Book Review: Reinvention

Reinvention Book Maya Donenfeld

Maya Donenfeld’s new book Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials (Wiley) is a collection of projects about repurposing materials to make something new. The sewing projects inside range from beginner to intermediate, and there are also some great design touches, like printing on fabric.

The book starts off with some sewing basics, like tools and techniques. There is also a chapter on printing basics, which covers freezer paper printing and stamping.

Arithmetic Pillows Reinvention

In the Linen chapter, one of the cutest projects are “The Arithmetic Pillows.” These simple envelope-back pillows are a perfect project for beginners. And if you aren’t into buying linen yardage, which can be quite expensive, suggested materials include upcycled linen skirts and dresses.

Toadstool Reinvention

In the Wool section, there are several projects which use upcycled sweaters as new material for making projects. “The Toadstool Cottage” is a toy designed for kids that parents will appreciate for its ability to contain tiny little pieces. If sweaters aren’t avilable, another affordable material could be a sturdy wool felt.

Color Block Zippered Pouch Reinvention

Have you ever considered using Tyvek mailers as sewing material? The water- and tear-resistant material can be repurposed as material for zip pouches, a banner, notebook and luggage tags. Some of the other materials featured in the book are jersey (t-shirt material), denim, vintage fabrics and burlap. So clever!

Burlap Bin Reinvention

My Project

As a project tester for this book, I had the privilege to review the pattern for the burlap bin before the book went to print. I chose to make the larger of two available sizes. My favorite design element is the handle slot, which you can insert on one or two sides. As you can see below, I changed my mind about the slots halfway through, and decided to just make one handle slot (although I had already created two slots in the lining fabric).

Surprisingly, I was able to sew through all of the layers, including topstitching all of the edges, without breaking a needle! The bins in the book are made from upcycled coffee bags, and if I ever come across some of these bags, I know exactly what to do with them.

Burlap Bin Reinvention

These bins are great for holding books or fabric scraps, which I’m currently using mine for. The cats, on the other hand, can certainly appreciate the burlap bin for its structured coziness.

Reinvention Burlap Bin

If you appreciate upcycled projects, Reinvention offers a wealth of inspiration. You can’t beat the affordability of sewing with materials that are either thrifted or ready to be thrown away, and the projects range from wearables to gifts and all sorts of things to make your house a home.

Summer Sewing Contest

Snowcones, sunshine and days by the pool… are you ready for summertime? Then why not kick off your summer with a little summertime sewing?!

Amy Butler Sun Surf Halter

Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts is hosting a Summer Sewing Contest that you won’t want to miss. The event will start off with an inspirational blog hop of summery sewing projects, featuring…

We’ll share our summer sewing project (a surprise!) on May 18th.

The Contest

Then it’s your turn to show off your summer sewing! To take part in the contest:

1. Sew something fun for summer in one of these 4 categories (You may enter one item in each category):

  • Quilts
  • Home Decor
  • Clothing
  • Bags & Accessories
2. Link up your entry at Ellison Lane Quilts:  June 10-17
3. Finalists are chosen in each category: June 18
4. Voting Begins: June 18- June 23
5. Winners announced: June 26

The Prizes

The winner of each category will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop!

A randomly chosen winner in each category will win a Fat Quarter Bundle of fabric from Westminster Fibers / Free Spirit Fabric.

A wild card winner will be chosen by Jennifer’s husband and will receive a $25 gift certificate to The Intrepid Thread.

Are you psyched like I am? Grab a button and spread the word!

Fabric Corner Bookmarks

Corner Bookmarks Tutorial Fabric

Some friends living in South Korea tipped me off to a trend they’ve seen in stores: the corner bookmark. These slide-on bookmarks can be made from fabric or paper, and I’ve written a tutorial for the fabric version you see here. Wouldn’t these make cool teacher appreciation gifts?

Since I have a lot of charm squares, I decided to use those for my bookmarks. Each charm square yields one bookmark, or you can use two charm squares to make two bookmarks with different images on the inside and outside.

Supplies:

1-2 fabric charm squares (5″x5″)

2.5″x5″ piece of medium-weight fusible interfacing (I used Pellon 808)

Iron, sewing machine, thread, sewing pins

Two charm squares

Choose two charm squares (or you may use just one if you want the same fabric on the inside and outside of the bookmark).

Cut charm squares

Cut squares in half on the 2.5″ mark. Set aside half, which you can use for a second bookmark.

Fuse interfacing to fabric

Use your iron to fuse interfacing to the back of your feature fabric.

Pin fabric right sides together

Pin fabric with right sides together.

Stitch 1/4" from edges

Stitch 1/8″ from edges, leaving a 2″ gap on one long edge for turning.

Clip corners

Clip corners, making sure to avoid your stitch line.

Turn inside out and pin

Turn inside out and use a pen or turning tool to poke out the corners.  Pin opened edge closed.

Topstitch 1/8" from edge

Topstitch 1/8″ from edge around perimeter, and press.

Fold in half and pin one edge

Fold rectangle in half and pin one edge perpendicular to the folded edge you just made. Stitch along pinned edge, 1/8″ from edge.

Open into triangle

Open fabric into a triangle, with seam you just stitched facing the back. Press.

Slip bookmark over pages

Slip bookmark over the corner of pages you would like to mark. These bookmarks can be used to mark two pages at once, depending on how many pages you slip inside.

Fabric corner bookmark tutorial

This is a great 10-minute craft for when you don’t have a lot of time, and would be an easy sewing project for beginners. And since we learned from Wednesday’s giveaway question that many of you still prefer paper books to e-readers (giveaway is still open through 5/2), you might even make several to give as gifts!

If you’ve used the corner bookmarks tutorial, we’d love to see your version in the Craft Buds Flickr pool!

Letterpress Baby Announcement

I’ve posted about the Epic Six in the past when I’ve used it for die cutting, but you can also use it to letterpress! We’ve got a baby due soon so I decided to get a head start on baby announcements. I used the Epic to create these “it’s a boy” cards using their petite printing plates, part of the letterpress collection.

I used white ink on the navy background and navy ink on the white background. This was my first test of using the Epic to letterpress. I’m happy to report that it was a fairly easy process and it didn’t take me long to get set up and create a whole stack of cards!

The only problem I had was sometimes ink would get on the sides of the words and it would show up in the final pressing. You can see a little extra in next to “boy” on the top card and next to “it’s” on the bottom one. I used an x-acto blade to trim down the sides of the word plates and was more careful about inking and then things went smoothly. You can learn more about the entire letterpressing process here on the Lifestyle Crafts blog.

I put together a template so after the baby is born I can fill it in with a baby photo and his name, weight, length and the date. Then I’ll have it printed as a photo and glue it to the back of each of my letterpress cards.

 

If you want to purchase anything from Lifestyle Crafts, don’t forget to use our coupon code CRAFTBUDS for an extra 20% off! Today is the last day to take advantage of free shipping for orders over $25.

Book Review: Everyday Handmade + Giveaway!

Today, we are happy to have a guest post from Elizabeth at Inspire Me Grey. She is here to review a new sewing book and show off her projects, plus we also have a giveaway courtesy of the book’s publisher, Martingale & Co. (Enter with your comment at the end of this post.) Take it away, Elizabeth!

Everyday Handmade: 22 Practical Projects for the Modern Sewist by Cassie Barden and Adrienne Smitke (Martingale) is a promising addition to any modern sewist’s craft library. Whether you’re looking for a small, simple project to give you a break from that quilt you’ve been slaving over or you’re in the mood to create something featuring some favorite fabrics from your stash, Everyday Handmade is likely to please.

Everyday Handmade book contents

Beginner-level projects include a simple tote bag decorated with fabric-covered buttons, pieced coasters and potholders, and a sewing set that includes a pincushion and needle book.

Everyday Handmade book - Collector's Item Tote Bag
The instructions and illustrations are clear enough, though, that even projects that seem more intimidating, like the full-fledged messenger bag with pockets and a laptop compartment, are easy to follow.

In contrast to many sewing craft books that focus on one material (felt, scraps of quilting cottons, upcycled fabrics), authors Barden and Smitke challenge sewists to explore working with a variety of materials. Projects make the most of selvages, wool felt, linen, canvas, interfacing, fusible fleece, and zippers.

Everyday Handmade book - e-Reader cover

 

My Projects

When I was studying the 22 projects in Everyday Handmade and trying to decide which one to make, the Literary Genius e-Reader Cover caught my attention. I received a Kindle as a birthday gift only a week after I won this book at a quilting retreat, so the timing was perfect.

Before I started, I noticed that the finished size (5 1/2” by 8 1/2″) was going to be bigger than my Kindle and therefore wouldn’t provide the intended protection. The authors note in the project instructions that they have included measurements for two e-readers, but unfortunately both were bigger than mine, so I decided to reduce the cutting measurements and make a practice cover first to check the sizing.

Fast forward through recalculations and two practice covers and I was finally ready to proceed with my final fabric choices. I used interfacing on all my quilting cottons to give them a bit more heft, and at the last minute I decided to also supplement the outer layer of the cover with fusible fleece to better protect my Kindle.

I’m happy with how the final product turned out. Although there are slight changes I would make if I were to make this again, it holds my Kindle snugly and provides sufficient protection.

One other project that I tried from Everyday Handmade is the Petunia Hedgehog Pincushion. Petunia is part of a three-piece sewing set, along with a stump-shaped needle book and notions pouch. To satisfy a Woodlands theme for an ornament challenge that’s happening on my blog, I turned Petunia into a soft ornament by simple eliminating the base and sewing both sides of the body together all the way around.

April ornament: Hedgehog

Templates are included for the tree stump parts as well as all Petunia’s parts, and I found it very easy to trace them using freezer paper and then transfer and cut the shapes out of craft felt. At the back of the book Barden and Smitke include simple instructions for techniques used in the projects, including the French knots and blanket stitch on Petunia. Even when you know how to execute simple embroidery like this, if your memory is anything like mine you know it’s helpful to have a refresher on hand.

I’m pleased with the range of projects in Everyday Handmade, and I like the look and feel of Barden’s and Smitke’s designs. Whether you’re making a little something for yourself or sewing up a personalized gift for a friend, you’ll find something to try in this book.


Giveaway!

Martingale & Co. is giving one lucky Craft Buds reader the chance to win a $30 gift certificate to their shop, good for books, e-books or patterns. Enter to win by:

  1. Leave a comment on this post. You can tell us if you use an e-reader or if you prefer paper books. (one entry)
  2. Subscribe to Martingale’s Stitch This! newsletter (for free patterns, sale offers, tips and tricks) and leave a second comment telling us you did! (one entry)

This giveaway is open worldwide and we’ll choose one lucky winner via Random.org on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

Out of 158 comments, the winner is #6 Jeanne, who said:

“I do have a Kindle and I love it for casual reading but it isn’t color so I like my quilt and craft books in pulp. I do love that Kindle cover and the tote with all the covered buttons.  If I win, I know what will be first to make! Thanks for the chance.”

 

14 Cheap Ways to Organize Your Craft Space

Sure, it would be nice to buy new storage cabinets to house your craft supplies. But for many of us, there’s not room in the house (or in the budget!) for expensive craft storage solutions.

But with a few inexpensive items from around the house, you can give your craft space a spring cleaning! We love these craft storage ideas that use everyday, easy-to-find items like shower caddies and Altoid tins.

Clothespins and Embroidery Floss: A cute way to store floss from Mrs. Jones. At just $2 in cost, we love this way inexpensive and adorable solution for keeping your supplies organized.

Leethal Yarn Storage Cans

Upcycled Cans Yarn Storage: Who doesn’t love having craft supplies right at their fingertips? This cubby storage system for yarn is constructed of recycled Trader Joe’s cans. Get the tutorial for the wall-mounted craft storage at Leethal.

Fabric Folding Tutorial: Visit Turning*Turning to learn how to fold your fabric like a pro. You don’t need any cardboard sheets or extras–just a ruler to make neat and orderly folds.

Shower Caddy Craft Supplies Storage: Your shower caddy hasn’t gotten this much action since college. Get more clever craft storage tips at Better Homes & Gardens.

Hanging Fabric Solution: Store your fabric in a hanging file cabinet at Sew Many Ways. It’s pressed and ready to go, and way more fun than balancing your checkbook.

Spice Rack Paint Holder: A spice rack turned painting station makes a splash at Bird’s Party Blog. You might even get the kids to help you with this project.

Scrapbooking Turnstile: A lampshade with the cover removed becomes a perfect vertical storage solution for Susan’s scrapbooking stickers! Check out her project at Creatively Savvy.

Cheese Grater Earring Holder: How cute is this idea at Duitang? Paint it in your favorite color and store jewelry supplies or wearables in a pinch!

 

More Craft Storage Ideas

Craft room organization and storage ideas at Craft Passion

Altoid storage tins from Matthew Moss

An entire blog dedicated to craft organization at Crafty Storage

Store clear rubber stamps in baseball card sleeves at Scrapinxoxo

Fabric scrap basket tutorial at The Sometimes Crafter

Toilet paper roll scissors Holder at Rustic Crafts

 

Reader Tips

Do you have any favorite organization tips? How do you tame the mess of your creative space? We’d love to hear your tips (or links to your favorite storage ideas) in the comments!

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...