You may notice the strong influence of a certain fashion designer from Alabama. Before Tina even met for the first time we learned, through the exchange of emails, that we both loved the esthetic of Natalie Chanin. We agreed to bring this to our gown as I love hand stitching and Tina loves raw edges. Perfect!
At our first meeting as we were exchanging sketches we discovered that we both were looking at paisley as a design motif. We played with this and came up with something a bit more organic, more like ferns unfolding which is not only perfect for spring but ties in with the “locavore” theme of the event.
We spent another lovely afternoon working on the fabric for our top secret outfit. We had my friend Stacy come and join us to help with the huge amount of cutting that we had to do. We made our own stencils and cut the appliques from an old t-shirt of my husbands and a remnant of silk.
Tina arranged the appliques onto the painter’s drop cloth (70% of the garment has to be made from the drop cloth as part of the challenge). I’m so glad Tina did this part because I’d still be arranging and fussing and moving and starting over. It’s bad enough that I insisted on cutting out the appliques in sets of 6 (yeah, a teeny bit OCD sometimes).
I am now stitching the appliques onto the cloth and have been forced to bring out my trusty thimble. This is taking a long time to do and I’m not nearly as elegant as Natalie Chanin makes it look. After about 8 hours of stitching I’m half done.
Well, halfway to being half done.
Okay, a quarter of the way to being done part of the garment.
So if you ever wonder why the Alabama Chanin clothes cost so much, let me tell you why.