The Geometry of Hand-Sewing by Natalie Chanin
Natalie Chanin and her Alabama Chanin and The School of Making present their breakthrough method, featuring illustrated instructions (for both right- and left-handed stitchers) for more than 100 stitches.
Their lessons range from the most basic straight and chain to the more fanciful feather and herringbone; photos of both right and wrong sides; and guidelines for modifying stitches to further increase one’s repertoire.
As makers, we tend to learn different stitches over time without thinking much about how they relate to one another. But when Natalie Chanin and her Alabama Chanin and The School of Making teams began to look at needlework closely, they realized all stitches are based on geometric grid systems—and by using grids as guides, they could make learning stitches, even seemingly elaborate ones, as easy as child’s play. Chapters include:
- A New Way to Think about Sewing and Embroidery
- For the Love of Tools
- Basic Stitches
- Enhancing Stitches
- Manipulating Grids
- Patterned Stitches
There is also an Index of Design Choices and a Stitch Index.
To simplify learning, the book includes two plastic stitching cards die-cut with the grids on which every stitch in the book is based. These reusable cards can be stitched through for practicing (just as children use lacing cards to learn to tie shoes) or used as stencils for transferring grids to fabric.
Chanin writes in her introduction, “The art of making can change your life, help you become a more informed consumer, and aid you in passing on important knowledge to the next generation. I know that I am my best self when I am making and sharing. I hope the lessons in this book will instill you with confidence, deepen your love for the arts of hand sewing and embroidery, and inspire you to share your love of making with others.”
About the author
Natalie Chanin is the founder and creative director of Alabama Chanin and author of Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, and Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns.