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Alabama Chanin: A Cottage Industry Success Story

Mar 20, 2012

by objecked

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Over the past decade, clothing line Alabama Chanin has grown into a multifaceted enterprise. Started by artist Natalie Chanin, the company has embraced a committment to cottage industry by employing local seamstresses, paid a living wage, in Alabama communities ravaged by unemployment. In fact, Natalie has spoken at length about community-driven economies.

Natalie has written several books sharing her designs. To celebrate the release of Natalie’s latest book, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobewe’re organizing a sweepstakes. Comment below to enter to win a copy!

Peter Stanglmayr

Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe features detailed instructions for creating Alabama Chanin’s signature stitchwork, using the same patterns they provide for their seamstresses, plus information on sourcing materials. The book will ship with a kit that includes everything you’ll need to sew your own beautiful Alabama Chanin design. At 12 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 28, 2012, we will pick one commenter at random. We apologize in advance that this sweepstakes is only open to U.S. folks over 18. Void where prohibited. Download a PDF of the full Rules and Regulations.

Find Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe on  Amazon or an independent bookstore near you.

4 Featured Comments

  • lkmccray

    Linzee from lkmccray said 9 years ago Featured

    What a lovely film. I've admired Natalie and her work since I learned about her and I love the looks of satisfaction on the faces and in the voices of the women who sew her clothing. It's interesting that while sewing machines were originally seen as liberating, the return to hand sewing is bringing its own kind of satisfaction.

  • angelfeather

    Rebecca Forencich said 9 years ago Featured

    I found out about Natalie Chanin by asking the guitarist Joe Satriani about his hat which was made by her first business Project Alabama. I promptly bought her first book and love her concept of "loving the thread". I have yet to make one of her awesome tank tops but am saving up my son's old t-shirts to go for it one day soon. She's an inspiration!

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 9 years ago Featured

    Made me cry. Handwork has been so diminished, denigrated, and dismissed in modern culture, and I think it so essential to our well-being, both economically and spiritually. Was it Caroline Casey who talked about the "resurrection of community spirit through shared traditions?" Such a lovely, deep story and so inspiring. The heart of handmade.

  • VeloNoir

    Christine Rimorin from VeloNoir said 9 years ago Featured

    So much low-quality clothing is out there because of the need for instant gratification, the "I want it fast, I want it cheap" attitude. There is something satisfying and fulfilling about something that was made with skill and love, not to mention something that also empowers and sustains a community. This inspiring story is proof that people succeed as a group, as a community. No machine can ever replicate the beauty coming from creating with one's hands and one's heart.


  • ShopWords

    Ellen from ShopResource said 9 years ago

    Great idea for sustainable business that helps the local economy too!

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    Hillary De Moineaux from VoleedeMoineaux said 9 years ago

    This is awsome! So impressed!

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 9 years ago

    Wow, what cool work. I love it!

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush said 9 years ago

    Wow! Beautifully done!

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    Judith and Raymond from AnnaOliveDesigns said 9 years ago

    Lovely designs! Lovely concept!

  • uswatsons

    Sylvie Liv from SylvieLiv said 9 years ago

    I love it! Very awesome!

  • MiscElainey

    Elaine OBrien said 9 years ago

    This book will go on the list, along with her other two, of books I want to buy.

  • CapeBags

    Kim from EcoColor said 9 years ago

    Love her work and ethic!

  • DeonRubi

    Deon Rubi from DeonRubi said 9 years ago

    great idea, love it.

  • jessiemccann

    jessiemccann from jessiemccann said 9 years ago

    It is a lovely style, and also very interesting business model!

  • smartypantsshop

    smartypantsshop from GemstoneArmCandy said 9 years ago

    I love her work and philosophy. She's an inspiration to us all!

  • janicewd

    janicewd from janicewd said 9 years ago

    Beautiful craftmenship! And how great to help out the local economy too. Perfect!

  • FolkLura

    FolkLura from FolkLura said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring! Love it on every level :)

  • sewlovefabrics

    Ruth from sewlovefabrics said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring and lovely handwork!!

  • parismetro

    Theresa, Sarah and Laurie from allpeacedtogether said 9 years ago

    Great idea to help your local economy and wow...your work is unique and beautiful!!

  • MyraMelinda

    Melinda Farmer from MyraMelinda said 9 years ago

    i had my pottery at a show in Birmingham, Alabama and Natalie had her line there also....She was such a joy to meet and talk with...and her products are truly one of a kind REMARKABLE! I gave her a bird I had made and she wrote me the nicest note that my little bird now sits in her kitchen window...She's an inspiration to all WOMEN....thanks for such an inspiring video...

  • BeauShelle

    BeauShelle from BeauShelle said 9 years ago

    My mom and I both got The Alabama Stitch Book she put out a few years ago - it is so inspiring and fun! I have since tried my hand at creating wardrobe pieces by up-cycling - not nearly as beautiful as hers, but still rewarding! Love, love, love her and ow love her even more after this story!

  • JDWolfePottery

    JD Wolfe from JDWolfePottery said 9 years ago

    What a fantastic story! Beautiful work and inspiring business model. I love how our artistic visions, that often seem to come out of nowhere, can change the world with the right follow through.

  • terrygraziano

    Terry Graziano from TerryGraziano said 9 years ago

    I have been a huge fan of Natalie and her work for many many years! She is a constant source of inspiration for me as an artist and entrepreneur, and I hope to build my business as thoughtfully and responsibly as she has built hers. Thank you Natalie for being such a powerful example!

  • mywhitelighter

    mywhitelighter said 9 years ago

    amazing and inspiring

  • michellegale

    Shelly from michellegale said 9 years ago

    I love this! Coming from the Rust Belt known as northwest Indiana, bring it back home!

  • dbabcock

    Deb Babcock from BlueSkyPotteryCO said 9 years ago

    Great story and beautiful designs.

  • hmeyerboothby

    Heather Meyer Boothby from TheHalfKnittedPine said 9 years ago

    Beautiful!! What an interesting Etsy blog!! Who knew this was going on, her web site is gorgeous!!

  • cottonbirddesigns

    Angela Cotton from CottonBirdDesigns said 9 years ago

    Great story, beautiful work!

  • DaysLight

    Barbara Day from DaysLight said 9 years ago

    Beautiful story, beautiful work! And thanks, Etsy, for sharing.

  • jennifer9

    jennifer9 said 9 years ago

    Wow! I'm from a little town outside Florence! I love this story!

  • HazelHoney

    Christina Romero from HazelHoney said 9 years ago

    I remember when she hosted a virtual lab demonstration of her techniques. She actually got me into hand sewing more than machine sewing. My favorite was when she showed how to oil thread with good thoughts of love flowing into fingers onto thread.

  • pattihaskins

    patti from pattihaskins said 9 years ago

    I've long admired this clothing and only wish I could afford it. Beautiful work indeed.

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from FireHorseVintageHQ said 9 years ago

    Beautiful clothing with heart - wonderful to see skills like these people have being put to good use.

  • flintandspark

    Amy from flintandspark said 9 years ago

    This is great!

  • PoshAvenue

    Jacque from JacqueAnnDecor said 9 years ago

    Inspiring vision!

  • AnaidDesigns

    Diana from AnaidDesigns said 9 years ago

    love this! gorgeous clothing!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 9 years ago


  • needleyou

    Leslie Richardson Dryg from NeedleYou said 9 years ago

    Gorgeous designs!!!

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural said 9 years ago

    Love this concept!

  • VintageChinchilla

    Emily Jones from VintageChinchilla said 9 years ago

    Love Alabama Chanin & all the good that it stands for! Best wishes always for Natalie!

  • philosofia

    philosofia from philosofia said 9 years ago

    love the work!!!

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 9 years ago

    Great work!

  • printandtonic

    Amy Howell from printandtonic said 9 years ago

    Didn't this used to be the 'the Alabama Project'?

  • buymystuffnewyork

    wen from buymystuffnewyork said 9 years ago

    Hand sewing is such a pleasure. Much more relaxing than machine sewing. This project looks very complicated, though.

  • staceynicole

    staceynicole said 9 years ago

    I saw a lecture given by Natalie Chanin and her story was fascinating and inspiring, great combination of fashion, art, sustainability, and helping people

  • printandtonic

    Amy Howell from printandtonic said 9 years ago

    oh wait a minute.... I meant 'Project Alabama'.

  • KaarenTeklaFladager

    Kaaren Fladager from KaarenTeklaFladager said 9 years ago

    Beautiful work, and an inspiring business model. I appreciate the vision and courage this takes.

  • evagodeva

    Alejandra from evagodeva said 9 years ago

    love it! congrats on the success of your business.

  • PetiteRobeNoire

    PetiteRobeNoire from PetiteRobeNoire said 9 years ago

    Natalie Chanin - my hero.

  • tikismom

    tikismom said 9 years ago

    Beautiful product, beautiful commitment.

  • ZiezoDesigns

    Andrea from ZiezoDesigns said 9 years ago

    I really like the story and the social responsibility of Natalie's company.

  • lkmccray

    Linzee from lkmccray said 9 years ago Featured

    What a lovely film. I've admired Natalie and her work since I learned about her and I love the looks of satisfaction on the faces and in the voices of the women who sew her clothing. It's interesting that while sewing machines were originally seen as liberating, the return to hand sewing is bringing its own kind of satisfaction.

  • hnbullock

    Hilary Bullock said 9 years ago

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 9 years ago

    Why can't anyone outside of the US win Etsy's prizes? are there some kind of international laws forbidding cross-border competitions or are you too stingy to pay the postage? Just wonderin'...

  • AlternativeBlooms

    Alternative Blooms from AlternativeBlooms said 9 years ago

    Sounds wonderful.. we need that in our small town but business are too worried about the bottom line and the "city councillors" cant agree on what day it is so they get in the way of every good business venture. - Best wishes to the American winner! -AB

  • ustreetmove

    ustreetmove said 9 years ago

    This is so inspiring! The video is pitch-perfect. I've been oogling her books for awhile and thank you for this amazing opportunity.

  • Imeldavintage

    Vintage Rhino from TheVintageRhino said 9 years ago

    I love it! Very inspiring. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  • VintageAristocracy

    luvluxx from luvluxx said 9 years ago

    I've been following her since the beginning, and I've always been inspired to start something like she does in my home state of Montana. I adore way of working she has created!

  • angelfeather

    Rebecca Forencich said 9 years ago Featured

    I found out about Natalie Chanin by asking the guitarist Joe Satriani about his hat which was made by her first business Project Alabama. I promptly bought her first book and love her concept of "loving the thread". I have yet to make one of her awesome tank tops but am saving up my son's old t-shirts to go for it one day soon. She's an inspiration!

  • funnydays

    funnydays from funnydays said 9 years ago

    Lovely designs!

  • easasa

    easasa from easasa said 9 years ago


  • misspoppys1

    Marie Allen from misspoppys1 said 9 years ago

    It just goes to show that with inspiration, dedication, talent and courage we can achieve almost anything, I have always believed that and I am even more convinced that this sort of enterprise will help us weather the current economic meltdown. Its great for communities, local tradespeople and buyers. I`m from the UK so not elligable for the draw - but though I would comment anyway!

  • MyWisteriaCottage

    MyWisteriaCottage from MyWisteriaCottage said 9 years ago

    How do I find the books that she has written? I love her concept. It mirrors what Etsy is all about. creation and bringing it home.

  • Parachute425

    Terry from Parachute425 said 9 years ago

    Kudos to Alabama for providing jobs for these skillful people. Wonderful product and wonderful work ethic. As a once upon a time fashion designer in Chicago all of the designs were sent to the south for sewing. I couldn't believe shipping all the fabrics and finished products back and forth from the north to the south and back again could keep cost down, but it did. Now, of course, these clothes are made overseas and the textile industry in the south is almost non-existent.

  • energeoD

    energeoD said 9 years ago

    I am inspired by the intentionality of using local artists and tradespeople, while paying living wages and providing opportunities in an area of high unemployment. A great reminder of the importance of building up the people and community around.

  • TidiLeonard

    Tidi said 9 years ago

    What a beautiful homegrown cmpany (& start up story) that produces such lovingly designed pieces of clothing. Completely inspiring!

  • loveleeflowers

    Lonnalee from loveleeflowers said 9 years ago

    Incredible design! would love to see more work!

  • patlipe

    Patricia Lipe said 9 years ago

    Beautiful clothing and a wonderful thing that they are handmade here in Alabama. I always wanted to sew for her

  • printandtonic

    Amy Howell from printandtonic said 9 years ago

    great story!

  • LiliDMagpieCreations

    Lisa Giddings from LiliDMagpieCreations said 9 years ago

    Congrats on the Book!!! Your work is beautiful and I'm so glad to hear about a clothing line made here in the USA! Blessing and Best Wishes for your continuing success! Lili D :)

  • stereoette

    Joi from stereoette said 9 years ago

    Love Natalie's work, and have her other books - would love to own a true Alabama Chanin piece one day!

  • robinseggbleunest

    Carol Castle from robinseggbleunest said 9 years ago

    Thanks fro the inspiring story..

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 9 years ago

    I've had my eye on that book for a while. Great story!

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 9 years ago Featured

    Made me cry. Handwork has been so diminished, denigrated, and dismissed in modern culture, and I think it so essential to our well-being, both economically and spiritually. Was it Caroline Casey who talked about the "resurrection of community spirit through shared traditions?" Such a lovely, deep story and so inspiring. The heart of handmade.

  • bohemianrag

    bohemianrag from bohemianrag said 9 years ago

    I've always said it is so hard to compete with the Walmarts of the world. She is a rock star in so many ways! Her apparel is beautiful and the jobs she has created! Made in America..good for you when our nation is struggling so.

  • FlowerChildHippyWild

    Maggie Stewart Best from FlowerChildHippyWild said 9 years ago

    Love the value of a handmade piece AND the development aspect of the company. Really something I can support!!

  • ishtafern

    Fern said 9 years ago

    handicraft inspiration she is a phenom:

  • sylviatx

    sylviatx said 9 years ago

    So inspirational!

  • BeHarmless

    BeHarmless from BeHarmless said 9 years ago

    Inspiring! Thank you.

  • theappleheads

    Sioux Wright from Appleheadstudios said 9 years ago

    Everything is just so right on! the fabrics, the colors, the styling, the fit. YOU GO GIRL!

  • ladybirdsewshernest

    Jessica Montoya from ladybirdsewshernest said 9 years ago

    Natalie Chanin never ceases to inspire me!

  • mollycumming

    Molly Cumming said 9 years ago


  • SunniBelle

    SunniBelle said 9 years ago

    Beyond inspired! A wonderful friend turned me onto Alabama Chanin a few months ago and I am hooked.

  • maize

    maize from maize said 9 years ago

    I own all of her books and have made two of her skirts. I just ordered the cape kit and I'm so excited to start. I LOVE NATALIE! Her work is awesome and inspiring. I only wish I could go to Alabama and take one of her workshops. I'm in awe of her!!!!

  • recombobulated

    Jeanne Tremel from recombobulated said 9 years ago

    Great story- so inspiring! The spirit of handmade:)

  • jmaryleathers

    Jennifer Anderson from jmaryleathers said 9 years ago

    what a hope for women worker's and artisans across the world!

  • elleoart

    Elizabeth from elleoART said 9 years ago

    Beautiful video and inspiring story. So glad she "came home" to employ her neighbors and friends. A business model we can all learn from!

  • lizzie1238

    lizzie1238 from lizzie1238 said 9 years ago

    Love Natalie and pretty much everything that she produces! Beautiful video of her and the studio.

  • MannaStudios

    Mary from MannaStudios said 9 years ago

    That is incredible. Our country needs more Alabama Chanin's! Kudo's!

  • elizabethkelly

    elizabethkelly from elizabethkelly said 9 years ago

    An inspiration and beautiful wearable clothes. I really admire your work ethic and determination in making this dream a working success!

  • VeloNoir

    Christine Rimorin from VeloNoir said 9 years ago Featured

    So much low-quality clothing is out there because of the need for instant gratification, the "I want it fast, I want it cheap" attitude. There is something satisfying and fulfilling about something that was made with skill and love, not to mention something that also empowers and sustains a community. This inspiring story is proof that people succeed as a group, as a community. No machine can ever replicate the beauty coming from creating with one's hands and one's heart.

  • twin35

    Terry Estes from TKsRetroVintage said 9 years ago

    This is what I'm setting out to do with my own business. When it grows to the point that I can't handle the orders myself, I'm going to employ local and regional seamstresses. I will definitely look to her business model for inspiration.

  • lusigusi

    lucy farmer said 9 years ago

    I believe in everything she has done for the community and her company. She is a true inspiration!

  • EdenBridal

    EdenBridal from EdenBridal said 9 years ago

    Beautiful designs, very inspiring!

  • GirlMeetsSpindle

    Rachel from GirlMeetsSpindle said 9 years ago

    Positively wonderful!! I'm actually a little jealous I don't live close enough to be part of this wonderful group of people. Hand Stitchers are Rad :)

  • OliveAndVince

    Naomi and Nat from OliveAndVince said 9 years ago

    Soooo wish we were allowed to enter, a beautiful project producing a beautiful product! But - we're in the UK! :(

  • GeorgianaGem

    Heather from GeorgianaGem said 9 years ago

    love it!

  • tenderblue

    Susana Ferrand from tenderblue said 9 years ago

    I love it! Fantastic project. Congratulations!!

  • magpie256

    Vickie Taton from RideandShine said 9 years ago

    I bought the first two books and they sent me off on a hand-sewing journey that is nowhere finished yet. I am wearing right now the first corset top I made and there is always an Alabama Chanin project in progress at my house. There isn't anything I don't like about the company - the care exhibited in a garment and an industry from the field to the finished product and beyond is truly visionary. I have the third book but still wanted to comment on this as I continue to be inspired by Natalie Chanin almost daily.

  • saumansmith

    Sara from MoffitPlushCo said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring!

  • valyncia

    Valyncia Harris said 9 years ago

    This is so encouraging to hear especially in the state of our economy. Thank you for stepping up and taking others with you!

  • villageknitter

    villageknitter from villageknitter said 9 years ago

    I simply adore all things Alabama Chanin and must confess to an irrational addition to the website as well. The fact that anyone has the ability, through these beautiful books and open sourcing, to duplicate Natalie's work is truly inspiring!

  • babyjives

    Jahje Ives from BabyJivesCo said 9 years ago

    What an inspiring story of how to scale up your business and still remain true to the handcrafted aspects and support a local economy. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Suwanee

    Dorothy Guest Richardson from Suwanee said 9 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful.

  • hudapehta

    HudaPehta said 9 years ago

    Oooo...I just start to cry because that kind of things still exist...I am happy because of that. Every piece is so gorgeous.

  • SilverthorneArts

    SilverthorneArts from SilverthorneArts said 9 years ago

    so pretty! the detail work is wonderful!

  • maw0718

    maw0718 said 9 years ago


  • leslieholz

    Leslie Holz from leslieholz said 9 years ago

    Fantastic idea - and the dress is stunning!!

  • throughthelooking

    Alice Glass from throughthelooking said 9 years ago

    *Love* the whole concept behind this designer's work! I have a friend with a small clothing line based out of Western MA - I am definitely going to forward this to her :)

  • olivebrown

    tracy from olivebrown said 9 years ago

    great little clip! i've been a fan since "Project Alabama"... (i even got a reply when i sent my resume years ago...) LOVE the concept. congrats!

  • GoodKnitGracie

    GoodKnitGracie from GoodKnitGracie said 9 years ago

    Beautiful! I love seeing all those hands sewing.

  • beadsharp

    Lorrie Simons from beadsharp said 9 years ago

    The detail in these clothes is amazing! And I love the style-I want to make these clothes!

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I just spent a long time on the website and reading through the wonderful and beautiful.

  • celiadelaney

    Celia DeLaney said 9 years ago

    Great stuff!

  • pinebeltblues

    pinebeltblues said 9 years ago

    Love her work! Definitely want to pick up a copy of the new book soon!

  • summerdreams

    summerdreams said 9 years ago

    I love the look, just beautiful. What a great story, too.

  • Leatherworks4U

    Leatherworks4U from Leatherworks4U said 9 years ago

    I am reminded of home and times past. Needle and thread is an integral part of my life, be it leather, fabric, past, present or future. Thank you.

  • mpfeiff

    Mariah Pfeiffer said 9 years ago

    beautiful! thank you for spreading the word.

  • pattical1

    Patti Cal said 9 years ago

    I'm on square 14 of my Alabama Chanin DIY quilt. Working on this quilt has been a joy. To sit down and create something that I know will be around for possibly generations is thrilling. The directions in her book are clear and concise, and explain things so that even the most intricate detail is doable. My mind is brimming with all the projects I'm going to do. How could you NOT want to do more, especially with all the beautiful examples that Natalie has in her book.

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket said 9 years ago

    Love your story! You're so creative!

  • beckarahn

    Becka Rahn from beckarahn said 9 years ago

    I have a Chanin inspired skirt sitting right on the desk next to me as I type. Many peaceful hours of stitching went in to that skirt and I love it.

  • legacylinens

    Mary Rickles from LegacyLinens said 9 years ago

    Having grown up in Alabama, I was thrilled Alabama Chanin became the huge success that it has ~ so inspiring for her courage to launch this project, for paying women a living wage, and for the beautiful work coming from these women. Great story!

  • toyokob

    toyokob said 9 years ago

    Yeah Natalie! You have done so much for the Alabama community! Thank you for making beautiful work!

  • cgkornegay

    Cary Kornegay from TheSugarcakeShoppe said 9 years ago

    Natalie Chanin is such a beautiful and creative woman. I love this short film- especially the fact that it includes some of the amazing seamstresses that make up Alabama Chanin.

  • erikastuart

    erikastuart said 9 years ago

    Such an inspired business and life.

  • genifa

    genifa said 9 years ago

    the clothes - love at first sight! the business - endless love!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns said 9 years ago

    So amazing it just made my heart feel so warm and good. I guess it's because I'm from the South and there are so many people getting back to their beginnings but bringing something new and exciting with them. The designs are so beautiful and it's something special about each and every piece. It's hand sewn . Great video I wish I could sew!

  • purdueav8r

    purdueav8r said 9 years ago

    Wow wow wow. Just visited her website, it's been a while since I last saw it. Such beautiful clothing. Inspiring to see a success story like this.

  • LadyChristyne

    LadyChristyne said 9 years ago

    Brilliant idea! Great way to bring a community together and promote local growth. Truly inspirational.

  • TBerger815

    TBerger815 said 9 years ago

    I have everyone of her books. I have to say that when I am reading them it is like a delicious meal. I live in NYC and the economy has been really desperate. It would be wonderful to start something here so that what we buy here we make here. I will continue to make the clothes that you have so graciously provided the patterns for in your books. They are beautiful! keep up the great work.

  • JordanRou

    Jordan Taylor from TheFreeFolk said 9 years ago

    Wow! The detail is amazing. As someone who hand-sews time consuming items (art dolls), I can only imagine the hours of labor that must go into those intricate designs! Amazing!

  • beadsofaquarius

    Mouna Marini from beadsofaquarius said 9 years ago


  • prunellasoap

    Janell Anderson from prunellasoap said 9 years ago

    fabulous story, thanks for sharing!

  • cygnus1789

    cygnus1789 said 9 years ago

    This is awesome. Being from the South I love to read stories that show who we really are. Not hicks that drink beer, shoot guns, and go "muddin"; but a people who have a true heart for helping others. Add to that the quality and beauty of these designs and this makes me one proud Southerner.

  • Ereuyi

    Ereuyi said 9 years ago

    I've got one of her older books and I've loved it! Please count me in for a chance at this one.

  • Yourfriendpiper

    Piper Smith said 9 years ago

    This is such a beautiful story! We need more companies like this in the US to reward real, valuable skills with living wages.

  • LiddoKiddo

    LiddoKiddo from LiddoKiddo said 9 years ago

    Love it!! Congrats!!

  • amyd20

    amyd20 said 9 years ago

    I attended a fantastic weekend led by Natalie at her workshop a few years ago. It changed my life. We were immersed in a genuinely southern experience and ended the weekend with a garment we sewed ourselves. Natalie was generous with her time and advice which was absolutely priceless. If you get a chance to go, I would highly recommend it.

  • ShabbyRanch

    ShabbyRanch from ShabbyRanch said 9 years ago

    This is a truly remarkable story. I have watched this "project" grow and grow into the flowering enterprise it has become. Congrats to everyone involved.

  • Auramatic

    Aura Matic from Auramatic said 9 years ago

    I read one of her books and absolutely love this look. Also, its a tradition that continues and enpowers women.

  • ThriftyGypsies

    Courtney from ThriftyGypsies said 9 years ago

    So beautiful and inspiring. I first saw Natalie's work in person a year ago and will be lucky enough to see and hopefully purchase some of this beautiful clothing at the upcoming Doo Nanny Festival, which I will be participating in. I recently saw her new book in a book store and have been dreaming over it for a week now. As a teenage I used to sew a lot of my clothing by hand, and am looking to begin again. This is such a beautiful and mindful art form- so meditative. Thank you, etsy- for featuring the amazing and hard work of Alabama Chanin.

  • DuPreGeneralStore

    Francene from DuPreGeneralStore said 9 years ago

    Wonderful story, exceptionally talented women and beautiful clothing. Such an inspirational story. Thank you!

  • CalicoCaprice

    CalicoCaprice from CalicoCaprice said 9 years ago

    Wow, she is very inspiring!

  • snugglyugly

    Indira Villalobos from snugglyugly said 9 years ago

    great story, great designs, so unique. love it.

  • SiriusJewelry

    SiriusJewelry from SiriusJewelry said 9 years ago

    Beautiful designs and such a gift fr everyone involved!

  • Macramaking

    Ellen from Macramaking said 9 years ago

    sewing is almost a lost art. Love this story!

  • sagesgarden

    Sage Gallagher from sagesgarden said 9 years ago

    I have one of her books. I love Natalie's style and her efforts to empower the woman of her community. I'd love to learn more.

  • gaiaconceptions

    Andrea from gaiaconceptions said 9 years ago

    OH i love thee :)

  • PirateLlama

    Sandi Milford said 9 years ago

    The designs are beautiful and have a lovely attitude about them.

  • StrapTeeze

    StrapTeeze from StrapTeezeStudio said 9 years ago

    I have Ms. Chanin's first two books and am constantly learning something new and inspirational. Waiting to see what new things she has to share with all of us to further stir our imaginations.

  • violetpretty

    violetpretty said 9 years ago

    Beautiful story. I think all those in the clothing industry have something to learn from this.

  • peggmackodesigns

    Pegg Macko from peggmackodesigns said 9 years ago

    That is an amazing story of success and perseverence. I have loved Alabama Chanin designs since I found them a year ago. I just wish that I could actually afford something. . . they are very high end priced. Now I really understand why! Getting this kit would be wonderful!

  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts said 9 years ago

    Such a beautiful story! Lovely designs and very inspirational!

  • prairieprincess

    Sarah Long from prairieprincess said 9 years ago

    I believe I checked out Natalie's book from the library several years ago. I was intrigued by her designs and her business model, but have not kept up with her. I'm pleased to see this feature, both because it's a reconnection to something I lost track of, and because it's just so dang cool.

  • carlossantiago

    park from carlossantiago said 9 years ago

    I loved project Alabama when it was around. It felt like a dream company of sort. I want to see her back on the runway and supporting local industry. I am glad she is still creating beautiful work.

  • MAnnMCreations

    M Ann M from MAnnMCreations said 9 years ago

    I've been wanting to sew again for a while now. This would be a great project for me to "start off on the right foot" with.

  • regiftstore

    Noelle N. from regiftstore said 9 years ago

    I love her stuff! I read about her in Betz White's Sewing Green book and loved the idea behind her start! I'm glad you guys shared this. Great video!

  • hankietankie

    Ariana from hankietankie said 9 years ago

    What intricate, lovely & elegant fashion! Very inspiring story! xo

  • jennshin09

    Jennifer Shin said 9 years ago

    Incredibly inspiring story and a real, raw look into the diverse background of America and its local people.

  • PandorasBox8888

    PandorasBox8888 said 9 years ago

    Lovely idea, lovely women, lovely clothes! :D

  • redenjewelry

    Reija Eden from redenjewelry said 9 years ago

    Wonderful concept and designs! I love this! I wish more companies would do this. I'm trying to give back to the community as much as possible by donating through my jewelry sales and by using fair trade components that help women and their families earn better living for their families.

  • papaververt

    Patty Benson from papaververt said 9 years ago

    Love love LOVE her work!

  • TheCottageCheese

    Marsi from TheCottageCheese said 9 years ago

    Chanin is so admirable, talented, brilliant! This is so exciting!

  • rodenial

    rodenial said 9 years ago

    Great story and very inspiring! Love the clothing.

  • JillsBoutique

    Jill Kruidenier from JillsBoutique said 9 years ago

    Oh, I adore Natalie's designs! How I'd love to learn to this kind of work. She inspires me!

  • HeavySkyDesigns

    Jenn Stoll from HeavySkyDesigns said 9 years ago

    I love the simplicity and responsibility of Natalie's designs. Beautiful, just beautiful.

  • RedorGrayArt

    Elaine Kean from RedorGrayArt said 9 years ago

    Such an inspiration ..the film touched my heart!

  • ValVonValkyrie

    Valorie from TheFoxAffect said 9 years ago

    This is magical. I lived in Auburn, AL for 12 years and had no idea about this. Thanks so much for sharing! It was refreshing. <3 Val

  • kmknight2

    kmknight2 said 9 years ago

    I love this woman and her work! Spent a happy hour at the Textile Museum in DC studying one of her jackets. I was totally stumped as to one of the techniques, and would have given anything to touch it! The book would, I'm sure, be fascinating.

  • silverpen

    Patricia Newton said 9 years ago

    Have all of Natalie's terrific books. The only artist & fashion person I have ever followed wit such interest & support. For her product which is personal, creatively exciting, & all sewn w/ loving care. Her business a testament to "it can be done" -- by hand, with local employees, with eco conscious products, Hooray Alabama Chanin!!

  • lesjardinsdevie

    Jessica Conroy from lesjardinsdevie said 9 years ago

    A truly heartfelt interview. I first picked up a needle and thread while in junior high school. I joined the cheerleader squad and we all were required to make our own uniforms. A wonderful neighbor took me under her wing and together we made the uniform from scratch. I remember her telling me I was born to hold a needle as sewing just came so naturally for me. Since then I haven't stopped - i not only sew clothing for my grandchildren but also love to do needlepoint, crochet and quilting. My love of sewing and creating something from nothing inspired me to share that love with others. It is up to each of us to take someone new to sewing under our wings and help them soar to new heights like my neighbor did for me.

  • Leontines

    Cassie Vandenburgh from Leontines said 9 years ago

    It's beautiful to see someone make decisions based on their heart and see that success can be the result. Love her story.

  • AnimeHatmania

    Cynthia Sprehe from AnimeHatmania said 9 years ago

    This is also a dream of mine. I am Native American and want to start a cottage industry with other Native women in my area...very inspiring.

  • sewgracious

    Sew Gracious from SewGracious said 9 years ago

    As a sister Alabamian, I'm so glad to see Natalie Chanin getting some Etsy love! :)

  • stockwellcottage

    Karen Stockwell from stockwellcottage said 9 years ago

    I've been a huge fan of Alabama Chanin since I read about it in Belle Armoire magazine. I love the design and detail of these gorgeous hand sewn garments! And the fact that they're sewn by local artisans is great. It's encouraging to see talented, experienced seamstresses working after losing their company jobs. A big thank you to Natalie Chanin for her vision and hard work! I hope her book sells well and that it brings more people to appreciate this beautiful line of clothing.

  • megandempsey

    Megan Dempsey from JBCountryCouture said 9 years ago

    Discovered Alabama Chanin today through this blog and love what they are about. I am a fashion design student in Mississippi and I love making anything and everything by hand, especially sewing and knitting. Thanks for the great blog post. I am now following them on facebook and twitter to keep up what they are doing.

  • PetersBride

    Gail from PetersBride said 9 years ago

    Beautiful clothing. Beautiful people. Beautiful story.

  • Accentuations

    Accentuations from Accentuations said 9 years ago

    Natalie Chanin's business model should be emulated by more small businesses.

  • mollyscottage

    Molly Culley from StitchNThymeDesigns said 9 years ago wonderfully inspiring!

  • NaturalGlam

    NaturalGlam from NaturalGlam said 9 years ago

    Such a beautifu story. It reminds me of when I was a little girl and my mom would make me machine sewn beautiful clothing...but when It came to the finishing touches like making button holes, hemming and embellishing, we would go to Grandma's who would do all the finishing work by hand. This video brings back great memories that touches my heart in a very special way.....Thank you!

  • VintageChildModern

    Brianne from FleurandDot said 9 years ago

    How incredibly inspiring! My background, before starting my lines of children's apparel was in non-profit education with a focus on helping women with a history of abuse become self-sustaining once again. I have so many hopes that one day my business will be able to make a difference in the lives of other women as well. I'm so glad you featured Natalie and her company! How wonderful to know that there is a sustainable business model that still respects handmade and offers a way to make a fair living wage for all!

  • embellishedlife

    sharon from EmbellishedLife said 9 years ago

    Love, love, love her and always have!

  • buddhacat444

    Dana from BuddhaCatCreations said 9 years ago

    I'm definitely interested! Not only do I love to sew, but embroidery as well <3 ~Dana

  • kozol

    stacie yokiel from kozol said 9 years ago

    As an aspiring designer, I've had people tell me to "get big and make money" I'll have to have my designs mass produced, outsourcing the work, using cheap materials, and I always say no. Design integrity and quality over quantity is something so important we've lost sight of. I work for a small, local company making high end leather bags. We're paid well, have safe work environments and take pride in our work. This post is an inspiration and a reminder that hard work and passion still make a difference. Etsy, thanks for featuring this story!

  • sarahkathleenwarner

    Sarah Warner from sarahkathleenwarner said 9 years ago

    I grew up in the South in a family of stitchers and knitters...even my granddad had a loom for weaving in his basement! This really resonates with me...also as someone who pursued design and ended up in New York. I love that Natalie is bridging the worlds of fashion and craft and making them both richer in the process!

  • twentyseven27soap

    Keri from twentyseven27soap said 9 years ago

    This is AWESOME! Incredibly inspiring. I could see this kind of business model trickling down into many other types of product based businesses. What a perfect post for etsy to get us thinking down the line as we expand our businesses. Thank you!

  • linniedarling

    linniedarling from linniedarling said 9 years ago

    Long a fan of Ms. Chanin, this short vid conveys, with feeling, the heart and dedication to her craft and the folks that she employs.

  • susaninfrance

    Susan Desprez said 9 years ago

    I've loved Natalie since her first book. She made me think about design and the sustainability of our goods for this planet, where clothes go once we finish with them, and last but certainly not least, who makes them. I have whole-heartedly embraced her ethic of up-cycling in my own wardrobe and those that I make. She is oh-so-generous to give her methods and designs to those of us out there just starting. what a kind soul she is!

  • misponko

    Liudmila Rosario Ponko from PonkoWorld said 9 years ago

    Great story!!!

  • Erazistable

    Karen from Erazistable said 9 years ago

    This is an AWEsome story and I really appreciate the way you "share the love" with fellow seamstresses. This has definitely inspired me and get's me thinking outside the box.

  • micahmc

    Micah McConnell from MyBeautifulEmpire said 9 years ago

    I have followed Natalie's career since the Project Alabama days. One of the admirable qualities that I've seen in her is that she hasn't given up or given in - both of which are reflected in her continued success. She honors our mothers and ourselves by valuing heart, hand and cloth. I am proud of coming from a long line of women who sew and am proud to be part of the community that Natalie promotes.

  • BeauAllenStudios

    Linda Tillis from BeauAllenStudios said 9 years ago

    I worked in the garment manufacturing industry from 1968 to 1986 in the state of Florida. I was 9 years on the sewing floor, and 9 years in management. I watched as it slowly died from overseas outsourcing. We were the second largest employer of women in Marion Co, second only to the school board. It was devastating when we closed our doors. Hooray for anyone who could take her talent and save these folks from poverty and despair. I applaud Natalie and her great works.

  • percivalroad

    Anastasia from percivalroad said 9 years ago

    i remember reading about her in Vogue many years ago - great work

  • cathylpack

    Cathy Pack said 9 years ago

    What a beautiful story and the book sounds great!

  • razzeldazzelshop

    razzeldazzelshop from razzeldazzelshop said 9 years ago

    I am in awe...and most inspired to continue working on my craft. Thank you.

  • MrRaccoonsempire

    Grace Spath from SpathDesigns said 9 years ago

    I grew up in Alabama, and now that I live in California I see how differently the rest of America lives. It is my hope that if my business keeps growing I can look to alabama for sewing help. I would love to give back to a community that needs it so much and a community I endlessly care about.

  • urbanheirlooms

    Dana Osborne-Biggs from UrbanHeirlooms said 9 years ago

    I love this story! What a wonderful mission. Coming from the NY fashion industry, it was disturbing for me to see the southern factories we used shut down because the samplemaking and production departments were being closed and re-opened in China. I always wondered, "where are these ladies going to find work?" I'd love to see the US garment manufacturing resurrected. In the meantime, cottage industry production is a great way to give it a kickstart. Thanks for sharing this!

  • EnterpriseAmericana

    Enterprise Americana from EnterpriseAmericana said 9 years ago

    It's all about the cottage industry. I hope it's the future of America. It needs to be the future of America.

  • NewTerritoryCo

    NewTerritoryCo from NewTerritoryCo said 9 years ago

    I live in a very rural area of Oklahoma and I first read about Natalie Chanin a few years ago in Organic magazine. Her strikingly beautiful hair caught my attention first. I was so intrigued how she started a hand sewing business. I knew then that I could do something with my sewing skills even living in a very remote area. Find a lost art that you love and go with it!

  • goodbeads

    goodbeads from goodbeads said 9 years ago

    Great story and thank you so much for sharing.

  • EggMoneyQuilts

    Vivian from EggMoneyQuilts said 9 years ago

    Amazing and beautiful clothes made by real people. I am inspired to pick up a needle and thread! thank you.

  • SugarPieChic

    SugarPieChic from SugarPieChic said 9 years ago

    Huge fan of Alabama Chanin. What an amazing artist!

  • claudiadelrio

    Yaya from Liukenko said 9 years ago

    Great story!!! inspirational.

  • That80sShop

    Laura Lee from That80sShop said 9 years ago

    Such lovely work - I would love to win!

  • MadameKoiteh

    MadameKoiteh from MadameKoiteh said 9 years ago

    A very inspiring story, and a true burst of sunshine and encouragement at just the right time!

  • StephanieRasulo

    StephanieRasulo from StephanieRasulo said 9 years ago

    This is so great! I've been a fan of Alabama Chanin for years. Seriously got choked up at the part about how machines can't duplicate handmade! It's so so so good to hear someone else say that out loud:)

  • BraveTurtleCreations

    Sara Hardman from BraveTurtleCreations said 9 years ago

    I love doing hand sewing. The process is so soothing; there's something about the slower speed and rythm of handsewing that allows for contemplation and care that you just can't get with machine sewing. It's so time intensive that we tend to not really appreciate it in our need to get things done quickly (such a modern problem, now now now; cheap cheap cheap). As much as I love the process it's a rare gift to be able to make a living doing it -kudos to Natalie Chanin and the artists who get to work with her!

  • aimZblingZ

    Amy LaMasters from aimZblingZ said 9 years ago

    I would love this book! Being a unionist for many years, I know how important a living wage is to energizing the US economy. Put that together with beautiful clothing... AMAZING

  • seacucumbermama

    seacucumbermama said 9 years ago

    Beautiful work, beautiful story. Thanks.

  • oneshabbyrose

    oneshabbyrose from oneshabbyrose said 9 years ago

    Have been a huge fan since Project Alabama, truly one of a kind clothing with such detail and love.

  • 9design

    Paul Coyne from 9design said 9 years ago

    Wow inspiring video... cottage industries were popular here in Ireland also and are still going today a friend of mine actually has started one producing knitwear she has about 30 skilled knitters that knit baby clothes and it gives these people a supplemental income that would not be available to them otherwise. I remember visiting recently foxford woolen mills in county mayo situated in the west of Ireland which is a thriving business today which was originally started in 1891 as a cottage industry basically, by a very strong and innovative nun. Its amazing what you can achieve with a talented workforce which you respect and treat accordingly while keeping strong in the tough times never giving up with a passionately optimistic outlook.

  • ArchetypalTheatre

    Sarah Pogue from ArchetypalTheatre said 9 years ago

    This is what we need more of in this country! What a beautiful testiment to what women can do when they stay true to thier hearts!

  • pleasantview

    pleasantview from pleasantview said 9 years ago

    I love love love Alabama Chanin! And I loved hearing Natalie Chanin's voice and seeing some faces of ladies happy to be sewing!

  • lula20111

    Four Sisters from 4SistersCo said 9 years ago

    My parents are from Alabama, and also my Aunt is from Alambama, she has hand sewn quilts for all her nieces (me included). It makes me feel very special when I look at each embroidered square and all the time and sincere love she has put into it. You have beautiful pieces and the seamtresses truly are the souls of your clothing.

  • kellylynnaaron

    Kelly Aaron from kellylynnaaron said 9 years ago

    Love to see a home grown, grassroots business THRIVE!

  • kellylynnaaron

    Kelly Aaron from kellylynnaaron said 9 years ago

    Oh, and my husband is from Jasper, Alabama, so this one hits close to home. Way to go!!!

  • portlandgeneralstore

    Lisa Brodar from portlandgeneralstore said 9 years ago

    LOVE Alabama Chanin!

  • blueridgewoodworking

    Gabe and Athena from BlueRidgeWoodworking said 9 years ago

    We were in Alabama a couple of months ago, and the cotton that was blown all over the road, was insane. I'm southern boy with a Northern for me being from the south, I take great pride when somebody does well from the south. We have been stripped of jobs and incomes from all over the country, especially from the south, because of political reasons and cost to operate, we need to recognized those those who hired, buy local, and sell a good product (like the interview), We need to also realize, it can not be click on a mouse and it's on your doorstep a week later. Craftsmanship is become a lost art, do to those that know nothing of hardwork and desire to succeed. Here In North Carolina, we have watch one after another manufacturer plant leave and go overseas , because the cost was to great to make an item, because of labor, government restrictions, taxes, EPA, labor unions, insurance...etc. We need to get "old school" family taught me, "you will only get out life, what you willing to put in", so therefore if you are not willing to work for it, risk it your time and money....then take the easy way through life....just don't complain you don't have enough... doesn't work that way. "Government big enough to give you everything you need, is big enough to take everything you have" Keep Rolling...Roll Tide

  • raspberrybutterflies

    Deb from raspberrybutterflies said 9 years ago

    So inspiring, Im sharring the link on my fb page to spread the word. I also hand sew my quilts. Hand sewing can not be reproduced my machine, Congrats on your success

  • rcskelly

    rcskelly said 9 years ago

    I've always thought that this is the way to help our economy, putting Americans back to work. We should never have sent our garment work overseas. I love to sew but could never do the beautiful work I saw on that video. More power to her!

  • amayakind

    Holly Amaya from amayakind said 9 years ago

    What beautiful artwork, clothing. How wonderful that she has helped a community so much. I would love to see this happen in so many more ways. Great work!

  • Fabrixoup

    Fabrixoup from Fabrixoup said 9 years ago

    A great contribution to her community and a great example to the rest of us.

  • madewithhope

    Brittany from madewithhope said 9 years ago

    I love love love the story of Alabama Chanin. I definitely appreciate the desire to raise a community up from poverty using the old Southern tradition of sewing and deeply desire to do the same with my line in the future. Alabama Chanin's business model, as well as clothing line, provide patterns for life that we all could do well to follow.

  • Leafpeople

    donna from Leafpeople said 9 years ago

    An inspiring and beautifully told story. Natalie Chanin's designs are so lovely - thank you etsy for introducing me to this talented artist. I started to cry when she said "...there's nothing like a hand sewn piece. You cannot replicate it on a machine. There's a kind of life that comes in sewing by hand..." And how wonderful that this beautifully sewn work is produced by women of all ages!

  • rocarbone

    rocarbone said 9 years ago

    Oh, that is SO wonderful...wish them all the best. And now, I'm off to her shop! :-)

  • sixpencebluemoon

    sixpencebluemoon from sixpencebluemoon said 9 years ago

    I love this story!!! I sew, and I know what goes into hand sewing - patience, love, and craftsmanship. These are absolutely beautiful works of art.

  • kmbutterfly

    Katie B from kmbutterfly said 9 years ago

    I love her work SO much. I have yet to create anything from her books but really should get started. They do always inspire me to try new projects, though.

  • shawdraw

    Lorene Shaw said 9 years ago

    I own one book, would love another!

  • mrbunny

    mrbunny said 9 years ago

    Lovely story.

  • VillaParkHearts

    Angela Yoder from VillaParkHearts said 9 years ago

    If I even consider being brave enough to follow my dream; I would start/do what you have done. Our country and our economy just might be saved from the brink with cottage industries. Congratulations! And...thank you for being SO inspiring.

  • ArtisticRecycler

    ArtisticRecycler from CreativeWoodcraft said 9 years ago

    Great story! Great woman!

  • pompandceremony

    Andrea Dixon from pompandceremony said 9 years ago

    just curious is Alabama Chanin related in any way to Project Alabama?

  • CreoleSha

    Wendy Bryant from CreoleSha said 9 years ago

    i received my copy in the mail this morning - i have been reading it all day... love it. i have been a fan for a long time.

  • VintageBeach

    Cat from VintageBeach said 9 years ago

    Beautiful story and video but damn I just want all the dresses...

  • marysworkshop

    Mary Wolf from marysworkshop said 9 years ago

    What an inspiring story! I admire her vision in having her beautiful designs hand-sewn to provide meaningful employment opportunities. Her employees are very fortunate indeed.

  • gracengraphite

    gracengraphite said 9 years ago

    Wow, I wonder if these books would finally break the curse of my inability to understand anything in three dimensions! Even with the best of tutorials, I've never been able to grasp sewing or pattern drafting. It would be a dream come true to learn how to make a garment for myself.

  • cactusgirls

    Heather from katellahopes said 9 years ago

    natalie is SO inspiring! she turned me on to organic cotton and slow fashion! would love to win that kit!!

  • nanaandmecreations

    nanaandmecreations from nanaandmecreations said 9 years ago

    What an inspirational story. I love that she is creating unique and lovely things and empowering people to use their talents and creativity.

  • tamaraky

    tamaraky from tamaraky said 9 years ago

    I like it! I sew, embroidery and design also. You make wonderful work!

  • tinkerbelle654

    Sharon from FaireCharlotte said 9 years ago

    It is so amazing when a person can reveal their soul in what they do!

  • karmabean82

    karmabean82 from karmabean82 said 9 years ago

    Just absolutely AWESOME!!! What a great way to bring it back to the community!!! Would love to check her book out!!! :)

  • tinkerbelle654

    Sharon from FaireCharlotte said 9 years ago

    It is so amazing when a person can reveal their soul through their work.

  • gvinokurova

    Galina Vinokurova from GalaGalya said 9 years ago

    This is a tremendous inspiration. Thank you Natalie - our best wishes to you.

  • wongette

    wongette said 9 years ago

    so so so inspiring. it gives me the push and confidence i need to pursue my passion in sustainable/slow clothing/fashion. thank you for this video and the giveaway opportunity.

  • CatesWearHandKnits

    Catherine from CatesWearHandKnits said 9 years ago

    ...I am constantly astounded by all the beauty that can be created if we are just allowed to set it free. Alabama Chanin is all about being who you really are and being able to make a living doing something that you love, after all is that not why we are all here on Etsy.

  • SimplyJeanna

    Jeanna Moore from SimplyJeanna said 9 years ago

    Absolutely stunning designs!!!

  • OffChutes

    Barbara from OffChutes said 9 years ago

    The sewing equivalent of the slow cooking movement- so awesome. It helps me imagine a perfect day.

  • spanfarm

    Alison Spanner from spanfarm said 9 years ago

    I love love love this! I did some research relating to this in college, and I became so intrigued. Strong rural woman have amazing talents that are often overlooked and/or undervalued by society. This is wonderful! What a fabulous outlet for all those creative souls. Not only that, it provides a much needed source of income in these hard times. Thank you for strengthening your roots Natalie!

  • theMIX

    Adeline Tan from haroldheartsmaude said 9 years ago

    I've just started sewing lessons and this is a very inspirational story for me. It'll be nice if this type of industry can be replicated in my own country Singapore, to give elderly people who still want/need to work a chance to do so at their own time and place, rather than at a fast-food chain at minimum wage.

  • crozette

    Allie Pesch said 9 years ago

    Love her work and would love to win her book, and especially the kit!

  • lululand

    lululand said 9 years ago

    well done - inspiring story. I have long admired her work.

  • ButterBlossoms

    ButterBlossoms from ButterBlossoms said 9 years ago

    Such a beautiful & incredible story in this day & age!! Thank you so much for the inspiration!!! ♥

  • emiliahija

    emiliahija said 9 years ago

    Funny -- when I think of a company valuing the work of artisan women and selling their handsewn pieces at a price that pays them a dignified wage, I think of a social enterprise working with women in a village in Latin America... It is really inspiring to see this happening here in our country. Also, as the granddaughter of a seamstress and dressmaker I am so happy that these skills are being preserved and passed down!

  • lacemakermj

    Melissa Mead said 9 years ago

    I learned about Natalie when I came across her first book and was completely entranced! I have all her books and a ton of inspiration stemming from them. I grew up around sewing, knitting and other handcrafts and am lucky enough to be able to use those skills every day in my job and for my own enjoyment. I started hand sewing as soon as I was able to work a needle and was very resistant to learning the machine. After I learned to use a machine I began to neglect my handwork except when necessary. The combination of researching historic sewing for my job and Natalie's amazing books, has rekindled a love of the visible stitch for me. Thank you Natalie for being such an inspiration to so many women!

  • MagnoliasnMuscadines

    Dallas and Dionne Matthews from MagnoliasnMuscadines said 9 years ago

    I first heard about Natalie from my mom who is dying for one of her books. What a great gift this would be!

  • InstrumentalMusicAZ

    Leslie said 9 years ago

    love it love it. god bless america.

  • katherinenortonmalek

    katherine norton malek said 9 years ago

    Bravo !!! What a meaningful piece. The story alone makes me want to buy Alabama Chanin. Looking at the designs - I'd buy them without the heart-warming story. Talk about feeling good in an outfit! What could be better than women buying clothes made by women whose lives are made better by what you wear. Rah rah sis boom bah!!

  • joriej54

    deb jordan said 9 years ago

    inspiring, beautiful work with a vision to match. i would love to make these...

  • rebourne

    Marni from rebourne said 9 years ago

    I have seen Natalie's work in the past, but I somehow did not know about the cottage industry and community elements Alabama Chanin. How very inspiring and timely, as I have been dreaming of a similar scheme for my neighborhood in North Philadelphia. I would love to read her book and plan to get more information about her start up. Thanks for the dream fuel!

  • moonofsilver

    Carolynn Bullard from moonofsilver said 9 years ago

    Wow, her designs and dreams were admirable and the scope of her imagination is vast beyond my wildest dreams...a true icon and an amazing women!

  • lindabrady2

    Linda Brady said 9 years ago

    Beautiful handwork makes my heart beat a little faster. I just love it. What beautiful clothes. and a beautiful story. Good for you all!!!

  • MazurkaDesigns

    MazurkaDesigns from MazurkaDesigns said 9 years ago

    I have admired her beautiful work for a while now. I love the fact that it is made by local people in her community. Well done for persevering with your dreams!

  • ClothDiaperFabric

    ClothDiaperFabric from ClothDiaperFabric said 9 years ago

    What a great women. I love the vision and fair trade. We all need to get back to our hometown roots. Thank you for inspiration.

  • gypsumrose

    Levi Emerson from gypsumrose said 9 years ago


  • PruAtelier

    Jeanne B from PruAtelier said 9 years ago

    Hello to America's resurgence via the nurturing of design and the resultant success of the cottage industries! Good bye corporate, greedy, big box America.....and are the catalyst for the change and the good things to come! I love articles like this that showcase success against the odds!

  • staceyjoy

    Staceyjoy Elkin from RedLipstickNY said 9 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful film and work... I've been a hand sewer all my life, now getting back into it, loving every minute. Women make the world go 'round.

  • smaine07

    Stacey Bowen said 9 years ago

    Wow.. goosebumps! She makes me proud to call Alabama my home too.

  • 63artlove

    Diane from LaughingWaveDesigns said 9 years ago

    Lovely film clip and she does amazing work/designs..where are her pieces sold? Enjoyed this alot.

  • bellehattie

    Jacqueline Harris from BelleHattie said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this story. It reminds me that each of us has something absolutely unique to contribute to the world.

  • Stilllily

    Stilllily from Stilllily said 9 years ago

    Amazing and so awe inspiring! Beyond impressed with her talents and work!

  • 2TrickPony

    Rachel from 2TrickPony said 9 years ago

    love the story, and the clothing. inspiring!

  • 2vcreative

    Violeta Warner from QVintage said 9 years ago

    Truly inspiring. Eric, awesome (two thumbs up) job on the film.

  • moonula

    moonula from MoonulaVintage said 9 years ago

    Gorgeous designs, inspiring story!!

  • LeftHandedStudio

    Jessica Shyreve from LeftHandedStudio said 9 years ago

    Amazing designs and the eye for detail. Love how she has been able to help her local economy.

  • ADoseOfAlchemy

    ADoseOfAlchemy from ADoseOfAlchemy said 9 years ago

    What an incredible story! My mother (MAMA!!!) is a 'Bama girl, and the tiny town she grew up in, Roanoke, was completely dependent on the cotton mill that dominated the center of life there. When the mill closed, it devestated the people of the area. For you to give the local artisans not only income that is so necessary but also a way to express their hearts in their work for Alabama Chanin goods, is amazing and beautiful! Now, if you just served my Grandma Edmondson's homemade buiscuits with Diamond Joe Syrup each morning to your artisans, you'd have the PERFECT company to work for! Thank you for setting an example that as many businesses as possible should follow..... the humanity in a product is worth the time, effort and heart that is put into it.

  • ADoseOfAlchemy

    ADoseOfAlchemy from ADoseOfAlchemy said 9 years ago

    The word "devastated" was missssspelled along with "biscuits".... guess you can tell I was excited!

  • amybarber1

    Amy Barber from ellasuedesigns said 9 years ago

    that is my dream! to employ local talent and to give myself and others a living wage. One day!

  • VenusInBloom

    Sheryl Purcell from VenusInBloom said 9 years ago

    You are an inspiration for a handmade life, thank you for the gift you bring to the world. I am inspired by the cooperative way you have designed your company and am so thrilled you have talented Alabama women sewing! I'm from Red Bay and went to college at UNA in Florence. If only I was there now I'd love to sew for you!

  • origination

    Lori Risher from origination said 9 years ago

    From one Bama girl to another...Kudos!! Her work and dedication to the areas of Alabama that are in dire need of assistance is admirable to say the least. I adore her garments and would love to own her book.

  • BeccaSews

    Becca from BeccaSews said 9 years ago

    Those clothes look amazing! I find it extremely interesting that she is allowing women to work for fair wages in such a traditional field. This is the same kind of work that women have picked up to supplement their income for hundreds of years. Awesome!

  • bellybaloo

    Ericca from bellybaloo said 9 years ago

    Such an inspiring woman!!!! Love this story!

  • Ruthiebat

    Ruthiebat from Ruthiebat said 9 years ago

    As a fiber artist I know how much work goes into these clothes and how devalued fiber work has become. Because of this I have to applaud someone who pays fiber workers a living wage and who values their skills. The clothes are beautiful, creative and original - Bravo!

  • LoveFateJewelry

    Zurien Onn from LoveFateJewelry said 9 years ago

    I am not eligible for the giveaway, but would still like to say: that was such an amazingly inspiring video! And I hope more people would see the value of handmade here in my country.

  • HandmadeIsAllAround

    HandmadeIsAllAround from iammieOWLshop said 9 years ago

    Gorgeous! Congrats on your feature!

  • agentjane

    agentjane from agentjane said 9 years ago

    What an inspiring story! I love that she looked to her roots for a solution and found a way to help local women at the same time.

  • lightenupcreations

    lightenupcreations from lightenupcreations said 9 years ago

    So inspired! Love everything about the clothing..and the story is incredible!

  • prairiemusing

    Marcia Van Oort from prairiemusing said 9 years ago

    Have loved her work since I saw her books. I admire her abiliites. Many work overseas with women to create a way to earn a living from their hand work, it is wonderful to see someone do it in the US where there is also a need for women to be able to earn a living from their handwork.

  • Iknitoo

    Iknitoo said 9 years ago

    I have been in love with hand sewing all my life. But I have been newly inspired by Natalie and her books which are alive with handwork. The beauty and care put into these pieces is both intimate and bold, revealing a bit of the artist in each stitch.

  • hanagurl

    hanagurl said 9 years ago

    I am so excited to have come across this story. I was a fashion design major in college and am always a little sad when so much of what is available to purchase is mass produced, so often off shore and with little or no style. It's wonderful that this very thoughtful creative and caring woman has found a way to create beautiful work and showcase the concept of a true cottage industry with all of the positive influence that it can have. I will continue to follow her work and look forward to seeing what the future holds for this terrific venture. Truly an American sucess story for everyone involved. Thank you to Etsy for sharing her story.

  • PeaceCircle

    Christie Knight from PeaceCircle said 9 years ago

    ...and the Universe says, YES! YES! YES!.. Enjoy your success, empowering others is the most magnificent gift you can give to another human being. What a wonderful and inspiring story.

  • flyawakepdx

    Arati from flyawakepdx said 9 years ago

    It is so wonderful to see someone living the dream and not stepping on anyone in the process. I love sewing, but it is so difficult to earn a living wage doing it. It's inspiring to see it in action. Thanks!

  • vidsuc

    Vid Su from Shineonglamour said 9 years ago

    Congratulations,Very inspiring ! Love what you do & do what you love. In New York hand sewing like this is extinct.

  • msajtwo

    Angela White Smith from UniquelyAttainable said 9 years ago

    I love local economy stories!!

  • CityBlossom

    CityBlossom said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring story. I love the ideas in her books.

  • IlluminatedPerfume

    Roxana from IlluminatedPerfume said 9 years ago

    Gosh, so inspirational! I was attracted to this story by of Natalie's beautiful silvery locks. Love what she has done in Alabama and her beautiful designs. This kind of story gives me hope that the economy is going to shift due to grass root visionaries like Natalie.

  • tsheva

    Tracye Shearin from tshhandmade said 9 years ago

    What a great, inspiring piece Americana! In this day and age where everything is happens so fast with technology ruling our lives, I am happy to see people going back to basics. There IS nothing like a handsewn, handmade item and although I think it is becoming more of a necessity, so much technology is stressful, I hope it will become more and more commonplace. Making things with your hands and minds is definitely food for the soul. Thank you for sharing this film with us Eric.

  • tsheva

    Tracye Shearin from tshhandmade said 9 years ago

    So many typos...see, I need to slow down! :)

  • stikrz

    Gary Ostrander from stikrz said 9 years ago

    this is very inspiring thanks for sharing!

  • zhenja

    e.z. things from ezthings said 9 years ago

    beautiful and inspiring! don't really know what else to say. the creations say it all!!

  • FiddleHome

    Fiddle Home Studio from FiddleHome said 9 years ago

    A true inspiration.

  • Japonpon

    Japonpon from Japonpon said 9 years ago

    Hand sewing is very popular in hi-tec/fast-fashion Japan where many folk don't have enough room to set-up a machine. The kimono has always been hand-stitched. Sewing by hand is taught to children from kindergarten onwards. It's a great thing to be able to do. If you sew your clothes by hand you realise you don't need to rely on machines and big business to shopping, shopping, shopping. You realise you don't need so many new clothes, all the time. You just need *good* clothes. As a child growing up in Australia, American-made clothes were always thought of as 'ichiban'. I still like to see 'made in USA'.

  • mbstore

    mbstore from mbstore said 9 years ago

    I just love your story on how you were living in a big city and how you wanted to have something original made but you couldn't get it done where you were. I like the fact that you went home and helped other people help you visualize your dream. Very nice. I have a feeling in me that i cannot even put into words. Your designs are beautiful. And yes, you have kept it in the USA.

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 9 years ago

    ...what I felt in my heart was right... Love this!!!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 9 years ago

    Its nice to see so many women enjoying their jobs! I've worn handmade garments in the past and it really does make a difference

  • L2Country

    L2Country from L2Country said 9 years ago

    WOW...just stopped by Alabama's BLOG (shop) and I loved it!...Txs for sharing w/ us!..."L"

  • FileUnderVintage

    FileUnderVintage from FileUnderVintage said 9 years ago


  • ktel1218

    ktel1218 from ktel1218 said 9 years ago

    If only there were more of us doing this. I guess I better start now!

  • thewoodendarner

    kathy said 9 years ago

    The designs are beautiful. I love involving the community. There are several cottage industries in the NorthEast, it just makes sense to take advantage of the workforce at hand. To have a part in creating something beautiful as well as to be rewarded it for it, seems to me to be the perfect business plan.

  • knitmystique

    Knit Mystique from KnitMystique said 9 years ago

    Everythign about this article is tunning. Alabama, her clothes, her philosophy and the video!

  • bylauragraves

    laura graves from bylauragraves said 9 years ago

    Such an inspiration!

  • PeaceStitchStudio

    PeaceStitchStudio from PeaceStitchStudio said 9 years ago

    Alabama Chanin is amazing-- Natalie, the designs, the sewists, the localness! I'm a big fan of the slow cloth movement. Thanks for the great interview!

  • Craftelina

    vik and ig from Craftelina said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for this feature! Enjoyed this video with great appreciation and joy of seeing things being done in such a beautiful and dignified way in clothes industry. Should be a great inspiration for many initiatives globally! Love and light to all!

  • BmadeNEW

    rikki colacurcio from BmadeNEW said 9 years ago

    Being someone who only sews by hand....ALOT, this woman's work stabs me ever so gently (sewing needle size) right in the heart. Being someone who's trying to start a social venture with my work, to empower women/families in poverty with simple sewing techniques, i am pressed to re-double my courage and discipline.

  • ginielee

    Ginie from ginielee said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful inspiration and a great way to really make a difference in an industry that really needs a re think right now!

  • vanessaeight

    vanessa from midcenturydesignhome said 9 years ago

    What an inspiration and beautiful garments, thank you for sharing.

  • lunahoo

    lunahoo from lunahoo said 9 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful designs!!Love your clothes!! Thank you for sharing this interview :)

  • CloudLoveBaby

    Kathryn from CloudLoveBaby said 9 years ago

    This is just beautiful! I've been reading your blog for a long time now, but this video really says so much more! Beautiful!

  • Shoptastic

    Shoptastic from Shoptastic said 9 years ago

    a beautiful story! I love her work!

  • ivorybird

    Kathe from ivorybird said 9 years ago

    Awe inspiring story, beautiful clothing and a priceless message.

  • EastThomasLee

    Lee Thomas from EastThomasLee said 9 years ago

    Wow! Beautifully done!

  • EastThomasLee

    Lee Thomas from EastThomasLee said 9 years ago

    I love her work

  • penelopewho

    penelope holt said 9 years ago

    It is so wonderful when people work together and care about the quality of life. Beautiful piece.

  • alittlemorerosie

    Rosie from alittlemorerosie said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful, amazing story that brought tears to my eyes. So thankful for such a wonderful caring person who would take the time to give derserving folks decent jobs. Amazing clothing!

  • crossroadantiques

    Diana from crossroadantiques said 9 years ago

    I love the idea of keeping an old tradition alive. The clothes are beautiful!

  • dreadsandcurls

    Tanya from dreadsandcurls said 9 years ago

    I admire this woman so much, and have her first book. Luv huh!


    c. a. wilson from HOBBYHORSELADY said 9 years ago

    What a lovely idea to find new ways of making a living for our own impoverished people while keeping old traditions alive. There are so many old traditional handicrafts that have have been "copied" by machines. These handicrafts just don't translate as well when made by machine. They were meant to be crafted by people's hands and those people added their own creative touches to each one. It makes my heart sing to know someone is keeping these traditions alive and, maybe in the process, helping build dignity within our own neighborhoods.

  • esmeraldadesigns

    christina from esmeraldadesigns said 9 years ago

    Amazing and empowering!!!!

  • AmyCanSew

    Amy K from AmyCanSew said 9 years ago

    I will have to go out and get the first book right away! Love her ideas.

  • ShaggyBaggy

    sharon schneider from ShaggyBaggy said 9 years ago

    what an amazing story! and beautiful work here!

  • jmark5

    Jeanie from jmark5 said 9 years ago

    Love this story; I have also been sewing most everything by hand so I love this concept!

  • paperbreezes

    Ronda Smith from paperbreezes said 9 years ago

    Blessings to Natalie for the gift she has and the heart to share it! She recognizes that they need each other - her and the artisans.

  • thefuzzypeach

    thefuzzypeach from thefuzzypeach said 9 years ago

    There is nothing not super wonderful about the Alabama Chanin group. I love the books, the garments, the front-woman, everything. I have made a piece inspired by her first two books, and it was amazingly difficult and gave me a wonderful respect for her artisans. When I grow up, I want to work for Alabama Chanin. Until then, I guess I'll keep DIYing her beautiful designs.

  • evanshelen

    Helen Evans said 9 years ago

    I saw Alabama Chanin in Vogue several years back and have admired her work ever since. What she is doing is something that more designers should attempt, production in the USA. With the current economic situation we could benefit from the additional jobs and a revitalization of the garment industry in the USA.

  • robinde

    Robin from robinde said 9 years ago

    beautiful film! i love her story and would love to learn more about the sewing techniques employed by her artisans. thanks!

  • jarck101

    Lisa Arney from jarck101 said 9 years ago

    I love her ideas. How wonderful to have some things made with quality in America!

  • linnyward

    linnyward from linnyward said 9 years ago

    the clothes are absolute magic....

  • LindaSchaeferGallery

    Melinda Schaefer from LindaSchaeferGallery said 9 years ago

    Beautiful designs I love the one of a kind, handmade styles and made in the good ol' USA!!!

  • rescuedthreads

    Kira Boyd from rescuedthreads said 9 years ago

    My hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rescuedthreads

    Kira Boyd from rescuedthreads said 9 years ago

    My Hero!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously...long time fan

  • ElegantElementsOnlin

    Beverly from ElegantElementsOnlin said 9 years ago

    Such an inspiring story. Beautiful clothing, handmade has a spirit all it's own.

  • samnkerry

    Kerry Moody said 9 years ago

    Love it! I live in Alabama and this is so appreciated! I learned to sew when I was younger and look forward to sewing some of Alabama Chanin inspired items!

  • ThePattypanShop

    ThePattypanShop from ThePattypanShop said 9 years ago

    Great feature! Lovely designs!!!! My mom first taught me to handsew before I was allowed to use a machine!!

  • ccoggins

    Carol Coggins from AmericanGirlClassics said 9 years ago

    I saw a special on this on TV. I was impressed as a life long seamstress, more impressed as a southerner that someone is doing what it takes to help an area with a depressed economy, yet so full of so many talented people. Good Job!

  • megk8199

    Megan Morris from MadebyMegShop said 9 years ago

    Beautiful story, thank you for writing about this. I wish there were more people out there willing to take a chance and try to produce some good in this world by helping out their friends and neighbors. I, for one, am inspired.

  • graciemay

    Meagan Buch from graciemay said 9 years ago

    I love Natalie's design aesthetic and drive to push for what she believes in.

  • noblegnome

    Anna Edwards from noblegnome said 9 years ago

    One of those success stories that should be told to high schoolers to inspire and show them that hard work pays off.

  • bestlovedchild

    Cathryn Lane from BestLovedChild said 9 years ago

    Love her designs but the idea of using local workers instead of sending the product overseas makes the clothing morally acceptable. Also love that she shows any home sewer how to duplicate her designs so they are accessible to all.

  • zippybubblelips

    zippybubblelips from saltydogvintage said 9 years ago

    I love the idea of creating and supporting a local economy. I was turned on to Alabama Chanin by my Astrology teacher, she brought in a book to my salon and I was enchanted by what I saw and decided at that moment that I wanted to do this.

  • blillystudio

    blillystudio said 9 years ago

    I have loved Natalie's work for a long time. I got a chance to see her beautiful work up close at a trunk show in Memphis Tn. I would love to have a copy of the book. I have three daughters who would be very happy to receive my handiwork for Christmas.

  • skebrumley

    skebrumley said 9 years ago

    Brings Tears to my eyes. I respect Natalie for sharing her "gift" and encouraging the community as if we are her familiy, to create and HOW to create. She nurtures us not because it is a requirement, but because it comes from her heart. She has made a spirit of people who feel fulfilled because she is not afraid to reveal her wisdom. I believe this is the aurora that surrounds Natalie and enables the "wow" to happen. Simply, I want to Thank You for brings me energy for my artistic soul.

  • pumpkinspices

    Abby Marshall said 9 years ago

    Really beautiful designs.

  • coldfeetjewelry

    coldfeetjewelry from coldfeetjewelry said 9 years ago

    great video. very inspiring, thanks.

  • LoupBelle

    LoupBelle from LoupBelle said 9 years ago

    Very beautiful and inspiring! :)

  • stillwatersstudio

    Sherry Scheitel from stillwatersstudio said 9 years ago

    The video made me cry also. It's such a beautiful, contemplative thing the do, hand sewing something. I am falling more and more in love with handmade. I've been following Alabama Chanin for several years. Thanks you for featuring her work.

  • SassySisterVintage

    Kim Strozewski from SassySisterVintage said 9 years ago

    I moved to Alabama from Florida close to 10 years ago when my husband got a job here. I recall hearing several people say that they worked in a textile mill that had recently closed down when I first moved here. I know of several vacant ones in South Alabama. So I relate to what Natalie is saying about people loosing their jobs who worked in the textile industry. She's doing a wonderful thing to have local people work for her! Wonderful clothing as well.

  • treesinterabithia

    Anne Kirk from HeathandMoor said 9 years ago

    I am enthralled with this story! I have never heard of the woman or company before but this story has peaked me interest and I'm off to read more!

  • Tonia

    Tonia from Tonia said 9 years ago

    Alabama Chanin has inspired me to make my own wedding dress! I own another one of Natalie's books and I just can't get enough of her gorgeous inspiration. Congrats to her entire team for making their mark in this world and in such a positive way.

  • spiritbear2

    spiritbear2 said 9 years ago

    So incredably beautiful!!!!! These are the clothes I want to wear. So inspiring I will have to get the book. Thank you Natalie for your vision and sharing it.


    Sara from PSILOVEYOUSkinCare said 9 years ago

    Great story!! What a wonderful way to give back to a community and create beautiful pieces of clothing.

  • janieandjulia

    Helen said 9 years ago

    I'm from a town in North Carolina that has been hugely affected by the closing of textile mills. And, as a sewer/quilter, I hugely appreciate what the Natalie has done for the sewers of Alabama. What an incredible story!

  • pocketsize

    pocketsize said 9 years ago

    Inspiring! I have seen her work before, and I really like it. Now I love it more, having seen some of the seamstresses enjoying and taking pride in their work.

  • silverlily786

    Fatema from SilverLilyJewelry said 9 years ago

    Although I am not eligible for the giveaway I had to comment!,I have admired Alabama Chanin's work since I had seen a feature on! beautiful well made garment's sourced and worked locally!

  • scottiejo

    Scottie Hill said 9 years ago

    I LOVE this. Notice she said 'relationship' and meant it. It's not a supply chain to her. It's a relationship. Bravo!

  • SquidWhaleDesigns

    Elizabeth McTear from HonestAlchemyCo said 9 years ago

    This is incredible and inspiring. Myself and Sarah of SquidWhale are working towards our own solutions for handmade sustainable and considered clothing (at least for ourselves, maybe for the shop). Beautifully made pieces and such a great revitalization of a community. Great lessons to be taken from this!

  • bvegso

    Brittany V said 9 years ago

    Such beautiful clothing and a great organization. As I'm just jumping into sewing, this would be great!

  • byloomandhyde

    Alexandra Ritchie from byloomandhyde said 9 years ago

    Amazingly inspiring - just love the honesty of it all...

  • Cottagegarden

    Sarah Sullivan from Cottagegarden said 9 years ago

    Oh wow that is amazing! The clothing stunning! Yes please add me to the giveaway! Sarah

  • noodleandlouvintage

    jenn from noodleandlouvintage said 9 years ago

    such a beautiful story and i absolutely adore the clothing... wonderful!!

  • noodleandlouvintage

    jenn from noodleandlouvintage said 9 years ago

    such a beautiful story and i absolutely adore the clothing... wonderful!!

  • offsitelab

    trace said 9 years ago

    Detail and vision.... the near and far of a beautiful piece, or, one's contirbution and participation in community... Inspiring to see such a successful grafting of soul and craft.

  • alance84

    BHB from BassetHoundBoogie said 9 years ago

    I have your book on my Amazon wishlist, and I can't wait to get my hands on it! My home state is Alabama, and it brings me joy to know that you are supplying people with a way of life!

  • TwistedTinkers

    Marla McCoy from TwistedTinkers said 9 years ago

    What a fantastic opportunity! Keep up the wonderful and inspirational work. xx Marla

  • jillybeanvintage

    Jillian Abernathy from jillybeanvintage said 9 years ago

    This story and short film is so inspiring, not only with the creative aspect, but just the human kindness factor. It made me want to challenge myself, not only as a seamstress, but to be more conscious of those around me. It is absolutely beautiful!

  • mindycarlene

    mindycarlene said 9 years ago

    The Alabama Chanin books and web site are truly inspirational! So very beautiful. I am completely ham-handed, but Natalie makes me feel as though I just might have it in me to do this.

  • lindamiller937

    Linda Miller from Threadbender64 said 9 years ago

    I so admire those who have a passion for sewing from the heart and enjoy the process of creating something so special. I think more and more people are beginning to appreciate this. Thank you for sharing this heart warming story.

  • takingshape

    Aleta Ford Baker from AletaFordBakerDesign said 9 years ago

    Have admired Natalie's work ever since Project Alabama - keeping alive the art of hand-stitching!

  • ecochic

    meadow from ecochic said 9 years ago

    such amazingly beautiful clothing. the passion and balance behind each piece is really inspiring. the clothing like a quilt seems to each have its own journey. if only one day i can be able to tell such an inspiring success story about my work growing with my community..... dreamy! Natalie Channin.... fashion hero!

  • SouthernCarnival

    SouthernCarnival from SouthernCarnival said 9 years ago

    As an Alabama native I am thrilled to see this company thrive. The decline of the textile industry in our state changed lives and restructured towns. The textile heritage of the South is rich and diverse, especially in Alabama. From the the Gees Bend quilts to the Mobile Mardi Gras regalia. Our local population, especially the women, have always produced exquisite textiles, often out of necessity. It comes as no surprise to me that this stunning line of clothing is made here by our people.

  • fredandlulu

    Anna Zerega from fredandlulu said 9 years ago

    what a beautiful video about beautiful women. so inspiring...

  • sunflowermoonshine

    sunflowermoonshine said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful story. Using unemployed individuals to assist with her line of clothing.....remarkable! I have never heard of Natalie Channin until today, and I am extremely impressed. Absolutely beautiful clothes.....I love them. Congratulations Natalie! From a Tennessee girl to an Alabama are good!

  • LolasEtsy

    LolasEtsy said 9 years ago

    I adore the Alabama Chanin aesthetic, like many things southern, there is a sad and inspirational back story. It is because of folks like Ms. Chanin and her artisians, I am so proud to say I live in Alabama.

  • InnerWild

    Flora from InnerWild said 9 years ago

    mindycarlene introduced me to Alabama Chanin a few months ago - sublime. inspiring.

  • MichelleTan

    Michelle Tan from MichelleTan said 9 years ago

    This inspires me to start sewing even more by hand

  • CleverChar

    Clever Charlotte from CleverChar said 9 years ago

    Thank for featuring Natalie, her work and her mission in this Etsy story--what a nice way to start my day! I have long admired Natalie's commitment to design, the environment and her employees. Her first two books, artworks in themselves, have served as an inspiration for me, and I can't wait to get my copy of her latest. Thank you, Natalie, for giving so much!

  • myhermitude

    Debi Bender from myhermitude said 9 years ago

    Natalie's story inspires me! Thank you for sharing it on Etsy. I could fall in love with this design line. It makes me want to start sewing again...

  • lscrabtr

    lscrabtr said 9 years ago

    love it! first saw the work with the heath ceramics collaboration, and it's been interesting learning more about the design behind the name! the work is gorgeous.

  • Splinkville

    Splinkville from Splinkville said 9 years ago

    Viva La Hand Sewing!

  • NoirGriffon

    Lisa Crawford said 9 years ago

    I discovered, Project Alabama, Natalie's initial introduction into ready to wear in an Indianapolis, IN boutique. The buyers were forward thinking regarding what to offer to their well traveled client base. The garments were sewn by loving hands and pieces of wearable art. Natalie, your work has literally altered so many lives in a positive direction. Thank you for branching out, sharing not only your story, but the story of those women who were gifted with talent and helping them elevate themselves & their families, and continueing to bring the "Alabama" mission even further with your latest published works. You and the Alabama women are role models to us all that change is possible and being skilled in any type of textile fabrication, knitting, weaving, sewing, spinning, stumpwork is a art form of expression. Thank you, Lisa Crawford @

  • baylydog1

    Emily said 9 years ago

    I cracked open my copy of Alabama last night in an attempt to get out of a funk, it worked...then I ran across this highlighted piece today, carrying me through to not only ending my day yesterday looking at great design and dreaming, but also starting my day off today with inspiration, too. Thanks Natalie!

  • briannasid

    Brianna Stack from briannasid said 9 years ago

    The work is so lovely! And what a wonderful idea. So glad we are moving towards a more sustainable culture!

  • DeathByVintage

    Jypyse from DeathByVintage said 9 years ago

    My grandmother and my favorite aunt were employed by the textile mills their entire lives. All the southern textile mills have long since moved overseas, leaving so many women who relied on the extra money earned with no way to help support their families. Miss Natalie is a true Southern Belle and a sweet soul to help so many needy people. Who says the south ain't got soul? xoxo jypsye

  • Raimbowtree

    Elektron Raimbow from Raimbowtree said 9 years ago

    I love her stuff so much!

  • TirzahCo

    Beverly Kingwood from TirzahCo said 9 years ago

    Awesome video! I love her work and that she developed her whole company within the community. I wrote a business plan for my clothing company and included Natalie as a example of how I want my business to be. We have to take a stand and create jobs here in the USA. Their are so many skilled workers here and whats so funny is that hand made was what this country was founded on. I give huge props to her and she is my inspiration. Much Love!

  • Rustyangelfiber

    Angie Forget said 9 years ago

    What an absolutely amazing and inspiring story. To see the joy on those employee's faces and to know they are doing something they love while still being able to support their families is inspiring. I've always had difficulty with sewing machines so have never really got into sewing. But this movie just reminded me that I spent months every weekend with my grandmother learning how to sew by hand all those beautiful stiches. I'm inspired to try again! So wonderful thank you!

  • pinksnakejewelry

    kim rhodes-thomas from pinksnakejewelry said 9 years ago

    Wonderful Film!!! Love the clothes- BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Would love to learn how to sew more then the basic stitch!!!

  • vintagegreats

    Donna from vintagegreats said 9 years ago

    Love her work. So inspiring!

  • ArtandArtisan

    Jane from ArtandArtisan said 9 years ago

    One woman with a vision can indeed change the world. Alabama Chanin is a brilliant concept by a woman with both a heart and a sound head for business. The Southern textile industry was once one of the most important in the world. Natalie Chanin and her designs are a blessing for the highly skilled workers displaced by those with lesser vision.

  • tylerja

    tylerja from tylerja said 9 years ago

    Her designs are stunning! So excited to see this feature!

  • Tadamjewelry

    Allyson Mellone from allysonmellone said 9 years ago

    A few years ago I worked at a museum that exhibited garments that represented aesthetics and techniques from around the world. There were several pieces from Alabama Chanin that were included in the exhibition. I condition reported each piece - my eyes and hands examined the cut and structure, seam and stitch. It was an uplifting day to spend time with those pieces. Alabama Chanin affirmed my view that art through the process of handcrafting and innovation represents the best of who we are. Human creation. The reason why I choose, and remained until recently, in museum work.

  • 3mapleavenuedesigns

    Corinna Milliken from 3mapleavenuedesigns said 9 years ago

    As we say here in MA "AWESOME"!! "AWESOME"!!

  • Thinque

    Thinque Design from Thinque said 9 years ago

    WOW! Never knew! Alabama Chanin is an amazing example and story for us all warm and inspire our creative hearts. Thank You!

  • blackrabbitsilver

    karen from blackrabbitsilver said 9 years ago

    Just ordered Natalie's two books on-line - can't wait to get them!

  • memaPatty

    memaPatty said 9 years ago

    Seeing the pleasure on the faces of the sewers as they make items to last a lifetime is priceless. Natalie Chanin has reminded us that women can make a positive improvement to our world. I would love to have the chance to attempt to make one of her designs.

  • beetlebottomdesign

    beetlebottomdesign from beetlebottomdesign said 9 years ago

    Luv It! I never would have thought of making clothing without using a machine at all. I will have to try it. I spend a lot of time at soccer practices and games with nothing to do during down times. Being able to work on things there would be great!!

  • thevelvetheart

    Melanie Beth from thevelvetheart said 9 years ago

    Beautiful story!

  • LCooperDesigns

    LC Cooper from LeMaisonBelle said 9 years ago

    A truly inspiring story – thanks for sharing!

  • hafvalla

    Jenn Reimels said 9 years ago

    Wonderful combination of talent, drive, business sense, and most surprising, ethics! Great to see that success can happen in your own backyard.....

  • RapscallionVintage

    RapscallionVintage from RapscallionVintage said 9 years ago

    What a beautiful story! From a family who grew up in the South with members still residing, thank you artisans of Alabama Chanin for inspiring growth and hope.

  • twentytwotwenty

    twentytwotwenty from twentytwotwenty said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful story! Natalie is an amazing woman, very inspiring!

  • kwguerra

    Karen said 9 years ago

    This is so right! I'm starting on my first skirt. I know it will take more time than using a sewing machine, but I know it will be worth it.

  • ezliving

    ezliving from ezliving said 9 years ago

    Beautiful work! congratulation! Thank for sharing!!!

  • enjoitherhythm

    James Bennett said 9 years ago

    Oooo me likey :)

  • sewlola

    lola from dearvintagecupboard said 9 years ago

    The stitchwork and clothing are exquisite! I visited the website and each piece of clothing and accessory left me in reverie. :) Thanks for sharing the story. I would love to learn through Natalie's book, it is so inspiring!

  • Glabella

    Glabella said 9 years ago

    I just discovered their work and I'm more than a little obsessed!!

  • mcgrossman

    mcgrossman said 9 years ago

    What a beautiful little film with a very inspiring subject. I read the AC blog all the time. It was nice to see Natalie in a "motion picture"(<:

  • LoveTheBaby

    Allison Moss from LoveTheBaby said 9 years ago

    Natalie, thank you for what you are doing. It is inspiring to people like me who love to do handwork to see that you are calling on locals, people in the community, to contribute their time and talents to make the fine clothes of Alabama Chanin. It esteems the local population and their skills and the end results are rewarding for you, for them, for your customers, for everyone.

  • dolphinwhales

    erin williams said 9 years ago

    Watching those women makes me want to go pick up a needle right now.

  • uniquetouches

    Jo Wyrosdick from uniquetouches said 9 years ago

    I have always enjoyed looking at these books for sewing ideas. Her garments are lovely. Jo

  • alfalfasprout70

    alfalfasprout70 said 9 years ago

    I love the peace of watching them hand sew. Inspiring. Sharon

  • EmSewCrazy

    Emily from EmSewCrazy said 9 years ago

    Wow! Beautiful garments! Never heard of her before and find it fascinating that she has made a business out of hand sewing! Supporting her community like she does is amazing as well! So inspiring!

  • SusiesBoutiqueTLC

    SusiesBoutiqueTLC from SusiesBoutiqueTLC said 9 years ago

    Great feature.Beautiful clothing. :)

  • FairyLynne

    Randi Kuhne from FairyLynne said 9 years ago

    Art you can wear...from a company with heart. Love it!

  • JoWishes

    Jo Rudd said 9 years ago

    Beautiful clothing. This is the first time I have seen her work and I am inspired and just happy that her business can be profitable whilst providing an income and a fulfilling occupation to local artisans. It just goes to show what an impact one person with a vision can make.

  • LisasLittleCreations

    Lisa Aldrich from LisasLittleCreations said 9 years ago

    Finally a feature on my favorite State!! Since 2002, my daughter Allison and I vacation twice a year or a month during the summer in Northern Alabama. I love all the handmade items we find each and every Saturday at the Mountain Top flea market - from Florence to Anniston Al hitting all the areas boutique, shops, & yard sales . It is where I first fell in love with quilts and home decor and clothing handmade. I have Natalie's book Alabama stitchin- it's awesome. Thank you so much for featuring Natalie she is truly inspiring!

  • fourlittleowlsmaine

    fourlittleowlsmaine from fourlittleowlsmaine said 9 years ago

    What a lovely and inspiring article! Thank you.

  • recklessdriving

    recklessdriving from recklessdriving said 9 years ago

    I have admired Natalie & her philosophy since the first time I picked up one of her books a few years ago. The styles and methods are timeless and endlessly inspirational. Reading over a technique of hers in a book always gets me thinking about my grandmother & that's something that always makes me smile & feel connected to her.

  • jpspringfiel

    Pearl Springfield from ZoeGraceBlooms said 9 years ago

    An inspiring story that shows great respect for the talents of those who need a path to success. One person can make such a glad that Natalie lead the way...

  • FunkyTreasures

    Danneel from FunkyTreasures said 9 years ago

    My heart has stopped in awe! I am near tears as I think back to the nights I would sneak into my grandmothers sewing room and watch her put the finishing touches on a garment that she had hand sewn, from start to finish. What a wonderful story! Thank you!

  • alisontauber

    alisontauber from alisontauber said 9 years ago

    So happy to see Etsy bring attention to such a talented artist. Natalie Chanin is inspirational!

  • mangoavenue

    Kimberly Ott from mangoavenue said 9 years ago

    What a beautiful story about such an inspirational woman! Natalie's business model is wonderful and gives me plenty of food for thought! I appreciate being given the insight on how to improve the economy and community in which we each live. I never tire of reading about topics such as this! I only become more motivated to improve upon my own skills and products and to impress upon others the beauty of handmade :)

  • mbooth1

    mbooth1 from mbooth1 said 9 years ago

    Wow. Seeing the actual artisans at work and listening to Natalie Chanin speak brings Alabama Chanin to life! So inspiring!

  • starsparrow

    Ashley Boccuti from starsparrow said 9 years ago

    I am a huge fan of Natalie and Alabama Chanin. She has inspired me to live more sustainably, and this year I committed to only buy things I could not make myself. So far, I've been handsewing all my own clothes this year!

  • KristinOliver

    Kristin Oliver from KristinOliver said 9 years ago

    Oh, I love this! - Power to the Local -

  • FusedNTwisted

    Marcia Weaver from FusedNTwisted said 9 years ago

    This is one of the most uplifting posts I've read in ages. I have two toddler dresses--maybe a baby dress too--that were completely handsewn by my mother many, many years ago and I marvel at the talent and skill she showed on these treasures. I love your idea about sharing your secrets and showing others how to use them. I also love that your ideas are being warmly embraced, Natalie--and that you pay people living wages to do the work. We can be the change! Awesome post.

  • charlottelst

    M Farrington said 9 years ago

    This is lovely and inspiring. Sustainability and wonderful designs.

  • stimama

    stimama from stimama said 9 years ago

    i have been so inspired by natalie. each new project i start, involves more hand sewing and less machine. this southern girl is in love with the pace----slow!

  • Terazul

    Terri Espinosa from WiseHearted said 9 years ago

    Love, love, love, Alabama Chanin!!! : )

  • threadlady58

    Robin McSwain from TangledThreadShoppe said 9 years ago

    I love your story. It is so inspiring. Can't wait to get the books listed and find more inspiration. Thank you for bringing back hand and needlework. i do believe I'm going to start doing my 'own' designs

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring and encouraging!

  • ShinyRockDesigns

    Kathy Likos from Likos said 9 years ago

    I am amazed by this woman and her desire to help others help themselves. I am equally amazed at the beautiful craftmanship!

  • amandasma

    amandasma said 9 years ago

    Reading about the Alabama Chanin clothing business is as close to a spiritual experience I have ever had. I love the whole idea behind Natalie's business. I so wish I could be a part of it. The world is so lucky she is here.

  • 5gardenias

    kathi roussel from 5gardenias said 9 years ago

    So lovely to see and hear Natalie Chanin describing her business from its beginnings to the here and now. I've been drooling over her amazingly beautiful designs since the first day I laid eyes on one of her pieces some years back. Natalie is such an inspiration -- her success so well deserved and I salute her for giving women of her community a beautiful way to earn a wage! Fabulous post!

  • MissSolemnis

    MissSolemnis said 9 years ago

    Beautiful business philosophy and beautiful designs. We need more Natalies in the world.

  • NestnHome

    Julia Morehead from NestnHome said 9 years ago

    I have loved Natalie's designes ever since I first stumbled onto her first book a few years ago. I think that her sustainability practices and business practices are what we all should strive to emulate in our own shops.

  • greenmtnmama

    greenmtnmama said 9 years ago

    My great grammas and my mama taught me how to stitch.I have to do it everyday or my day doesn't feel right.Thank you for your books.Your clothes are the most beautiful I have ever seen.

  • mexicodeb

    mexicodeb said 9 years ago

    I was so impressed by the film and the message presented. Handmade has such a negative connotation to most people. I appreciate how this is refuted and the talents of these wonderful women are respected.

  • lingane

    lingane said 9 years ago

    Right on so many levels...

  • pepija

    pepija said 9 years ago

    I have just dabbled in her techniques. Seeing the results develop on my reverse applique customised t-shirt was amazing and exciting. Makes you appreciate how much work goes in there to create a complete garment. I really enjoyed seeing the artisans having other jobs and doing Alabama Chanin garments.

  • shuqi

    Emily Lim from shuqi said 9 years ago

    the whole part just so creative and beautiful:)

  • suzanneartist

    Suzanne Urban from SmirkingGoddess said 9 years ago

    These are the kind of stories I look for. How creative people can positively impact a community.

  • jamiedean

    Jamie DiEmidio said 9 years ago

    I have been a huge fan of Alabama Chanin since I first saw her work on the front cover of Fiber Magazine.I grew up with my mother in the women's wear industry in N.Y.C and would just love a job with her company!

  • brittschmiesing

    brittschmiesing said 9 years ago

    i love her style. one day i will have a closet full of hand sewn jersey wear. i have made several pieces already and always look forward to peeks at any of her new designs.

  • TurtleStarStudio

    Lynsi Pasutti from TurtleStarStudio said 9 years ago

    Wonderful wonderful! A sustainable business model and celebration of beautiful handmade goods.

  • HummingbirdFactory

    HummingbirdFactory from HummingbirdFactory said 9 years ago

    Wow and more wow. I've been in awe of this woman for some time - amazing story.

  • stampalina

    k a t from stampalina said 9 years ago

    I've checked her books out from the library many times, but it would be great to be able to work with the patterns. Thanks for the chance to win a kit!

  • Sorka

    Sorka said 9 years ago

    Natalie has helped me slow down and really take a look at valuating my own work. That's hard for me some times, especially the slowing down part!

  • thepolkadothen

    thepolkadothen from ThePolkaDotHen said 9 years ago

    Would love to try her techniques.

  • StitchInHeat

    Kate Westlund from SelbyGeneral said 9 years ago

    Beautiful clothes and a beautiful video! AND an inspirational story to boot! So cool.

  • AnnaHaikuDesigns

    Anna B from AnnaHaikuDesigns said 9 years ago

    As a fellow hand stitcher I was thrilled to find one with the gumption and grace to make a business here in the US, based on local talent and a living wage. Natalie you are a beautiful and inspiring relfection of artist, business woman and social activist of the highest order. It has long been my goal to put together a business using the talents and skills honned in years of crafting and quilting. I am so excited! Northern Cali anyone?

  • cherylbennett

    cherylbennett said 9 years ago

    So inspiring! I recently finished making one of Natalie's skirt designs and discovered that I love hand-sewing. I look forward to making many more pieces from this treasure trove.

  • efradkin

    Elyse Fradkin said 9 years ago

    Between these garments and the kantha quilts coming from India, I'm feeling very inspired about repurposing materials that I otherwise would have thrown away. Paying people a living wage, when they have long been without one, is wonderful, too.

  • acorngirl

    Mary Eld from acorngirl said 9 years ago

    Truly inspiring. :)

  • adjjsj

    Jennifer Johnson said 9 years ago

    Lovely film! I'm a great admirer of the Alabama Chanin ethos and aesthetic.

  • electricxstars

    electricxstars said 9 years ago

    Keep up the amazing work!

  • ailaspi

    ailaspi said 9 years ago

    This is just beautiful craftsmanship. Amazing. I love the dedication of all these artists and the quality of all the pieces. Really amazing. Why buy clothes from outside of this country when you can find amazing pieces at "home"?

  • Lilster

    Lilster said 9 years ago

    such an fantastic company run by inspiring people!

  • KiraFerrer

    Kira Ferrer from KiraFerrer said 9 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this inspirational story! And, the clothes are absolutely gorgeous!

  • kgarver

    keri hallau said 9 years ago

    I have been so impressed with the whole package that Alabama Chanin represents, from using locally/regionally sourced organic cotton, to providing flexible income for mostly women, and generously sharing the patterns and ideas created by Natalie and her team, not to mention the simple brilliance behind the designs. I have never ever been so enamored by a company and a concept and a community. keep up the amazing work and thanks for sharing it with us all!

  • leeandgenie

    leeandgenie said 9 years ago

    Absolutely inspiring....I have followed the growth of Alabama Chanin for years. In fact, Ms. Chanin is included in my personal inspiration journal. Beautifully crafted clothing and business savy. Proo positive it can be done.

  • tookyathome

    Rebecca Smith said 9 years ago

    What lovely eye candy. Have seen your books in bookstore, but that is obviously not the whole story. I am familiar with the Japanese craft book model, where they sell the books, fabric and notions. But you also sell the finished product. Thanks

  • riverstarstudio

    Lisa Manchester from riverstarstudio said 9 years ago

    I have all three of Natalie Chanin's books and have loved her designs since the days of Project Alabama. I admire the idea behind the company and how her company allows people to continue time honored traditions. I have made a few of the items in the books using recycled t-shirts and thrift store found cotton jersey. And although I'm a very proficient at sewing on a machine, nothing beats items that are hand sewn. It is amazing how such a simple material like jersey can be transformed into something with a look and feel of richness that can't be matched. I thank Natalie for allowing the public free access to her designs and ideas.

  • mellowmine

    Colette from mellowmine said 9 years ago

    What an inspiring idea and way of life. I think its much more fulfilling to share with others, than to go it alone, to try to reach our goals.

  • DielleDesigns

    Dielle from DielleDesigns said 9 years ago

    I've read a couple of her books and have loved them both. This looks absolutely wonderful!

  • erinsmith966

    Erin Smith said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the story, it's exciting to hear about a designer making the effort to employ craftswomen and men and pay a living wage.

  • Michirr

    Michirr said 9 years ago

    Lovely work. It reminds me of traditional Indian sewing work - which of course is all done by hand.

  • suriyadesigns

    suriyadesigns from suriyadesigns said 9 years ago

    Truly inspiring~

  • TribalImages

    Madeline Yellow Hawk Corey-Thomas from TribalImages said 9 years ago

    Just wonderful. How can I see more?

  • Karramandi

    Yvonne Smith from Karramandi said 9 years ago

    Such a heart warming story. It's such an inspiration to find someone who gives back to the community and appreciates that community. Very refreshing. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • bricolagegirls

    bricolagegirls from bricolagegirls said 9 years ago

    We have been working & starting a sewing initiative in Juarez, MX. I am sooo happy to hear other people doing the same work really well. All our clothes are handmade--the question is by who. Were they paid a fair wage? I love your story!! Empowering people is a life calling.

  • LastofthePageGirls

    LastofthePageGirls from LastofthePageGirls said 9 years ago

    Great story, I'm always happy to learn about folks like Natalie.

  • BusyMomDesigns

    Tricia Roberts from BusyMomDesigns said 9 years ago

    Such an inspiration. Not only is her work beautiful, but the concept is genius. These books will be on my must read list!

  • pappirmynd

    Anna Fortenberry Julia from pappirmynd said 9 years ago

    A couple of days ago I was trying to remember her name because of a story I read a few years ago and here it is. Love this story and so glad to see it here!

  • yellowpony

    yellowpony said 9 years ago

    How did I not know about this before? So gorgeous!

  • mypepitas

    mypepitas said 9 years ago

    I am a long-time fan of this company, its founder, and her philosophy. Having sewn a couple of items from the book series I can fully appreciate the amount of work that goes into each one, and I only wish I could purchase an entire Alabama Chanin wardrobe!! It was lovely to see Natalie herself in the film, as well as some of the women she employs. Thank you!

  • buggabu

    michelle from michellerealini said 9 years ago

    I am such a long time admirer of Natalie and her work, she is so talented and creative, especially in her methods of growing a strong business.

  • tlasichak

    theresa said 9 years ago

    the work..inspiring..creative..innovative..the designs fan here.

  • DruthersBizarre

    Jennifer Elmore from DruthersBizarre said 9 years ago

    ...made me cry with happiness.

  • fawnrelic

    Kate Dombrowski from fawnrelic said 9 years ago

    Love Alabama Chanin! I buy their organic cottons to make some of my scarves with. The quality is fantastic!

  • cindylanier1

    cindy lanier said 9 years ago

    these clothes are so beautiful. i've never seen anything quite like them. i want all 3 books and a kit and.... i want to make something using these methods. gorgeous! i am so encouraged too to see someone paying fair wages to textile artisans. this is such a contrast to sweat shops. yeah for alabama chanin!!!

  • ngdesigns

    ngdesigns from ngdesigns said 9 years ago

    very inspiring. her web page is my go-to place when I want to see something pretty.

  • ThreadTrekker

    Amber Compton from ThreadTrekker said 9 years ago

    As an Alabama native, I'm so proud of what this company stands for and the passion they have for beautiful hand stitched artwork! Truly an inspiration!

  • gailanders3

    Gail Anderson from gailanders3 said 9 years ago

    A celebration of all things hand-made!

  • BetsyBlythe

    BetsyBlythe from BetsyBlythe said 9 years ago

    Women helping women is a most powerful gift to share. Thank you for the reminder and inspiration.

  • vinylartstudio

    Cindy from vinylartstudio said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful is such an inspiration......thank you so much for sharing.....

  • sewkindness

    Nancy from sewkindness said 9 years ago

    Just warms my soul to see this video and learn of Alabama Chanin. Thank you Natalie and your staff of artisans for keeping the great art of hand sewing alive. Sew hard to find quality clothing these days, seems it is more about quantity than quality, sew disheartening. I am a hand quilter, so I can really appreciate your work. . . . I find the time with the needle, is the most spiritual time of my day nothing like it.

  • HobsonFineArt

    Bridget Hobson from HobsonFineArt said 9 years ago

    Many hours of my childhood were spent with my grandmother and mother hand sewing, cross-stitching, and embroidering. I learned an art that is almost lost - and learned to be patient and careful with each stitch. Recently I married and sewed most of my dress by hand - what a labor of love! So it's a pleasure to stumble upon this story and view the beautiful clothing. Congratulations on such success and kudos to you for employing people with skill, heart, and pride.

  • Kurfuffles

    Lisa Ordway said 9 years ago

    I can't believe such perfection exists one hour away from my home! I love to sew. Learned from my granny on her mothers old pedal machine and I just can't get enough. I can't wait to get started on my first project. For my daughter starting at Auburn in the fall. Thank you so much Natalie. You are an inspiration. Want to expand to Huntsville?

  • sueellenbolt1

    Sue Ellen Bolt said 9 years ago

    Attended the Alabama Quilt show at the DeYoung SF a few years ago. Handwork is soothing and wonderful.

  • sapphiregardenbeads

    sapphiregardenbeads from sapphiregardenbeads said 9 years ago

    What an inspiring story. I think it took a great deal of bravery to make this work.

  • Bijouxbyelina

    Bijouxbyelina from Bijouxbyelina said 9 years ago

    It is a lovely style, and also very interesting business model! So gorgeous! :)

  • cmccusker78

    cmccusker78 said 9 years ago

    I am so inspired by Natalie .... Her Buisnes motivation and design astetic really strike a chord with me. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • brerrabbitvintage

    s t from brerrabbitvintage said 9 years ago

    Cottage industries are such inspiring stories -- thanks so much for giving this one attention!

  • Needle2Needle

    Christine Marie Chen from Needle2Needle said 9 years ago

    I discovered Alabama Chanin a little over a year ago while browsing through some books at the library. I immediately fell in love with the beauty, styles and technic. Not long after I saw the book I actually spotted someone wearing one of the skirts at a local fabric/yarn shop. She had sewn it herself and it was gorgeous! I would be absolutely thrilled to win a copy of this book!

  • cathydarling

    Catherine Darling Hostetter from CathyDarling said 9 years ago

    This is a once upon a time story brought to modern day life. It is incredibly beautiful. As I watched the video I was surprised at the connection I felt and was amazed with a feeling that I can only describe as awe, like when you know something is really good. I certainly look forward to learning more about this artist and the good things she is doing for her community. Well done!

  • Cikka

    Cikka said 9 years ago

    Her books are works of art, and her ethos is inspirational. I have all three and love them to bits. My most beautiful and looked at books.

  • orloSubito

    Sandra Toro from orloSubito said 9 years ago

    nice!!I love Alabama Chanin!!!!

  • mandaleighf

    Amanda Fortier from MandaleighDesigns said 9 years ago


  • Meagan2

    Meagan MacNeill from AmericanPaperCuts said 9 years ago

    Wow, this is the first time I have ever heard of Alabama Chanin. The clothes are beautiful, and the story is inspiring.

  • bbsweetslove

    brooke bertelle from bbsweetslove said 9 years ago

    wow! fabulous story to go with a gorgeous clothing line! you are the pure example of 'finding success when doing what you love'. i run a small business hand making decorated cookies all by myself, so i understand your commitment to making each item you create beautiful and special. congratulations on all your success!

  • imolakovendi

    Imola Kovendi from imolakovendi said 9 years ago

    What a great inspiration! Finding Natalie Chanin and reading about her made me believe in my self that my hands can DO IT, just like she and her artisans have made it :) Fantastic! Also really nice short film, well done! x

  • Opalnyk

    Opalnyk said 9 years ago

    lovely things and an inspiring story

  • memmeries

    memmeries from memmeries said 9 years ago

    I've been looking for a new sewing project that I can sink my teeth into. I think I've found several. Hand sewing has always been a favorite of mine. I'm ordering the book today!

  • vitalvogue

    vitalvogue from vitalvogue said 9 years ago

    I have her other books, and they are wonderful! I can't wait to see the new book.

  • CarolinaCottage

    Melanie Prior from CarolinaCottage said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring story! I love that everything is hand-sewn.

  • InMaterial

    Peggy McCallum from InMaterial said 9 years ago

    I had never heard of her before this. Her clothes look amazing and as a long-time sewer it is inspiring to hear of her success.

  • redyellowandblueink

    Bird Muse from RedYellowAndBlueInk said 9 years ago

    What a great story and business model. The video really brought the story to life for me. while watching I realized I had actually seen one of her books in my local bookstore a couple years ago. I thought it was so unique and fun as I looked through all the projects and ideas, very inspiring. Such cool stuff.

  • studio2355

    Margaret from studio2355 said 9 years ago

    I will reread this great story., her clothing is wonderful. Somehow people think they can not afford good clothing. One cannot afford cheap clothing, they don't last well at all. Do the math.

  • blueridgewoodworking

    Gabe and Athena from BlueRidgeWoodworking said 9 years ago

    When I was 5 years old, my grandmother taught my sister and I how to sew and embroider by hand. We each made adorable little aprons. It really is a special art and skill to have the patience and love to hand sew a piece of clothing. The sense of accomplishment that you feel when you finish that item and know the love and attention to detail that you put into it. Very inspiring article. It does remind you that a good quality product takes time and will last so much longer than that quick, instant gratification piece found in mass market retailers.

  • dixiejo50

    dixiejo50 said 9 years ago

    pear blossoms falling on hand-stitched cotton steam rising from a tiny cup of jasmine tea thank you natalie for this pure moment

  • Surdut

    Beth Surdut from Surdut said 9 years ago

    Years ago I read an article in the Washington Post about a West Virgina community where the poverty was so dense and deep that people had to take up collections to bury their dead. I wanted to take my business there and train and hire people so I could fulfill my wholesale orders, but I was told at the time that the unions would make that impossible. Having been forever a union supporter, I was surprised, disappointed, and forced to go overseas to compete. I told myself that supporting a global economy was also acceptable, but looking at this beautiful story, I know in my heart that resurrecting the US economy and well-crafted goods is necessary and precious.


    Barbara Stout from USACustomApparel said 9 years ago

    Hand sewing is such a relaxing and fullfilling thing. My grandmother taught me to embroider, knit, crochet at a very young age. Her hands were bent from arthritis but she never stopped making beautiful things. I have always loved creating something from nothing and love that there are still people who take the time to make such beatiful things. When I start sewing, whether it be by hand or machine, the times goes by faster than I ever imagined. You lose all the worries of the things that are not that important and focus on making something new one stitch at a time.

  • DeirdreCunningham

    Deirdre Cunningham from DeirdreCunningham said 9 years ago

    I only learned how to sew in the last few years, but Natalie Chanin was one of the people who inspired my journey. I have made several of my own versions of all of the patterns in Natalie's books, and look forward to her new book and the patterns enclosed.....While I never make exact copies of her garments, my versions are always as timeless and elegant as her designs. Her vision for a beautiful and sustainable way of producing clothing right here should be a wake up for all of us, not only in the way we think of clothing but also in the way we view the possibilities in our own communities.

  • mariemcphee

    Marie Mcphee said 9 years ago


  • DeirdreCunningham

    Deirdre Cunningham from DeirdreCunningham said 9 years ago

    Natalie Chanin is a hero for our time, showing us that community, sustainability and elegance can all be part of a new consumer culture, or a way of living yourself. Both her own line and her books are a cultural and aesthetic triumph.

  • elissacain

    Elissa Cain said 9 years ago

    Great story! I grew up in Florence and Tee Jays was one of the major players in the economy, ensuring jobs for people across the education spectrum. Pretty much everyone I went to school with had at least one relative who worked there. I even saw a few faces that I recognized. Thanks, Natalie, for not only shining the spotlight on a small town, but reinforcing the idea that quality, craftsmanship and a living wage are not mutually exclusive.

  • cheery9781

    cheery9781 said 9 years ago

    Positively inspirational. Bravo!!!

  • swegro

    KarinA said 9 years ago

    Fantastic! Everything Alabama Chanin offers is exactly what's needed right now.

  • marylpat

    Mary said 9 years ago

    Such beautiful work....and made in the USA.....wonderful!

  • AvasArmoireBoutique

    AvasArmoireBoutique from AvasArmoireBoutique said 9 years ago

    Truly an inspiring story that speaks to my heart. I have been sewing for much of my "almost 60" years of life and teaching my daughter how to sew, watching her find the pride and soul-fulfilling pleasure of creating with one's own two hands has been a joy to me. Beginning with dresses for my granddaughter and progressing on to sewing for others has enriched our own small cottage beyond measure. These are some of the skills that must not be lost or devalued. They are, in a very tangible way, love letters from our souls.

  • cocopily

    cocopily said 9 years ago

    I saw her in a magazine a few years ago and was so impressed not only by her creations but her zeal and her courage!! I was excited to see her featured on Etsy! I would so love to read her books!!

  • bezelle

    Brandy Ezelle said 9 years ago

    My mom and I have been following Natalie Chanin for a while now and love her work. We even make our own variations of t-shirts in "Chanin style". She is such an inspiration!

  • mblaise

    mblaise said 9 years ago

    I have read about her once glad to have been brought to this video. What a wonderful role model. I will be showing this to my 3 gurlz.

  • ashleysabi

    ashleysabi from ashleysabi said 9 years ago

    Loved the video! Exciting to see such innovative work trying to support the local economy.

  • modelarose

    Jan Masterson from modelarose said 9 years ago

    This brings me back years ago when I didn't have electricity or a sewing machine and made clothing by hand. I still enjoy doing hand work as it is relaxing, but hard to factor in the price for the time and skill involved. Great to see these ladies getting paid for their work!

  • laquonia

    Jail Byrde from laquonia said 9 years ago

    That is so true :)

  • hillaryheydle

    Hillary Heydle from hillaryheydle said 9 years ago

    Inspirational, truly!

  • erotherm

    Ellen Rothermel said 9 years ago

    I am so inspired by companies like this that are putting the work back in the hands of locals, providing sustainable training and work for folk and stimulating the local economy. And the products is so unbelievably beautiful. I love to sew myself but have none of the skills these people have to create the stitchery I see in their designs!

  • slatereeves

    Slate Reeves said 9 years ago

    I absolutely love Natalie's work. I have used her techniques to make a few of my own t-shirts. I can't wait to add the new book to my collection of her work.

  • mboglestudio

    Melanie Bogle from mboglestudio said 9 years ago

    Simply wonderful!

  • gypsiirose

    Crystal Rose from gypsiirose said 9 years ago

    This is an awesome idea. I love how they are helping the local economy and doing so with lovely handmade items. Inspirational.

  • TickleBebe

    Jacquie Hartman from TickleBebe said 9 years ago

    just ordered the excited. I've been collecting recycled knits and wools for years...I knew there was a reason for my madnessQ

  • FeralNZ

    Feral NZ from FeralNZ said 9 years ago

    Awesome proof that determination, passion and ethical practice can create a sustainable business utilising the skills and experience of people within the community it exists within for the benefit of all.

  • EmeraldSkyLane

    Kimmy Sabarese said 9 years ago

    inspiring. Cottage industry at it's finest.

  • elsavanderneut

    Elsa Vander Neut from FriscoCreekCreations said 9 years ago

    I just love the whole idea of Alabama Chanin. Beautiful clothing and a wonderful way to invest in your community!

  • gddss364

    gddss364 said 9 years ago

    so inspiring!! beautiful clothing....

  • ModernFibre

    ModernFibre from ModernFibre said 9 years ago

    It's a beautiful film. Thanks to Natalie for sharing her story, the success of rebuilding her community, and her creative technique.

  • dailydangerco

    Dejah Danger from DangerIndustries said 9 years ago

    How exciting! It's so great to hear about people that are being a force for positive change in their communities while doing something they truly love to make a living themselves. And, I hope I win;)

  • rfkrocklk

    Nechama Leah Kocheran from TheInspiredOwl said 9 years ago

    Such a beautiful story.

  • vobrannon

    vobrannon said 9 years ago

    What a great video. I am from Alabama and it is such a pleasure to read something positive from our state that I happen to love and think provides my family with a rich full life with much heritage. Can't wait to pass on to my 3 daughters as a great female role model of creativity, heritage and giving back. Interesting that she met her partner at a Rural Studio event as the Rural Studio built a Chapel on some of my husband's family property. Amazing how the world ties together.

  • 2angledance

    Jeanne said 9 years ago

    So beautiful. Thank you.

  • Gabale

    GABALE from Gabale said 9 years ago

    always something to learn. so touching. thanks. gabriela from gabale

  • lilavrndavana

    lilavrndavana said 9 years ago

    Inspiring and beautiful!

  • TheOnesie

    Laura Hartrich from TinyBabyTimes said 9 years ago

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

  • MadebyMollyP

    Molly P said 9 years ago

    I recently came across a Chanin book and loved the pieces as much as the history. Being an Alabama girl myself, I see the communities and how they are changed by companies who truly want to improve them. Lovely.

  • CircleofLifeVA

    CircleofLifeVA from CircleofLifeVA said 9 years ago

    Fabulous and inspiring - congratulations!

  • alyssacritt

    Alyssa Crittenden from alyssacritters said 9 years ago

    Oh, I love Natalie Chanin! Been admiring her stuff for ages, love the whole idea and her message. Plus, everything is so beautiful! (:

  • HilaryLaw

    HilaryLaw from HilaryLaw said 9 years ago

    Natalie, Your work and that of you fab stitchers is always inspirational to me. I often come back to it to find a place that is complete and centered, which is how I'm trying to produce my work and my own life. Thanks for being such a constant.

  • allisonmarie4

    Allison Marie from frecklesandtweak said 9 years ago

    beautiful work with an inspiring story. put a copy of one of her books on hold at my local library.

  • argonavis

    argonavis from argonavis said 9 years ago

    This is an inspirational story of how business acumen, beautiful photos, and good marketing can help you carve out a niche producing goods for the aristocracy. Thank God for the Industrial Revolution, because I would be naked if my only options for buying clothing were articles that cost over $1000 a piece. Some of the clothing is beautiful but $52 dollars for a few pieces of cotton jersey labeled as tea towels seems more like clever branding than a unique craft that the average person could not do themselves. I can't fathom paying over 600 for a chain that isn't solid precious metals and looks like someone grabbed a curb chain off of a lead rope.

  • penumbraimages

    Tania Cardenas from PenumbraImages said 9 years ago

    Beautifully made nothing compares to the handmade stitch and I applaud you for keeping jobs here in the states when it could have been outsourced overseas much cheeper :(

  • Littlemissindi

    Sandra Black from Littlemissindi said 9 years ago

    WOW !!! inspiring was that!.....word for the day ....BEAUTIFUL!......I think everyone before me has summed it up perfectly.


    AMBERROSESNOW from AMBERROSESNOW said 9 years ago


  • FlattailFarmFancy

    Karen Hudson said 9 years ago

    A lovely feature. Thank so much for this wonderful inspiring look at how handmade really does make a difference.

  • juliestrong1

    Julie Astrongaims from ElsewhereSoulDesign said 9 years ago

    Thank you! So immensely impressed by this company and their handmade pieces. It is an inspiration as I embark on my own journey with a love of the handcrafted! Thank you!

  • seagrass1

    seagrass1 said 9 years ago

    Beautiful things made with love by beautiful hardworking hands. Inspiring .

  • HoppittyAngora

    Marlene C. from HoppittyAngora said 9 years ago

    I have lived my whole life with sustainability on my mind when it was not cool to think that way. I'm 55 years old and so happy that this way of thinking is so well accepted now. I saw it as this " Do I want to leave this beautiful planet in a better condition than I found it, I'm I using its resources wisely, do not waste the resources we have found here and now. There will be " Others" after us that might just need those resources to " Live ". Admire the dirt under our feet because it is doing a good job for us. Even as a young child I found nature to be so wonderful, before I even started school and even anyone told me about the things around me I knew how precious our whole planet was. I admired the Bee's, the donkey, the birds. I use to tell my mom that someday the birds would be the eyes and ears of law enforcement and would protect us from the criminals in our society. As any child I had a great respect for nature, from a drop of water that was collected by my grandfathers barrel to water our garden. My grandpa and my mom would take me to the large garden at our house and we would talk about the plants and their use and how to care for them. Those days are crystal clear in my mind. Now I still garden for my family and our bunnies and chickens and I tell my grown children about our resources and how precious they are to us. This is our time to use everything around us wisely and that can mean different things to different people, but I do believe that women have a great connection to this planet, our country our state our town. We have a special place in our heart for our planet and our community and it's resources. Enjoy your life and give a special gift to those who will follow after us. " the time to explain why our planet is so special and why it deserves our admiration and care"

  • HoppittyAngora

    Marlene C. from HoppittyAngora said 9 years ago

    Many people say "that my work spinning yarn and keeping our bunnies is a labor of Love" That is true I do love what I do. It is a treasure trove of wonderful experiences that I would not exchange for anything. I try daily using everything that I have been so blessed with in a way that is responsive to the needs of everything around me. I think that if I plant an herb plant, it needs to be watered if it does not rain. I think about those plants in my yard and if I visit anyone and their plant needs water I will water that plant. Everything that is on this planet needs to be respected and cared that is love. When you start a small business with that in mind, it does not matter the ups and downs of the economy. What matters is your use of the things you use to create. Always recycle the is being creative you know. Always enjoy the process that is the experience. Always spend time out doors that is were we connect with nature and everything around us.

  • ZiBagz

    Lisa Zinza from ZiBagz said 9 years ago

    Natalie is my hero! I ran across an article on her awhile back in a Stampington magazine .. and have sought out her books and read all her recommended readings... Love her & her cause!! Many thanks for sharing her story ♥♥♥

  • peaceloveyarn

    Liz Fiorini from peaceloveyarn said 9 years ago

    I have long admired Natalie Chanin's designs and her commitment to providing artisans a living wage for their work. There is no substitute for the heart and soul that goes into these pieces. Thank you for sharing this beautiful video - it serves as a reminder of "the power of one".

  • eclu

    Jami from eclu said 9 years ago

    what a great role model !

  • salenas

    salenas from salenas said 9 years ago

    I love the first two books! Can't wait to check out the third.

  • johnsfrau

    Kathi Bertsch from DecorousDetails said 9 years ago

    So inspirational in such a practical way for the small business owner.

  • taraegon

    Tara from taraegon said 9 years ago

    I adore her open-source philosophy!

  • anneroy

    anneroy from anneroy said 9 years ago

    We are so very proud to call you and Billy Reid ours, here in Florence. Your work is so creative and beautiful

  • CitySistersShop

    CitySisters Robin and Joanna from CitySistersShop said 9 years ago

    Years ago I saved an article from a magazine which featured one of Natalie Chanin's hand sewn corset shirts and put it in a notebook I call "inspiration". I love creating a sense of community in my own city and Natalie is a role model to bring people together and to work together. I've checked out Natalie's book "Alabama Stitch Book" from the library more times than I can count and would love to win a copy of her latest "Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe."

  • suzyhok

    Suzanne Hokanson said 9 years ago

    Natalie, I have been enthralled by your story since I heard you speak at SCAD several years ago. You have create such an incredibly nurturing business model. It is easily seen in the eyes of those who work for and with you ... captured so beautifully in this video for etsy. Bravo Natalie! Keep it up... PLEASE!

  • KatieRichcreek

    Katie Richcreek said 9 years ago

    I first saw the clothing of the Alabama Chanin Company a couple of years ago when they had a small show in the city where I lived and worked, Chattanooga, Tennessee. I could not believe the beauty and charm of these hand stitched clothes! What a unique idea. I would truly love to try making one of the hats from the kits provided, for me and for all of my 11 grandchildren. Thank you so much for the beautiful creative clothing you make with your company, Natalie Chanin!

  • HappyScrappyStuff

    Dotty from HappyScrappyStuff said 9 years ago

    Madly in love with Alabama Chanin! :) She showed me that I don't have to spend a bazillion dollars on supplies to learn how to sew.

  • MarlainaGaspardi

    Marlaina Trepanier said 9 years ago

    So beautiful- everything about it! I used an Alabama design and kit to make my wedding dress last year and I am now determined to make a whole Alabama wardrobe! Thank you Natalie for creating something so incredible. :)

  • cyasarcan

    Canan from Zembil said 9 years ago

    Thanks for this blog post. I've got to know Alabama Chanin. Now I'm after the books!

  • seasplease

    seasplease said 9 years ago

    I love the Alabama Chanin books. They tell you exactly how to make any project, but they also give you a point to take off from and make up your own things.

  • nikschaf

    nikschaf said 9 years ago

    I absolutely love Natalie Chanin's designs, and her story is such an inspiration. She is so generous to share her stitching techniques so freely. I could never afford to buy one of her dresses, but dream of making myself one someday. I own Alabama Stitch Book, and find everything about it so lovely, and plan to try a smaller piece soon. I love to embroider tea towels with vintage designs, and her suggestion to "love the thread" has made embroidery work go much more smoothly. I was watching a television show once, and the host was wearing an Alabama Chanin coat -- I recognized it right away. Way to go, Natalie, you deserve every success!

  • katlemmer

    katlemmer said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing Etsy! Natalie Chanin has done such a great thing- tapping into the wealth of craftswomen in an area that needed help. And her creativity- and love of sharing- is an amazing thing!

  • cradcock

    Chantel Adcock said 9 years ago

    I had the chance to listen to Ms. Chanin speak at the Indiana University Sustainability Forum and I found her so inspiring. I would love the opportunity to win this sweepstakes!

  • NaturalVintage

    Amy from NaturalVintage said 9 years ago

    A beautiful story and a beautiful way to empower women and their families! I'm blown away! You've given back in such a huge way! I'm just sitting here crying and speechless.

  • lark07

    lark07 said 9 years ago

    Thank you.

  • collettegrace

    Collette Grace from collettegrace said 9 years ago

    Natalie Chanin, you are a hero of mine for so many reasons. I am a textiles fanatic and the first time I saw and touched the beautiful clothing at a trunk show I fell in love completely with Alabama Chanin, you can truly feel the inspiration in each piece! Collette Grace

  • floreslady

    katherine flores said 9 years ago

    I have been a hug fan and customer of Alabama Chanin ever since they were featured in the NY Times for interior design in the Real Estate section of the Times - it was at least a year ago... maybe more. There is beauty in everything Natalie Chanin does. Every time I get the urge to do a sewing project I go straight to her website.

  • bellecurve

    Kelly M Jackson from bellecurve said 9 years ago

    Such an incredibly inspiring business model. Thank you Natalie and the team at Alabama Chanin for all you do to share the message about the beauty and essential value of handmade, sustainable products and humane business practices.

  • telescopelady

    Layla Sumners said 9 years ago

    I don't believe that I get the level of satisfaction from my other sewing projects that I do from the Alabama Chanin range of clothing. The finished garments are beautiful. I can make them as individual as I like without sacrificing the flattering line and drape of the organic cotton.

  • taterbuggs

    taterbuggs from taterbuggs said 9 years ago

    I had the opportunity to attend one of Natalie's workshops and was blown away. It really made me appreciate the process of creating. I am starting my second Alabama Chanin project and just purchased her third book which I look forard to diving into.

  • michelleshopped

    michelleshopped from michelleshopped said 9 years ago

    I've been a fan of Alabama C. for years now...still crushing on Natalie and her work! And I do believe it's about Doo-nanny time!

  • pamreathford

    Pam Reathford said 9 years ago

    Natalie i loved working for you and it was so much fun. You have contunied the work with alabama chanin! Need help let me know! But for now may God bless you more and more everyday!!! Take care and thanks for all you do!!!!

  • piper76

    piper76 said 9 years ago

    What Natalie and her family of artists do in Alabama is like no other. And then again, it's like everything we cherish that generations hand-stitched before us. I love every piece and every stitch! I enjoyed working with them to create a bridal piece that is near and dear to my heart. Can't wait to make my own piece one day...

  • Spindlejigs

    Deborah Chase from Spindlejigs said 9 years ago

    After months of stopping by the bookstore and feasting on the first Alabama Chanin book, someone gave me a gift certificate for my birthday and it was mine. It's now a bit worn at the binding and sitting next to its sister book in my room. I have learned a love of handsewing to go along with my love of other crafts, but most of all that book set something free in me, the desire to create has always been with me, in the pages of that book I found inspiration and courage and a sense of belonging to something I didn't even know I was looking for. And something I keep on finding. Thanks.

  • hellabiscuits

    Heather Miller said 9 years ago

    Absolutely lovely. I'm so glad this got made, and am grateful for your sharing it here.

  • rfriedl

    rfriedl from rfriedl said 9 years ago

    I am so inspired by Natalie's work! I had the honor of meeting her at a trunk show. She is as fabulous as you can imagine her to be in person!

  • amyhall286

    Amy Hall said 9 years ago

    Hooray for role models like Natalie. Thank you for your inspiration.

  • brendanjoseph

    Brendan Madden from brendanjoseph said 9 years ago

    As a designer with the same instincts as Natalie, it always gives me great cheer to see her really move more and more towards where I would love fashion to be - it is all about beautiful pieces that are LOVED by the people who make them, and the people who own them, and I love the kits, the whole idea of people making it their own. It's something I'm going to be doing! :-) I weave ultra luxury scarves by hand from silk, cashmere, linen, mink (from Great Northern Yarns), and wool. This year I'm going to start teaching people to weave on kit looms that I'm developing, and at the same time, will be sharing our own creations, and working alongside craftspeople in the developing world (first Nepal, then Haiti also) to develop access products, pieces that share what we're about. Whenever I want to do something that the fashion industry doesn't, I get to come here and see that it's the direction that Alabama Chanin is heading in also, and I really love that. :-) Fashion and Art don't need to be differentiated by 'things we wear' and 'things we cherish'. They should be one. Why have stuff that doesn't mean stuff?? :-) Please let me win. I'd LOVE the kit!! Very excited. And also, want to visit you guys. :-) ...and invite you to Dublin to visit me at my studio.

  • Bubbe47

    Bubbe47 said 9 years ago

    Oh Wow! Loved the piece. I've "watched" via my computer as your company has grown. I have all 3 books and i would love to meet you and show you the beginnings of what I hope can become my second cottage industry. (My first was making mailbox covers - I learned a lot t he hard way.)I felt items I purchase from the thrift store and I really need direction on how to use the felt- any chance you would ever have a class/seminar for us "wanna be" folks? I also would love it if you expanded your items sizes to include plus size gals. And finally, most of all, thank you for making such a positive impression of our State through your work. The best of everything to you and your company. Martha (just a little south of you in Reform, AL.)

  • fibril

    fibril said 9 years ago

    i've been a bit skeptical about alabama chanin, but i am no longer. kudos to empowering women through a thread and a needle.

  • cussot

    cussot said 9 years ago

    Natalie Chanin's business model reminds me of a visit I made decades ago to a similar inspiring workshop in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, where the artisans produced stunning quilts. Kudos to Ms. Chanin for celebrating the power and beauty of the needle.

  • gnash2000

    gnash2000 said 9 years ago

    I'm so glad to see someone doing handwork. Thanks to you , it won't be a lost art form. Keep it up!

  • pleinair47

    pleinair47 from pleinair47 said 9 years ago

    Loving everything Alabama Chanin! Great books, inspiring projects and stunning sense of color harmonies. I really appreciate that Natalie shares her knowledge so willingly. It adds to the the idea of sustainability - the stitching techniques will live on through her books.

  • skkistler

    skkistler from skkistler said 9 years ago

    What a lovely film, summarizing the work Natalie has done: giving jobs to those needing work, reviving the art of hand sewing, creating beautiful designs in sustainable fabrics.

  • seasonallystylish

    Yvonne from seasonallystylish said 9 years ago

    Every stitch sewn with love. I just love this work. Handmade is the way!

  • smoothpebble

    Jacqueline Basham from smoothpebble said 9 years ago

    i have loved her work and business philosophy for many years now! this is truly a love story on so many levels, and one that resonates with me to the core.

  • VintageModa

    Tatyana from VintageModa said 9 years ago

    Beautiful clothes. I would love to win the book and kit!

  • smdenbo

    Sara Denbo said 9 years ago

    Thanks for a great giveaway! I have made several items from Natalie's previous books. Would love to own this one!


    mirabella antoinette di santo said 9 years ago

    just amazing...................i am blown away:)))))))

  • mrskittenpants

    Anne said 9 years ago

    I've been hand sewing since my Mother gave me my first sewing kit she built for me,housed in a metal bandage box when I was

  • mrskittenpants

    Anne said 9 years ago

    Oops my little dog Lila just jumped on my lap and bumped my hand. So yes, been hand sewing for nearly fifty years and I've always found it quite meditative. I love the elegant simplicity of Natalie's work and the fact that not only is she an inspiration to so many but that she is so deeply involved with her community. Beautiful!

  • MsBettiesHandmade

    Bettiegee from MsBettiesHandmade said 9 years ago

    I love everything about this. My first sewing was by hand. Demented looking little dolly dresses. I think my stitches were about 1/2" long. I kinda wish I still had those wee dresses.

  • perebags

    Sarah from perebags said 9 years ago

    Absolutely love this!

  • AmeliaBrazell

    AmeliaBrazell said 9 years ago

    I have been a big fan of Natalie and Alabama Chanin since I saw her first book. And, in the world of "do it fast"I get kidded alot by fellow sewists when I saw that I love slowly sewing and constructing garments by hand. Keep inspiring.

  • treasurebooth

    Kelly from treasurebooth said 9 years ago

    This is a beautiful story that will hopefully inspire others to think along the same lines. Brought tears to my eyes.

  • modestchicks

    Kim Harris from modestchicks said 9 years ago

    I enjoyed this! Thanks!

  • rowenamurillo

    Rowena Murillo from rowenamurillo said 9 years ago

    Alabama Chanin is so inspiring. Love.

  • victoriavelting

    victoria from victoriavelting said 9 years ago

    Just discovered Natalie's amazing books and story through a friend, as I am starting our community sewing studio! This book would be amazing inspiration for many classes, and for the people of our community! Thanks for sharing!

  • RememberMeEmily

    Emily from RememberMeEmily said 9 years ago

    beautiful. inspirational. every stitch done with such love & devotion. being a "plus size" girl.....I can only dream about owning/wearing such sweet garments. since no one makes "my size".......time to do it myself with Natalie's inspiration!

  • libbyw99

    Libby said 9 years ago

    Such beautiful, and creative handwork! never seen anything so pretty!....and a good southern' girl, to boot! LOVE Everything I've ever seen from Alabama Chanin....EVERYTHING!

  • iTagStudios

    Ressie and Marjie from iTagStudios said 9 years ago

    Completely gorgeous, everything about this designer and her work--and the works of the southern artisans! I'm so inspired to see all of the ways of creating that I loved and practiced as a young girl elevated to such beauty.

  • harryboy

    stacey goldman said 8 years ago

    I absolutely love everything from Alabama Chanin! Unique, gorgeous, and so amazing!! I love the technique and true genuine beauty of each piece hand designed ..... I love that other talented seamstresses are employeed from the area and just the whole story is so terrific!!

  • mariacolatarci

    Maria Colatarci said 8 years ago

    I see this video and I got teary-eyed, too. This speaks about women and survival in all places, through all hard times. I feel like re-writing Cole Porter's "Let's Fall in Love" to catalogue women of all cultures taking in hand-sewing. The sequence of events. You get laid off indefinitely. You sigh in desperation. You ask your mother and grandmother what they did during hard times. When you got your job, you put handsewing down. Now you pick it up again. You instruct flowers to grow underneath your hands, nurturing the project, while becoming more calm and resolute, at the same time, YOUR time.

  • SincerityBB

    Tammy Osborn from SincerityBathBody said 7 years ago

    What a beautiful, inspiring story!

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