GETTING IN THE MOOD (AGAIN)

This post originally ran on November 12, 2011. I’m making the pie again today for our guests who will arrive in the coming days.

Happy Thanksgiving week… we’ve got lots to be thankful for.
xoNatalie

My daughter Maggie has been decorating the house for Thanksgiving this last week. In fact, she went directly from Halloween to a strange mixture of Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one.  (Yes, our holiday tree us up and mostly decorated.) All this festiveness – along with the sound of too loud holiday music and too many left-over pumpkins – has moved us directly from unicorn costumes to Thanksgiving delights.

My friend Stacy orders tamales from Texas to celebrate the holidays. I have an uncle that believes pilgrims would have preferred steaks and potatoes so he spends the day grilling. At the farm, we eat a load of Gulf seafood in Low-Country Boil style off of a wooden board across the tailgate of the truck.  I am also somewhat of a traditionalist at heart and delight in the staples – no Thanksgiving comes without dressing.  (Gulf Shrimp + Dressing – you don’t know what you are missing until you have tried it!)   However, despite the fact that most consider it a staple, I’ve never been one to put a pumpkin pie on my holiday table. I actually have always had a strong dislike for the most revered of Thanksgiving desserts. Then I tried this recipe.

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 11.24.2014 – 11.28.2014

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 11.24.2014 – 11.28.2014

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – Cicero

Please note that The Factory Store and Café will be closed Thursday, November 27 to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, November 24 – Friday, November 28:

STORE

Join us on Friday, November 28 for our annual Black Friday sale. Shop in-store and online to receive 25% off your total purchase (some restrictions apply).

The Factory Store and Café will also be open on November 29 as we participate in Small Business Saturday. Stop by The Factory to shop locally and receive 25% off your in-store purchase.

There’s still time to pre-order the fourth installment from our Alabama Studio Series, Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns. All pre-orders will ship in the spring with a special surprise. When you pre-order a copy, you can request to receive an electronic postcard at checkout that can be easily printed and wrapped for a holiday present.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm; Saturday, 10:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Join us for lunch at The Factory Café this week and enjoy our fresh, seasonal offerings.

Just in time for holiday celebrations, we now have freshly baked whole cakes available to purchase for $38 each from The Factory Café. Please give at least a 24-hour notice when placing your order.

Also, don’t forget to check out our ready-to-go items like fresh ciabatta bread, egg salad, pimento cheese, and our soup of the day.

Café Hours
Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 3:00pm; Saturday, 11:00am – 2:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am, but coffee and snacks are available all day.

Below is the menu for Monday, November 24; check back each day for an updated menu.

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

HEIRLOOM IN THE MAKING: MIKE’S CROSS

CROSS-1 Over the past months, we have been exploring heirlooms through ongoing Journal posts. Our intention is to look at the things we hold dear and examine how we find meaning in our personal heirlooms and mementos – even if those things don’t necessarily have great monetary value. The Heirloom series is meant to celebrate things that last and the things that we assign meaning to in our lives. This week, we look at the process of creating something with intention – the act of making something designed to last and assigning a meaning to that object from its inception. Our friend and Journal contributor Sara shares stories of her late father-in-law, told from the perspective of some of his children: A few months ago, my family suffered a loss with the passing of my father-in-law, who we all called Mike. It was a heartbreaking time but, as is often the case, the painful loss provided the opportunity to share memories, spend time together, grieve, and heal. The ironic part of the rituals surrounding a death – the preparations, family gatherings, storytelling – is that you constantly look at one another and think: He would have loved to be here… He would have loved this. My husband, Kory, has six siblings. They rarely see one another. We don’t live terribly close to most of them and, though we might have great intentions of visiting one another (or at least calling more often), inevitably life happens. Days and weeks and months and seasons pass with only brief “hellos”, the occasional text message, or the rare visit. When Mike passed away, we all found ourselves in the same room, thrust upon one another in the middle of life. We were brothers and sisters, spouses and children, nieces and mothers and aunts and uncles – together with one terrible agenda settling in over the room. But, as happens, there are things that must be done, plans to be made, decisions to ponder, meals to cook, and logistics to navigate. You begin the tricky balance of working, grieving, and healing. Your loss is personal and it is also communal. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

VOGUE #V8860 (AN ALABAMA CHANIN DIY COAT)

VOGUE-COAT-01

One of our more popular series of do-it-yourself posts has been our ongoing adaptation of commercially available patterns in the Alabama Chanin style. Among the patterns we have reworked are: a dress from an Anna Sui Vogue pattern, two variations of a Vogue dress from Vena Cava, an open-sourced jacket pattern from Yohji Yamamoto, and other varied pieces.

This series first began as a part of our ongoing Makeshift conversations that explore the intersection of design, craft, food, DIY, and fashion. With this series, we look at makers of all sorts and embrace open-source knowledge, materials, and patterns to create new conversations and collaborations.

We know that it takes skill and patience to complete a garment from another designer’s pattern; however, personalizing those garments—bringing your own body shape, style, and design sensibilities to existing patterns—is sometimes the only option for creating garments that truly fit your life and lifestyle. (You will find much more on this idea of customizing a wardrobe in our upcoming book Alabama Studio Sewing Patternswhich is now available for pre-order.)

We are excited to resume this important experiment with a Vogue coat pattern. I’m in love with the results.

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

HOMEMADE CURAÇAO

HOMEMADE CURACAO

We have reached that time of the year when, even in Alabama, we have to accept that winter has arrived. While there are many things to celebrate during colder months, the early frosts are the hardest to embrace. So, we were excited when guest contributor Jesse Goldstein offered up a bit of a tropical concoction for this month’s cocktail post. Enjoy:

Although I hesitate to admit it, I once thought of Curaçao as the blue stuff that went into supposed “fancy” drinks. Of course, this was in my early college years back when I felt very grown up ordering Rum and Coke. What I’ve learned over the years is that Curaçao isn’t always blue, has an amazing history, and, when made properly, is worthy of even the most discerning palate.

HOMEMADE CURACAO

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

NEW: ALABAMA CHANIN CANDLES

NEW: ALABAMA CHANIN CANDLES

Our Alabama Chanin Candles, with a seasonal Grapefruit + Watercress scent, are the newest addition to Home + Table. Hand-poured in Mississippi, the soy candles feature our floral Magdalena pattern and a graphic Diamond design, inspired by vintage glassware that I’ve collected over the years.

Once you burn your candle, clean the 6 oz. votive with boiling water, and reuse it to hold odds-and-ends, as a salt canister—or my favorite—a tumbler for juice, wine, or cocktails.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY @ THE FACTORY

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY @ THE FACTORY

In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday as a way to help small businesses gain local attention, and in turn, more customers. Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday—two of the biggest (and busiest) shopping days of the year, occurring at big box retail locations and e-commerce platforms, respectively. The day encourages consumers to make an impact in their neighborhood and community by shopping at small businesses instead of major retailers.

Over the past several years, this shopping day has grown into something of a movement. Small Business Saturday has been officially recognized by the U.S. Senate, and politicians all over the nation (including President Obama) have expressed their support. Each year, more and more communities and businesses get involved and promote the importance of shopping “small”. It is the hope of all those participating that this, the fifth year of Small Business Saturday, is the biggest one yet.

For the first time since opening last November, The Factory Store + Café at Alabama Chanin will be open on Saturday, November 29th, as part of Small Business Saturday; and, per many requests, we will begin keeping shop hours each following Saturday. This decision came about in order to make our storefront and café more easily accessible to those who may work during the week or live too far away for a weekday visit. (Weekend road trip, anyone?)

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 11.17.2014 – 11.21.2014

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 11.17.2014 – 11.21.2014

“I’m grateful for always this moment, the now, no matter what form it takes.” – Eckhart Tolle

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, November 17 – Friday, November 21:

STORE

Join us on Monday, November 17 for Third Mondays @ The Factory. Come and connect with fellow sewers and share inspiration while working on your latest project.

The Factory Store and Café will be open on November 29 as we participate in Small Business Saturday. Stop by The Factory to shop locally and receive 25% off your in-store purchase.

There’s still time to pre-order the fourth installment from our Alabama Studio Series, Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns. All pre-orders will ship in the spring with a special surprise. When you pre-order a copy, you can request to receive an electronic postcard at checkout that can be easily printed and wrapped for a holiday present.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Join us for lunch at The Factory Café this week and enjoy our fresh, seasonal offerings.

Just in time for holiday celebrations, we now have freshly baked whole cakes available to purchase for $38 each from The Factory Café. Please give at least a 24-hour notice when placing your order.

Also, don’t forget to check out our ready-to-go items like fresh ciabatta bread, egg salad, pimento cheese, and our soup of the day.

Café Hours
Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 3:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am, but coffee and snacks are available all day.

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

REAL WOMEN: SOLA

REAL WOMEN: SOLA

Do you remember your first day of school? I don’t remember the actual day, but I do have photos of myself, standing outside my first grade classroom, smiling, wearing a plaid dress and knee socks. I do remember my children’s first school days—the nervous excitement they showed and the bittersweet pride I felt at witnessing this important milestone. While I don’t take those moments for granted, there was never a doubt that those moments would come. It’s common now to see Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram light up with school photos that document every moment of our children’s educational lives. A few months ago, I received an email from an old friend that provided some much-needed perspective.

The email offered a link to a Ted Talk by a woman named Shabana Basij-Rasikh, co-founder of SOLA—Afghanistan’s first all-girl boarding school. The word “sola” means “peace” in the Pashto language, but it is also an acronym for School of Leadership, Afghanistan. Shabana was 6 years old when the Taliban took over Afghanistan and made it illegal for girls to go to school. So, for five years, her family dressed her as a boy and sent her to a secret school to learn. Even at this young age, she understood the risks that she—and her parents—were undertaking. She would walk for 30 minutes, even an hour, to schools. The locations would move, and she would walk different paths each day; sometimes class would take place in the morning and other times in the afternoon.

REAL WOMEN: SOLA

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

2015 SWATCH OF THE MONTH

SWATCH OF THE MONTH 2015

In 2014, we were inspired by our extensive fabric library—and readers expressed interest in trying new techniques—to create our first Swatch of the Month Club. Our library of sample swatches archives over 500 techniques, embroideries, fabric treatments, and colorways that we have experimented with or used in past and upcoming Alabama Chanin collections.

If you have visited one of our trunk shows or attended a workshop, you have likely browsed giant binders of these swatches. Each individual sample represents a small moment in our company’s history and growth—as a whole, they represent a decade of design history. In 2015, we are offering a new Swatch of the Month Club with an expanded selection of stencils and techniques. We learned a few things about this process during our 2014 run and have updated the program this year to reflect those lessons and streamline, saving packaging and reducing our carbon-footprint.

When you enroll in Swatch of the Month 2015, you will receive the full year’s necessary notions (thread, embroidery floss, and a label), along with the first month’s swatch in a beautifully wrapped box. For those who want to add additional embellishment to swatches, you have the option to add 6oz. of chop beads, 6oz. of bugle beads, and 1oz. of sequins for an extra $30—or you may choose to purchase sequins and beads separately. Select this option upon ordering and you will receive all beads, along with your notions, in your first package. After the initial shipment, we will mail your 10” x 16” fabric swatches and an informational insert via United States Postal Service (USPS) at the beginning of each month.

SWATCH OF THE MONTH 2015

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share