Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not the best start

So, I spent the first two days of my Alabama Studio Dress project hunting for my massive roll of Butcher Paper (freezer). Butcher Paper is what I use to trace and draft patterns. I love the stuff! Apparently when I was clearing up my sewing area I packed it away thinking that I wouldn't be sewing until I moved. Wrong! I went to two grocery stores and couldn't find it. This is one of those moments where a Walmart is required. People who shop at Walmart are more likely to butcher their own meat. Target people not so much. So, Saturday I trekked to the Lake with the kiddos and stopped at the St. Croix Falls Walmart for a new supply. Sunday I managed to trace the pattern. Most of Monday I stewed in indecision. I couldn't figure out if I loved the circles. I have decided that indeed I do love the circles. What I don't like is the tie dye look of the washed black stencil used in the book. What was I going to do instead? More indecision.... and some samples were made.

I will be doing circles in cream with the leaf stencil from the first book. I am also going to assemble the dress before I applique. Mainly because I am not convinced that this dress is actually going to fit me. I wear a size 4 normally. And in this pattern that is a size medium. I still think it's going to be too small. My measurements are 35-28-36. I am 5'10 and weigh about 130 pounds. It's the waist measurement that's going to get me I think.

Here's my stenciled fabric:

On with the rest of the info......

PATTERN: The length of the dress pattern is broken in half at the waist which annoys me. I know Chanin was trying to save paper but come on. Really? If you have no adjustments to make to the pattern then the pieces wouldn't bother you. I need to add two inches to the bodice length to accommodate my height. Probably should have added another two inches to the length as well. However I think I want this one to come just to the knee. Piecing together the pieces with a two inch gap between the registration marks takes patience to get just right. There are a total of SIX pieces that I need to do this to. Outside of the piecing, the pattern pieces seem to fit together beautifully.

FABRIC: The rest of my cotton jersey from Fabric.com arrived on Friday. There is a big difference between the Fabric.com Organic Cotton Jersey and the Alabama Chanin Organic Cotton Jersey. Chanin's is much thicker but looks piled and worn right from the get go. Fabric.com's has a much smoother finish but alas is much thinner. I was torn about which will work the best. Since the dress is completely self lined (same fabric on the inside as outside) I was worried that the Chanin fabric might be to thick. When your hanging on to six yards of the stuff it's very heavy. After cutting out the dress I have decided thick is good. It is what gives the dress body, allowing it to skim over the flubber without to much hugging going on.

PAINT: After much deliberating at my local fine art store, Wet Paint, I am choosing to use Jacquard Neopaque Acrylic Textile Color. Picked mainly for the amazing range of colors that there were to choose from. I looked at Speedball Ink but the color choices were limited which meant I was going to have to mix the right shade myself. Jacquard colors require heat setting after a 24 hour dry time.

FOE: The dress project does not require FOE. There is a skirt in my future however so I wanted some. Well let me tell you that tracking down 1 inch FOE is no easy task. I was unable to locate a US source so I ordered mine from HERE in Canada. I received my package hyper quick! Like in 4 days. I have no experience with FOE but am looking forward to giving it a go.

That's where I am so far. Hopefully I am over the hump and can make some progress this week.


  1. Yeegads, woman! I am impressed. You know what stumped me on the whole Alabama thing? The stenciling. I just couldn't find the right paint and then when I tried a sample it bled all over under the stencil. Yours looks fantastic, though. How did you keep the stencil in place without it slipping on the fabric?

    I've read in a number of places that you're supposed to cut the smaller size if you're on the fence, as they grow in time.

    Can't wait to see the updates!

  2. I was wondering how you applied your paint... This has been a sticking point with me.