reinvention by maya donenfeld
May 8th, 2012
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials is a beautiful new book by Maya Donenfeld . You are probably familiar with Maya’s blog, MayaMade, where she writes about parenting and making with the seasons. Years ago, Maya sent the craft blog world into a sewing frenzy when she came out with the burlap bucket pattern and for good reason: it is simple, beautiful, useful, and recycled. So too is every project in her new book.
Each chapter in the book is dedicated to a specific material: linen, burlap, jersey, wool, denim, tyvek, and vintage. The projects are, yes, made from recycled materials, but they don’t scream, “I’m recycled!” like say, a pop top vest would. They all subscribe to the same natural aesthetic, even the most seemingly unnatural of materials, tyvek. When my copy of the book came I was immediately draw to this chapter, because I’ve always loved tyvek, oddly enough, and I was excited to see someone else out there did too!
I chose to make the color block zippered pouch, but after painting a bit of tyvek I was less than thrilled. I used a silver metallic acrylic paint that ended up looking a sad gray and the blue was nice, but it brought out the texture of the tyvek more than I wanted. It is actually a nice effect, sort of like a faux leather, but it wasn’t what I was after.
Maya suggests painting the tyvek or simply drawing on it with a permanent marker, which of course makes sense as tyvek is as much like paper as it is like fabric. I picked up my ultra fine point Sharpie and went to town. The leather-like effect I got with the painted tyvek made me want to use some actual leather. A few snips from a vintage, buttery leather jacket and I had the makings for a fine recycled zip pouch.
I didn’t use the exact dimensions she specifies for the pouch, but the patterns in this book are meant more as guidelines. Maya even says, “…ultimately the size, shape, and color of each rescued piece informs the final outcome. If you listen carefully, the fabric will tell you what it wants to be.” This tyvek envelope told me to draw a geometric pattern on it, then sew it to some leather and attach an aqua zipper. Sewing the tyvek was easy, just like sewing paper, so use an old needle in your machine. It was my first time sewing with leather and that was simple too. My machine didn’t know what was going on when I tried to sew the tyvek to the leather, and I had to help it along quite a bit.
Maya also suggests leaving a bit of the original printing exposed, “..so that its reinvention efforts are not forgotten.” I think this quote sums up the book nicely. You get to make all these wonderful pouches and hampers and poofs from old materials, but hidden in these newly sewn things are little reminders of what they once were.
The lovely people at Wiley Craft have offered a copy of Reinvention to one of my readers. Please leave a comment telling me about your favorite recycled material to be entered in the drawing. The giveaway will close Wednesday May 9th at noon central. I’m sorry but this giveaway is only open to US residents. Please follow along with the rest of the tour to see more of this lovely book!