On Saturday I had the great good fortune to take a sewing workshop with Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin. I've written about her several times in the past: Alabama Chanin is a multi-pronged clothing business the uses an innovative business model to support local workers, US organic cotton growers, and US mills. In addition to their line of couture, hand-sewn clothing, Alabama Chanin also sells DIY kits as well as supplies so we can make our own personalized garments. I have all three books that Natalie has written about the process: Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style, and Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. (If you were going to get just one, I'd suggest the last, and most recent, one.)
Kristine Vejar of A Verb for Keeping Warm
I enjoyed listening to Natalie talk about subjects ranging from her experimental cotton field to loving your thread to embroidery stitches to US labor laws. Natalie has some classes on CreativeBug as well as a new Craftsy class, so if you aren't lucky enough to have her come to your neighborhood you can still learn this calming approach to making and embellishing clothing.
The workshop was held at the Edible Schoolyard Kitchen. The Edible Schoolyard concept originated in Berkeley—Alice Waters of Chez Panisse started the first one in 1996 (the Wikipedia article covers the history of the garden); her Edible Schoolyard Project organization has brought this idea to schools across the country. Although I've walked through the Edible Schoolyard many times (it is only 3 blocks from my house), I've never been in the kitchen before. When I entered the space I fell in love immediately!
This was not entirely good news: you know how conflicted I've been about the competing visions for my new kitchen. Suddenly I was presented with an ENTIRELY different look that I wanted! Lordy, I'll be glad when my kitchen is done and I'm happily cooking in it--until then I can see that I will be prey to every pretty image I see.
Kyle cooked lunch for us in the kitchen--including this darling handmade ice cream sandwich, which I ate outside in the dappled sunshine, visiting with several interesting, accomplished women of widely varying ages and backgrounds. It doesn't get much better than that!
PS In kitchen remodel news: The back door is now up, with the new sidelight and transom! And the patio has cured enough that we can put the washer and dryer back up.