We are excited to offer The Geometry of Hand-Sewing, a new book from Alabama Chanin and The School of Making. They are one of our favorite brands! They have created heirloom quality fashions available online or as DIY kits. Now we have a reference that demystifies the intricate beautiful stitchwork that is their hallmark.
The Geometry of Hand-Sewing: A Romance in Stitches and Embroidery from Alabama Chanin and The School of Making by Natalie Chanin is a comprehensive guide to hand-stitching and embroidery. This book focuses solely on the stitches themselves rather than projects or garments. It takes embroidery stitches and breaks them down into different geometric grid systems. It makes learning even seemingly elaborate stitches as easy as child’s play.
The Geometry of Hand-Sewing presents this breakthrough method. Natalie features illustrated instructions for more than 100 stitches. The book covers the most basic straight and chain stitches to the more fanciful feather and herringbone. It features photos of both right and wrong sides. In addition, there are guidelines for modifying stitches to further increase one’s repertoire. To simplify learning, the book also 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 or used as stencils for transferring grids to fabric.
Publisher’s Weekly reviewed Natalie’s new book and had this to say:
Chanin (Alabama Stitch Book) adds something extra to this comprehensive anthology of embroidery stitches: plastic prepunched grids that crafters can use to ink fabric for the exact execution of embroidery. Chanin explains that geometry plays a large role in her design work, noting that she loves “the relationship among points, lines, and surfaces.” This appreciation for spatial relationships inspired her to develop a grid-system approach to embroidery. It breaks down stitches into equidistant dots and parallel lines that enable a “stitch-by-number” mode of instruction.
She lays out tools and materials, followed by directions of how to work the stitches themselves, then how to enhance those stitches by working in, for instance, twists, curves, or eyelets. Most helpfully, Chanin shows not just the threaded needle’s movement from right to left but also left to right, plus the backsides of patterns. Her tone throughout is as measured as her grids. It is as serene as the gray backgrounds appearing in the photos of each stitch.