Finished project and Review: Alabama Stitch Book

It has been quiet around here. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do anything! 🙂

I have been knitting, I have been volunteering, I have been reading, I have been cleaning (although this was not as much fun as the rest, by a long shot) and I have been sewing!

I have had the Alabama Stitch Book for almost two years now. I pull it out now and again, read, look at pictures and put it back on the shelf.

This week I finally decided I wanted to make something inspired by the book. DH donated two of his T-shirts to the cause and off I went.

With Summer coming in big steps, I decided on the bandanna, as a quick first project to get my feet wet.

Here it is half finished!

I have been sewing by hand since I was a little girl, so the sewing part was super easy. The cutting on the other hand not so much. It said to cut the T-shirt fabric so the grain line is going from the tip of the bandanna to the long end, the one you wrap around your head. Does that make sense? Well, my husband wears double X T-shirts (unless it’s a sleep shirt, then it’s triple X) and they were still not big enough to get a Square with 20 inch sides out of it, if you wanted the grain line going that way. I just cut the triangle out of the back of the shirt  and did not care too much about the grain line. The long side of the triangle needed to be 28.5 inches and the short sides 20 inches. This is the only way it fit on a triple X shirt my hubby had (the white one and it was a Hanes too. One of his sleep shirts, he likes them BIG.

Actually, this is the only gripe I have with the book. She said she uses recycled T-shirts for almost everything. Well, I think not even triple X shirts are big enough for some of the projects. (unless you are a tiny person)

Also: I have tried to find some T-shirts with the same colours to make some of the bigger things like the skirts and stuff . It’s just not possible to find T-shirts with the same colour in a thrift store. They come close, they may have been the same colour at one point, but different detergents and wearing habits changed the hue, etc. If you want to make a bigger project from the book, buy Yardage. SPECIALLY if you are “real woman size”, not model thin. ;D

Well.. maybe one more thing: I think some of the projects are a bit too *too* if that makes sense. They are easily enough altered to fit what I think would be more appropriate for grown ups. For example: I LOVE the rooster stencil, but on the chest of a T-shirt I find it a wee bit immature, I think with the right placement (off to the side on the bottom front maybe?) it could be totally wearable.

All right then.. so there is oooone more little thing that really irritated me… she doesn’t give you any yardage… only the amount of T-shirts you need. But she doesn’t state if the amount given will make the super small size or an extra large….

Let’s take that super cute corset for example: It just says “Two cotton-jersey T-shirts (close but slightly different in colour) That’s it. No two XXXL T-shirts, not the yards the two T-shirts need to yield (or in case you can’t find any big enough and have to buy yards of cotton-jersey) nothing. THAT, my friend, is a tad annoying if you want to make a fitting garment and not run out of fabric somewhere halfway to the finish line…

Other then that the book is really really amazing! I love the photography. I love the patterns and projects, I love the writing! I would recommend it, as it is a really nice book to look at and read! 🙂 The projects are so wonderfully explained, there is little chance of your project not turning out, given that you can figure out the yardage you need. Very nice explanations, with LOTS of pictures! I will definitely make more of the projects from it.

I give it two out of five stars, for the plain fact that I think a pattern book for garments should give you the fabric requirements. That is a gross oversight in my eyes.

Now back to my bandanna!

I used the stencil provided in the book, plus some free hand for the leaf shapes. Cut out the fabric, draw on the shapes, pin and stitch. Presto! I started it a bit late on Wednesday evening and had to finish it on Thursday, but it is definitely a one day project! Easy, fast and super cute! (at least I think so!)

I will definitely make a few more of these for summer!

Here are finished pictures of it:

Weird upside-down shot hahhaha… I left a bit of it on purposewithout leafs…

Excuse the wrinkles. I wore the bandanna to type up the post, then realised I should take a shot with it off my head! 🙂

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9 thoughts on “Finished project and Review: Alabama Stitch Book

  1. Thanks for such a wonderful review. I agree, wholeheartedly, as a seamstress…..yardage is necessary….no one wants to run out or have just enough left (if you chose to buy more so you wouldn’t run out) to make half a project….
    I love the bandana!!!!! I have made a Fall and/or Spring top similar to this with a long sleeve T-shirt in teal covered by a purple short sleeve t-shirt that I did the cut outs on, then, bleached with a q-tip the edges of the stenciled cut outs and stitched top shirt to undershirt with the machine (I hate to do hand sewing, although it looks super nice) and voila!!!! Can’t post a pic, here for you to see, but I will find it in my stash of pics and email it to you. Was fun…..and not too hard.
    Thank you for another great post….
    ~L

    • Glad I’m not the only one, thinking it is weird not to have the yardage given…. I was starting to think that maybe there is a secret formula to just “know” how much you need. And that you only get told about it after sewing for years and years hahahaha…..

      YES! I want to see the picture! POST about it! You simply MUST now.

    • Glad I’m not the only one, thinking it is weird not to have the yardage given…. I was starting to think that maybe there is a secret formula to just “know” how much you need. And that you only get told about it after sewing for years and years hahahaha…..

      YES! I want to see the picture! POST about it! You simply MUST now.

      I love hand stitching. have done it for so long….. ;D

  2. I really like this cut out and stitched look! Especially in black and white! Such a beautiful contrast. This would be fun to do on a shirt….you may have just inspired my next refashion project…..
    Happy Saturday!
    Beth

  3. I was glad to see a photo with it on. Sometimes it’s hard to visualize how something will look when its just laying flat. I love how it looks. If I wasn’t cutting up all my tshirts atm for another project I would look into this. 😉

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