Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Alabama Chanin and Sewing Patterns

I wanted to let you in on something I noticed a few weeks ago that I think is fabulous. You know Natalie Chanin, right? I've written before about her and even have a link to Amy Palanjian's blog posts about her jersey wedding dress made in collaboration with Chanin's workshop. (Check it out, it's awesome, especially if you love hand sewing, which I do!)

However, have you seen this?

On the Alabama Chanin website, they have a weekly post called DIY Thursdays where they present projects that you can do at home using her techniques. What caught my attention were the posts where Natalie took the intricate and hand sewn details that abound in her clothing line and transferred them to the construction of designer sewing patterns from Vogue (Anna Sui, Vena Cava) and independent designers like Anna Maria Horner.

It's amazing to see the same garments that Vogue makes up in slinky patterned knit and shiny silk fabrics now made up in soft organic cotton jersey with exposed seams, visible hand stitching and sometimes elaborate appliqueing. What she accomplishes with Vogue 1175 (see Vogue's taffeta version below) is amazing. I suddenly want to buy this pattern and make it in a knit. Let's say I was not impressed by it in the stiff, shiny stuff but in a knit jersey it hangs completely different and looks so comfy.

Here are a few of the other patterns that Ms. Chanin choose to replicate, (click on the captions to see the Chanin versions on her blog.)

Images: The McCall Pattern Company, Alabama Chanin


Gail said...

That is so cool! Thanks for hooking us up with that! I love the Vena Cava dress.

Alice said...

thanks for this - these dresses are spectacular and so inspiring!

jen said...

Gorgeous! And I totally agree. It's amazing what a difference fabric and hand-detailing can make. I always look at a pattern's schematic on the back b/c they seem to give a clearer idea of a pattern's potential. Sometimes styling and fabric choices on patterns are terrible!

Thanks for the link too!

Gabrielle said...

Thanks for these links! I just had to chime in to say Vogue 1175 is one of my favourite patterns - I've made it in ikat linen, and also in a mixture of broderie anglaise and linen, and then had to stop myself going overboard with a third! I am quite sure it would be lovely in a Jersey, but there is quite a bit of fabric in the skirt so you wouldn't want anything too heavy..

Beka&Yel said...