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My copy of Alabama Studio Style written by Natalie Chanin and published by STC Craft|Melanie Falick Books arrived last week.  To say I had been anxiously awaiting its arrival is an understatement.  Natalie's first book, Alabama Stitch, is among my favorite craft books.  It is jam-packed with inspiration and projects unlike any other craft book I own.  I was hoping that Alabama Studio Style would be just as wonderful and I am not disappointed.  It is absolutely beautiful to look at and the range of projects and recipes is fantastic.  They include a skirt, tunics, dress, tops and many items for the home.  I am already dreaming about what I am going to make first.

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I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with Natalie about the book.  Here's what she had to say.

Erin:  How did you decide on the projects that make Alabama Studio Style so beautiful?

Natalie:  I think that we learned a lot about putting a book together
with Alabama Stitch Book.  There was just so much that I didn’t know that
first time around and I was very naive about how difficult it is to make a
book!  With Alabama Studio Style, I knew that we wanted to include a
dress, more home furnishings and recipe sections.  From there, I made a
layout board on the wall that pretty much indicated each page in the book –
this was something I did not understand the first time around.  With
Alabama Studio Style, I feel that the book as a whole was very thoroughly

I collected fabric swatches, colors and techniques together for
almost a year before ever starting to make the projects.  After I felt
that we had a good flow from color and style, we started making projects, writing
instructions and putting together the recipes sections to go with the projects
in the book.  From there, everything just started to fall into

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One thing that I absolutely adore about the new book is that
there are a few projects with little or no embellishment (like the plain
tank).  Did you make a conscious decision to include some simpler pieces
this time?

Natalie:  That’s a great question!  It was a very conscious decision to
include the plain garments – we call them Basics in our studio.  The garment
patterns included in Alabama Studio Style are really my favorites and the
pieces that I wear everyday and work into my wardrobe. While I love very
embellished tops, skirts and dresses, I also love the simpler pieces for
everyday living.  For example, the camisole tunic is one of my favorite pieces
at the moment. I love to wear it over pants or a skirt and then to layer other pieces
over and under it for these colder days.  A little secret: I sleep in the
camisole tunic – very comfortable and looks great.

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Erin:  Oh, now I am going to have to make one for a nightgown too!  That's brilliant.  Alabama Studio Style has stitches and techniques that compliment the ones
covered in your first book, Alabama Stitch, but that also work really well on
their own.  Was it important to you that the techniques in both books
could be used together as well as separately?

Natalie:  Thank you, I am so happy to hear you feel this way! It was
really important to me that the books work both as individual books and as an
intimate part of one another at the same time.  We worked really hard towards
that goal.  I can’t wait to see how people interpret the two, take the
information and then move beyond.  

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Erin:  The possibilities do seem endless!  I think that is why your books are so inspiring.  Just like Alabama Stitch, Alabama Studio Style is a visual treat.  What
inspired you to chose the color palette for these projects?

Natalie:  I wanted the projects to really feel like part of a whole.  I
did tear sheets, and fabric swatches and thought about this for almost a year. 
Alabama Studio Style is also such a part of my home and personal life – most of
the book was photographed in my kitchen and living room – that many of the
color palettes are also very personal to me and the colors that I choose for
everyday living.

Erin:  It's very obvious to me that you love what you do – it's evident in both of your books.  I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.  Thanks, Natalie!

. . . . .

You can also have a chance of winning a copy of Alabama Studio Style (or the STC Craft book of your choice) by visiting STC Craft|Melanie Falick Books and commenting on this post.  To read more about Natalie's book, follow her on her blog tour and visit her blog.

Thanks for visiting.  Back here soon.

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