Sewing for Supergirl

Long ago, before Supergirl (SG) was born, I dreamed of sewing for a granddaughter. I was going to make her such lovely lacy, dainty dresses.

Never happened.

I started taking care of her when she was 2 months old while her mom worked full time. And was just as busy as I was with my own kids.

Lacy, dainty dresses may be cute for pictures, but serve no practical purpose on a daily basis. SG has never been a lacy, dainty girl.

Then, I dreamed of teaching her to sew. But she really, really doesn’t enjoy sewing.

Oh well.

As summer draws to an end and creative inspiration has dwindled, we decided to make her a fancy tee shirt.

If you haven’t found Alabama Chanin yet, you’re missing out. Google it or check it out on Pinterest.

They sell beautifully creative, handmade clothing made from organic cotton jersey. Since they are handmade, they are quite expensive. But, Natalie Chanin, the designer, very generously shares her designs, patterns and sewing methods through her website and several books.

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SG’s tee shirt was inspired by Alabama Chanin. We took the stencil from one of Natalie Chanin’s books.

SG chose the tee shirts at our local craft store. I trimmed the cuffs, hem and neckband off the green shirt.

The leaves were stenciled onto the green shirt with blue fabric spray paint. We found that we are not good at stenciling with spray paint. But we were okay with our mistakes giving the shirt a “rustic” look.

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I put the turquoise shirt inside the green shirt and we (SG did a total of 11 stitches) stitched around the shapes with 4 strands of DMC cotton embroidery floss.

Then I cut out the shapes, only through the green shirt, creating a reverse appliqué effect.

I finished the neckline and sleeve edges with bugle beads.

SG loves the shirt and plans to wear it next week on the first day of school.

I told you several months ago that I wanted to add some “style” to my wardrobe and have been wanting to make myself a Chanin-inspired something. So, making this tee shirt with SG, with inexpensive, craft store items, gave me the perfect opportunity to try out the techniques without a big investment.

It also gave me a chance to see if I enjoyed the process.

Other than the spray-paint stenciling, I really enjoyed it. I think I’ll stick to stencil brushes for my own creation. Now I just have to decide what I will make and which of the 50 colors of Chanin’s organic cotton jersey I will use.



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