Alabama Chanin's Studio Style: More DIY Projects from the Southern Handcrafting Guru

Natalie Chanin’s new book, Alabama Studio Style.

A CFDA finalist and long-time Eco Chick fave (see our coverage of S/S ’09 here), Natalie Chanin’s designs are, in these global times, truly Local. Made in the Southeastern United States by women crafting from home, each piece is a work of art, created by hand.

Instead of protecting the design techniques which render her looks specifically hers, Natalie has gone the open-source route, and with her second book, Alabama Studio Style (the first book was the Alabama Stitch Book), she expands upon the (your) hands-on projects that you can create from recycled materials from wherever you call home.

The designer, Natalie Chanin.

Says Natalie of the new DIY tome, “It is wonderful to see a book come to life. Two years ago, when I received my copy of Alabama Stitch Book, it felt like a letdown the first time I held it in my hands. [My publisher] was excited to know how I felt and I just said, ‘It looks exactly like it is supposed to.’ Her reply was that a book ‘comes to life in the hands of the user.’ She is so right.”

“Seeing that others have taken our point-of-view to heart has brought me so much satisfaction and real pride. Part of my mission has always been to advance the traditional arts in my own way, using my modern day perspective. It is always gratifying to see that people have really heard what you have to say and are continuing the process. It has been great to see all the projects, spin-offs and inspirations that have come from that book over the last two years. And more exciting now to see how the two books will play off one another.”

Check out some of Natalie’s favorite projects inspired by the books below:


“I love this onesie from projectecoart for the modeled color, the layers of embroidery to add texture and the sweet flower. I love to dress my own daughter like this!”

hatand tee

“This t-shirt/hat combo is great because of the colors, the details at the neckline on the t-shirt, the layering and just the general styling totally gets our hope for edgy, contemporary interpretations of traditional techniques.”


“Also, really love the graphic quality of this corset and the photo. The corset pattern is included in Alabama Stitch Book and this is a great example of how an old t-shirt can be made into something really modern and sexy.”

“I am also looking forward to seeing all of the projects that come from the Burda Style contest, and looking forward to having that winner in our studio!”

You can win a copy of the book here, check out the Alabama Stitch Book Flickr photo stream for more projects and inspired ideas, and fan the Facebook page for more fun updates from this crafting powerhouse.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.