Tag Archives: Events

MAKESHIFT 2012:

SHIFTING THOUGHTS ON DESIGN, FASHION, COMMUNITY, CRAFT & DIY

Over the four days of New York Design Week (May 19-22, 2012), Alabama Chanin–in collaboration with its fashion and design partners–is organizing a series of talks, workshops, and gatherings with leaders in the fashion, design, and craft/DIY communities. The events bring together a dynamic combination of industry leaders to explore the ways in which the fashion, art, and design worlds are inextricably linked to the world of craft/DIY and how each of these worlds elevates the others. We look to create an intersection–a meeting point–to explore, discuss, and celebrate the role of local production, handmade, and craft/DIY in fashion and design as a way to empower individuals, businesses, and communities.

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2012: THE YEAR IN REVIEW

It’s the time of year when most of us start to look back at the past year to take stock and plan for the next. As a company, Alabama Chanin is no different. With a lot of help from our friends, we’ve brought the year to a (BIG) close with our first online Garage Sale.

This online event seems indicative of what an amazing year (decade) it has been. We were, quite honestly, bowled over by the outreach of support, excitement, and, well, love for what we do at Alabama Chanin.  (We will be doing it again soon. Check our events page for updates and/or join our mailing list to stay in touch.)

Looking back on the whole year, it’s staggering to see just how many projects we’ve tackled, people we’ve met, and journeys we’ve taken – all infused with the same love that we experienced during our Garage Sale. Honestly, I can hardly believe that so many things happened all in one twelve-month span. It’s been 12 (REALLY) good ones.

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HOLIDAY SPECIAL: ONE-DAY STUDIO EXPERIENCE (OUR FIRST-EVER)

Take 20% off our new One-Day Studio workshops. The perfect gift for the person who loves to make.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: WAS $475 – NOW $380

Gift the Alabama Chanin One-Day Studio experience to work with Natalie and our in-house team for a day.

Choose a date or let them decide:

Saturday, February 2, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
One-Day Studio Gift

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ON ICE (AND DELICIOUS)

Our Journal has been “on ice” of sorts since the launch of our new website. We needed this time to make a few obvious changes, some back-end updates, and, quite honestly, some time to fill all the great orders we received during our recent sale—thank you.

While we “soft launch” the new journal today, you will find that we are still in process, in progress, and polishing our game. However, we have lots of holiday cheer(s) to share over the next weeks and, well, we just want to get started. Look for special DIY projects, new recipes, and growing stories as we move through the season.  We will be back to regularly scheduled—and new—programing at the first of the year (more on that to come).

In the meantime, roll up your sleeves, have a read, make an ice pop (it is 73° here in North Alabama today), dip your pop in Champagne (or Prosecco) and tell us what you think.
xoNatalie

P.S.: Register to win a $250 Gift Certificate from our online store here.

SOFT LAUNCH

We are elated to announce the “soft” launch of the new AlabamaChanin.com website.

I learned yesterday from the (amazing) team Hugo & Marie that “soft launch” means that the website is up and open to the public but still has kinks to work out.

The building of our new site has been a long, wonderful, learning process of developing a voice for who we are and who we want to become.  We hope that you will see how the company has grown these last five years and also hope that you will be able to find your way around our world a little bit (or a lot) more easily.

Please have a look around – browse and shop from our new Collection, visit our newly added Cook + Dine category featuring dinnerware from our HEATH Ceramics collaboration, find all the DIY Fabrics + Notions  you will need to make your Alabama Chanin project, and collectively view our upcoming Workshops and Events.

In the process, let us know what you love, where you find troubles, and just generally what you think.

(Note that all of our pictures are not showing correctly at the writing of this post.)

In addition to the new website, we are also thoughtfully designing a new Alabama Chanin Journal – one rich with imagery and content that goes hand-in-hand with our website. We are diligently working to create a place where you will find the same content you are used to – DIY instructions, recipes, book reviews, and heartfelt stories – plus new themes on fashion and sustainability.

Thank you for following our journal over the years (almost a decade now), leaving your comments and suggestions, and sharing your own stories.

We thank you for your patience as our team creates a place for stories and community with our new Alabama Chanin Journal.

We’ll keep you updated as we make progress.

NEW WEBSITE

We often hear that you have to see an Alabama Chanin garment in person to really appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into every piece. We sincerely believe that our upcoming website is the next best thing.

As our brand continues to grow, and our interests and projects become more diverse, we rely more and more on AlabamaChanin.com as a way to showcase our endeavors, share our experiences, and interact with a community that is constantly expanding.

This is a place to share our life at the Factory, or at least a sampling of it: Weekend workshops, DIY craft, custom couture garments, cotton farming, upcycling developments, Thursday potlucks, visiting artists, and the list goes on. We wanted a site that would reflect all of the things that we are – and all of the things that you, our customers, are. We wanted a meeting place that is both welcoming and engaging and, of course, easy to use, because we know first-hand that when you have so much going on in one place, things can be a little difficult to navigate.

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THE QUILTS OF GEE’S BEND

THE QUILT'S OF GEE'S BEND - Photo by Robert Rausch
In anticipation of our upcoming event at Grocery on Home, I’ve been going through The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, by William Arnett, Alvia Wardlaw, Jane Livingston, and John Beardsley again this week. It’s only serving to make me really excited. The book is rich with history and filled with gorgeous photographs of hand-stitched quilts and the stories of the women who made them. The mini-autobiographies of each quilt maker provide snapshots of life in Gee’s Bend. Each entry is written in the seamstress’s own words, like this opening paragraph in Helen McCloud’s story:

“I was born down in Clifton, out from Annemanie. My mother was Della Mae Bridges. We worked in the fields, raised cotton and stuff. Kind of rough. My daddy was a big farmer-cotton, corn, rice, peanuts, squashes, cucumbers, beans, oats. And, Lord, we had to get out there and pick them. Jesus, I hated that, but if you didn’t, you get tore up. Watermelons, too. Two hundred pounds of cotton wasn’t nothing for me to pick. My daddy was so mean to us.”

The Quilts of Gee's Bend. Photo by Robert Rausch
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NOTHING HAPPENS (OR HOOKED ON HANDWORK)

My first sewing project was a “picture” of a flower that I made when I was about seven. I chose green and purple ribbon for the stem and petals, respectively, and a white button for the bloom’s center, which I attached to a square of quilted light blue Swiss dot fabric – aka the sky – with long, sloppy stitches.

It’s not a masterpiece by any means, with its loose stitches, unfinished edges. But precision is supposed to be beside the point when you’re a kid learning a new skill; the fun lies in the creative process, not necessarily the finished product.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had a rather hard time remembering this. I’m more than a little neurotic, and a bit obsessed with perfection, whatever that means. My natural inclination to create with abandon is at permanent odds with my OCD-driven desire for unsullied excellence, and it’s not always pleasant.

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