Saturday, January 12, 2013

Alabama Chanin--Deconstruct Beautifully

I first saw this book, Alabama Studio Sewing  Design at a luncheon, where Katherine, of Room For Sewing was showing her copy.  She had used one of the techniques in the book as inspiration for a ruffle on a skirt.  After browsing through that book, I knew I had to have it.

Alabama Chanin is the brand of a very expensive clothing line sold at upscale boutiques.  The owner, Natalie Chanin, wrote this book of techniques and projects that the company uses for their garments.  The clothes are primarily organic cotton jersey and have a deconstructed, rough quality--raw edges, exposed seams, etc.  Garments are embellished with applique, reverse applique, fabric tubes, embroidery and beads.


This deconstructed way of sewing is something that I would struggle with, yet I find in fascinating.  I've seen the unfinished look a lot in the last few years, but probably to to the extent of the Alabama garments.  Since I seem to be drawn to it, I may try something on a small scale.

There are two other books by Natalie Chanin--Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Style Studio.  I may have to give those a look, too.

My pants are cut and ready to sew.  But instead, I'm sitting here, doing this!

10 Talk to me:

Corrine said...

I think the look is charming on a certain person, particularly young, artsy, bohemian. I am not that person, but the techniques sound interesting. And I too am doing this!

Faye Lewis said...

Looking forward to seeing your deconstruction project Gwen.

alethia said...

I am looking forward to seeing the completion of your pants

badmomgoodmom said...

Originally, she worked with vat-dyed post-consumer t-shirts. But, the limitations of the condition of the shirts and the size of the available fabric pieces pushed her into using new fabric. In order to be as environmentally benign as possible, she sourced domestic organic cotton.

I made a skirt with 4 old t-shirts, adapting her techniques to partial machine construction--I call it the abridged version.
http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2010/01/alabama-stitch-book-condensed-version.html

It's not too arty for everyday wear. I get many compliments every time I wear it.

Sister said...

I glanced at that book in the bookstore, just trying to figure out the Alabama connection. Eager to see what you come up with!

RhondaBuss said...

I just bought this book and have enjoyed going through it. I had purchased I think the Style Studio book and enjoyed it enough to prompt me to buy this book. Whether I do any of her designs or not, I feel that inspiration is gleaned and that's always a good thing.

zippiknits said...

Holy Cow this looks like the 60's, but in a nice way. We did raw sort of patchwork clothing, and hem-less self dyed shirts, pants and skirts. It wasn't all psychedelia, either. I love Chanin's design, and what she's done for textile workers in the South. She's great.

Sharon said...

Indigotiger works some gorgeous tops in this style, she is at http://artisanry.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/holey-moley-and-pinch-of-wishful.html
I look forward to seeing what you create.

Lisa H. said...

I have that book too. I can't wait to see what you do with it.I know it will be something awesome.

Audrey said...

I have all three books and pull them out when I am looking for inspiration for art to wear type projects.

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