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The Alabama Slammer

June 25, 2018


Last year I attended my first Pattern Review Weekend (in NYC) and saw the most amazing Alabama Chanin  jacket constructed by a fellow PR member. I was mesmerized and returned home to Boonetowne thinking “I’m going to figure out how to do that.” So I pulled out some black jersey knit, my favorite t-shirt pattern (Jalie 2805), and a giant wall stencil that I’ve had in my closet for about 10 years.



I started by cutting out the t-shirt, but cut two fronts and four sleeves. Then I got some grey fabric paint and stenciled the front and sleeves of the shirt. I pinned the fronts together (with stencil facing up) and began to sew around the outside of each stenciled area. I did the same with the sleeves. I decided to use some tan/mustard variegated button thread that I had on hand to do the stitching, and I am so glad I did. I love the way the variegated stitching turned out.


After I got a good start, I lost my momentum and put the shirt pieces in my to-do pile, and there they stayed until I went to PRW 2018. Right before PRW 2018, Deepika posted a review of this amazing Alabama Chanin version of a Jalie skirt and then she actually wore that skirt during the weekend. Then Maria posted a review of an equally impressive A.C. t-shirt . All of this inspiration gave me the kick in the rear-end that I needed to complete the shirt. So I started sewing.


And kept on sewing.


Until I had sewn around all of the stencil pieces. Then it was time to cut–I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I did.



I then assembled the shirt, and I’ve got to tell you, I love it. I now want to reverse applique everything I see. I actually found the hand-sewing really satisfying. It was a great sit-in-front-of-the-tv, evening activity.




Once I got into this, I was hand-sewing ALL THE TIME, and my husband would ask what I was making. I would reply, “an Alabama Chanin (inspired) shirt.” Then at some point, he started asking “How’s the Alabama Slammer” going? He gets all kinds of points for effort. I love my Alabama Slammer.







I see more Alabama Slammers in my future!!

From → Stuff I Made

  1. Becky permalink

    This post is priceless. I love your Alabama Slammer, and yes, your husband gets all kinds of points. He remembered the general vicinity of your shirt, good enough! You should be very pleased with yourself. I have toyed with AC since I really enjoy hand sewing and spent many hours doing embroidery when I was young. I gave it up when I began to feel impatient with the number of hours it took to finish every project. Now that I am so much older, I think I would again appreciate the soothing nature of this type of slow craft. Looking at your shirt is making it difficult to resist! This is really a piece of art, and since you seem to truly enjoy making wearable art, so I think you are a goner.

    • Becky, thanks so much!! I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed the handsewing–it was a great evening activity. I feel like I need to start another one so that I have something to do while watching tv.

  2. Eileensews permalink

    Great shirt!
    I like how well your pictures show the steps.
    You do have an Alabama Slammer with this shirt!

  3. Anne Walquist permalink

    Your pictures are really helpful. I love this shirt so much, I am going to JoAnn’s today to find some paint. What kind of paint did you use?

    • Anne, I actually used regular Ceramcoat paint, but added fabric medium to it. I used the directions on the fabric medium bottle.

  4. Sam permalink

    Just wow, thanks for the instructions/pics – I almost feel i could do this 🙂 Sam the Aussie

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