the alabama skirt and freezer paper love

March 30th, 2010


The reverse applique swing skirt from Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin has been on my to do list for so long now, so long that she has written and published a new book in the mean time. I thought I might be able to make this skirt in time for easter, but it is far from finished. I’m not quite sure if it will work anyway. I went to Joann’s to get the cotton jersey called for and of course they don’t carry cotton jersey.  Poopy Joann’s, almost without fail they will be out of or not stock exactly what I what I go there for.   So instead of cotton jersey I got two different fabrics: the blue is a knit interlock and the purple is a rayon jersey. I don’t know if the blue is stretchy enough. I thought maybe the super stretch rayon jersey would make up for it, but then the fabric paint I got at poopy Michaels is hard and scratchy and it might keep the fabric from stretching even more.  Michaels used to carry the nice jacard fabric paint, but they stopped and switched to the cheapy kind. I need to plan ahead so I won’t have to go to these damn stores.


So we’ll see if it works. I might have to make it all again, but it’s actually been kind of fun so far. And I love me some freezer paper stencils. Printing this pattern over and over really makes me want to print my own fabric (for what, meg? more projects, really you need more projects?).  It wouldn’t actually be that hard now that I’ve discovered the lazy man’s way to use stencils.


and now for the lazy man’s freezer paper tip:

When I was making this skirt I didn’t want to cut 20 or 30 leaf stencils, so I cut 3 and used them over and over again.  I couldn’t wait for the stencils to dry between uses (time is precious! the baby is napping!) so I put another piece of freezer paper over the stencil, plasticy side down, and ironed over both. Then I gently peeled the top freezer paper off and voila! the stencil was ready to use again. The paint was still wet on the stencil, but as long as there are not glops of it, it won’t come of or bleed onto your fabric. The stencil might come loose a little in places when you peel off the top sheet, but this is the lazy man’s way after all, if you want perfect, well then do it your way miss perfect.

Posted in craft, sewing.

18 Responses to the alabama skirt and freezer paper love

  1. tammie says:

    ok, i’ve been motivated to de-lurk today to say that the “poopy joanns” comment cracked me up.

    im about to move to bigger city and im so excited that i’ll have access to the crafty supplies that i want and will no longer have to settle or order stuff online and then wait two weeks for the stuff to complete a project that i want to do RIGHT NOW.

    so yeah, i know well the frustration you speak of.

  2. Megan Berry says:

    Oooh, I can feel myself being inspired to try this technique!

  3. madebymegs says:

    I never thought of using freezer paper for making stencils….you make this look so easy, that I will have to try it. Thank you for the great idea :)

  4. Wendy says:

    Meg — you are my new blog crush! I am all over the “poopy Joann’s” and “poopy Michael’s” feelings.

    I just futzed around with freezer paper for the first time this weekend and my head is spinning with all the stuff I want to try with it. I was wondering if I could re-use the stencils so I’m glad you did the work for me to find out.

  5. amber says:

    I always have that same experience with joanns, but yesterday, was an epic journey. for once i found everything i needed. i love this book!

  6. NIcki says:

    Did you check Joann’s $5 fabrics. I just picked up 100% cotton knit to make this same skirt. It came in three or four different colors, I wish now that I had picked up a lot.

  7. mixette says:

    Haha! I too am motivated by the spot-on-ness of the “poopy Joanne’s” remark to leave my first comment.

    I have become *obsessed* with making the japanese owls from the Moonstitches tutorial that I’m sure I found through your blog. I need to buy more stuffing but can’t seem to work myself up to go to poopy joanne’s and purchase the crap stuffing from the weirdo cashiers.

  8. Anna says:

    that is so cool. I’ve been meaning to take a look at that book, seems like it’s pretty cool.

  9. Jacqui says:

    I’ve been wanting to do some freezer-paper stencilling but the idea of having to cut a whole bunch was so daunting I’ve not ever started! Re-using them is just the ticket for a lazy person like me :) Can I ask though, with the extra bit of freezer paper you use to iron over the painted one, do you use a new piece every time or reuse that one as well? (I’m cheap as well as lazy you see)

  10. Maria says:

    That blue one looks like Joann’s indigo interlock. I do think it’s a pretty color, but like most here, I’m constantly frustrated by their insistent refusal to carry cotton jersey. Their knits section sucks so much! It drives me crazy!… And cocoa interlock, the one I usually can use on my projects is never there when I need it.

    I keep fantasizing of moving to a real city where good fabric stores are in abundance and I no longer have to rely on Joann – the “best” local choice available.

  11. britt says:

    You will love the skirt. the jersey you bought should work fine. I used super cheap wal-mart fabric paint and my skirt came out wonderfully. as a matter of fact I am wearing it today!! you can check mine out here:

    My skirt was made from old t-shirts. I recently bought some jersey from JoAnn’s to make some outfits out of the new alabama book, too.

  12. Krista says:

    I’m all for lazy! Thanks for the tip on reusing the stencil.

    JoAnn’s does suck, but they’re off of my sh!t list lately because they had a huge bolt of Kona Ash, which I couldn’t find anywhere.

  13. jasmine says:

    I like your blog a lot!

    I’m just curious… I’ve heard of freezer paper, but I can’t seem to find it in Montreal. Is it something like wax paper?
    What does the box look like??



  14. Ane Tempelmann says:

    Hey Meg .I love thwe book, Ive made the corsett like top but that cool skirt is still outstanding… nice work.

  15. dorie says:

    oh, thank you for the tips. I am cutting a tank from the second book, and thinking of stencil repeats was giving me a little anxiety. I think freezer paper it the way to go.

    PS, above easter dress is awesome.

  16. Emma says:

    I love the colors you chose! I have this book and daydream about making things out of it but have yet to even try. You inspire me to pull it back out again…

  17. […] started this skirt right before Easter I think. It sounds like it took a ridiculous amount of time, but there would be […]

  18. Heather D says:

    Love it!!! I’m in the market to make a cute skirt. Thanks for the pattern idea – what a great book.