JULY + SWATCH OF THE MONTH

ALABAMA CHANIN – JULY + SWATCH OF THE MONTH

Summer is now officially in full swing. As adults, we rarely get to indulge in a full-scale month of vacation—as our children often do. But, in July I like to take a few extra days to enjoy summer with my family and friends. Maggie absolutely loves July (and July 4th festivities are some of her favorites) and her excitement is contagious. So I am preparing for a month or so of fireworks and sparklers, cookouts, swimming pools, cocktails, and beaches.

My garden is producing peppers and (the beloved Alabama) tomatoes. The summer is just such a challenge: How many tomato sandwiches can one person eat?

Here is what some of my July looks like. I’m leaving room for improvisation:

July 4 – Independence Day and my neighborhood’s epic parade and potluck.

July 6 – National Fried Chicken Day. I’m headed to Nashville; hello Hot Chicken.

July 20 – On this day, back in 1969, Neil Armstrong took man’s first steps on the moon. Maggie and I are headed to San Francisco on the California Zephyr for our upcoming events @ Heath Ceramics.

July 24 – Opening Party at the Boiler Room @ Heath Ceramics in San Francisco. Come out to celebrate our new collaboration with Heath Ceramics. If you can’t make it to the party, the show will run through August 23rd.

July 25 – National Hot Fudge Sundae Day. If you are in The Shoals, a trip to Trowbridge’s is definitely in order.

July 26 – One-Day Sewing Workshop @ San Francisco, CA

July 30 – Makeshift Conversation @ Heath Ceramics. Cathy and I will be lead a conversation around design, craft, and fashion—followed by an interactive workshop. Reserve your (free) spot for the talk in advance here. And purchase your ticket to the workshop here, where we will be designing, creating, and making a DIY Tote Kit.

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NEWSLETTER #30

NEWSLETTER-#30This month, we introduce a new layout for our Newsletter. The new design clearly distinguishes Alabama Chanin, The School of Making, and The Factory—making it easier to find the information that is most important to you.

Join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter and keep up with our latest news, events, and stories featured on our Journal.

Update your mailing subscription to include the newsletter here.  Please note that you can update at any time, and choose to opt in (or out of) certain mailings.

xoNatalie and all of us @ Alabama Chanin

ON DESIGN: WILLIAM MORRIS + ARTS AND CRAFTS

ALABAMA CHANIN – ON DESIGN: WILLIAM MORRIS + ARTS AND CRAFTS

Last fall, as an extension of our Makeshift initiative, we began a new series of events and conversations called On Design. The series explores art, design, makers, relationships, and the elevation of craft. Our conversation in January explored William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Here are some of Natalie’s thoughts from the presentation. Feel free to share your own thoughts and join the conversation.

From Natalie:

When I started the company that Alabama Chanin has become today, I had a vision for what I wanted to accomplish. At the time, I wouldn’t have identified that vision as a business model—but as the company expanded, I understood that I wanted to design and grow the business in a sustainable way. In a world of fast fashion, mass production, and machines, I wanted to design slowly and thoughtfully. I also wanted to promote skills that seemed to be vanishing, particularly hand-sewing skills—like those used by quilters.

ALABAMA CHANIN – ON DESIGN: WILLIAM MORRIS + ARTS AND CRAFTS

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.29.2015 – 7.4.2015

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.29.2015 – 7.4.2015

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits.” – Thomas Jefferson

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, June 29 – Saturday, July 4:

STORE
In celebration of Independence Day, stop by The Factory Store and pick up an organic cotton jersey American Flag Quilt (or make one of your own).

Please keep in mind that in observance of Independence Day, The Factory Store + Café, the Alabama Chanin offices, and our production studio will be closed Friday, July 3 – Saturday, July 4.

Join us again on Monday, July 6 for a morning filled with sewing, coffee, and inspiration at First Mondays. Please bring your own fabric and notions.

STORE HOURS
Monday – Thursday, 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 a new menu every day. This week’s menu features our popular White BBQ Chicken Sandwich as well as our Fatback Italian Sandwich which is made using ethically-raised pork from The Fatback Pig Project.

Be sure to join us on Saturdays for Brunch featuring seasonal choices that highlight products from local and regional farms and purveyors.

Also don’t forget to take a look in our cooler—stocked with homemade ready-to-go items like our customer-favorite pimento cheese.

We offer freshly baked whole cakes as well. Our cakes are made from scratch, fresh from the oven. Please provide 24 hours’ notice when placing an order.

Custom catering is now available for all events and occasions. Work directly with our head chef, Zach Chanin, and the Alabama Chanin team to create a menu tailored to your needs.

CAFÉ HOURS:
Monday – Thursday, 11:00am – 2:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am but coffee and snacks are available all day.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: BEADED FACETS COAT

ALABAMA CHANIN – FROM THE ARCHIVES: BEADED FACETS COAT

This week, we take another look at the lives our clothes have led and the memories forever linked with them. For some reason, we associate memories with objects—or in this case, clothing. Every time I look inside, I think that my closet is, in a small way, some sort of prism through which I see the world.

Project Alabama Garment #17821
Built in September 2005
Pattern:  A-359 Long Coat
Stencil: Facets
Fabric: 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Outer layer color: Sapphire
Backing layer color: Black
Thread: Navy
Beads: Black bugle and chop
Sequins: Gun Metal
Seams: Inside felled
Knots: Inside
Size: Medium
Owner: Natalie Chanin

The Beaded Facets Coat was originally created for the Project Alabama Spring/Summer 2006 Collection, as you can see in the picture above left. It was presented in the first and only runway show we ever produced (thank you Gail Dizon, Jennifer Venditti, Lori Goldstein, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Ruby Jane, and to UPS—who sponsored the show). I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that show made the cover of Women’s Wear Daily the next morning. I had to look three times to realize that it was actually the cover and not from the interior of the magazine. There were eventually 14 of these coats produced in both the Amber and Sapphire colorways shown above for Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Jeffrey Atlanta, and a few special clients.

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MERCHANT & MILLS: THE FACTORY DRESS PATTERN

ALABAMA CHANIN – MERCHANT & MILLS: THE FACTORY DRESS PATTERN

In January, we added to our ongoing Makeshift series, adapting available garment patterns using Alabama Chanin techniques with a Merchant & Mills pattern for the Shirt Dress. This month, we’ve created another Merchant & Mills garment in our own style—an Alabama Chanin version of the Factory Dress (love the name). This piece is shown here without embellishment to highlight the simple design, but you can choose to utilize any of the techniques from our previous posts or our Swatch of the Month Club to embellish your project

Keep in mind that Merchant & Mills is a UK-based design house and that UK sizes differ a bit from US numbered sizes. Their website has clear size charts that can help you select the right pattern size for your body. Also note that their patterns are priced in pounds, not US dollars, and you should take into account shipping costs when shopping. Alternatively, there are quite a few stockists in the US with ready links available here.

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WHITE BARBEQUE SAUCE

ALABAMA CHANIN – WHITE BARBEQUE SAUCE

Barbeque lovers are often staunch proponents and defenders of their favorite preparation, favorite meat, and favorite sauce—or lack thereof. Just as there is an entire range of styles of barbeque (everything from pulled pork with slaw to smoked chicken to a plate of burnt ends), there is a whole spectrum of barbeque sauces. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of sugary red sauces; but as an Alabama native, I must wholeheartedly profess my love of our native white barbeque sauce.

Many of you may be unfamiliar with this particular variety of sauce, as it is a North Alabama specialty. But, it is a staple of almost every barbeque restaurant in the area and has found its way to our tables and local grocery store shelves. White sauce is a tangy condiment made of mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper. While that might sound a little odd to the uninitiated, those in the know are evangelists for the stuff.

While white barbeque sauce has been served in the area for years, local lore suggests that Bob Gibson of the legendary Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama, invented it in 1925. Bob worked for the L & N Railroad Company, but would host barbeques on the weekends, smoking meat over a hickory pit in his backyard. Eventually, his food became so popular that he quit his job at the railroad and opened a proper restaurant.

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INSPIRATION: ONE-OF-A-KIND INDIGO

ALABAMA CHANIN – ONE OF A KIND

Indigo – electric, deep, light, or tropical

Indigo can be bright, violet-blue, midnight blue.

Electric indigo represents the sixth chakra—the Anja—that includes the third eye.

It is the color of intuition and self-awareness.

Today, the New Leaves stencil + layers of indigo of the Indigo Shell Top made me think of this:

A creation of Miya Ando: a representation of the bioluminescent bays of Puerto Rico.

Phosphorescent leaves floating on a pond, lighting up the night with a dreamy, radiant blue glow.

More one-of-a-kind Indigo pieces have been added to our current Collection.

 

THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.22.2015 – 6.27.2015

ALABAMA CHANIN – THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 6.22.2015 – 6.27.2015

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Here is what we have going on this week, Monday, June 22 – Saturday, June 27:

Beginning this Friday, Natalie and our workshop team will be in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains for a Classic Sewing Weekend at Blackberry Farm. This workshop includes all materials necessary to create your own Alabama Chanin project, incredible meals prepared onsite, and stunning scenery. For reservations and pricing, please contact Blackberry Farm at (865) 984-8166 or Ashley at aalderman (at) blackberryfarm.com.

While you’re enjoying your weekend away at Blackberry Farm, stay an extra day for our Mother/Daughter One Day Sewing Retreat. This one-day workshop is suited for beginners and experienced sewers alike, and guests will work with Natalie and her daughter Maggie to create a beautiful DIY project. For reservations and pricing, please contact Blackberry Farm at (865) 984-8166 or Ashley at aalderman (at) blackberryfarm.com.

STORE
Be sure to grab one (or two) of our essential A. Chanin V-Neck Tanks in one of our newest colors: Peacock or Apple. Just in time for the Fourth of July.

Please remember that Alabama Chanin will be closed Friday, July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day.

STORE HOURS
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm

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 a new menu every day.

Be sure to join us on Saturdays for Brunch featuring seasonal choices that highlight products from local and regional farms and purveyors.

Also don’t forget to take a look in our cooler—stocked with homemade ready-to-go items like our homemade pimento cheese.

We offer freshly baked whole cakes as well. Our cakes are made from scratch, fresh from the oven. Please provide 24 hours’ notice when placing an order.

Custom catering is now available for all events and occasions. Work directly with our head chef, Zach Chanin, and the Alabama Chanin team to create a menu tailored to your needs.

CAFÉ HOURS:
Monday – Saturday, 11:00am – 2:00pm
*Lunch service begins at 11:00am but coffee and snacks are available all day.

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TRAVEL: THE NATCHEZ TRACE

ALABAMA CHANIN – TRAVEL: NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY

Those traveling to The Shoals often ask for the best routes into and out of the area. I’m not sure what your definition of “best” may be, but I personally love to travel visually interesting routes, when time allows. For those that have the time and inclination for a scenic drive, I always recommend taking part of the journey on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile historical path that travels from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee, and connects the Cumberland and Mississippi rivers.  It follows a geologic ridgeline that prehistoric animals followed in search of new grazing land and water sources. The Trace connected tribal homelands of the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. Native travelers used the same pathways repeatedly, creating natural sunken sections in the ground.

ALABAMA CHANIN – TRAVEL: THE NATCHEZ TRACE

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