Back with more Alabama Stitchin'!! These days, AC projects and working on my Starmore sweater are all I seem to want to do.
Almost two months ago, I previewed a kit I had purchased over the summer from Alabama Chanin: the Anna's Garden Shell Top. I started working on it some time later, and finished it a couple weeks ago. Today, I finally wore it when I went out for coffee with Alicia, so I took a few pictures before I left.
I purchased the size Medium kit. The fit is OK, but not as good as I could make it if I'd traced the pattern from the book and adjusted it for my needs. I was surprised that the shoulders were a bit wide - surprised because my shoulders are on the wide side. The top is also quite long. I could easily cut off a couple inches from the bottom. And of course, on my body, it would benefit from a sway back adjustment. But it's a t-shirt, and none of these things are going to keep me from wearing and enjoying it.
Here are some up-close pictures of the garment, and then some modeled pictures.
From the front: you can see that the cut of these tops is quite curvy, which I like. The neck is also high - a true jewel neckline - which I don't mind but I know a lot of people dislike. I believe that this top uses the "T-Shirt Top" pattern from the Sewing + Design book, so you could replicate this look if you wanted to. (The kit is no longer available.)
On the back, you can see the stitching from the label.
And here's the label from the inside. Love. It. I feel so cool knowing this label is in there.
The reverse applique sections were worked in backstitch using four strands of embroidery floss. After working my first AC project with button craft thread, I wasn't sure I'd like the floss but I really loved it! It's so silky. The floss included in the kit was black and grey variegated. It makes for an interesting look - I would use variegated floss again.
I was surprised when I received the kit that the cream piece for the inside was not the full width of the front piece. Now that the top is put together though, I think it's a good thing - this fabric is quite thick. The appliqued side almost feels like padding on my shoulder, and the weight of it tends to pull the top to that side. Here it is from the inside, cut away after stitching.
I attached the bindings with cretan stitch again, and worked the seams inside felled.
And I finally bought a pair of black jeans, just to go with this top. I don't think I've had a pair of black jeans in 25 years!
Here's a better look at the cutwork from the side:
Despite its imperfections, I'm happy with this project. If you are tempted to try this technique but intimidated by all the hand stitching, a project like this - no sleeves, cutwork only on a small area - is a great place to start.
A couple days after I finished this, I started on a new AC project. I just couldn't stand not having one on the go! I'm trying different techniques with each project, so that one is very different from the 3 I've already done. I'm not sure I like it quite as much, but I am having fun making it!