Alabama Studio Sewing + Design

When Natalie Chanin’s latest book “Alabama Studio Sewing + Design” arrived at my mailbox yesterday, my heart skipped several beats (don’t worry, I’m fine now). It’s her third book about hand-sewing and creating a sustainable wardrobe; and although I said this about her last book, this one is my all time favorite.

It features an entire wardrobe in all of my favorite non-colors: neutrals, grey and black.

The book is well organized with an infinite number of techniques and styles, a feast for the eyes and wonderful inspiration for any fabric manipulation.

I would wear any garment in this book, they are all beautiful, comfortable and can be dressed either up or down.

She offers essentially 2 patterns which can be transformed into skirts and dresses of various length. Her t-shirt pattern can be sewn with long, short or cap sleeves. Accessories include long fingerless gloves, a hat, poncho and wrap.

This book is more focused on sewing a wardrobe than her previous ones. For more images, see the preview here.

Alabama Chanin is also offering a give-away (enter until Sunday, Feb. 19), to win a unique Anna Sui dress, sewn “Chanin-style”.

It is not very likely that I will ever make an exact copy of any of her incredibly time-consuming garments. However, there are many ways to include elements of her designs into smaller projects. A seam on a skirt, a t-shirt hem, gloves or one of her simple wraps.

A fantastic addition to any library:

Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe
ISBN-10: 158479920X
ISBN-13: 978-1584799207

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12 Responses to “Alabama Studio Sewing + Design”

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  1. Vicki K says:

    Thank you for this review – having her other two books, I may have not given it as close a look as I now intend to do! These types of garments would be so enjoyable in the process of making them – I wouldn’t want to have a deadline to complete one looming over my head.

  2. frifris says:

    Oh, das sieht allerdings vielversprechend aus (nein, ich kaufe kein neues buch…nein, ich kaufe kein neues buch…nein…nein…). Ich bekomme da immer den Drang, alles anfassen zu wollen (man sollte die Bücher mit Stoffbeispielen verkaufen).

  3. I skimmed through one of her earlier books, but didn’t buy it. If you say this is your new favorite, perhaps it’s the one for me. It does look wonderful. Many of the projects look interesting and it would be a great resource book.

  4. Cafe Couture says:

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing

  5. Maria says:

    All of her projects are so beautiful. Yes, they are time consuming, but still so doable. I borrowed them from the library and they are just a luscious treat for the eyes :)

    I tend to make my own clothes but not from t-shirt fabric. I wanted to make my clothes by hand, but using the normal patterns. So far I have accomplished a vest and a skirt. This weekend is the blouse and finishing the embroidery on the vest, so that I can do a show & tell on Feb 29th. :)

  6. anna bello says:

    Troppo belle le cose che proponi…ogni volta che vleggo i tuoi post mi viene voglia di prendere in mano ago e filo!!! complimenti. Anna

  7. I couldn’t wait any longer, I just ordered the book. While I was at it I ordered another book, “Cut-Up Couture: Edgy Upcycled Garments to Sew.”
    I am excited! Thank you for the hot tip!

  8. k says:

    I think I am definitely going to pick this book up, even though, like you it seems, I will probably never follow any of her patterns exactly. The ideas are great for inspiration though, and while I like her other books that I have borrowed from the library, I like that this one is more wardrobe focused, which tends to be my interest.

  9. I’m with you, Kathrin! I think that this is Alabama Chanin’s best book yet. I’m in the middle of making an AC skirt right now (with beaded rose applique’!) but cannot wait to finish it so I can make some things out of the new book… the bucket hats, the simple tank tops, the bolero… and am especially excited to try some of the new stitches.. couching and the beaded ruffle stripe. And I think the beaded fern fabric on pg. 121 is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

  10. kathleen says:

    The book is beautiful and very inspiring. I have her other two books also. This is my favorite! I can’t wait to try some of the sewing and techniques!

  11. india says:

    ich hatte meinen Verlag gebeten ob wir nicht in jedes buch ein stoffexemplar einkleben koennten…dan haben wir gerechnet ich muesste so etwas wie 450 meter stoff per hand faerben, also hat’s leider nicht geklappt!

  12. india says:

    the work is fabulous and the books utterly delicious. and i agree about the choice of colours…gentle on the eye and soothing to the soul

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