Lina and Vi: Sewing with Repurposed Materials - Reinvention

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sewing with Repurposed Materials - Reinvention

Reinvention - Maya Donenfeld - lina and vi

Friends, I hope you're week is off to a good start! I'm happy to be back into a daily routine, despite the fact that it means early wake-up calls again and commutes in the icy winter terrain.

I wanted to share a few bits of a sewing book that I'm in the midst of reading called "Reinvention" by Maya Donenfeld.  My husband gave this to me as a gift for Christmas this year since the entire book is focused around sewing with reclaimed/repurposed materials, one of which is burlap.  Each chapter is written around a specific material, and there are tips on working with that material along with sewing project ideas and templates to go with them as well.

I'm only about half way through the book at this time, however some of Maya's comments in the burlap chapter were meaningful to me. She says "This drab and humble cloth is sought out for its weather resistance, strength, and breathability, and over the centuries it has remained the utility fabric of choice in many industries.

When I started sewing with burlap, it honestly felt a bit strange. Here was a fabric that was somewhat itchy and scratchy and mostly plain. There weren't different colors, just varying shades of brown. Some bags had some graphic elements to them. However, it's not much to look at next to the colorful cotton prints or the metallic baroque or intricate lace alternatives. It was a bit drab honestly, but that's what drew me to it. It was simple and functional. It is bit utilitarian, but a perfect fit for a durable and sturdy handbag ready to take on each day with its owner. All of the Grounds bags have that industrial feel and look to them, which is offset with colorful prints for the interior fabric of the bags or in the case of our state pillows, the fabric paint silhouettes. They are beautiful because of their past and their present use, and that's why I love sewing with this unexpected fabric to create items that make a statement. They are tough on the outside but soft on the inside!

Did you know that you can compost burlap? I learned that from Maya's book as well. I don't know how to compost, but I would love to learn how to sometime in the future. I may have found a home for all of those burlap scraps I have stocked up that are too small for other projects!

If you're interested in learning how to sew with repurposed materials and are a beginner to intermediate seamstress, check out Maya's book "Reinvention" for ideas working with burlap, jersey, linen, and more.


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