The School of Making: Virtual Workshop with Natalie Chanin

By The School of Making with Alabama Chanin


Are you curious about hand-sewing? Would you love to have beautiful clothes, custom made for you—by you?

If so, here’s an incredible opportunity. On September 6, 2024, we’re hosting a virtual workshop with the one and only Natalie Chanin.

Natalie is the founder of two groundbreaking companies: Alabama Chanin and The School of Making. For two decades, she has been a visionary leader in the movement for sustainable fashion. She is also an unparalleled artisan and teacher of sewing, and the author of gorgeous and inspiring books, the latest of which is Embroidery: Threads and Stories.  

More than anything, we just love spending time with Natalie.

Please join us on September 6 for this rare opportunity for a virtual workshop with Natalie. Scroll down for all the details.

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SKU: V24ALACHNE Category:

Date:  Friday September 6, 2024 

Time: Noon-3:00 p.m. Eastern time

Location: Zoom—this is a virtual event.

There is no kit included with this workshop. Your order confirmation email will include a link to a PDF with the Zoom meeting link, plus a short list of supplies and tools for those who want to sew along with Natalie.

The PDF will also include links to kits available for purchase from The School of Making. Although one of these made-to-order kits is the best possible way to start your Alabama Chanin hand-sewing journey, it’s not required for the workshop. Natalie herself started by cutting up old t-shirts, and so can we!

Both of us have had the good fortune to sit and and sew with Natalie Chanin, and it has changed our lives—and our wardrobes—in deep, lasting ways.  It’s a gift to be able to make such distinctive, exquisite pieces for ourselves, and to know that by doing so, we’re supporting the slow fashion movement. The skirts, tops, dresses, and jackets we’ve made from Natalie’s kits are the definition of sustainable fashion. We wear them every day, and we’ll treasure them forever—or at least until they are worn to threads. As the saying goes, “loved clothes last.” 

And nothing looks better with a handknit sweater than an Alabama Chanin skirt—they were made, literally, for each other.

What We’ll Learn

In this three-hour virtual workshop on Zoom, Natalie will teach her beloved Intro to Hand-Sewing class. This is the class that started us on our hand-stitching journeys, and it will give you the foundational skills that are the keys to the Alabama Chanin kingdom. Topics Natalie will cover:

  • The Physics of Sewing
  • Reverse Appliqué
  • Negative Reverse Appliqué
  • Question and answer time with Natalie

When Natalie demonstrates techniques, there will be an overhead camera focused on her hands and work surface so that you can follow along. Participant mics will be muted, but the chat box will be monitored constantly for questions from participants.

Our Workshop Leader

Natalie Chanin is the founder and creative director of Alabama Chanin. External Link. Opens in new window., a clothing company based in her home town of Florence, Alabama. In a move that astonished the fashion design world, Natalie open-sourced the company’s handmade couture in three landmark books: Alabama Stitch Book. External Link. Opens in new window.Alabama Studio Style. External Link. Opens in new window.Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. External Link. Opens in new window.and Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns. External Link. Opens in new window.Together with the School of Making’s collection of DIY kits, these books enable home stitchers to create a stunning, sturdy and sustainable Alabama Chanin wardrobe—every stitch by hand.

At the company’s Factory building in Florence and elsewhere in the world, Natalie leads workshops where she teaches techniques, tells stories and makes people fall in love with hand sewing. Natalie’s latest beautiful book is Embroidery: Threads and Stories.

To hear Natalie’s story in her own words, we recommend this beautiful video portrait by Gael Towey.. External Link. Opens in new window..

What You’ll Need

  • Two pieces of cotton jersey fabric (10″ x 16″ is perfect) 
  • A spool of button craft thread


  • A kit from The School of Making.  Your order confirmation email will include a PDF with several kit options recommended for beginners and intermediate stitchers. 
  • embroidery scissors
  • sewing needles
  • pins
  • pin cushion


Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Is this class suitable for beginning stitchers? Yes! This workshop is a virtual presentation of what Natalie teaches beginners at her in-person workshops.

How do I get the Zoom link?  Your order confirmation email will include a link to a PDF with the Zoom meeting link. We’ll also send reminder emails the week before and on the day of the workshop. 

How should I get ready for the workshop? Gather the things you’ll need: either the supplies listed on the PDF, or a kit from the School of Making, plus: scissors and needles, sewing pins and a pin cushion. It’s also useful to have pen and paper for taking notes. 

What’s the format? With Natalie’s instruction and an overhead camera focused on her hands, we’ll learn the basics of the Alabama Chanin method of hand sewing. Participant mics will be muted for instructional time but the chat box will be monitored constantly for questions from participants. If time permits, the end of the class will be open for discussion time with Natalie.

I can’t make it to the live Zoom class. May I still participate? Sure! Everyone enrolled in the workshop will receive a link to the recording for the workshop and all resources we share. The recording will be available for several months after the class ends.