Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: Alabama Chanin

I frequently purchase books on crafting, recycling, sewing, knitting, get the picture. Although I've only been crafting for a short time I have gone head over heels for craft books. My most recent addition is Alabama Stitch Book: Projects and Stories Celebrating Hand-Sewing, Quilting and Embroidery for Contemporary Sustainable Style. Let me say that I adore this book. I've already read it cover to cover. The photos are beautiful and inspiring. The projects are within reach for even the novice stitcher. What I love most are that she combines beautiful, well-crafted design with refashioning. She takes old tshirt, some dual-duty thread, and a few simple designs and makes art. I am excited to try nearly ever single project in the book, which is a rarity for me. Her clear instructions, easily accessible notions, included patterns and stencils ensure that you are ready to craft. My only complaint is that the patterns attached in the book are double sided and need to be photocopied, but unfortunately they are an unwieldy size and double-sided so the markings bleed through on the copies. However, this is easily corrected by using pattern paper and tracing over the top. You could even use copy paper and tape it together, then hold it all up to a brightly lit window an accomplish the same thing if needed. In the end, I can't heap enough praise on this book for it's beautiful, understated simplicity. With the guidance and inspiration from this book you can begin crafting your own heirloom pieces from reclaimed fabric. High fashion style can be had by everyone for just a few dollars. It's a reminder that fashion belongs to all of us and with some hard work and a little imagination you can make truly remarkable things. Most of all, the easy-wearing cotton jersey fabric is something that can be as a casual as a tank top or as fancy as a beaded formal skirt, everything is what you make it. Once you've picked up your copy of the book, be sure to check out the Alabama Chanin website which has DIY kits, projects, a blog and more.

Here's a project that was published by Ecouterre, a website devoted to sustainable fashion design:
DIY Nation
Refresh Your Wardrobe With Alabama Chanin’s DIY Circle-Spiral Appliqué
by Natalie "Alabama" Chanin, 06/30/10

Book Review by Elizabeth of, Fashion:Remix Team Leader.

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