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Forum > Creative Sewing > Alternate Construction Techniques inspired by Alabama Chanin ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Alternate Construction Techniques inspired by Alabama Chanin
Thoughts on Alternate Construction Techniques inspired by Alabama Chanin
Jupiter, FL

Jupiter, FL
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Virginia USA
Member since 7/27/05
Posts: 30
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Date: 7/15/14 4:23 PM

I am getting ready to try an Alabama Chanin-inspired skirt, and was wondering if anyone who may have tried the Alabama Chanin-type reverse applique process has ever:

1) Made the garment (say, skirt or tank top) reversible by combining applique and reverse applique. I had the idea to possibly use three layers of fabric and stitch the design through all three, thinking that one side could be reverse applique, and the reverse side could be applique -- e.g., cut out inside the stitching lines on one side, and outside the stitching lines on the other. Any thoughts on this?

2) Sewn up the garment, and after it is put together, THEN done the stitching of the decorative patterns? My thinking here is that the embellishment could be modest or intricate, but could even evolve over time, and the garment could be worn even if the intent was to do more [reverse]applique later. Construction first would also ensure you didn't waste enormous amounts of time on a garment that didn't fit in the end? (And if the reversible garment idea was workable, I was thinking to just encase the elastic for the waist in between the two layers.)

I would be very interested in any thoughts on this, particularly from anyone with experience with these techniques, as I have not tried the double-layer [reverse]applique processes yet.

------
Haymarket VA

dmh1
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dmh1
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North Carolina USA
Member since 1/13/13
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Date: 7/15/14 4:37 PM

I'm working on an Alabama Chanin top right now and have some thoughts. First, I'm not sure about the triple layer idea. It seems that the side next to your skin may experience excessive friction and wear with the open bits of fabric. However, on a skirt that may not be as much of an issue. Just a thought. Second, I made a muslin (machine stitched, cheaper jersey) of the pattern I'm using to check the fit, though I don't see why you couldn't work on the embroidery and/or beading after you had constructed the garment.

I've really had fun with planning and sourcing materials for this and it's been a different kind of mode than my regular sewing. Hope you enjoy the process whatever you decide. Have fun!

------
Michelle

SM: Janome DC2013 & Singer Futura Quintet
Serger: Janome Magnolia 7034D
Coverstitch: Singer 14T968DC

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to Jupiter, FL <<


Date: 7/15/14 7:47 PM

I've done reverse applique but not related to that. But you could make something with as many layers of fabric that you want. But if all those layers are getting into the seams of clothes, it will probably change the way they drape and hang make it thicker there. If you just have extra fabric where you really need it, not so much.

I think most times way more easy to work with something flat, also fits in a sewing machine better that way. But if you were doing it more by all hand, it would not be as big a factor.

I like my stuff and garments all done and wearable all at once, (if a choice) but I could see having some special garment that you might decide to embellish at different times, to add in things later and maybe each time to mark some special occasions as they occur or something like that.

If you have 3 fabrics layered together though, and are cutting out layers of them over years,or maybe even less than that, depending on the fabric, I think if you did some of it at one time, and some of it at another time, and wearing and washing the garment a lot in the mean time, the middle sometimes exposed fabric, sometimes not, might not even match up in the end color wise all over something though. Just since exposure to light and washing and wear all during that time, and then you make any newer cuts, you might expose "newer looking" fabric, than the cut outs that were already there before.

But if you want to do that, and are excited about it, I think you should just go ahead and do it. But if all fabrics are going to be in all seams, maybe the more layers you got that way, the thinner and more draping each single one should be.

Jupiter, FL

Jupiter, FL
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Virginia USA
Member since 7/27/05
Posts: 30
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Date: 7/16/14 10:08 AM

Excellent thoughts, both! Thank you! I hadn't thought about the friction issue, so I will certainly nix the 3-layer idea for the tank top -- might still think about it for the lower border area of the skirt -- and will have to think through the excess fabric in the seams. Also, if I just stick to the lower border of the skirt for the applique work, could possibly (hopefully) get it done before the rest of it fades!

Thanks again!

------
Haymarket VA

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