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review: Sewing Green
By host Thursday, April 9, 2009 @ 7:43 AM :: 74801 Views :: reviews


Sewing Green Cover

Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed & Organic Materials by Betz White.

The timing for the release of this book couldn't be better -- we're feeling more environmentally conscious than ever, and economically we're aiming to use and reuse what we have.

The book is split into three chapters.  Chapter One - Thinking Green - guides us through the basics of repurposing and reuse.  Betz believes that every bit helps, and tells us "this book is not about guilt or sacrifice", but rather she outliness simple changes to how we approach new projects by suggesting "[r]ather than making a beeline for the fabric store...check out resale shops first".  She gives good tips on how to prepare our new-to-us reuse items and points out some surprising uses for thrifty purchases, like using canvas belts as handles for a tote.  Betz also reviews new eco-friendly materials such as organic cottons and wools, and lesser known fabrics such as cork leather, corn fabric (PLA) and recycled polyester (PET).

Sewing Green

Chapter Two - Projects -  range from clothing and accessories to home decor, bags and reusable items to replace everyday disposable ones.  The projects break down like this:

  • 11 home decor - blankets, pillow cases, aprons, napkin rings, a draft buster
  • 5 clothing and accessories - skirts, lounge pants, slippers a scarf and a hat
  • 7 bags and accessories - totes, toys, bags and a waller
  • 3 reusable items - a sandwich wrap, a produce bag and a water sling
Sewing Green

The projects range from simple to intermediate and are accompanied by finished measurements, a materials list and step-by-step instructions.  The projects all have multiple pics to show the whole item as well as some close-up shots.  For patterns that have smaller pieces, the cutting lines are in the book itself and require a copier to use them (some need to be enlarged).  For larger pieces (such as the lounge pants) there is a tissue paper insert at the back of the book.  It's printed on both sides so you'll need to trace them out before using.

The book is sprinkled with "Eco-Logic" sidebars such as Furoshiki (eco-friendly gift wrapping), Green Sewing Spaces and Reducing Textile Waste, and "Eco-Innovators" introduce us to a few businesses and non-profits that work in the green/reuse space, such as Crispina ffrench and Alabama Chanin.

Chapter Three - Tools, Techniques & Resources - gives us the basics of sewing (e.g. machine and handstitching, clipping corners, how to miter and attaching buttons), as well as a resource list on where to find the more unusual materials featured in the book.

Even if you don't make a single project from the book, it's a great source for inspiration and training your eye on imagining how to take an old object and make it into something new again.

If you liked the review, come back tomorrow when we'll have Betz White guest blogging about "Thrift Shop Savvy Knits" and signup for your chance to win a free copy of Sewing Green.


Valley Yarns

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