The Alabama Chanin collection is a luxury line. Hand-selected fabric is sourced, dyed, re-dyed, and sometimes dyed again to achieve the perfect shade. Our team has hand-mixed thousands of paint colors, looking for the perfect complement to a certain hue. Giant rolls of fabric have been returned, donated, or recycled because a run, tear, or other minor defect was spotted. Designs are sketched and often re-sketched. Then come the patterns, more patterns, and finally dozens of samples (all hand-sewn), alterations, editing, more patterns, more samples. Repeat.
Our embellishments are next. We add the glass beads, the intricate decorative stitching, the sturdy straight stitch, endless crocheted snaps, and once again, repeat. Southern couture is expensive, lovely, and nothing less than a passion for those artisans who initial the tags in each one-of-a-kind Alabama Chanin garment.
It took working within this process, in the presence of truly great artisans, for me to realize and appreciate the beauty of hand-made. My personal creations had always adhered to an aesthetic that was much more punk rock: safety pins, whip-stitching, bleach stains, not a pattern in site. Alabama Chanin is truly the other side of DIY: elevated sustainable design constructed to last many lifetimes.
I love the idea of being connected by the love in every stitch. I’ve spoken of it before, but my love for my daughter Agnes really does motivate me to take my time, slow down and make each piece as lovely as I can (which is far from perfect). I wear the clothes I make, but in my heart-of-hearts I know that I am sewing them for her. I want her to linger over every stitch and know that I made each stitch thinking of her and wishing the best for her future.
More and more copies of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design are arriving every day, all containing the necessary know-how to create your own Alabama Chanin wardrobe, along with our tried and true tips and tricks.
We’ve taken over a decade of practical knowledge, along with the best materials possible to create brand new DIY kits. Our finished collection pieces are created with the same knowledge and care – and the details are revealed in our Studio Book Series.
Almost every piece of our current collection, from the Anna’s Garden Fitted Dress, to my new obsession, the Baby Doll Top, is now available. Alabama Chanin DIY Kits are painted by hand, cut to your personal specifications, and include all of the beads, thread, and any other notions necessary to complete your desired project.
For me, our DIY philosophy represents sustainability at its very best.