From top, left to right: Fabric swatch of the Fiorire paint design on organic canvas; menu for the Friends of the Café Dinner for Project Threadways, featuring Chef Nicole Mills; The Nieve Skirt in Wax; The Noto Bandana; A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit; Alabama Chanin Core Club in Navy and Natural.
“Walking…is how the body measures itself against the earth.”
– Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: The History of Walking
I love this idea of the body measuring itself against the earth. And I would argue that this happens not only through walking and hiking but also through traveling. Every time I sit down to write these last months, my mind is drawn to wandering, exploring, and being outside. Perhaps it is the nature of the time following a global pandemic, but a very different reaction than how I imagine the roaring ‘20s emerging from the events of 1918.
I’m finding all recent adventures—long and short—refreshing for the soul. It’s the wanderlust of being on the road, the structure, as Solnit writes, of measuring oneself “against the earth,” the satisfaction of meeting old friends, and the joy of creating new connections.
Finding time away from the studio for delicious meals and conversations, time to play with the clothes we make, to simply sit still in a new place, and to gaze at the horizon—what Solnit calls “The Blue of Distance” in her book, A Field Guide to Getting Lost. These moments don’t always happen in the studio—where we concentrate on playing with design and making rather than playing with the designs themselves. I’m finally learning that this is all good work: taking time to build; taking time to admire. For me, getting out into the world makes time for both of these pursuits.
We recently enjoyed a visit from Sally Lindville, of The City Girl Farm. She had been hiking in the Bankhead Forest with her family after reading this post on hiking. They stopped by The Factory after lunch at Trowbridges and en route to their next travels (and for a few Noto Bandanas).
Cara Allen—our Workshops Coordinator—says, “I was also hiking in Bankhead that day and was immediately drawn to Sally’s family because of their cool camping set up. I was surprised and happy to meet her at The Factory after seeing them in the forest. And, I love the Noto Bandana, too—from the trail to the studio it gives me so much joy to wear!”
Cara is currently working on the upcoming Virtual Intermediate Hand-Sewing Workshop on April 7th—reach out to learn more or to ask Cara about her favorite Bankhead Forest trails: email@example.com.
Our first 2023 Project Threadways Dinner takes place on April 20th. Celebrating chef Nicole Mills of Pêche in New Orleans, the courses highlight her work with local fishermen and farmers. All proceeds benefit Project Threadways. Grab a ticket here—limited quantities are available.
Check back next week for more #travel stories, this time on the Tennessee River, which runs right through the middle of The Shoals.
Explore more upcoming events and plan an adventure here.
During our Trunk Show at basic in Birmingham last week, I was filled with pride listening to our team talk about the collection, and their favorite pieces, in personal ways. Jess—our fearless leader of operations and teams—says, “My style is very mood-driven, but always classic. Every now and then I experiment with calculated risks, and I’m planning the Palermo Tunic, as a dress, for my next adventure.”
Bonnie, our president and coordinator of all things The School of Making, was showing up and out in her Nieve Skirt that night: “This is the skirt I’ve been reaching for lately. I love the waffle texture with the addition of a hand-sewn stripe, and the Wax color goes with everything.” (Note: we all strive to be as put-together as Bonnie on an everyday basis. #goals)
Early access for new spring pieces launched this week featuring two new hand-painted, zero waste, limited-edition organic canvas fabrics from our design studio. They join The Noto Collection on Tuesday, March 28th; until then, take 25% off pre-orders with the code ACSPRING25.
These pieces pair well with The Tuesday Club and Core Club, updated with the Noto Bandana and the Nieve Skirt as an add-on—all my go-to pieces for this season of wandering.
March 24, 2023
Thank you to Sally Lindville and her family for exploring our community. And for this sweet note:
My family and I recently visited Florence and the natural areas surrounding it. Following advice found on the Alabama Chanin Journal, we enjoyed a waterfall hike in the Sipsey Wilderness in Bankhead National Forest, lunch at Trowbridge’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop in downtown Florence, and, of course, a visit to the Factory. My daughter and I spent time together delighting in the soft feel of the cotton fabrics and the intricate stitching of the garments. I picked up a few Noto Bandanas to give as gifts and already adopted one for myself—my new favorite head wrap. Thank you to the AC team for welcoming us so warmly!
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