Blog tour | Reinvention by Maya Donenfeld

by kath_red on 07/05/2012

in Books, Guest Blogger

Today I am very pleased to welcome my dear friend Maya Donenfeld to Whipup. Maya is currently on book blog tour for her first book Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials (published by Wiley). This book is a wonderful extension of everything Maya does so well on her blog: maya made. The thing that I love so much about Maya, her blog and now this book, is how natural and close to earth she tries to live. Her natural authentic living, down-to-earth philosophy and lifestyle is in everything she does, from craft to cooking and to her children. Today Maya joins us with discussing how and why she ‘rescues’ materials.

Maya Donenfeld is a green crafter and eco designer. She’s a frequent contributor to books and magazines with projects focusing on creativity, mothering, and natural living. She just published her first book: Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued MaterialsVisit her blog, maya made, to find endless projects, tutorials and recipes for your home and family.

I enjoy working with salvaged and recycled fabrics so much that I wrote an entire book about it! Here are my top 5 reasons for rescuing material:

  1. Earth friendly. Something that already exists doesn’t create more waste and pollution. The energy and resources used to create a single item are compounded by toxins that then are dumped into our water systems and soil. Ultimately, thrifting also keeps stuff out of the already overflowing landfills around the world.
  2. Saves money. That one doesn’t need much explanation, but I would add that it’s more inviting to experiment and make mistakes if the materials used didn’t take a chunk out of your wallet.
  3. Incorporates history and soul into stitching. Using items that already have a story creates a connection between the past and present.
  4. Inspires creativity. Working with odds and ends stimulates us to problem solve and think about the inherent qualities of materials. This gives focus and many “light bulb moments”.
  5. Pride in being so clever and a sense of resourcefulness. There is a universal sense of satisfaction in making something out of nothing.

I am frequently asked about how to store and organize salvaged pieces of fabric. Having all of your materials visible is a wonderful way to remember what you have when it’s time to get making. However, deconstructed clothing and small scraps from previous projects do not fold into neat stacks for pretty display. So what to do with all of the piles? I keep much of it in open baskets, hampers and buckets. The structured fabric hamper I designed for my book was based on one of the first scrap bin baskets I ever made. It’s oversized and its internal frame ensures that it stands up tall and ready to be filled.

I also sort and organize everything by material, size and color. The more specific the category can be, the easier it is to find just what you might need. For instance, I have a category called little white linen scraps and another that’s just small floral patterns in cotton.

What about all of the pieces that just aren’t workable or desirable… do I save everything? No not everything, but I try to find homes for even the clipped corners and thick seams cut out from a pair of jeans.

I use these unwanted scraps for stuffing new items. Wool sweater scraps are soft and lofty and make great interiors for stuffed toys, whereas denim is dense and heavy- perfect for floor cushions. The pouf project, in Reinvention, is a wonderful vessel for all fabric odds and ends… just open the zipper and stuff it with every frayed and unwanted scrap you’ve got!

Happy reinventing!

reinvention: sewing with rescued materials blog tour

Photo credits: Deborah Donenfeld
Project excerpt: How to portfolio
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Thea May 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Brilliant! Oh I can’t wait for my copy of reinvention to arrive!


2 Melissa R May 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Wonderful idea! And thanks, Maya, for bringing us to Whip Up!!!


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