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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alabama Chanin With A Texas Twist!

I recently bought a fantastic book, Alabama Stitch Book, by celebrated and inspirational artist Natalie Chanin.  I have looked through it several times, trying to decide on a project, but since I have not hand sewn for some time, I wanted to do a 'sampler', so to speak, to try a few techniques shown in the book.  This latest pink top upcycle represents that effort.

So, lets see where it all started.

I wanted the top to go from kinda plain and boring, to something that reflected the more whimsical side of my personality.  I played around with fabric ideas, and finally came up with this combo.
I definitely needed a design inspiration, so I looked around through some wallpaper files and came up with this:
I played around with the items, and came up with this:
I kept messing with the flow of the design, and pinned it into place:
Then I used some embroidery floss I had on hand, and started working the stitches.  The book suggested working a cross stitch by doing all of one side of the X's one direction, then going back and completing the other side of the X's on the cross stitch.  It worked incredibly easily that way!  And like the book said, there was a certain peace and relaxation to the hand stitching.  It isn't something that has to be perfect, if fact, it's beauty lies in it's imperfections.     
Here is the finished top!
Here is what the book I have looks like:

Here is some of her work, which I hope to emulate soon:

And this quilt- which is totally to die for!

Thanks, Alabama Chanin for inspiring a Texan to try something new!
I am totally hooked, and can't wait to show off my next piece!


  1. Very cute! You are quite talented.

    Have a fabulous Sunday.


  2. Thanks! I am having a lot of fun!! :)

  3. SUPER cute! I have a few t-shirts and other shirts that I need to rework, myself. This is nicely done!

  4. This top is cute.. I like the pink color one of my favorites.

  5. I love what you did with the blouse... really nice... I'm following you from MBC. stop by and visit me at My follow widget should be right at the top of my sidebar...


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