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Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials Spiral-bound – May 1, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials + Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques; 101 Fast, Fun, and Fearless Projects: Dresses, Tunics, Scarves, Skirts, Accessories, Pillows, Curtains, and More + Mend It Better: Creative Patching, Darning, and Stitching
Price for all three: $46.80

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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118077539
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118077535
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

28 projects seamlessly merge stitching, sustainability, and resourcefulness with simple, clean design

Advancements in technology have increased the pace of our lives. As a response, a vibrant do-it-yourself movement has risen to reclaim age-old traditions that reconnect us to slower and simpler times.

Award-winning blogger Maya Donenfeld offers a guide to working with her favorite recycled materials. You'll find linen, burlap, wool, and more with details on their history, deconstruction techniques, sewing tips, and information about their environmental impact.

Reinventing everyday materials into remarkable items of beauty and utility for the modern home and family will excite new and experienced sewers alike. In this one-of-a-kind book, Maya also shares easy methods for transforming gently used fabric with paint and ink. Inside you'll find stenciling templates, clear patterns, and thorough instructions, as well as encouragement to invent your own designs. Stories, a favorite recipe, and a nature activity are tucked between and around the projects to offer you an invitation to slow down, be mindful of your surroundings, and create with intention.

About the Author

Maya Donenfeld writes the popular green crafting and simple living blog, www.mayamade.blogspot.com. Her distinctive designs feature sustainable resources and fibers while weaving in elements from the natural world. Her website is filled with projects, inspiration, and eco-friendly tutorials to light a fire under anyone wanting to artfully recycle, repurpose, and reinvent.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Easy to understand and execute!
Story Circle Book Reviews
This is a wonderful book- I think of it as a breath of fresh air for my creativity.
Rachel Fix
I just received this book in today's mail.
H. Kennedy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By SB on June 25, 2012
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I consider myself to be a very experienced sewer and I wholeheartedly agree with the previous 5 star reviews. This is a stunning and inspiring book. I really enjoyed the author's personal recollections. I too would have given it 5 stars until I made the sling bag. I found the directions for measurements and layout confusing. The author provides a template, however, only a partial one. I had to add pieces to the lengths I cut.... so frustrating! I still can't figure out where I went wrong because I had to piece together extra fabric to make my bag long enough to wear as a side sling! I do like the projects in this book and I will definitely be making more, however, I will read and re-read the directions before embarking on the next project. I've learned that the best reviews are by folks that have actually made projects from a book and not just looked at it!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on August 26, 2012
Format: Spiral-bound
I liked this book, but I would have liked more of it. The fabrics she chooses to "rescue" are things I don't normally work with, such as burlap, linen, wool, and tyvek (the stuff that Priority Mail envelopes are made from). She provided only a few projects per fabric, and some of these projects you'd find in any beginner/intermediate sewing book. (Seriously...do we really need instructions to make triangular kids banners? I've seen this one way too many times.)

I would have liked more ideas for really common fabrics that often get thrown out, like tablecloths, bedsheets and old clothing. Tyvek is an interesting material to cover, and I wouldn't mind seeing more cool projects with it, but it shouldn't replace really basic fabrics.

While some reviewers obviously liked her personal stories, I would have preferred fewer pages of her intimate musings and more actual sewing tips and techniques. This is a good idea for a book, and it'd be great to see her do more in a second book. But next time, I hope she provides better projects, more fabrics, and less personal chit-chat.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Shala Kerrigan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 30, 2012
Format: Spiral-bound
Reinvention : Sewing with Recycled Materials by Maya Donenfeld is a collection of sewing projects that use thrifted and otherwise scavenged materials and turning them into something new.
If you love sewing, and recycled projects, this is a wonderful book. The author writes engagingly about her experiences and life, and gives tips for finding the materials for the projects. The techniques include patchwork, stamping and printing. The sewing is all fairly simple, no fancy or fussy seam techniques or anything like that.

The chapters are separated by fabric type. Each chapter explains the fabric, a bit about the history, how to take care of it, and where the best places are to find it. She also explains the environmental impact of re-using that particular fabric. The chapters have a few projects each and there is good variety between home decorating projects, clothing, and accessories.

Linen- my favorite projects in this chapter are the Story Scarf ,which is a fashion scarf made in patchwork, and the big handy, Reversible Summer Sling purse. My daughter is wild for the Story Scarf, and the Envelope Portfolio which can be customized easily using fabric paint and stencils.

Burlap- I get burlap bags every few months from one of the local coffee roasters. We use them for all sorts of things, and this chapter inspires more uses. The Onion and Garlic Sacks are my favorite. My daughter likes the Inspiration Board project.

Jersey (tee shirt cotton knit)- My daughter likes the Pillow Pals. My favorite project is a toss up between the simple hand sewn Blossom Band with it's two type of flowers, and the Little Forager Skirt. The reason I love the skirt so much is that even now, it's ideal for my daughter.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nan on May 14, 2012
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This is a stunning book! Well written and beautifully photographed, it's premise is simple: rescue every day textiles that are bound for the landfill and reinvent them as functional objects of style and simplicity for your home or personal use. Maya (of the award winning blog maya*made) has thoughtfully organized the book by seven designated materials and four corresponding projects for each material (a total of twenty eight!). Her instructions are well thought out and easy to follow with simple illustrations, inspiring a range of sewers from the beginner to the more experienced. Woven into the book are well researched and interesting facts about the history of each material and its environmental impact, sourcing, deconstruction and sewing tips as well as lovely, personal stories of spirit and serendipity that reveal the deep connection between the textile and what it wants to become. Sustainable sewers will feel like magicians as they transform old pairs of jeans into a hammock, a burlap coffee sack into a log carrier or a woolen blanket into a pouf!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on September 21, 2012
Format: Spiral-bound
Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials is an interesting craft and sewing spiral-bound book that really "brings it on home" for those living frugal and/or sustainable lifestyles. Raised in a family of artists and crafters, one of author Maya Donenfeld's favorite creative niggles states, "My grandfather always said that you could make anything if you had access to a library." This book is a library all in its own!

Nine chapters give you all the background and information on techniques that you should need. After Sewing and Printing Basics (chapters one and two), Donenfeld moves on to specific materials. There are four projects, with their patterns, in each chapter. Burlap seems to be one of her favorite materials with which to work, and the Onion and Garlic Sacks project, with stamped representations, looks like a great burlap reinvention project.

All of the projects are highly adaptable to the reader's interests, skills and needs. As always, I try to create at least one project in each craft book I review, so I can tell the readers about the practicality of making the designs.

For this review, I selected the denim chapter's offering of a Double Duty Oven Mitt. Each chapter begins with a brief section on history, sourcing, deconstructing, tips and environmental impact, and this chapter was no exception. Did you know "denim first gained popularity during the California Gold Rush when Levi Strauss used it to make 'waist overalls' for miners?"

Were you aware that "Jeans are designed to fit the form of your body...front and back of each leg are sized differently?"

This denim mitt uses wool as well. (There is a chapter on working with wool--buy old wool blankets at thrift stores.) The double-ended mitt includes a hand pocket at each end.
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