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Alabama Stitch Book: Projects and Stories Celebrating Hand-Sewing, Quilting, and Embroidery for Contemporary Sustainable Style Hardcover – March 1, 2008


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Alabama Stitch Book: Projects and Stories Celebrating Hand-Sewing, Quilting, and Embroidery for Contemporary Sustainable Style + Alabama Studio Style: More Projects, Recipes & Stories Celebrating Sustainable Fashion & Living + Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe
Price for all three: $74.57

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584796383
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584796381
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 8.9 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Natalie Chanin, a former costume designer and fashion stylist, is the founder and head designer of Alabama Chanin. She has been featured in Vogue, Time, The New York Times, and on CBS News, and her work has been recognized by CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards, the Alabama Council for the Arts, and Aid to Artisans, among others. In 2006 she was selected for membership by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Robert Rausch is an award-winning photographer and creative director whose client list includes Anthropologie, Whole Foods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Elton John, and Paloma Picasso.






More About the Author

Natalie "Alabama" Chanin is owner and designer of the American couture line Alabama Chanin and author of Alabama Stitch Book (STC - February 2008, Alabama Studio Style (STC - February 2010, and Alabama Studio Sewing + Design (STC - February 2012). Her designs for hand-sewn garments constructed using quilting and stitching techniques from rural America have been lauded for both their beauty and sustainability. Made from 100% Certified Organic Cotton combined with up-cycled and re-purposed materials by artisans located near Natalie's home in Florence, Alabama, her designs have earned accolades from peers and journalists alike.

Natalie's work in the fashion industry began in the year 1988 in the New York City fashion district working in the Junior Sportswear industry. From New York, Natalie moved to Europe in 1990 where she worked for ten years as a stylist and costume designer for film and photography.

However, Natalie's life work began in the year 2000 with the invention of Project Alabama. Natalie returned to her home in Florence, Alabama to produce a collection of 200 one-of-a-kind, up-cycled t-shirts, along with the 22-minute documentary film "Stitch" - about old-time quilting circles in her community. Project Alabama grew quickly and became a full collection fashion company, added business partners, lost business partners, all the while earning respect from editors and stores around the world.

In the year 2006, Project Alabama ceased operations in the state of Alabama. Rather than choosing to outsource, Natalie made the decision to adhere to the original mission of Project Alabama and launched Alabama Chanin where she continues to create limited-edition, rendered-by-hand, jewelry, clothing, home furnishing and textiles using a mixture of organic and recycled materials with local talent. Based on the thought that good design should be a part of everyday living, Alabama Chanin gives modern context to techniques that have been passed down through generations of women and men.

The artisans who work with Alabama Chanin represent this generational span. Stitchers aged in their early 20s work alongside those in their late 70s, producing garments in the spirit of the traditional quilting bee. Each collection emphasizes quality, detail, craftsmanship, and style while each piece is a labor of love signed by the artisan who hand-stitched every seam.

Natalie has a Degree in Environmental Design from North Carolina State University and works simultaneously as designer, manufacturer, stylist, filmmaker, mother, artisan, cook and collector of stories from her home in Florence, Alabama.

Customer Reviews

The Alabama Stitch book by Natalie Chanin is a breathtakingly beautiful book.
Kay Ray
Give this book a try it will really make you happy to create some of the projects in this book.
Kathy L. Martin
The book is well written, and the photos and instructions are clear and concise.
Annamaria Femling

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Kathy L. Martin on March 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I had pre-ordered this book and kind of forgot about it. When it arrived on a particularly over cast day it was a wonderful surprise. This is a beautiful book. I love the history that she starts out with as well as the incredibly beautiful projects. I am going to be making the skirt that is featured in the book. Natalie also has a Alabama Stitch blog that lists tons of sources for materials in which to make the garments. What I like about the projects is one you have the base garment finished you can bring your item with you where ever you go and stitch to your delight. I love some of the beading that is added to some of the projects. If you want to get your socks blown off check out Natalie's Project Alabama website. If only I was rich I would be buying every single garment she makes. I have been truly inspired by this book and I think that is what it is designed to do. I am going to take her basic technique and make it my own by designing my own stencils. This book is worth every penny if you haven't figured it out by now. Destined to be one of my favorite craft/sewing books ever. Enjoy!

Since writing the above review I have made 4 skirts and two bandanas and I am working on a very complicated skirt right now. I have bought my own air brush machine and have made my own stencil designs. I have emailed Alabama Chanin a number of times and they have been quite helpful. Natalie has a store on her website in which you can buy all the supplies that are talked about in her book. The t-shirt fabric that she sells is just wonderful. I have gotten so much satisfaction from making these garments. Don't be put off by the multiple steps in which to complete a project. She does a fantastic job explaining all of the steps and it really isn't as difficult as it seems.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Wendy McCormick on March 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have admired Natalie Chanin's clothing for some time now. I have completed the corset shown in this book, completely hand-stitched and beautiful! Chanin gives you all the tools and information needed to complete this project and many more. It comes with stencils, full-scale patterns, and so many projects... I can't wait to do them all! I am by no means a seamstress, or even that good at sewing, but these projects are so easy, with such beautiful pictures and illustrations, even a novice like me can make amazing clothing! Thank you, Natalie, for sharing your vision and creative gifts with us all!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Monica K. Teem on February 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I had long anticipated the arrival of this book -and- am not one bit dissapointed with it.
It is beautifully photographed and written. I find it incredibly inspiring and easy to understand in the explanation of the process involved in producing Project Alabama styled garments & accessories.
With that said, it definitely helps to have a background in sewing and needlework to created their pieces. I wouldn't reccommend jumping into the projects without first having built up basic sewing and embroidery skills.
If you have admired anything from Project Alabama, you need this book.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By San Diego Traveller on September 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a nice book though the directions and techniques are complicated and expensive to make if you go buy knit fabric. And for most of the adult stuff like the skirt, you do need to buy fabric as ther is no way you could find the number of t-shirts at Goodwill of the same color to make it look decent and not like you are a bag-lady. The "fold-over" elastic is very difficult to find and there is no indication that you have to dye it to match your fabric. So there is alot of reading in between the lines if you want to do this technique.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jaime Hayes on August 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me begin by saying that I am a self taught intermediate level sewer. The book was beautifully photographed and well written but I found most of the patterns a little bit too complicated and time consuming. I made the t-shirt corset on pg 155 first, using an old t-shirt of my husbands and hand sewing- it took about 6 hours from start to finish and it didn't turn out well enough to wear. I found the exposed seams looked a little sloppy and 'homemade' but not in a good way. Next I tried the reverse applique corset, it took 3 hours just to make the all over stencil and the finished product looked primitive, not couture. I don't think you could really use old t-shirts to make the skirts unless you are very small, I am a size 10 and couldn't find enough matching t's to complete the pattern. Maybe a more experienced sewer could make these patterns work but I found them all a bit too tedious.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. B. Dian on May 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd recently purchaged Alabama Studio Sewing + Design and was wildly impressed with the embellishment techniques (who would ever think of using fine embroidery techniques on jersey?) so I bought this book as an additional resource. It's a fine book for craft projects, but, given a choice between the two, I much prefer Alabama Studio Sewing and Design. It has less happy fluff stuff and more technique knowledge. This is a very nice book and would make a lovely gift, but I prefer the other Chanin book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By karin on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Each of these books on its own is wonderful, but having the complete trilogy really expands your options! I buy a lot of art/craft/DIY books that I may enjoy looking at, but rarely use. These books are so well done you can't help but start pulling out the patterns in the back and confidently cutting up fabric. I've always had a desire to sew, but have a long history of failure with sewing machines. I was so pleased to pick up one of Natalie's books and find that it is actually possible to hand sew an entire wardrobe, from simple to elaborate, with just a needle and thread. The designs are lovely and the instructions are perfect. I could not be more pleased. Thank you Natalie!
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