HAND-STITCHED APPLIQUÉ PONCHO
The meditative art of hand-sewing connects us to our stitches as we create an heirloom-quality garment using specialized appliqué and construction techniques. For Natalie Chanin, the designer and instructor behind Alabama Chanin and The School of Making, hand-sewing is a gratifying process with one-of-a-kind results. In this workshop, Natalie shares how to handle the thread with love as we learn her signature stitching methods on American grown and made cotton jersey fabric, hand-stenciled with a custom pattern.
CURATED HAND-SEWING PROJECT KIT
With years of experience expertly honing her craft, Natalie has curated an elevated kit highlighting her preferred tools and materials. A cotton cover and polyester core give the thread extra strength to ensure our pieces last for generations, and the cotton jersey comfortably stretches to your body with an incredible drape. The high-quality fabrics in your kit are produced both sustainably and ethically with a transparent supply chain, the top fabric is then hand-stenciled by artisans to prepare your kit for appliqué.
Natalie’s love and expertise for hand-sewing shines through as she shares her tips for neat, sturdy, and effective stitching. She reviews her signature methods for both reverse appliqué and negative reverse appliqué, then shows us four techniques ideal for hand-sewn seams. To showcase our completed appliqué and further refine our hand-sewing skills, Natalie demonstrates how to construct a wearable poncho.
CRAFT MEETS SUSTAINABILITY
Founded as a preservation of the living art of textile making, The School of Making considers quality, sustainability, and location for each and every material they source—their focus is on the intersection of fashion, craft, and DIY. Natalie shares, “I’ve come to believe that craft, making, and creative endeavors toward producing sustainable products will create an enduring future for our community.”
Sustainably Made Cotton Jersey Fabric
Alabama Chanin is currently celebrating 21 years of sustainable design. Their commitment to responsible, ethical, and sustainable materials and goods is evident in all their products, including the soft and high-quality American made Supima® cotton fabrics in this kit. “We believe that responsibility means transparency and understanding where each material comes from and whose hands it touches before it arrives to the end consumer,” they share. True to Alabama Chanin’s eco-friendly ethos, this Supima® jersey is both sustainably and ethically produced, with a transparent supply chain.
Supima® jersey is 100% American grown in Texas, New Mexico, and California, with high environmental and ethical production standards. This “extra-long staple cotton” has a relatively long fiber length which creates an incredibly soft yet strong fabric with a gorgeous drape. It’s also pill resistant and holds color well. “Supima® is a rare variety that represents the top 1% of cotton grown in the world,” shares Alabama Chanin and The School of Making.
HAND-STENCILED WITH A CUSTOM DESIGN
The custom stenciled fabric in this kit has been made to order and is an example of the delicate process of hand-stenciled fabric production. Once manufactured, fabric by the yard is brought in-house for hand stenciling. Textile paints are used to transfer custom stencil designs to Alabama Chanin’s cotton by the hands of studio artisans. Learn more about the Anna’s Garden stencil featured in this kit in the newsletter offered in each workshop box.
As Alabama Chanin and the School of Making share, good things take time. “Whenever we begin a new reverse applique project, we start by choosing both the outer and inner layer fabric colors,” they share. “This workshop includes a custom set just for The Crafter’s Box. Once colors are narrowed down, we begin the process of choosing a textile paint color to complement the project. Over the years, we’ve developed a wide array of color recipes in contrasting, matching, tonal, or complementary colors.” The textile paint featured here is designed for permanent results and a soft feel on fabric—it’s non-toxic, water-based, and made-in-the-USA with light fast pigments.
About Our Artist: Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin & The School of Making
Natalie Chanin is the owner and creative director of a design and lifestyle company located in Florence, Alabama, that includes Alabama Chanin, The School of Making, The Factory, and Project Threadways.
With a background in environmental and industrial design, Natalie has worked for 20 years building sustainable practices and community values into the design and making process of her businesses. The organization maintains responsible, ethical, and sustainable practices, holding itself to the highest standards for quality. Alabama Chanin utilizes 100% organic cotton fabric and materials, sourced sustainably from seed to shelf, along with repurposed and reclaimed fabrics.
We’re so excited to have you join us, Natalie.
We look forward to sharing this fulfilling and joyful experience with you and cannot wait to see how your hand-stitched appliqué turns out. Be sure to share your creative journey and finished creation with us by tagging @thecraftersbox + @theschoolofmaking in your social posts, and use #thecraftersbox so our community can also see your workshop come to life! Happy making.