Sometimes Mondays . . .
Piece of Cake

One Stitch at a Time

I finished something a few days ago.


It's an Alabama Chanin wrap skirt.  

And I love it!


I learned to hand sew when I was a very little girl.  My Great Grandmother Strom taught me when I was 5.  Simple, running stitches first.  And then backstitches.  I stitched all the time -- I was intrigued with how stitches could hold fabric together.  Plus, I was always big on "making stuff."

Mostly, as a child, I made clothes and accessories for my dolls out of scraps of fabric and old socks.  But, sometimes, I even hand-stitched items for myself.  (Although I must admit, the oil cloth "boots" didn't perform quite as anticipated. . . )  I didn't touch a sewing machine until 6th grade, so was quite practiced in sewing things together by hand.

When I first laid eyes on Alabama Chanin items (back when I discovered the very first - then the only! - book during a bookstore-browse), I was entranced.  But totally intimidated.  Looking back, I'm not quite sure why . . . exactly.  I mean, first I had all that childhood experience with needle and thread, followed by decades of sewing clothes for myself and my kids on a sewing machine.  I'm very comfortable putting garments together.  

It was the "stitched by hand" part that freaked me out.  Because . . . all that time.  So many stitches.  It would take forever!  And . . . would it hold together???

I bought my first Alabama Chanin kit years and years ago -- and then I just . . . got it out and looked at it once in a while.  For two years!

When I finally admitted my hesitation to Vicki, she kindly pointed out that we knit sweaters "one stitch at a time" . . . so why NOT sew a shirt or a skirt the same way.  Her gentle encouragement spurred me on!  Her words clicked.  I dug in.  (First making this, and then this . . . before tackling the wrap skirt.)


It takes a long, long time to first embellish, and then stitch together, an Alabama Chanin garment.  The wrap skirt I made had some futzy finishing!  There are darts and facings and a waistband and ties.  All sewn by hand.

But so very worth the effort!


I really love it! 

I'm so glad I got over the intimidation thing . . . and just went back to the basic running stitch my Great Grandmother taught me all those years ago!  

I'll be stitching more -- but don't be looking for any oil cloth boots, like . . . ever.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


What a beautiful skirt! I put things off when I don't think I can finish in a prescribed amount of time but stitch by stitch is such a lovely way to go.


all your pieces are amazing - I have wanted to try but just have not yet, maybe this summer is the time for me....thanks for the inspiration


Simply beautiful and I love the colors! So many wonderful things in life are accomplished "one stitch at a time" and you've got a stunning skirt to show for it!


Absolutely stunning Kym!


Oh, Kym, I love this so much -- stitch by stitch, making it happen!! There is a little fussy finishing in that wrap skirt, but... it's just such a fascinating process.

So, what's next?? ;)


GORGEOUS!!! Oh how I love this skirt (and your tee and shawl - I went back to look). All are so beautiful. I'm intrigued with this whole Alabama Chanin thing. Like you, I first learned to hand-sew. My Mom wouldn't get a sewing machine until I had made a dress (complete with zipper) all by hand. When I'm in the zone, so to speak, hand sewing can be very, very relaxing. I may need to investigate a little project for moi!


just beautiful! I love the technique, the colors and the textural pattern


Your skirt looks like a garment that will be worn over and over and over, because it is so beautiful, so simply elegant, can go anywhere, and always be just the right thing. It's fantastic Kym! I love sewing my AC pieces, too and I have a t-shirt in the works that is also the leaf pattern. So much sewing (I'll be several more months in the making), but so much more rewarding because it is made stitch by stitch through the days (and months) of our lives.


That is really beautiful and it looks fantastic on you! I'd be looking for ways to do the finishing on the machine, hahahaha.


"One stitch at a time"--words to live by!


WOW! It looks so fantastic, and is a worthy labor of love. Wear it in good health. :-)


You are so inspiring! Wow. I love it, Kym! It is beautiful and looks so awesome on you! XO


Beautiful! I am still in the window shopping & longing stage with Alabama Chanin. However I used AC as inspiration when I tore my new jeans falling off my bike. Another story. . .


oh Kym - I LOVE it!! I'm seeing so much Alabama Chanin show up in my IG feed these days ... and every single bit of it is beautiful. (and oh-so-tempting ;-)


I love this skirt! Great job and the colours...! This looks like it will be a keeper and quite timeless. An investment piece, for sure. Plus it's cute on you.

The comments to this entry are closed.