The School of Making Variegated Stripe Inspiration, Sewing Notions, DIY Kits


“ I’m not a mathematician, but I am a designer who loves geometry, that is, the relationship among points, lines, and surfaces.” 

– Natalie Chanin

From top left: The Stripe Frances T-Shirt Dress Kit; The Stripe Poncho Kit; Variegated Stripe Fabric Swatch in Camel/Natural with mixed embroidery; From the Alabama Chanin Collection archives; The Faded Stripe Pencil Skirt Kit; Embroidery Floss

Our April Swatch of the Month focuses on seven stitches from The Geometry of Hand-Sewing applied to our Variegated Stripe design. The monthly subscription box includes the fabric swatches, stitching cards to mark your stitch grids, and an embroidery sampler to complete your swatch as pictured below. The exclusive digital newsletter shares instructions for each embroidery stitch along with a helpful key that maps out our floss and thread design choices, embroidery stitches, and their placement on the swatch.  

The School of Making Variegated Stripe Fabric Swatch in Black/White

While not required to create the April Swatch of the Month, Natalie’s Craftsy virtual learning course The New Embroidery: Simple Geometry, Beautiful Stitches and The Geometry of Hand-Sewing are helpful materials in this month’s embroidery exploration 

From top left: “Georgia O’Keeffe Abiquiu Home and Studio, Sitting Room”, 2019 via Southwest Contemporary. Photographed by Krysta Jabczenski; The Stripe Scarf Kit in Sand/White from The School of Making; “Two Figures (Menhirs)”,1954-1955 by Barbara Hepworth via the Art Institute of Chicago; Stripe T-Shirt Kit in Black/White from The School of Making; Variegated Stripe Stencil Artwork from The School of Making; The Geometry of Hand-Sewing by Natalie Chanin

The New Embroidery course teaches about the grid system used throughout The Geometry of Hand-Sewing that provides a fool-proof method for achieving even, consistent stitches on any project. Natalie demonstrates how to use the grid system to embroider a wide range of stitches from the most basic to the more complex. She rounds out the series by sharing embroidery tips and tricks perfected over the years. 

The Geometry of Hand-Sewing provides detailed written instructions for over 100 embroidery stitches paired with illustrations and photographs for each stitch. The book features a spiral binding giving it a workbook feel—perfect for working through dozens of different types of embroidery stitches.  

Join our Swatch of the Month program at any time. Guests are able to subscribe to backdated months with our subscription option. 

Pick up a copy of The Geometry of Hand-Sewing

Register for our Craftsy virtual learning experiences.  

Explore new stripe kits, inspired by April’s Swatch of the Month, in our Mother’s Day Gift Guide.   

Find the Variegated Stripe Stencil here, the foundation for this month’s swatch design.  


We have released a new Virtual T-Shirt Workshop on May 14th. This workshop is suited to beginners and experienced sewers alike and includes discussion of the physics of sewing, reverse appliqué, and an overview of garment construction and other sewing techniques. Work with The School of Making team to create a hand-sewn project from a selection of custom kits. Learn more and register here

If you purchase a Craftsy class from the links on our website, we will earn a small commission from the product purchased through that link. This commission supports our business and helps us stock our 100% organic fabrics, pay our employees a living wage, and allows our teams to continue to design and create the products that you love. What might seem like a small gesture can go a long way for our business, so thank you.


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