A Giveaway!

(Note: Comments are now closed. We will announce the randomly-drawn winner shortly.)

But you gotta work for it a little bit.

Remember The Alabama Stitch Book that I reviewed back in June? The one that I used to make the skirt that I wore to that get-together with some old friends? Well, the lovely folks at Stewart, Tabori & Chang sent me a copy to review as well, so I have two copies. So, looks like I need to get rid of one of them…

2552034727 b297c8f67c o A Giveaway!

I think that whomever gets the copy of this book will really enjoy it. There are lots of great project ideas (which can easily be converted to machine-sewn projects for the hand-sewing averse among us, ehem…) and the real gem is the author’s take on sustainability and rejuvenating traditional craft.

In that vein, in order to win the book, I’d like to ask you to leave your tips in the comments section of this post on reusing, recycling or integrating “green” concepts into your sewing and crafting. Do you search out organic cottons? Refashion thrift store finds (Antoinette, I’m talking about you!)? Try to shop locally? Plus, feel free to make the argument as to why sewing in and of its self is sustainable… If you’re not feeling green, share something about your sewing heritage, which is a huge theme in the book. If you do both, I’ll enter you twice.

If you feel compelled to pass this giveaway along to someone else (via Facebook, Twitter, some other social networking service or on your own blog), let me know by emailing me at sewersewist@gmail.com and I’ll enter you again.

I’ll keep this giveaway open until midnight (Pacific) on Monday, August 25.

Thanks, and I hope the winner enjoys this book as much as I did!


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21 thoughts on “A Giveaway!

  1. I’ve been eyeballing this book and have read such great reviews about it. I guess my tip is both budget friendly and green. I have been wanting new clothes, but our family budget is tight so I’ve decided to take the clothes I have and don’t wear anymore and upcycle it (term I read on Natalie Chanin’s blog). I’ll going to use my stash or go to the thrift store and refashion the clothes I have into somoething that fits who I am now instead of letting them languishing in the closet.

  2. I too am an upcycler as termed by Thien-Kim, in fact I am wearing my favorite thrift store find right now! I also have bought some bamboo from Joann’s to try out.

    Heritage wise, I just found out that my mom spent her first working years as a seamstress!!! Guess it runs in the blood.

  3. As far as “green” goes, I’ve been sewing reusable items – Swiffer duster refills that can be washed, Swiffer WetJet mop pads that can be washed (no, I’m not on the payroll for Swiffer!), and now cloth napkins. I’ve also refashioned used pieces of clothing into new things. Jeans I got off freecycle have become shoes for my son, and an upcoming project will be a lunch bag for myself out of the old jeans.

    My mom knew how to sew but rarely did, and my grandma, who sewed a lot, didn’t live nearby. So I got little bits of instruction until I was motivated to take classes at a local independent fabric store. My first class was to learn to make a bug jar quilt for my first child – still the only quilt I’ve ever finished. :)

  4. Oh geez, where do I begin? First, my mother and grandmother sew and made many of my groovy polyester outfits that I wore as a child. Yep, good times. They both worked in a sewing factory for many years.

    Second, I am HUGE into sewing, thrifting, repurposing and “greeness” of all kinds. Not only is it satisfying to make your own clothes, but it save you money and keeps you away from the mass-production look-a-likes. Sounds like an awesome book. Thanks for sharing one with your readers :)

  5. I have been trying to integrate some green items into my sewing – namely by recycling thrift store finds. One of the best is bed sheets; they make great linings for cotton garments! Also, some of my first ever sewn garments were made from velvet mumus found at good ol’ Salvy’s. Mock turtlneck tees, they were awesome and it was 1993.

    My sewing heritage goes back to my European roots – both grandmothers were/are wonderfully talented with their needlework & crochet. And my father also had a hand in my sewing heritage as he electrified the Singer my mother used to teach me to sew basic seams.

    Mostly, I really believe in sewing as a sustainable endeavor. To be able to create something one’s self rather than rely on purchasing something “new” is infinitely preferable. While I do have to purchase fabric and notions to sew a garment, I can equate this to purchase food stuffs to create a meal. While I am not able to weave my own cloth – or have a farm – I’m still able to provide for myself using my own power and abilities.

  6. Pingback: Free Books - 19 August 2008 - Rat's Reading

  7. This got me thinking. Admittedly, most of this is because I like a bargain, or the stuff that I can get locally is too good to pass up; but there is a bit of the green going into it.

    Most of my weaving equipment is used, purchased on eBay or from other weavers that no longer weave. For most of what I weave, I use mill ends, the stuff that commercial manufacturers have left over. The fabrics that I buy for sewing are leftovers as well from designers are done using for their lines.

    For spinning, there are a number of local farms that produce fleeces that are great. I was them up, card them, and spin them into yarn I can weave or knit with.

    As for heritage, I get fiber bug from my mother, though my father has his creative side with his woodworking. My mother used to sew most of our clothes when we were little; and when I was going through college, she worked as a seamstress for a bridal shop to help put me through college. I remember watching my mom do her crochet, broomstick lace, sewing, etc. at night and asking her to teach me. She never did. I wound up getting books out of the library to learn how to knit, and it went on from there.

  8. Hey, Miss Sarah — Yes, I am wrapping up my big, 2-month refashion plunge with Wardrobe Refashion and have focused on mens dress shirts.

    Before this experiment, I believed that “green fabric” was simply organic cotton or bamboo. But producing fabric, even fabric made of organic fibers, still requires many natural resources, esp. water!, and other resources, and many hours of labor per pound of fabric. Most organic fabrics are dyed, which also uses lots of water and can still be chemical-heavy if the dyes aren’t natural and organic.

    So I am rapidly concluding for myself that the greenest fabric choice is not just organic fabric off the bolt — it’s fabric that’s already out there in the form of other clothes or house linens. I’ve raided my husband’s closet and made a great little (albeit short) shirt dress. I’ve picked up a few $1 shirts from thrift stores and created some staples in my summer wardrobe. I’ve rescued shirts from the floors of unwitting bystanders guy friends and turned them into cute new dresses (well, these are technically still under construction). I’ve brought unworn items from my closet to a community swap and brought home several shirts, a dress, a skirt, and a jacket that I can refashion into other garments. After focusing on refashioning for this short period of time, I know that I can “upcycle” garments that I will not only wear, but truly enjoy.

    Even after my Wardrobe Refashion pledge is over, I will continue to refashion because it’s a choice that works and makes sense for me and the environment. I’ll definitely go back to sewing down my stash but my fabric binges are squarely under control.

    As for my sewing heritage, I grew up with a mom who sewed very well but didn’t teach me to sew. She was a tailor’s apprentice in her native Vietnam and made some great pieces that fit me now, including wide-legged wool pants and the grooviest floral bell bottoms! Now that I can sew, we share some nice sewing adventures, occasionally punctuated by her grabbing the unfinished garment from my hands and insisting, “Watch me.” More directly influential is my parents’ lifelong practice of conservation. They’ve recycled and composted since the 70′s and never bought into disposable fashion.

    Thanks for asking, darlin’. :) xoxoxoxo

  9. I love to refashion\recycle clothing that doesn’t fit anymore. Recently, I took apart a pair of jeans and turned it into a grocery tote… I even took off the back pockets and attached them to the outside of the bag so they are functional again too. I have to say, it’s one of my favorite bags.

  10. I love to make things out of thrifted pillowcases and sheets. I have a pile of them in my stash waiting to become a baby quilt for a friend.

  11. I recently crocheted a swiffer pad so I don’t have to buy the disposable ones. I buy a lot from thrift stores to re-purpose. Sometimes even ugly fabric can be dyed for re-use. T shirts become pants for my children. A large child’s t shirt can be used to make one pair of pants and a tank top for my 7 month old.

  12. I have recycled cast-off clothing for many years. When my daughter was a child, we’d choose an outgrown, slightly damaged garment to make doll clothes. I have always kept buttons from worn-out clothing, as well, to re-use on a newly sewn garment or a craft project. As far as my sewing heritage, my late mother sewed everything my sister and I wore. I used to complain about lengthy shopping trips to Hancock’s when I was a child (early 70s) because the overpowering fabric dyes burned my eyes. I am glad that the fabric industry uses more stable (and possible more earth-friendly?) dyes nowadays. Anyway, my mother didn’t teach me step-by-step how to sew; I think that I absorbed sewing skills through osmosis or something like that. I thought everyone’s mother sewed. However, even though my mother has been gone for over a dozen years, I can still remember comments she made about good sewing skills and helpful hints she offered whenever I was stumped. These memories are still helpful, and they comfort me so much whenever I miss my dear mother the most. To me, sewing is the only way to spend time, in spirit and reminiscence, with my beloved mentor.

  13. I think one way I’m trying to be “green” is by trying to use my stash instead of buying new fabric all the time. I do fail some times.
    My sewing heritage, I learned to sew from my mother and aunt. I have always been around fabric, sewing, and general crafts. I loved the fact that my mom could make me anything with a little encouragement. My dad’s grandmother made beautiful quilts, but her daughter, my grandmother, didn’t learn how to quilt, but she does love to knit. I have been around creative people my entire life, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

  14. I’m very interested in this book! And actually pleasantly surprised by the whole refashioning/upcycling movement. It’s always been a part of how we sew at my house.

    My grandmother was a stay-at-home mother and a seamstress. She also had 7 children. Five girls to dress on a small budget was a challenge and my mother still speaks of the ripping up and refashioning her mother did. And when styles changed from the New Look full skirt to the pencil skirt, Mèmère got out her seam ripper and made magic!

    Not to mention the challenge of growing children so contrasting bands at the neckline or hemline or whereever were a staple of the family’s closet.

    The sewing gene sort of skipped my mother but I’ve got it bad. Some of my first garments as a teen were cut out of my mother’s UFOs. I also have a very generous godmother living in the US who loves to buy me clothes…in the wrong size and/or style!

    I’ve also made skirts out of drapes, pjs out of my dad’s old shirts and shorts from one of his old hunting jackets. Oh, and a sturdy grocery tote for my mother out of my aunt’s upholstry scraps. Patchworking at its best!

    It was great reading everyone’s comments so far…and thank you for being willing to share your good fortune with us!

  15. I of my favorites things to do is is keep old jewelry. I take the components and create something entirely new.

  16. I love to recycle! I’ve made purses,headbands and vests from men’s ties; blouses, pillows and bags from men’s shirts; demin totes,purses,skirts and quilts from jeans and patchwork throws and totes from men’s sport coats.

    My grandmothers both embroidered and sewed.

  17. With 4 kids in the house I’ve been re-fashioning clothing for the last 8 years! My oldest girl has passed on clothing to a friend and that friend gives the clothing back to me for my youngest two. While most lands back in decent shape, much of it needs to be touched up a bit. I embroider creative patches on the jeans with wear spots (good thing this is trendy at the moment!) I’ll cut up t-shirts which have no hope of being worn again to use for appliqué on other stained shirts and for dust/wash/whatever cloths. I’m often at the thrift store picking up those 50 cent jeans for my son and taking them in, adding carpenter pockets and making them look like designer duds for him. I myself have remade clothing into maternity wear, nursing wear and back to everyday clothes. The great thing is we all always get great compliments on our attire! And when we are done with our clothes, with no one to pass them back down to, I take them to consignment stores and they always seem to go quickly! My newest project: PJ’s out of old sheets!

  18. My mom and both of my grandmothers were great crafters – sewing, knitting, crocheting,embroidery etc. I am fortunate enough to have inherited the talent and the love of sewing. I have great memories of my mom and I sitting side by side at our machines sewing away!

    I have also recycled old clothing – particularly blue jeans. I have made a bag, pillow and a quilt with our worn out jeans!!

  19. I try to reuse any fabric that shows up ( My dear friends knows and I get a lot of donations!). I have made yo yo pillows out of jeans..Little pencil (pouches) out of tiny children jeans. I also re use embroidery…It is so nice to give a new life to an old embroidery find (flea markets)that already ornate someone else;s clothing or home.
    Heritage..I try to continue the family tradition of sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidering, painting, and drawing…I love to use all these crafts to make my gifts very personilized and unique. I recently lost my aunt, and gradma have been in heaven for a while…So everytime I make something handmade I think I am making “them” proud!I am also living a little far away from my mom…so when I am making something and I do not know the next step..I call my hot line: MOM! It is a great excuse to make an international calls on regular basis!
    I will be posting soon about your giveaway on my blog:

  20. I get some lovely fabrics from a drapery workroom. They just throw them away. I make all kinds of things with them my favorite being clothing. Beautiful silks and linen and cotton. Sometimes I have to do some creative cutiing but mostly I get pretty large pieces that may have a bias cut edge or something like that.

    My mom was the first on who taught me to sew. When I was about 5 I wanted to sew on her sewing machine. She would let me when I sewed small enough stitches by hand. She gave me a piece of fabric with a large flower on it and had me do tiny running stitch around the flower. It wasn’t long before she had to let me sew on her machine.

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