Friday, February 28, 2014

The Weekend That Changed My Life

Dearest Friends,

A few months ago I had the opportunity to go to Florence, Alabama to attend a weekend workshop at Alabama Chanin
I need to preface this by telling you that it was one of the best weekends I have had while in Alabama. 
It changed my life. 

The boys and I road tripped together as a family. 
They dropped me off at the newly remodeled Alabama Chanin Factory
I was really nervous but I quickly made friends and got to work on my project. 
I chose to make a corset style tank like the ones above. 
I am still working on it but I will share a photo of myself wearing it when I finish. 
You see, the magic behind Alabama Chanin is that Natalie and her amazing team of many super talented people hand stitch their creations.
They use organic cotton that is so soft and easy to work with. 

I spent the weekend learning new skills, making friends, and soaking up all inspiration I could. 
I was surrounded by women who loved the same things as me.
They loved to create and make things pretty (just like me). 
We sewed together and ate amazing meals and bonded over beautiful projects. 
It was magical.

The great thing about the workshop was that all you had to do was show up. 
Everything was provided and the Alabama Chanin staff treated us so so well. 
I felt spoiled and loved at the same time.

The workshop I attended was the week before the official opening of Natalie's shop and cafe. 
Both the shop and the cafe are lovely. 
The food was some of the best food I have ever had and I wanted to buy everything in the store. 

I say that this workshop changed my life because I learned so many new sewing techniques and it opened my eyes to the beauty behind homemade clothing and organic cotton. 
The workshop also reminded me that my dreams can come true. 
I know that sounds silly but learning more about Natalie's story and how she is helping her community inspired me. 
There are so many things I hope to do with my life and I sometimes push them to the side for my family. 
Natalie showed me that dreams are attainable while also having children and many responsibilities. 
We can all live a beautiful life, we just need to be willing to get up everyday and work for it. 
Work at it, everyday.
I also had amazing conversations with dear women who were supportive, kind, beautiful, and inspiring to me. 
They felt like kindred spirits.

I am currently working on two Alabama Chanin D.I.Y. kits (the corset top and a skirt).  I know that when I finish them they will be prized additions to my wardrobe.
I can't wait to wear them.

I did finish this little headband that I made to practice my stitch work. 
I love to wear it to yoga and around town. 
It covers my grey roots and makes me feel pretty. 
Plus, I am super proud of it. 
Those stitches take a long time to stitch. 

I will forever be thankful for the amazing opportunity I had to attend an Alabama Chanin workshop. 
It changed me for the better.

If you ever get the chance to go to a workshop, please go. 
I have a hard time going to things by myself and this workshop taught me to forget about that fear and go. 
Go and soak up all the camaraderie and inspiration you can get. 

love love,
Fritzi Marie

p.s. While in Florence I heard about the band, The Bear.  I love them and I think you will to. 
Their music will forever remind me of my life changing weekend I spent in Florence, Alabama.
Also, this video represents all that I love about The South. 


Kristen said...

Sounds like such an amazing getaway! I wish so much that we lived closer so we could go off on adventures like these together. We were so busy with noses in our books that we never did much like this back then, did we? :(

Kitty said...

Beautiful Kristen,
I don't remember spending much time with my nose in a book but I do remember thinking about boys a lot. Just think of all the pretty things we could have made if we weren't chasing boys, reading magazines, and watching Felicity (oh, and going to class too).
Love you.

Amanda Laurel Atkins said...

Kat, I'm so happy you got to have such a wonderful and amazing experience. That sounds like an incredible weekend. Those small bits of time that fill us with positivity every time we think of them are such a treasure. I adore you and can't wait to see what you make! I love your headband.