Sometimes Mondays . . .
Piece of Cake

One Stitch at a Time

I finished something a few days ago.

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It's an Alabama Chanin wrap skirt.  

And I love it!

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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.)

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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!

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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.

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