What are you most proud of? I'm very happy with the way that all the different embellishment techniques look together. I've had so many compliments on this project. Everyone really loves it and it's not even finished and being worn. I take it with me to work and anywhere else I might get a chance to do a few more stitches and people are really interested in how it's progressing What advice would you give someone starting this project? I'm using the corset pattern from the Alabama stitch book (which I borrowed from the library) and the Anna's garden stencil which I downloaded from the Alabama Chanin website (it's also in the Alabama studio sewing + design book). I've found it difficult to get the recommended materials in New Zealand and I didn't want to go to the trouble of importing them until I had tried the techniques so I've improvised and substituted for this project: For the stencil I recycled a vinyl banner which was being thrown out at work. It's really strong and flexible and is about 1/2mm or 1/50 inch thick, and it worked perfectly. I used recycled t-shirts (which is what Natalie uses in the Alabama stitch book). As you can see I had to work around a print of a car on the front of one of the shirts, it's featured on the side back pieces. I didn't have quite enough of this shirt to cut all the pieces so I used a blue light-weight cotton jersey remnant for the side fronts. The bottom layer is a light blue t-shirt. For the stencil paint I used Atelier acrylic paint mixed with Jo Sonja's textile medium because I already had that. For the sewing I've used a vintage glazed cotton thread which is thick and extremely strong, a varigated King Tut quilting thread (which isn't particularly strong but I love the way it looks), DMC embroidery cotton and Shamrock fine beading thread. I've used a mixture of stitches with reverse applique - running stitch, backstitch with embroidery thread, seed beading and bugle beading. On the next panel I'm planning to do some couching and I'll probably do some applique before I'm finished. I wanted to try everything because I love all the samples in the books so much I couldn't decide what I most wanted to do. I think my stitches might be a little on the small side. I try to make them bigger but I keep going back to small for some reason
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