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Alabama Stitch Book: Projects and Stories Celebrating Hand-Sewing, Quilting, and Embroidery for Contemporary Sustainable Style

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  264 ratings  ·  33 reviews
“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 c ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book
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Community Reviews

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I have had the Alabama Stitch Book for almost two years now. I pull it out now and again, read, look at pictures and put it back on the shelf. Lately I have begun to make good on my threat of sewing my own wardrobe though.

I have been sewing by hand since I was a little girl, so the sewing part was super easy. The cutting on the other hand not so much. It said to cut the T-shirt fabric so the grain line is going from the tip of the bandanna to the long end, the one you wrap around your head. Does
Jan 25, 2010 Trena rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Hip Young Things
I give this book four stars for its content, which is excellent and comprehensive. However, its Hipster Cowboy aesthetic is definitely not for me. I deliberately put the words in order with Hipster first and Cowboy second; although Chanin has returned home to Alabama the look is pure Brooklyn (where she lived while developing her style).

The idea is to use old t-shirts as the raw material for all the projects in the book, which is kind of cool (but, again, not my thing). The first section contain
Jul 30, 2008 Vanessa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sewers, crafty folks, green-thinkers
Recommended to Vanessa by: Katherine Newman
For several months, I had been thinking about making new clothes from old. I enjoy the process of sewing, creating something with my own two hands and knowing that the garment I am wearing was not made in some sweatshop overseas. I also like the idea of reusing something that is in good shape and avoiding the expense of purchasing brand new fabric. Then I heard about The Alabama Stitch Book and immediately got it out from my local library.

Natalie Chanin has created several projects for this book
Laurel Flynn
This book took me awhile to get through but only because I wanted to try some things out as I went. I truly appreciate this approach to sewing for two reasons: First, I am committed to the idea of reusing, remaking, repurposing as much as possible so that I continue away from consumerist excess, save money, and commit wearable art! Second, I like the trend toward "homemade" as not just an acceptable style but as something to be actively pursued.
I don't give this book a full five stars because I
Judith Bowman
I'm working my way through trying out these projects. I'm enjoying the hand sewing process as a portable way to keep my hands busy when I want to be busy and recapture lost time. It is sort of addicting though and I want to make more time for it in my schedule!
Adult nonfiction; sewing fashions. Natalie Chanin explains in detail the steps she goes through to make her unique clothing line--from picking out the fabric to deconstructing a t-shirt, and thorough instructions for doing embroidery, stenciling, beading, applique and reverse applique. She includes plenty of lovely projects and while I would probably never want to put that much time into a t-shirt or a table cloth or even a head scarf, I found the discussion of the techniques to be valuable, and ...more
As a lapsed hand stitcher, I loved reading this book. It is encouraging to find that someone else has a love for hand stitching and has developed it into an art form. I recommend this book from start to finish as a primer for anyone who wants to hand stitch clothing.
This is a great guide to hand-sewing, applique, and beading techniques. It includes detailed guides to several techniques and lots of projects complete with instructions, most of them pretty simple and well-suited to beginners. The illustrations are clear, detailed, and really helpful.

I actually want to pick up her other two books because I'm planning a wedding dress along these lines, but this book does not have a whole lot of details about garment construction- most of the projects in it don't
Michelle BF
I think I am in the category of "I like to look at pretty craft books but don't have time to do anything" category. I like the idea of repurposing clothing and this has some great ideas using quilting, stenciling and plain old "cut it up and resew it back together as something new" ideas! My favorite is the fabric mums (because I might have time to think of making something like this).

Alabama Stitch Book
Aug 26, 2008 Maggie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interesting in refashioning or upcycling t-shirts
I checked this book out of the library but it is definitely on my to-buy list. Unlike most of the other books I have read that discuss refashioning or reusing materials, this book actually has patterns and ideas that I would use and wear. Although Chanin really only uses cotton jersey there are a lot of good ideas in the book. Her clothes look pretty and comfortable. Great book with great idea's.
Meghan Pinson
last year's review: read this one sitting on the floor at borders, taking tiny notes into my little book. promptly went out and got buttonhole/carpet thread in five colors. am presently hording old t-shirts to dismantle and repurpose for AWESOMENESS.

right now: just finally bought it ... after coveting a book for over a year, it's time to just own it.
Pretty but, turns out, this book isn't really my cup of tea.

Despite this, one aspect that I connected with was the concept of loving the thread:
For which I thank Ms. Chanin and her creative team.
I love everything about this book, from the photography, to the unusual and beautiful stitching style, to the author's insistence on careful, thoughtful work. Natalie Chanin is an inspiration in her outlook and her accomplishments.
Aug 29, 2008 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: crafty types, handmakers, those who love sweet and awesome craft books
Shelves: craft-books
If you like the look of handstiched clothing, if you like a handmade t-shirt, skirt or kercheif, then this is the book for you. I loved it! I loved the pictures! I will soon try the projects!
I can't wait to make a bunch of the projects in the book. I'm probably going to buy it. I love making new things from old things! If only I had more time... oh what lovely things I could make!
Margaret Nieman
My knitting friends and I may have found a new passion with these lovely hand sewn projects! I hope I don't just dream about them, but actually do some:-)
This book is an exhaustive overview of the types of embroidery. I was looking for things like letters, not stitch types. Guess I'll keep looking.
Inspired me to try more hand sewing and beading on my personal garments. The content is lovely and graceful.
This book has opened by eyes to a whole new way of sewing. It's a book I plan on purchasing as soon as I can.
I think that I will continue to recycle my old t-shirts as nightgowns rather than sew corsets out of them.
Amazing! I want to run out, recycle some T-shirts, and start handstitching them into new clothes!
I really like the projects in here; I just don't know that I'll ever put them to practical use.
Oct 24, 2008 Lisa marked it as to-read
want to go to a workshop. have worked on t's embellishing. interesting. like art.
Finally, a sewing book that focuses on hand sewing! Love the projects in this book.
One of the best statements I've seen on fashion embellishment for clothing.
Megan Peck
Our library just got a copy and I'm super excited. Dorky, I know.
Some great sewing tips and really cool creative ideas!
Apr 02, 2008 Deb marked it as to-read
This woman creates amazing stuff!!!!!!!!!!
T-shirts and stencils and sequins, oh my!
reminds me of my history and inspires my future
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Natalie “Alabama” Chanin is owner and designer of the American couture line Alabama Chanin and author of Alabama Stitch Book (STC – February 2008) and the upcoming Alabama Studio Style (STC – March 2010).

Her designs for hand-sewn garments constructed using quilting and stitching techniques from the rural south have been lauded for both their beauty and sustainability. Made from 100% Certified Org
More about Natalie Chanin...

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