Alabama Chanin tank from souvenir t-shirt

(This post is actually a repost from an old blog of mine, I felt inspired to share this project after reading recent posts from other bloggers sharing Alabama Chanin projects. I have made countless projects from Natalie Chanin’s books over the past few years and have enjoyed using her techniques as springboards for my own adaptations for upcycling t-shirts.)

I found this wonderful XL, souvenir T-shirt from Washington D.C. at my local Goodwill. I thought it would be perfect to make a hand-stitched tank top found in Natalie Chanin’s second book, Alabama Studio Style.
(If you’re interested,

I decided to dye the shirt Orchid because I thought it would contrast nicely with the gold colors in the image.

Next, I cut the pieces out for the fitted tank. I had just enough fabric from the XL T-shirt to squeeze out all the pattern pieces. XXL T-shirts are actually more suitable for this project.

The entire garment is hand-stitched. I settle in on the couch and get myself in a mediative state of mind when I’m ready to begin stitching. I decided to use red thread for the seams and gold thread for the neckline and armholes. I always use contrasting thread on these projects as the hand-stitching is part of the design, and should be featured rather than blended in.

Here’s the finished tank. My favorite model wasn’t around for me to photograph for this post.

This post was shared on Sew Country Chick.


3 comments on “Alabama Chanin tank from souvenir t-shirt

  1. What a cool design! I like the way the cut up picture turned out!

  2. Sonja says:

    Hi! I love your recycled tank!!! I have the two other books of Alabama Chanin but neither explain how to recycle eg a t-shirt. Can you tell me if this book is different from the others? Should I buy it?
    Thank you πŸ™‚

    • loribeilby says:

      There are some specific examples of using t-shirts in “Alabama Stitch Book.” But it’s really nothing more than cutting out pattern pieces from an XL t-shirt. But I have used the tank top pattern in this book several times, and do like it better than the tank top pattern in “Alabama Studio Style” the only other Alabama Chanin book I have.

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