Natalie Chanin…what a dream!

by woodshed

i have always been in love with this one particular heavily beaded, quilted yellow coat that my mama wears….
my love was compounded by awe knowing it was handmade by a huddle of women on a magical hill in Alabama.

Natalie Chanin is the driving force behind Alabama Chanin: an incredible high-end cottage industry- where Natalie employs local craftswomen to hand stitch the most beautiful garments “grown-to-sewn in the USA” baby!

I got the chance to meet her recently during a stint at the Penland School of Crafts, I noticed her by her handstitched dress (super sexy and corseted) and her silver fox hair.

I was smitten.
She was kind and encouraging.

I am deeply inspired by Chanin’s career which scooped her up from Alabama and whisked her through Chicago and New York working in fancy fashion and costume design…but at the end of the day, the quality and integrity of craft in Alabama summoned her home.

“I couldn’t find anyone in New York who could do this kind of work!” she says of the complex needlework necessary for pieces like a handmade, painted corset with sculpted flowers or a reverse-appliquéd dress.

(oh, also if you click on the picture of the cake bearing beauty, you can read a little quickie interview with her for ReadyMade)