Alabama Stitch Book

Alabama Stitch Book

Projects and Stories Celebrating Hand-sewing, Quilting, and Embroidery for Contemporary Sustainable Style

Book - 2008
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Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
“Haute homespun out of the Deep South.” That’s how Vogue magazine has described the fashion of Natalie Chanin. Alabama Stitch Book brings us a collection of projects and stories from her clothing and lifestyle company, Alabama Chanin, known for the cutting-edge twist it puts on tried-and-true sewing, quilting, and embroidery techniques, applied mostly by hand to recycled cotton jersey.

This long-awaited book from Chanin begins with her story. After living in New York and Vienna for over 20 years, she began to transform cotton T-shirts into high fashion using the needlework skills she learned as a child in Florence, Alabama. When she moved home, Chanin hired local women (many of whom had worked in the state’s now defunct textile factories) to stitch her couture collections with her.

What follows is a step-by-step guide to the stitching, stenciling, and beading techniques used in the 20 projects showcased in the book: T-shirts, skirts, and corsets that are sold at chic shops around the world, plus a journal cover, sampler quilt, and tablecloth, among others. Also included are a pullout stencil, perforated postcard for bead-embroidery, and reusable patterns. Throughout are Robert Rausch’s beautiful photographs set against the back roads, farms, and homesteads of the rural South.

Publisher: New York : Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008.
ISBN: 9781584796381
Characteristics: 176 p. : col. ill. ; 23 x 28 cm.


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minerva Feb 24, 2016

Natalie Chanin's first book; some fun ideas, and a good intro to her design philosophy.

Sep 05, 2014

What I liked most about the book is that if you want, you can make the projects from upcycled old t-shirts. The projects are nice, and I could see making them out of bought jersey fabric if you didn't want to spend time hunting thrift stores to find appropriate t-shirts. I like the hand sewing aspect - I find hand sewing soothing and think that I get better control - but I'm waiting to get the book back before I finish my project, so I will suspend judgement on how sturdy hand sewing is (but I'm hoping that since if you go several generations back, all that people did was hand sew, then it must be possible to make strong enough hand stitches - but I'll see if mine are up to it!)

Mar 15, 2014

This is a great book for sewing with cotton jersey. I made a recycled printed skirt and it's one of my favourite skirts.. Knits are super comfy.

Apr 26, 2012

Some interesting ideas about layering knits and treatment of knits. I can see handsewing the layers together, but handsewing the seams in a cotton jersey knit just says "wardrobe malfunction" to me. Worth a read for the author's dedication to her topic.


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