Spoonflower and Beads

During my November visit to the Factory, I found myself completely inspired by the preprinted cotton jersey Alabama Chanin created in collaboration with Spoonflower.  Spoonflower is a custom design print shop located in North Carolina that can print just about any design on any medium.

Notice the Spoonflower fabric on the coffee table

I knew this fabric would make the perfect holiday top and even better, I knew it would look great on top of the brunette corset fabric I had left over from an A.C. DIY kit I bought several years ago – but only made a one layer top at that time.  Using the brunette fabric would also make the new corset work with my Apple/Brunette Bloomers swing skirt – Bonus!


After laying the brunette pieces on the Spoonflower fabric it was just a matter of cutting,


and stitching inside the design shapes using brown thread, keeping half my knots on the right side and half on the wrong side.


Next I cut away the red for a negative reverse appliqué effect.


Left is stitched but not cut, center is stitched and cut, and right hasn’t been stitched yet

To sew the pieces together I chose inside felled seams with brown thread

Don’t you hate it when your thread is not quite long enough

I wanted a red binding on the neckline and armholes for a nice contrast but here is where I ran into a small problem.  The red of the Spoonflower fabric isn’t quite the same as either the Carmine or the Apple that I have on hand so I had to make a choice; if I went with Apple it would match my swing skirt better, but the Carmine was a bit closer to the red on the fabric and I have a bolero I’ve made in Carmine that would look great with this corset – in the end, Carmine won out.


And here is where I really went for it.  Because the shirt evokes the holiday spirit I decided to kick it up a notch and try beading for the very first time.  When I bought the corset oh so long ago, the DIY kit came with chop beads for the neckline.

I’m pretty good at the cretan stitch by now so it was much easier then I imagined.  I just needed to take a bit more care to bring my thread back up between the third and fourth chop bead on each stitch.

Pardon the next picture, I wish it was more beads and less chest but it does show the finished beading.  Note also that I’m wearing a camisole under the shirt – I find the corset a little low cut for me.  When I cut my own corset patterns in the future I’ll make sure I make modifications.


I wore the shirt a whole bunch this holiday season.  My favorite was with the bloomers skirt and a brown velvet cropped blazer (sorry, no picture).  The corset and skirt marry well and someone even complimented, “nice dress”.  Here I am wearing it with the Carmine bolero.  I think I need to add a band of beads to the sleeves of this bolero and it would be a great match.


I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and have a creative and artful 2017!

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