The Layering Project

One of the interesting concepts at Alabama Chanin is the “Build-A-Wardrobe” idea.  The concept is to create four key pieces each year that will be go-to staples.  I have to admit, in my fantasy world, I would only wear clothes I’ve made.  That said, I will always have a pair of jeans in my closet and I will probably never make a pair of jeans.  Anyway, I find the concept inspiring and I want to continue to add pieces that will coordinate with what I’ve already made so I can get a lot more wear and versatility out of my handsewn wardrobe.

When I finished my walking cape I realized I wanted to make something to go under it that carried forward the black and navy theme, but I couldn’t decide what.  I had bought a tank dress kit while I was at the factory but it was just navy (although, it will look smashing with the cape once I’m finished).  So, what to make …

When I was in Alabama I had brought quite a few things that I had made with me.  Okay, maybe it’s corny to wear AC clothes while you are at the AC workshop, but yeah, I did it.  The weather was a little cooler than I was hoping, it was November after all, so on day two I came up with a fun idea, I would layer my brunette corset over my natural tank and pair it with jeans.  I can’t believe I hadn’t thought to do it before.

It’s hard to see my brunette corset over my natural tank, because it is hidden by this gorgeous flora wrap scarf.  The story of the scarf is for another blog post once I’ve mastered the chain stitch.

I believe I have said it already, but the corset pattern is a little low in the bust area for my figure.  Reminds me of when I was growing up and some of the older boys in my neighborhood used to say to me, “well if you had something to hold it up.” I digress…

I loved the look of layering the tank and the corset so I decided to make a navy tank and a black corset.  I was hoping the pieces would look great together and there are a million other ways I can use these basics in my wardrobe.  Stitching up unembellished pieces only takes a few days and I could get it finished before my upcoming trip – even better!

I made the navy tank first.  Plain and simple and I have to say that on it’s own, meh.  BUT … after I finished I took it over to my rack of corset shirts I have been making from sports team T-shirts and what a great way to make those shirts more wearable and more special; just by putting a contrasting color tank underneath.

Then on to the black corset.  Since this was for layering purposes, I didn’t worry about altering the neckline yet; a lower neckline would do.  My initial plan was to just go simple but then I got to talking with my sister who suggested I put beading on the neckline the way I did with my Spoonflower corset.  Sure, why not.  Then I got to talking with my son and the next thing you know I’m adding bugle beads to the felled seams on the front of the shirt. I used black beads so it’s a very subtle but beautiful effect.

Here it is with the navy and black combined, and with the walking cape.





By the way, in these pictures I’ve paired the layers with the Rib Skirt


While I was on a “top” roll, I decided to make a sleeveless fitted top in Peacock.  A while back I had made a fitted skirt, tone-on-tone Peacock, Magdelena stencil from a DIY kit and I wanted a matching top.  It was fun to see if I could use this piece for layering as well.


Not sure about wearing it under the corset because it’s center seam but it works well over the tank or under an Alabama Chanin Crop Cardigan.

I’m really excited with my progress “building my wardrobe”.  Come this year’s Me Made May, with these additions I might be able to wear something I’ve made every day.

5 thoughts on “The Layering Project

  1. How inspiring! I love all the pictures-really helps me get an idea of what to make 🙂 I need to get some fabric for my poncho project. I miss sewing and miss you, more!


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