I'm still chugging away on my workshop dress (3 panels done, 5 to go), but with the warming temps I wanted an Alabama Chanin dress to wear now. I decided the fastest way to get a dress was to make the simple single layer tank dress from Alabama Studio Style. I even had 3 yards of cotton jersey purchased almost a year ago waiting on my fabric shelves. After a quick trip to the blueprint store (so much cheaper than Kinko's for large scale copies) and a naptime spent cutting out pattern pieces and tracing them onto the cotton jersey, I was ready to start sewing. Trying on the clothes at Alabama Chanin last month gave me more confidence in determining the right sizing for my body. Even though my measurements are a medium, everything I tried on was a small and they all fit perfectly. The M pieces I've made fit perfectly too, but the garments do stretch as you wear them and after a couple of wearings the Ms get a little baggy. I think the S pieces will remain in a sleeker silhouette over multiple wearings.
The tank dress was so simple to sew up. I marked the 1/4" seam allowance on the wrong sides of the pieces with a water erasable pen. I'm sure most of the stitchers with Alabama Chanin don't have to mark the seam allowances, but I'm pretty anal about my sewing especially with garments as I want them to fit. It's also nice the have the lines so you don't have to think too much, which I appreciate as most of my sewing is done at night while watching movies.
I was a little nervous about binding the neckline and armholes, but it surprisingly was easy and sewing the herringbone stretch stitch turned out to be my favorite part of the dress construction. With a school gala and auction event last evening, I was determined to get the tank dress finished so I could wear it. I spent several hours yesterday working on the binding, and miraculously it was done 30 minutes before I needed to leave giving me enough time to put some makeup on and brush my hair. As soon as I pulled the dress over my head, I was in love. It was comfortable and cool - a bonus since yesterday's high was 91 - and fit like a glove. I was so happy wearing it all evening, and didn't want to take it off when I got home. Now that I think about it, I'm sure the tank dress would have been a very comfortable nightgown.
I don't know what it is about these garments, but I always feel like a princess in them. They are so simple, but so well designed - the magic of Alabama Chanin. I can't wait until I have more additions to my royal wardrobe.