Jersey Stitching Experiments Inspired by Alabama Chanin

One of the companies whose philosophy and style I admire is Alabama Chanin. Separate from the work created for Part 5 of my course, I made a series of swatches using a simple running stitch, appliqué and reverse appliqué. The design was loosely inspired by a collage I created earlier in the course in response to a photograph taken for my Creative Arts Today coursework:

The swatches were all made from two layers of different tones of 100% organic cotton blue jersey made by Craft Cotton Co. The top two samples have been stitched and then the excess jersey fabric of the top layer has been cut away from the outside of the stitching. By contrast the bottom two samples have been stitched but the top layer has been cut away from within the stitched shapes.

I found it interesting that by using the same technique, colours of jersey, and stitching a similar design created four surprisingly different samples. I had expected the bottom left sample to be the one I would like the least and yet I think it is my favourite. Whether this is because the stitching is more dominant on the darker fabric compared to the light blue counterpart, I am not certain.

If turned vertically and using natural colours, even this simple wavy design could be made to look like bark or the technique could be used to suggest a wide number of themes and influences. This is an exciting technique and one that I have started teaching others during the sessions run by Purple Iris. I am eager to see what other designs and combinations people come up with once they are confident with the technique.

[All links accessed 12/9/19]

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