In Reviews & Recommendations

Today I’m taking part in a blog tour for the book Reinvention by Maya Donenfeld, published by Wiley Books. (and in doing such, I was given my very own review copy…lucky me!)

Maya and I met a few years back teaching at Squam Art Workshops and we have been friends ever since, sharing a passion for sewing with repurposed materials. I’m so proud of Maya and her first book! It is pure *Maya* and true to her vision of practicality and clean design.

Her book is smartly laid out in chapters focused by material: linen, burlap, jersey, wool, denim, tyvek mailers and vintage. Each chapter has 4 projects using that material as well as a bit of history, tips, environmental impact and sourcing info.

One of the best parts about the book is that you’ll have most of the materials needed for the projects already on hand. When I came across the Fold and Tie Case in the Vintage chapter, I knew just the tea towel to use! And when Maya says this project is super quick, she is not kidding. There is no cutting involved, just fold, press and stitch. L.O.V.E. (By the way, I made mine without the hanger loop at the top.)

The result is a handy little organizer full of pockets, which I plan to use for travel. I’m always in need a handy place to keep my ear buds, phone charger, important papers (my badge to get into Quilt Market!), sunglasses and baubles that don’t fit in my jewelry roll. And since I leave this week for Kansas City, this project couldn’t have come at a better time.

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out Maya’s book at your local bookstore! Her projects and inventive thinking will really get you inspired to look at everyday materials in a new way. You can follow along with the blog tour below, for interviews with Maya and other projects:

week one
5/1- sew liberated
5/2- Craft
5/3- Resurrection Fern
5/4- Apartment Therapy

week two
5/7 Whip Up
5/8 elsie marley
5/9 Poppytalk
5/10 Annekata
5/11 Pink Coyote

week three
5/14 Betz White (that’s me!)
5/15 Etsy (tuesday tutorial)
5/16 Sew, Mama, Sew!
5/17 Made
5/18 Wiley Craft

As part of the tour, Maya and Wiley Books are generously offering a free copy to one of my lucky readers! (USA mailing addresses only, please) To be entered in the giveaway, please comment on this post telling me your favorite material or which material you’re most excited to try out. One winner will be chosen randomly when the contest ends on Wednesday, May 16th at 5pm EST. Good Luck!
***Comments now closed! Thank you, the winner is being notified via email.***

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Showing 74 comments
  • debbiekl

    Great! I’m using wool for curtains for the first time. No problems so far!

  • Julie B

    What a lovely inspiration. Choosing just one material will be difficult: love working with linen and wool. But maybe this will be just the ticket to inspire me to use some of the vintage linens I have been collecting. Thanks!

  • thecalicocorner

    Thank you for sharing this blog tour…this was the first time that I had heard of it. I think I’d like to make the Fold & Tie Case, too. I have so many vintage linens that I would like to use!!

  • MoniCue

    Thanks for the book tip! I could use sewing tips for jersey….tho love my vintage fabrics and always adore linen. Have fun in KC–we were just there to visit over spring break!

  • Mary

    I’m especially interested in trying out some of Maya’s jersey projects. This book looks fantastic!

  • Andie D.

    Love cottons and linens!

  • mountain girl

    I have worked a bit with wool but would love to get more into it. The book looks so fun!

    Have a great time in KC…I lived there 8 years. This is a good time to go, before the humidity hits!


  • ~Heather

    I love using re-purposed linen clothes for projects.

  • Andrea

    I’d love to win. Thank you. I love reusing old clothes that we don’t wear anymore so mostly cotton blends.

  • Terri

    I love using 100% cotton t shirts for my projects. They are soft and easy to use. : )

  • Chppie

    Nice to see these kind of books becoming more popular. Once you have eyes to see there’s a world of resources around you just in everyday life.

    I like crafting with men’s khaki’s and shirts since they are readily available to me and khaki can really change up a color palletee.

    Thanks for featuring the book and the roll you made. It’s always nice to see someone actually make something from the book.

  • Emily

    I definitely have a soft spot for linen, even though I don’t use it very often. I love the way it feels and looks.

  • Bettina Groh

    Hope you enjoy Kansas City… we are having great weather and there’s always something to see and do here!
    Your version of the Tea Towel organizer looks like a winner for me.
    Love linen and will keep my eyes open for a suitable tea towel!!

  • MGirard

    I too have a tea towel from the 70s (mine in orange and brown). I have been keeping it for some times, not knowing what to do with it. I just love the big flower prints. Now I know exactly how to use it! Thanks for sharing your version of Maya’s case!

  • Rebecca

    Really interested in working with burlap. Thanks!

  • PiLibrarian

    I would love to try working with coffee sacks — I love them on Maya’s blog — but I actually have a big bunch of old bluejeans AND a cotton sheet I’m tired of, so I’m snagged by the hammock idea. It’s so Summer!

  • Señorita Andalucíana

    I would love to learn to work with jersey! I have a bunch of stuff that is too big now and I would love to re-purpose those items!

  • Claudia



  • Annette

    This book looks great, thanks for sharing the blog tour.

  • Annette

    This book looks great, thanks!

  • Lisa

    I love the look of burlap and would love to try it in some projects.

  • Sue Bradford Edwards

    I would really love some new denim projects. As the mom of a teen boy, I always have outgrown/ruined denim.

  • Tiphaine

    More I read Maya,more I read about her book, more I feel it os mot just a book but a way to approach what surrounds you and a way to live…and I discovered you through her…what a treat !

  • Beth K

    Hard to choose, but linen is my favorite fabric to work with.

  • Ellyn

    looks like a neat book! I love working with vintage tablecloths and tea towels

  • May Kristin

    Cotton and linen are my favorites!

  • Amy

    I’d love to learn how to work with jersey.

  • Anonymous

    I love working with re-purposed clothing… got so many old dresses, etc. sitting around that produce lovely stretchy pants for my kids.

    winterwrens at gmail dot com

  • Melissa L

    I am totally intrigued by her ideas for tyvek mailers and burlap! Very cool!

  • Amy

    I love working with wool and am now experimenting with linen and cotton jersey. This book looks perfect for some crafty inspiration!

  • rosesmama

    This is just what I love to do! Thanks!

  • melonkelli

    I equally love old sheets and wool felt — for different kinds of projects, of course.

  • KimW

    I have finally made the time to start sewing again, so I am excited to do anything that involves fabric. It has taken me so long to get back to this former love of mine that I think some of my fabric qualifies as vintage!

  • Angela O.

    What a fantastic book! I’m just recently venturing out of the quilting cottons and into other materials. I’m currently collecting old denim jeans to make some bags with, some bags with the tops with the pockets and zippers, some with rows of the bottom hems sewn together.

  • Anonymous

    I have some coffee sacks I have been wanting to sew up!

    Alisondblanchard (at) yahoo(dot) com

  • Margaret

    I have some felted wool sweaters that I am afraid to cut into for fear of messing up :-{

  • Carmen Nuland

    I have some bright and vibrant fabrics in my stash I want to use!

  • Chiska

    My favorite material is something I already have. There’s nothing that pleases me more than being able to use something I already have. I’m also partial to paper…cardboard really at the moment. I have a little girl who loves to paint and it’s so handy to have strong surfaces to layer lots of paint on.

  • Dana TM

    Great project! I love that dish towel, it looks so cool! So far I didn’t try any of those, I have reused our old clothes and got some burlap sacks at our local coffe company. This looks like a really nice book! (remove spaces from dana in alaska at yahoo)

  • Melody

    I like wool blends and cotton blends.


  • Beth

    I just won some linen and am looking forward to sewing some things for our home with it.

    wordygirl at earthlink dot net

  • char

    I love to use Men’s Dress shirts & linen… Thanks for the chance

  • Annie

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Kat

    Love that tea towel you used! Perfect for this lovely book. I just scored a giant stack of coffee bags from Green Mtn Coffee Roasters and am itching to put them to use! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Kat

    What a great tea towel! This book looks awesome! I just scored a bunch of coffee bags from green mountain coffee roasters and am itching to put them to use! Thanks!

  • annemarie

    What a great book – old linens would be my choice.

  • Steph Jacobson

    I love making things out of thrifted materials–men’s dress shirts and vintage bed sheets are my favorites. I’m getting quite the collection of vintage sheets and am looking for some great projects. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Monica

    I just checked this book out from the library and am in love!! My favorite is the denim market bag…as soon as I can locate some well worn jeans it will be in my to-sew pile!

  • Tellulah

    I found a chair on the side of the road and really wanted to clean it up and use it…but it was just too old and crusty! But, I tore all the vintage green satin damask off of it and dismantled it for it’s springs and nail-filled wooden structures.

    Have a great time here in Kansas City. I live 5 minutes from the convention center.

  • rena

    What a great resource! Would love to do a project in burlap.

  • rena

    What a great resource. Would love to try a project in burlap.

  • annemade

    I like working with burlap as well as linen. This book looks very inspiring. Thanks

  • christy

    i am most excited about the vintage and burlap. I have so much of both. I am needing new ideas on uses for them.
    yanuzo at hotmail dot com

  • mjb

    I’d love to use up some of the vintage tablecloths I’ve collected!

  • Jessica

    This book looks awesome… and I would love to try crafting with burlap!

  • Jen Law

    Oh my step-daughter would love this. She is a budding young crafter who loves everything vintage, anything with a history.

  • Lacey

    I’ve been loving tshirt material. I’ve cut into a ton of them and used them in various ways. I even used the cut off hem the other day as a tie for a felting project. I felt so repurpose-y. :D

  • Kathrynn

    I really like vintage fabrics, thrift store finds

  • mrealini

    Burlap is something I want to work with, we have a local coffee glaring company and they always have an excess of coffee bags, I would love to make some storage boxes out of them!

  • mrealini

    I would love to work with burlap coffee bags, I would love to make storage boxes.

  • ecky

    i’m a felted wool fanatic! i’d love to branch out though
    : )

    elkesten at yahoo dot com

  • Lee

    I love linen and want to sew more with knits! thanks!

  • Robin

    I love working with linen but the idea of the tyvek really caught my attention. This looks like a great book!

  • kluckingbear

    I like to reuse embroidered pieces with stains and tears. I use them in quilts, pillows, and any other little project I can work them into.

  • ENRICHri

    Love the project! I can wait to see the book in person. Thanks for the great opportunity!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the give-away.
    I love bark cloth! The weight is yummy and strong!

    I would love to have my own copy of Maya’s book to enjoy.
    Thanks again!

    [email protected]

  • Annie

    My favorite recycled materials have been worn-out or thrifted clothes, but I love the idea of exploring other materials and am so inspired by all I’ve seen of this book so far. Thank you for the chance to win a copy, I’ve got my fingers crossed!

  • jae

    Oh, wow. I have the perfect tea towel that I was going to wrap a present in, but now I will make it INTO the present! Looks doable for an inexperienced sewer like myself. I would be overjoyed to own Maya’s new book.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the chance to win! I would love to get back into sewing and this looks like just the path to follow. I inherited an assorment of cottons – crossing my fingers!

  • Michelle

    I love searching the 2nd hand shops for out of date, long-skirted linen dresses, and then re-purposing the fabric.

  • Holly U

    Wool, for sure! I love to work with felted wool sweaters and clothes. Thanks for this chance!

  • thecraftykitty

    I only recently started sewing with linen so probably that. Burlap would be really interesting to try too! This book looks great!

  • vitalmommy.com

    Tyvek! I would never even have thought of trying that.

  • kristin

    I love the tea towel organizer! I’m hoping to start a project with burlap soon.

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