GIFTS FOR DAD

FATHERS-DAY-GRID-02

This is the time of year to celebrate the men in our lives: fathers, husbands, partners, sons, and brothers who have been there through it all, and continue to support us through thick and thin. This year we’ve selected a few favorite Father’s Day gifts which will be discounted from our online store through Friday, June 13.

The Thursday before Father’s Day, we are hosting our inaugural “Friends of the Café” Dinner Series benefiting Alabama Gulf Seafood. The dinner features James Beard award-winning chef (and father) Chris Hastings who will prepare a three-course meal, followed by a book-signing. Buy a ticket for dad (and yourself) and visit us at The Factory in Florence. Be sure to get a copy of Hot and Hot Fish Club).

If you can’t make the trip to Florence, you can always make something special or give something handmade; we have a selection to help celebrate the dad who deserves the best.

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.2.2014 – 6.6.2014

THE-FACTORY-THIS-WEEK-grid-3

“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.”

—Giorgio Armani

Here is what we have going on at The Factory Store + Café this week, Monday, June 2  – Friday, June 6:

STORE
Don’t forget, tomorrow is First Mondays at The Factory. Join us in the studio and work on your recent sewing project in the company of fellow stitchers.

Also, check back tomorrow for more details on our Father’s Day Gift Guide—select items from our online store will be discounted through June 13.

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
We are wrapping up our month of #hiddenkitchens recipes from NPR’s The Kitchen Sisters; join us in the café this week for delicious quiche, seasonal fennel cakes, and pimento cheese.

Our café is also getting ready to launch our “Friends of the Café” Dinner Series in a few weeks—our first visiting chef will be James Beard award-winner Chris Hastings, from Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama.

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

MAKESHIFT 2014: A RECAP

Makeshift Selection (3)

Two weeks ago, our team left New York feeling excited and energized—and with the conversation at The Standard the night before fresh on our minds. This was the third annual Makeshift, held in New York each spring during Design Week. Over the years the conversation has shifted—but our goal of learning how certain themes cross industries (and how they learn from each other and work together) stays the same.

Makeshift began as a conversation about the intersection of the disciplines of design, craft, art, fashion, and DIY—and, on a bigger level, using this intersection as an agent of change in the world. Since then, we’ve explored making as individuals, and how making as a group can open conversations, build communities, and help us co-design a future that is filled with love and promise—for planet, community, and one another.

SIDE-BY-SIDE

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

SWATCH OF THE MONTH: JUNE 2014

JUNES-SPRINGW

The Swatch of the Month for June combines a number of embroidery techniques into a single design. This stencil, appropriately titled June’s Spring, combines both basic techniques, like backstitch embroidery and appliqué, with more elaborate treatments, like beading and Feather stitch embroidery. The combination of these elements on one swatch results in a lush, rich looking textile.

Detailed instructions for completing the June’s Spring fabric treatment and a fabric map illustration can be found on pages 118-119 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. This particular swatch allows you quite a bit of creative freedom, since you decide what elements to embellish and to what degree they will be decorated. We recommend that you make a plan (like the fabric map shown in the book) ahead of time for how you will decorate each element. But, you might think it is more fun to improvise and make decisions as you create. Either approach will undoubtedly result in a beautiful completed swatch.

JUNES-SPRING-DETAILW

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

FIRST PRIZE PIES

FIRST-PRIZE-PIES-01

Allison Kave, a truly creative baker and expert on all things pie related, credits her mother with her passion for food. Her mom, Rhonda Kave, is owner of Roni-Sue’s Chocolate in New York’s Essex Street Market. Growing up, Rhonda had a rather unexciting childhood filled with canned and boiled vegetables and she wanted more nutrition and excitement for her own children. Research into various cuisines led to a love of chocolate, which inspired her very own confectionery shop. All of this unbridled love of food couldn’t help but inspire Allison and her brother, Corwin, a renowned executive chef in New York City.

Like some of us, Allison did not find her calling immediately. Her route to the culinary life modeled the circuitous path her mother took. Eventually, her boyfriend encouraged her to enter the First Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off – and she walked away with the award for Best Overall Pie. So, she asked: Why not make pies? In fact, Allison recently partnered with fellow baker Keavy Blueher, and together they are opening Brooklyn’s first dessert and craft cocktail bar, Butter & Scotch.

FIRST-PRIZE-PIES-06

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

REFASHIONED

REFASHIONED-01

Sass Brown’s ReFashioned: Cutting Edge Clothing From Upcycled Materials, is the second in a series focusing on the eco-fashion movement. Previously, in Eco Fashion, she examined designers and labels (including Alabama Chanin) practicing sustainability in the fashion industry.  In ReFashioned, she features 46 international designers who create using recycled and upcycled textiles. The result is a stunning volume of forward-thinking design that also opens a discussion on the current state of fashion and its many wasteful practices.

Sass is one of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful voices in the eco-fashion movement. She considers herself a fashion activist, writing, “As a designer and writer, I like to tell the stories around our clothes, to help revive our material connection to our clothing.” She says, “It became equally important for me to reveal the hidden price tag of fast fashion, as a means to promote conscious consumerism.”

REFASHIONED-03

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 5.26.2014 – 5.30.2014

THE-FACTORY-THIS-WEEK-521-01

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Experience the joy of creating this week at The Factory. Pick up notions, browse our selection of pre-made DIY kits, or choose yardage from our selection of new organic cotton jersey fabric colors for your upcoming projects.

Please note that The Factory will be closed on Monday, May 26 to observe Memorial Day.

Here is what we have going on at The Factory Store + Café this week, Tuesday, May 27 – Friday, May 30:

STORE
Our A. Chanin Racerback Tunic is new in store this week, just in time for your summer wardrobe. Make sure to grab your own, and be on the lookout for more additions to our machine-made line.

Also, our Father’s Day promotion begins this Friday, May 30. (Check back soon for more details.)

Store Hours
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
*We will be closed Monday, May 26.

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
This week in the café, we continue to highlight the acclaimed recipes from hidden kitchens around the nation, while incorporating our own house favorite—roasted tomato soup with a grilled pimento cheese sandwich.

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

BIBLIOCRAFT

BIBLIOCRAFT-08

At Alabama Chanin, we believe DIY projects are integral to sharing creativity and promoting sustainable heirloom-worthy pieces. Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects is a great guide to DIY crafts that utilize a range of library resources for inspiration. Written by rare book librarian Jessica Pigza, this book contains over 20 unique projects and crafts for your home, including the Cyanotype Throw, designed by the Alabama Chanin team.

Pigza walks readers through different types of libraries, collections, and other resources that can foster motivation and provide ideas for the curious and creative. The book shows you how to find the right library for you and also provides information on digital libraries and an array of library catalogs. To get you started on your project, there are lists of recommended library collections from general visual resources to performing arts and film. The book is an informative and inspiring guide for learning about new resources and turning to libraries for discovery. There is something different and special about holding an actual, physical book in your hand that continues to draw me toward libraries. As a designer I find escape within library walls, and as a business owner I find critical information that has helped me grow into who I am as an entrepreneur.

BIBLIOCRAFT-06

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

HIDDEN KITCHENS: NASCAR (+ GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE)

NASCAR-01

We all have different definitions of comfort food—the dishes that make up those meals that leave our bellies (and our hearts) full. They are the dishes you crave when you are far from home; a hankering for something familiar and soothing. For me, this includes an array of casserole dishes, fresh garden vegetables, and my Gram Perkins’ egg salad.

When Davia and Nikki of The Kitchen Sisters agreed to be our featured chefs this month as part of our ongoing Factory Café Chef Series, I started browsing through my copy of Hidden Kitchens. Soon, I found myself totally immersed in the stories I’d heard on the radio years before. I began re-telling stories to the staff at The Factory, and we were all excited about a recipe I found in the chapter about NASCAR kitchens, titled “Slap It On the Thighs Butter Bar”—aptly named, since the ingredients called for yellow cake mix, egg, margarine, powered sugar, and cream cheese. The recipe was originally from the 25th anniversary edition of the Winston Cup Racing Wives’ Auxiliary Cookbook, published in 1989. Curious to know what other comfort food recipes from the kitchens of racing existed, we tracked down a copy of the book on Ebay.

NASCAR 04

Continue reading

Bookmark and Share