Monday, April 21, 2014

Dressed at last

Easter, 2014

Once upon a time I threaded a needle and took the first stitches on a very long journey....

Anna's Garden stitching

Two years ago I started work on a DIY kit from Alabama Chanin.  I didn't let myself fret too often over how long it took.   This was the one project I would pick up and put down on a whim.  And now, just in time for Easter Sunday (and thanks to some prodding by some good friends), I'm finally wearing it!  I almost can't believe it myself.

in Alabama Chanin

and it fits!

Alabama Chanin DIY kit

Guess what... I love it!  Up until the very last moment I wasn't sure how I'd feel when I put it on.  But, I think it fits well and, most of all, I'm thrilled to know that I created it by hand, every. last. stitch.   Yes, this is handstitched garment, made of two layers of jersey.   The beautiful floral design is brought forth via reverse applique.  It's not hard.  But, time consuming?  Definitely.

Since my sewing journey, I've made several things Alabama Chanin style, but this is the first whole garment.  I really wouldn't have taken the plunge if I hadn't received the gift of a DIY kit that spring.   With the kit, you receive all the pattern pieces cut in your size and already stenciled, so you can get right down to the sewing.  I followed the measurement guide and ordered a large.  It needed taking in here and there in the bodice, but that was a cinch because it's jersey, not quilting cotton.  Mmmm.... I'm seeing the light on this jersey business. 

You can shop the Alabama Chanin site for DIY kits or consider one of the Alabama Chanin books authored by Natalie Chanin (this one is my favorite and comes with a stencil!).  Find my other posts on the project here, here and here.

And now, how about some of the girly in her Easter dress?  She was feeling mighty feisty...

me and the girly on Easter

twirling

clearly feeling fiesty

free spirit

Aria in Marissa dress

love those freckles

full of life

my beautiful girl

Just before we went in, I let her take over the camera and snap a giggling montage.  Because I don't much like having my picture taken, so best get in a few more while I'm already putting myself out there (and she's making me smile).

photos by Aria, haha!

Thanks for your love and support!

xo,

Rachel

53 comments:

  1. The dress is perfection and you look wonderful!

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  2. Lovely! Congrats of a very special finish! You both look beautiful!

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  3. It's stunning! And I'm so glad you shared the long journey with us. It's nice to know that even professionals have really long term projects going.

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  4. Both dresses are super cute, and yours...entirely hand-sewn, that's wonderful! Look at you rocking your dress and those boots! You could totally be in an Ad.

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  5. Both you and the dress look lovely. Such sweet photos x

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  6. Wow. Entirely hand sewn! It looks fantastic!

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  7. You and Aria both look so lovely! Hope you had a happy easter :)

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  8. Two adorable ladies in their oh-so-lovely dresses! Precious pictures!

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  9. Love the dress! You and your baby are both very beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. You both look gorgeous and I love the pics of you at the end! I'm coveting your dress!

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  11. You and that dress look fantastic! Great job. And what a spirited little girl you have! She seems like a lot of fun :)

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  12. Both dresses are beautiful and you both look lovely!!! (love the boots with your's)
    Twirling, I loved doing that :)

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  13. Congrats on the big finish. Both dresses are just beautiful as are the wonderful photos. Well done!!!

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  14. You both look absolutely gorgeous! 👏👏👏

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  15. Congrats on finishing -- and wearing with a smile! -- your stunning dress. The green over white was an inspired color choice, even more gorgeous than I imagined it would turn out way back when you first posted this project.

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  16. Love the dress with the boots. Your girlie took some lovely photos of you..and generated some major model action of her own!

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  17. So very lovely! The amount of time and patience it must have taken to make your gorgeous dress appears to have been worth it. Positively gorgeous!

    Blessings~

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  18. These are such beautiful photos! Congrats on such an amazing hand made dress - it's absolutely lovely.

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  19. This is such a lovely post. The pictures of your daughter are awesome. The pictures of you are SO delightful. I just stared at the computer screen and smiled. Thanks for sharing your hand-sewing adventure. The dress turned out great. I wouldn't have patience for that when I know that I have a machine. ;-) I save my hand work for knitting and crocheting, I guess. And lately, I haven't done much of that. Thanks again for a great post!

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  20. Congratulations on finishing your dress, it is beautiful!

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  21. it's amazing Rachel! What a treasure of a dress, you look wonderful in it!

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  22. This amazing! You look gorgeous!

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  23. Yes, on all counts. The dresses are beautiful, as are the models. And great photography as well. Can we learn more about the process of your dress...

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  24. The two of you couldn't be prettier! Thanks for the pics!

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  25. ADORABLE! You should be so proud, it really is amazing and you look GREAT in it!

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  26. Gorgeous Rachel! Both of you. Happy Easter!

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  27. You both are so beautiful . It is so much fun to have a daughter and your dress is gorgeous. Blessing to you and your family for a lovely Easter.

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  28. You look fantastic in that dress! I'm so glad that you finished it. Wear it often!

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  29. What beauties all! Congrats on your new dress.

    Hillary

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  30. oh, it's so beautiful, rachel! as are you and your sweet daughter. i think it can be easy to get bummed out by projects that take forever to finish, but they can also be some of the best projects, too: slow, easy stitching when the mood strikes, no pressure of a deadline. sounds like that was just this kind of project for you.

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  31. She did a fantastic job as a photographer, you look happy and cute. Wonderful dress. Way to go on all that tons of stitching. And she's charming in her pictures.

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  32. both dresses are beautiful and you both pair them with the perfect shoes (boots)!!

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  33. Your dress is beautiful! And so is Aria's - that AMH print is perfect. Well done! If you really like the jersey knit fit check out Kitchsy Coo's Lady Skater dress. It's very easy to sew and fits well.

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  34. I've wondered how this one was going - it looks great! I love the green, green always looks so good on brunettes.
    Both dresses are gorgeous and you should be super proud!

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  35. hooray for the finish! It's really beautiful :-)

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  36. You both look fantastic in your dresses! So pretty and absolutely Easter perfect.

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  37. Congratulations! I have been wondering what ever became of your 'little' project. Looks FANTASTIC! Aria's dress looks beautiful on her!

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  38. Lovely, both the models and the dresses. Happy Spring!

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  39. You both look beautiful in your dresses! I am so excited to see yours finished! Wow, it is really a work of art and the fit is perfect and flattering, too. Hooray for you!

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  40. I don't know why you don't like to get your picture taken. You are beautiful and oh so photogenic.

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  41. Eeeek! So great! And the boots... you created a perfect, complete "look!"

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  42. Rachel you have the sweetest girlie! But, you don't need me to tell you that :o) Her Easter dress turned out beautifully and she looks so happy in it! I'm glad you let her snap a few photos of you...your dress is amazing and so worth every minute you put into it. In this time of instant gratification I think projects that take longer are all the more appreciated. Totally sweet pictures of you both! Thanks for sharing :o)

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  43. You both are so lovely on Easter Day!

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  44. YAY!!!! you finished it! Congratulations! It looks fabulous!! (it looks like you didn't bind the neckline - am I seeing that correctly?) You know - I found your blog because of this dress - I'd googled Alabama Chanin, trying to find as many people as I could that had sewn AC style - trying to determine if I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. (I decided I did. I have yet to really embellish anything, as I have been trying to lose weight for AGES. don't want to spend hundreds of hours on a garment that will be too big for me, ya know ;-)
    Happy stitching ~ Tracy

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    1. Thanks =) You're right that I didn't bind the neckline/armholes. I had during the stitching process, but then I removed it because I didn't like it as much that way. I wonder if it will stretch out? Eek.

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  45. Wow, I love this dress!! I'm so glad you finished it, I was just wondering the other day what ever came of it. It came out great! And it doesn't have that "I may as well be naked" look that so many jersey dresses have. Plus all those pictures of you and Aria are adorable.

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  46. That photo of you and your daughter together is priceless! Your child and your handiwork and such big smiles all at once : )

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  47. I like that "how you doin'?" look you got goin' on there. :)

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  48. Your dress is gorgeous! Both dresses, actually. And how fun to have her take some pictures of you.

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  49. The dress is stunning, and you and Aria are lovely! That is an epic finish. I love having a "someday-I'll-finish-this" kind of project. Yay!

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