anna mentioned. If I don't they are too large and will not stay up. It is pretty easy to nip-as-you-go with the four paneled skirt pattern (which I turned into a two panel pattern this last time). I just sew up to the hip and fit it to my body, seam by seam. Definitely essential for my figure!!

Polly said...

Anna, here's my question for you: I've made a corset and am working on a tee. When you bind the neckline, do you experience any mis-shaping? I've not self-bound yet (with the corset I used something else I already had, not jersey....) so perhaps that is why it went wonky and seemed too wide. Tips on binding?? Yours looks so neat, flat and beautiful. Thanks!

Anna said...

Polly, it's important to handle the neckline gently and not pull the pieces out of shape--the instructions actually have you stay-stitch the edges with basting thread, and that might help some.

If you have bound the edge with a woven bias binding, I would expect it to sit kind of heavy and pull things out of shape. When you use the jersey (or fold-over elastic) it helps to stretch the binding VERY slightly as you sew it into place, so that it springs back a little, keeping the edge taut. I wish Chanin's books pointed this out, since it's pretty important.

kristen said...

Such a beautiful dress! Is there actually a pattern for a gored dress, or did you use your talent to combine the corset and gored skirt patterns?

Anna said...

This is the six-gored dress from one of the AC books. I've modified it by raising the neckline and making the dress ten inches longer.

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