Review of Natalie Chanin's Book Alabama Studio Style

Home Library: Alabama Chanin Studio Style

I've been a long-time fan of textile artist Natalie Chanin. The Alabama native left her successful career as a costume designer and fashion stylist in New York to return to her hometown of Florence, AL, where she creates fantastically intricate appliquéd textiles for the wardrobe and home. While her first book, Alabama Stitch Book, focused on pattern-making for clothing and some home decorating projects, her latest, Alabama Studio Style ($35), is more of a lifestyle book.

While the book shows you how to create 20 lovely clothing and home décor projects, through the use of sewing, stenciling, and beading, there's much more to be found in its pages than straight projects. Recipes abound, as do in-depth stories of how and why each endeavor should be attempted. And there are plenty of delicious recipes to explore as well, including Put-Up Tomato Tart and Greens & Pot Likker. The book takes you deep into the Alabama Studio world, and for the first time ever, I find myself interested in making a trip to visit the state of Alabama. Natalie Chanin's book is beautifully photographed and written, and the projects and ideas she shares create a vision of a rural village that is thriving with both creativity and community. Check out a few photos and projects from Alabama Studio Style below!