In January, we began a conversation about the intersection of Fashion, Craft, and DIY. That dialogue started with our friends at Vena Cava and progressed to our Makeshift events, and continues with adapting patterns from designers like Anna Sui and Donna Karan (one of my personal favorites that I wear often). This week we extend the conversation with a collaboration and pattern from textile designer Anna Maria Horner.

Below are instructions for Alabama Chanin’s basic version of Anna Maria’s dress pattern in Light Golden and Goldenrod, the newest colors in our hand-dyed, cotton jersey fabric collection. These fabric colors, like our Indigo and Coral, are hand-dyed in Nashville, Tennessee, using the osage orange wood and myrobalan fruit in varying amounts to create variation in shades.

Get started on your own your own Anna Maria Horner Painted Portrait Blouse or Dress à la Alabama Chanin:


Anna Maria Horner Painted Portrait Blouse Pattern
2 yards of 60”-wide organic cotton jersey (Plus smaller pieces if you plan on doing the pieced yoke like our version; see pattern instructions for further detail.)
1 spool Button Craft thread
Basic sewing supplies: fabric scissors, pins, needles, ruler, rotary cutter
Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style or Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: All three of these books contain the basic sewing and embroidery techniques we used to make our version of this dress.

In the Painted Portrait Blouse or Dress pattern, there are several different variations from which to choose. We opted for the dress version with pockets and a pieced yoke. Follow Anna Maria’s very concise instructions exactly as written for everything but the armhole and neck line finishing. Hand-sew all seams with a straight stitch, using a single strand of thread on our Alabama Chanin natural dyed organic cotton jersey. We omitted the lining of the front and back yoke, as our fabric is substantial enough that a lining is unnecessary. We also omitted the keyhole opening in the back yoke. We felled our seams for the dress above, but that is a matter of taste and desired style.

For the neckline and armholes, we applied our standard Alabama Chanin rib-binding with Cretan stitch, but any stretchable embroidery stitch (such as cross-stitch or herringbone stitch) will work as well. Leave hem raw.

Design Choices:

Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Fabric color – Light Golden (with Goldenrod and Natural in the yoke)
Button Craft thread — Cream #256

P.S.: Painted Portrait Dress is shown with our Cast Fabric Cuff in Platinum/Sterling, and don’t forget you can design your own Converse.


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Click to read 9 comments
  1. Paula

    The new colors are absolutely beautiful. I’m looking forward to working with them. Anna Maria’s pattern is for wovens and I see that this dress was made without making woven-to-knit changes to the pattern (other than eliminating facings). I’m curious about how that works – does it depend on the style of the garment?

  2. Brenda Marks

    This dress is terrific. I love the new color and the piecing on the yoke is just wonderful. Thanks for more inspiration!

  3. Heather

    What!!!??? Everytime you do one of these, I am shocked and amazed at how gorgeous it is! This is really lovely. These always challenge me to see my favorite patterns in a whole new light. Thank you SO much for all the inspiration that you freely share!

  4. Alabama Post author

    Thank you everyone. We love the response we get from our DIY Thursday projects. We have even more designer patterns lined up in the coming months.

  5. Angie

    Oh my I love this! I’m such a fan of Anna Maria’s style and have just recently fallen in love with your books! Just finished the woven ladder back chair today and I love it! I will be giving this dress a try for sure!

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