Sewing Green is Betz White’s newest craft publication featuring projects using repurposed and organic materials. I love to be creative and Sewing Green is filled with ideas to repurpose dress shirts, table cloths and other unused or thrift shop items into clothing and functional pieces to use around the house. The directions and patterns are easy to follow, and clearly illustrated, so even a hobby or novice crafter could tackle these projects. Most of the patterns are printed right in the text where they can be photocopied and enlarged for your projects, but there are also some patterns included for the larger scale items.
If you are anything like me you have miscellaneous sheets, pillow cases and other items around the house that you can’t bring yourself to throw away, but they’re not in good enough shape to give away. Repurposing them into skirts, toddler dresses, or PJ pants give you the opportunity to give them new life. One of my first repurposing projects was when I was pregnant and made a small quilt for my daughter. I had two pairs of flannel pajama pants that were getting worn in the seat of the pants, but the flannel in the legs were still in good condition; so I cut them up into quilt pieces, sewed them together and made a quilt.
So naturally, Sewing Green was a book that I gravitated towards, after all, I couldn’t repurpose everything into an infant quilt. Many of the projects in this book also give inspiration to create unique attire and accessories out of new organic materials so you can be expressive and the one-of-a-kind person that you are. You are also given the approximate yardage necessary if you choose to make the projects from new fabric in the applicable projects. I like that the 25 projects use different materials and different sections of those materials like the body of a shirt on one project and the cuff of a sleeve for another.
The first project I tackled from this book was the reusable sandwich wrap made from PUL (polyurethane laminate, which is fabric laminated on one side with polyurethane). This was a perfect project to start with, because it was smaller scale and I have been looking for alternatives to Ziploc sandwich bags. I pulled out some fun circus-themed PUL I had tucked away and photocopied the pattern on my printer at home. If you have a copy function on your printer at home you will need to copy 4 sections of the image, overlap them, and tape them into one to make them large enough; or, you can go to your local printing store and have them copy it onto one larger sheet of paper.
After cutting the pieces for 3 sandwich holders I got creative and was able to make a 4 th one by sewing some smaller pieces of PUL together to create the larger pieces necessary.. I followed the directions from the book from start to finish on the first, and then tried a couple different edging techniques like overlock stitches on some of the edges. So remember, you can get creative and adapt these patterns to your taste or according to the tools you have on hand.
The pictures and printing of this book are also so beautiful it would be a lovely coffee table book as well! John Greun’s photos capture the smallest details of texture as well as the vibrant colors in the different fabrics and materials, and make it a fun little book to flip through. I am currently gathering materials to make the reusable wrap skirt, sundress for my toddler, and I may even tackle the beach bag using my husband’s old military uniforms rather than placemats. So I have plenty of sewing projects to keep me busy this year and I am drooling over some of her vibrant fabrics on her Etsy shop I may have to find a project for!
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