Natalie Chanin is someone I deeply admire. The Alabama native started her designing career in New York, but when she found she needed skilled seamstresses to complete her designs, she moved back home, to Florence, Ala., where textile mill closings had left many women without work. With Alabama Chanin she created a whole line of high-end appliqued and embroidered clothing around their considerable skills with a needle.
Chanin doesn’t just sell to exclusive boutiques, though. In three books, she’s outlined how to make similar hand-stitched and embroidered pieces: Alabama Stitch Book: Projects and Stories Celebrating Hand-Sewing, Quilting and Embroidery for Contemporary Sustainable Style, Alabama Studio Style: More Projects, Recipes, & Stories Celebrating Sustainable Fashion & Living and Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe.
She also has hooked up with Heath Ceramics to design her own line of dinnerware and table textiles. On March 16, a Saturday, you can meet her at the Los Angeles store when she’ll be in town for a workshop and trunk show. A reception takes place on March 16 from 5 to 8 p.m.
But if you can’t wait, Heath stocks her organic cotton jersey napkins. I love Chanin’s ceramic collection in simple shapes made from red clay and inspired by the color of Alabama soil. And her big bowls etched with an eyelet pattern.