Thursday, June 7, 2012

Winter project

In case anyone hasn't noticed, I have a bit of a thing (and by "thing' I mean "obsessive passion") for all things Alabama Chanin.  Next up, a dress, namely the tank dress from Alabama Studio Style.  My birthday is four months away.  Can I finish it by then?

To stencil on the design, (paisley, downloadable from here) I wanted a plastic stencil rather than freezer paper, which works brilliantly, but takes ages to paint with a brush.  My friend M, who works in a large stationery shop suggested laminater plastic - run the laminater empty to get a sheet of plastic.  Brilliant!  The only problem was that it rolled up and had to be carefully ironed (under a sheet) to flatten out.  It wrinkled a bit but worked perfectly as a stencil. M also loaned me quilt basting spray which I applied to the back of the stencil before using it.  That helped stick the stencil to the fabric just a bit which worked really well!  M even helped with paint mixing by giving me a colour mixing chart for polymer clay, which was a good place to start when working out proportions of paint to mix to get the blue grey I was after. Thanks M :-)

This was my first go at stencilling with this type of stencil and applying paint with a sponge.  I'm sold - the whole dress took less than two hours (would have been quicker if I'd known what I was doing when I started), compared to three and a half to paint the fingerless gloves in my last post!

The silver grey bead necklace was an $8 bargain from Diva - miles of beads!  The small packets are Maria George brand beads (on clearance at Spotlight) in a perfect colour for my fabric. I have six packets.  Might have to try and get more.  I'm thinking of filling the snipped out bead edged shape with silver grey beads (the backing fabric is pale grey).  There won't be many beaded shapes per panel so a bit of OTT beading here and there shouldn't be too much...

And since there was a lot of fabric left over from cutting out the dress and paint from stencilling it I figured I should make use of both while I had the table set up.  Fabric colours reversed for a skirt.  Another bargain necklace from Diva ($9 this time) to work with.  I won't get to this one for a while but it is a really nice feeling to know it's waiting for me.

Parting shot - proof that I do use my sewing machine.  BWOF 02/09 #129. This is for J to wear on her trip to Auckland to see Lady Gaga on Sunday.  Now you couldn't pay me enough to attend that concert but I do recognize the need for a new top for the trip!

Not pictured is the wool coat I will be making for Keely and the slipcovers I am making for my parents, all on hold till Nicholas is no longer contagious with the chicken pox which have kept him home from Kindy for a-w-h-o-l-e-w-e-e-k.  (Can't cut out on the floor when the teeth-grittingly perky "sick" four year old has covered it with duplo or trains.)  Being so young he is hardly bothered by the chicken pox so I'm really hoping he has infected Isabella and she can get it out of the way with little inconvenience to her.  At this rate it looks like she'll get it from Nicholas instead of one of the myriad of kindy kids who've had it!  Which means that he'll go back to kindy just in time for her to be home for a week or so.....


  1. Well I am cheering for you to finish the dress by your birthday. Just seeing the stenciling and begining of the beading has me convinced the finished dress will be stunning. I just bought the Alabama Studio Sewing + Design book and am so inspired.

  2. I've only started working on my first Alabama Chanin design.... well if "just" is last summer..... but I wonder if you could print the paper for the stencil and then have it laminated. I wonder if that would stop the rolling? It would give it one more layer at least.