A few years ago, I was watching the nightly news, saw a piece on Project Alabama (now known as Alabama Chanin) and have been in love ever since. Here is the video from that newscast:
I love the thought of having an artsy outfit that is made of knit fabric; check out the fabulous clothing here on Alabama Chanin's website. The bad news is that the finished clothing Alabama Chanin sells is a bit out of my league, like the beautiful dress here. The good news is that a couple of years ago, Ms. Chanin took a leap that few designers take.....she began a separate part of the business that targets the DIYer's. She has written three wonderful books and sells supplies on her website. This is where my second problem came in.......
I have been working on a Chanin knock-off for a year, but (as you can imagine) it is highly labor intensive. Here is a view of the swing jacket that I dream about completing and wearing religiously:
The above piece is reverse appliqued and all hand-stitched. I am thinking of placing hand-dyed velvet in the centers of the big flowers.
With my school-girl impatience, I decided to make a mega-cheater Alabama Chanin vest by using my sewing machine (Don't tell Ms. Chanin!). Here is my piece:
I used fabric from Alabama Chanin and as you can see below, I have painted circles with a different shade of red. The lighter tan circles are reverse applique and then I added simple black-lined circles with machine sewing. The buttons were in my vintage button stash (cool!). It has already become a summer favorite for me.
AND thanks to Ms. Chanin for inspiring so many of us.