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
Fabric: 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Outer layer color: Sapphire
Backing layer color: Black
Beads: Black bugle and chop
Sequins: Gun Metal
Seams: Inside felled
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.
The garment you see above at right is my coat as it looks today, created in Sapphire and Black for the 2005 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards red carpet. In the photo below, you can see the coat—ten years ago—after the awards ceremony at the Lakeside Lounge photo booth (one of my favorite spots on earth, RIP).
The coat has since been passed around to several friends, has walked down other red carpets, and danced at a few parties (perhaps on tables). It’s back in my closet now and one of my all-time favorites. At some point, I sewed an Alabama Chanin label into the garment, as the original garment label went missing. Wonder what happened to that?
P.S.: Thanks to my friends Lisa Fox, J. Wes Yoder, David Latimer, and Maggie’s father, Butch Anthony for such a lovely document of that time. You’ll notice that I was also pregnant in this photo above; I PROMISE not to make all of these posts about pregnant me.
See the first “From the Archives” post here.
I love the archives, please keep them coming!
I love the archive posts as well. I do have a general question about a change to the Journal — why is Pinterest no longer an option on the “Share” link below the posts? I have loved being able to “pin” the photos from the Journal posts in the past, but this option is no longer available.
Thank you for noticing this. We recently did some work on our website, and it caused flaw with our sharing buttons. Everything should be working correctly now, and you should be able to pin the Journal posts.
Thank you! I did notice that the Pinterest option was back.
I do have another question for you. If one were to want to recreate the coat shape used for the Facets Coat, what pattern would you recommend?
Thank you very much,
I too love the archive posts. I am wondering if you could share the fabric colours for the golden version of the facets coat as well….and a close up of the beading? They are both stunning.
I’m echoing the above sentiment. I’d love to know how the amber version of the facets coat was made.
Thank you all so much for your kind notes. The Golden colored coat was part of our Spring/Summer 2006 Collection and that fabric and bead combination is no longer available.
You can find inspiration on the Facets stencil in our third book, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design here: http://www.alabamachanin.com/alabama-studio-sewing–design and a selection of our currently available fabrics and notions here: http://www.alabamachanin.com/the-school-of-making/fabric–sewing
I love your style of fashion. Your very talented. I would like to see you post a few tutorials for beginner sewers.
Each of the books in our Alabama Studio Book series (Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, and Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns) includes the basic stitches and techniques, as well as how to get started sewing. We think these are a great resource for beginner sewers. We also offer sewing workshops for beginner and advanced sewers alike.
Here’s a link to the books: http://alabamachanin.com/alabama-studio-sewing-patterns
And here’s a link to our Workshops: http://alabamachanin.com/workshops
Hope this helps!
Natalie, I find the coat design from 2005 is still fresh and appealing. What great recognition to be on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily! I hope that looking at your past successes nourishes your current vision seeds. I am working on several pieces that I started during your Classic Studio week in June. While I sew I have been listening to some of the podcasts you recommended, Pico Iyer, also the video portrait of Roseanne Cash. It is all feeding my creative soul. Thank you for sharing your vision that is linked to your sewing. I love what you are doing.
All the best,
I love the shape of the Facets coat. I wonder if you could tell me which of your patterns you would recommend using as the basis for recreating that coat shape.
Thank you very much,
PS. i am asking this again in case my question was lost in the series of comments earlier. I am not trying to be a pest, so please just let me know if this is not something that you can answer.
The only coat option we currently offer as a pattern or DIY kit is our Classic Long Coat. This is the garment used in our DIY Facets Long Coat. However, it is an open-front coat and the fit is a bit more relaxed than the Beaded Facets Coat shown above.
Your other option would be to find a different pattern from another resource like Vogue Patterns, such as this one: http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/v8346-products-5658.php?page_id=265. However, if you use a pattern from a different source, especially if it’s intended for a woven fabric, you will want to make a size smaller than you would normally wear since the jersey will give you some stretch and ease of fit. We also recommend that you either trim your seam allowances down to 1/4″ before sewing, or sew them according to the pattern’s directions and then trim them down to take out some of the bulk. Also, large snaps would give the same finished look on this coat instead of using the buttons shown in the illustration.
Let us know if you have any more questions. Happy sewing!
Is the pattern for the beaded facets coat available to buy?
Thank you for your post, Rebecca.
The Beaded Facets Coat is an embroidered and beaded version of our Classic Coat Pattern. We do not currently have a pattern for the coat available for purchase, but you can create a Custom Classic Coat DIY Kit at the link below:
Here you are free to craft all the details about your kit, from thread color choice to stencil options.
If you have any questions, please contact me at 256-760-1090, and follow the prompt for customer service. I will be happy to help you with your selection.
Erin W., Alabama Chanin Customer Service