Every once in a while I take a break from sewing my own wardrobe to make something for someone else - with the caveat that they appreciate the amount of effort that goes into sewing a garment! And, to be honest, those people are few and far between. But my Mom is one of them!
I had a leftover bit of white jersey that really wasn't enough for much of anything. But then I remembered how little fabric this Corset Top requires.
And since I had so much fun stitching up my other Alabama Chanin pieces, that I decided to make Mom her own corset top from fabric remnants that might otherwise go to waste. The only item I ended up purchasing for the project was my dye, the color chosen because my Mom loves purples and blues.
Step 1: Stencil & Dye & Cutting
I already had a stencil from my previous Alabama Chanin adventures, so that initial step was complete.
Next was the dye process.
** A note regarding powder dyes. There are a lot of different pigments in there that make up a single color. Mixing the powder with a little bit of water and filtering it through something makes for a much more even dye job (I use muslin scraps, but coffee filters also work brilliantly). **
For this project, the dye session for the second layer did not provide enough of a contrast, so I threw the remaining bit of Sapphire powder dye from this project in the dye bath.
Once the fabric was dyed, I traced two sets of the pattern pieces with chalk and cut them out.
The stencil design was then applied to the top layer of fabric with a fabric pen.
Step 2: Applique & Beading
I should mention that each of these projects begin with some test scraps. This process is fairly time consuming, so I like to make sure I am going to be pleased with the outcome before I commit to anything.
The two layers of each pattern piece were hand appliqued together.
For added interest, beads were stitched to the piece on certain design motifs.
Then a pair of scissors was used to carefully remove the top layer and reveal the contrasting underlayer.
Step 3: Construction & Finishing
Once the applique was finished, the garment was constructed with a narrow seam allowance.
To make binding the neck, armhole, and hemline easier, a basting stitch was used before the decorative embroidery stitch. Once that embroidery was complete, the basting was removed. (A silk thread works great for this purpose because it is easily removed with no pulling - it costs a bit more than regular thread, but is really lovely to work with.)
Step 4: The Finished Garment
I am pleased to say that Mom loves the top!