|Tied Wrap, Fitted Top, |
Short Fitted Skirt and Long Skirt
... and The Fingerless Gloves ...
|Negative Reverse Appliqué as Used Above|
The book includes patterns for all garments and accessories, and covers basic sewing techniques for cotton jersey, instructions for stenciling, embroidery, beading, couching and so many variations of appliqué, including regular, reverse and negative reverse, it was difficult to keep track; the insomniac lost count at around eighteen.
Natalie Chanin, founder of Alabama Chanin, says “you should love your work, because sewing is time-consuming and should only be done out of love”. The beauty of these unique garments lie not in their perfection, but in the love and care that have been infused into them by their maker. A point which the insomniac shall certainly try to remember when crafting her first garment this winter in front of a roaring fire with a glass, perhaps two, of mulled wine at hand - that the end result should not be about perfection, but instead about the love and care she is infusing into her creation. One additional point it might be prudent to remember - mulled wine and sharp scissors do not make a good pairing ...
|Fitted Top with Pleated Ruffle|
|Outside Reverse Appliqué Sample|
The beautiful custom-dyed organic cotton jersey fabric can be purchased from the Alabama Chanin website, and is available in many appealing colours suited to a Gothic Wardrobe - ruby, apple, carmine, burgundy, plum, black, and
|Ruffle Top and Bolero with Fluted Sleeves|
But what the insomniac admires most is Chanin's business philosophy, based on the Slow Design Movement with an emphasis on “good, clean and fair”. She hires local artisans, many of whom were left without work when the Alabama textile factories shut down, to stitch the collections. Each artisan has their own business, and is able to work from their own home and set their own hours. They choose which designs they would like to make, purchase the raw materials from Chanin, then sell the completed goods back to the company. And while, as Natalie points out, none of them are getting rich in terms of their bank accounts, they are rich in spirit, belief, passion and friendship. Which seems to the insomniac an exemplary philosophy for a business, especially in this day and age.
Whether a novice or advanced sewer, if you are intrigued by these beautiful heirloom sewing techniques and their potential for enhancing your own Gothic Wardrobe, might the insomniac suggest immediately springing up from your computer chair and hurrying straight to your favourite local bookseller to purchase Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. But should you regard any form of exercise with as much distaste as the insomniac then, with just a slight movement of the mouse, you could open up a new tab at the top of this page and locate your favourite online bookseller, instead.
Until next time, the insomniac wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. She is debating whether to head upstairs tonight to clean the paint off the stencil used for the attic walls and medicine chest. Because there's a very good chance that stencil will come in handy for a sewing project this winter, once a final decision on which Alabama Chanin fabric to order has finally been made. Next week, the insomniac promises a pair of Gothic Fingerless Gloves, which she had planned to make from some pieces of boiled wool she has stored somewhere in the attic, but was unable to locate in time for inclusion in this week's post ...
Goodnight, my pretties.
Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, Natalie Chanin