Stitched by my hand: corset tank top #1

img_7056I have been struggling a bit lately with what to write about in this space. I enjoy the process of writing and telling a story, but to any of you who know me personally, it probably comes as no surprise that I put myself under (unrealistic) pressure for what I post to be perfect. Perfect photos, topics that are relevant, writing that is without grammatical flaws – these things hold me back from sharing what is going on in my daily life. There are people in my life who encourage me by telling me that the most important thing is the sharing aspect of this space. Deep down, I know they are right and so I am trying to let go of my need for each post to be perfect and instead I would like to focus on the connection with others that a blog provides. I mean, what is the point of having a blog to share your thoughts/projects/interests when you don’t actually share them?

I have long been a big fan of Alabama Chanin for many reasons. I am inspired by their commitment to ethical fashion, the preservation of the hand stitched traditions, the celebration of local food and artisans and their open-source business model. I love their aesthetics, but am unable to afford their price-point. Their book series allows me to create my own garments inspired by their construction practices at a price I can afford. Over the past several years I have created many garments both from the Alabama Chanin patterns and from other sources, including my own designs.

img_7059img_7058

I started with the Alabama Stitch Book, the original pattern book, and created the corset top in a cotton/polyester jersey blend that I bought at the Albert Cuyp market. Pure cotton jersey was difficult to obtain back then and while I’m happy with the top, despite all the wonky hand stiches, the blend has not worn very well, pilling over time. I also found the original pattern to provide more exposure at the neckline than I am comfortable with, so I modified it after the fact by adding a piece before I sewed on the binding.

img_7057

Modesty panel added (not very expertly as you can see)

Not to make that same “mistake” again, in the years since I made this piece, I’ve modified the neckline before stitching it. This had yielded another couple of very comfortable tops which I will hopefully share on here someday.