Events + Contests

Published on April 14th, 2009 | by Kelly Rand

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Win a Copy of Sewing Green!

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CONGRATULATIONS to Tina in Boston for winning our giveaway of Sewing Green! Be on the look out for an email from us for further details.

Thank you to everyone who entered. We here at CAGW have been rejuvenated and inspired by all of your upcycling ideas! Don’t forget your other chances to win this beautiful book, you can find out where to enter here.

I know you’ve waited with bated breath so here it is, your chance to win a copy of Sewing Green, the latest and greatest book by Betz White, author of Warm Fuzzies.

Sewing Green offers 25 cute projects made from repurposed or organic materials. Learn how to make aprons and wallets from dress shirts, and sandwich wraps, and lounge pants from organic and thrifted fabrics. The projects are are direct and easy to follow even for this crafter who likes to skip ahead and tweak things. I especially like the sandwich wrap project and the use of PUL – a material that is not vinyl and one that I need to look into more.

White’s favorite project from the book is the woodland draft buster, a much more refined version of the draft catcher that I created a while back. This version looks like an adorable tree branch that helps you save money on your heating bill. White wanted everything in the book to have a good purpose without being preachy. She wanted everything to be fun and easy and show that any one can do these projects and be eco-friendly. “You don’t have to suffer,” she said. “Suffering is not involved.”

Continue reading to enter the contest!

Sewing Green also contains great features and side bars that showcase the history of repurposing, tips on thrifting, and advise on how to avoid thrifting pits falls. There are also several interviews and highlights with eco innovators – people in the crafting world, textile industry and various repurposers.

For example there is a write up on Claire Morsmen and Moresbags, a non-profit group based in the U.K. Morsbags was created by Marsmen who was put off by the wastefulness of plastic bags. Morsmen gathers people together to created the bags and then distributes them free to unsuspecting people. A technique she calls “social guerrilla bagging.” It is a great example of how one person can make a difference and perfect for this book full of eco-consciousness.

White worked hard to add dimension to the book. As you can tell it’s not just a project book, it teaches and encourages green living and for us to think about waste and reuse in positive ways. But the best and most amazing thing about this book? Crafting a Green World is mentioned as an additional resource.

We here at CAGW are in awe and completely touched to know that we’ve grown up so much to be considered a good and solid green crafting resource. Thanks Betz.

So now that you REALLY want to win this book, how do you enter?

Leave a comment about your favorite upcycled project that you’ve made or are thinking of making.

I’ll draw a random winner on Friday April 17th, so check back here for the winner’s announcement. Directions on how the winner can claim their prize will be posted here. If you are the winner and you don’t claim your prize within one week of the drawing, you forfeit and the book will be re-drawn.

For other chances to win Sewing Green see a complete listing of all the contests right here on CAGW and over at STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books blog.

Good luck and happy upcycling!

Keep up with the latest in the world of green crafts by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!


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About the Author

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting. Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.



  • Crystal

    I’m currently working on making a quilt out of t-shirts my son has grown out of. He loves them, and I love the designs. My next project is taking a skirt I never wear and making it into a tote bag.

    This book looks like it is awesome. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • http://roth-nater.blogspot.com daniela

    i made a big quilt for our master bed, all of old clothes and the backing is a vintage comforter cover…

  • http://christinajclark.wordpress.com Chris Clark

    There are two upcycling projects I would like to work on. Oh, wait, three! I have a lot of vintage floral tableclothes that I used for decorating my wedding reception. They all have similar colors and are in a variety of faded conditions. I’d like to make some of them into a quilt as a nice memory of my beautiful wedding reception.
    My husband is a volunteer firefighter and every time the department gets new t-shirts, we end up with three or four more he can’t wear anymore but we don’t want to donate to the thrift store as they are “official.” I want to take the little fire department logo section of the shirt and turn it into firefighter baby bibs, both for us and for other families on the department.
    I’d also like to use the t-shirt scraps from that project as well as various stained, ripped and otherwise rag worthy t-shirts and make them into a rug somehow. I’ve seen several tutorials on this, I just haven’t decided on the method I want to use yet.

  • Ellen Q

    My all time favorite upcycling project was the old science lab bench that I turned into a kitchen island. But I am currently making a table for my back porch from a base I found on the side of a road and a bunch of bottle caps I had all my friends collect for me.

  • Kim

    I have been experimenting with fused plastic, making change purses. The zippers are from thrift store purses and the lining is a reclaimed upholstery fabric.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcav0y/3425230007/in/photostream/
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23450527

  • http://bagsforzaza.blogspot.com Jennie C.

    I make messenger bags and “stuff” from donated remnants and thrift store finds (pants, linens, etc). Check me out at http://BagsForZaza.blogspot.com. Oh dear, I think that was a shameless marketing attempt. All proceeds go towards a family member’s private adoption of a little Columbian girl.

  • http://littleecofootprints.typepad.com/ Tricia

    My most recent upcycling adventure (I probably upcycle atleast one thing each week) was turning an old woolen jumper into a pair of longies for my duaghter. Woolen pants to wear to bed.

  • Elizabeth B

    I turned a cute $2 plaid dress in a size waaaaay too small into a funky apron. For waist ties I used the twill handles from a Bluefly shopping bag that had torn. I love upcycling! (Other projects have included handkerchiefs from an old men’s shirt in a cool funky print and a bunch of produce/bulk bags from a huge PB sheet that someone had a dreadful bleach accident with. But the apron is my current favorite.)

  • http://coziathome.blogspot.com Julie Fox

    I have a few upcycle favorites! I made little gnome ornaments this Christmas from little pine cones that I had found on the ground.
    I also am in the process of making a quilt from all of my Son’s old soccer jerseys, tournament tee shirts & sweatshirts, I am really excited about this project, it’s something that I’m sure he will have forever and pass on to his kids!
    We also love making the milk jug skeleton every Halloween, we make a new skeleton family member every year.

  • Victoria

    I’ve been making yoga mat bags and purses out of my friend’s closet rejects. Coin purses are up next from some of her more adorned clothing!
    Man, I covet this book…

  • chppie

    I’m planning cutting up my husband’s worn out khakis and making myself a skirt. Will use the leftovers for a shopping tote. Can’t have too many!

  • http://www.craftingchaos.com Twilight

    One of my favorite recycling project involved a thrifted sleeping bag. The outer fabric was ripped up and the inner lining was stained badly. But the stuffing was in pristine shape. I took apart the bag and used the stuffing in so many craft projects. I didn’t need to buy any stuff for over a year. It was great.

  • http://clutterpunk.blogspot.com Gina

    I’m working on not chucking out anything if I haven’t upcycled it a few times first! I’ve done lots of fabric recycling already – teatowels into aprons, old flannel into bag or cosy linings and so on. Now I’m saving up my husband’s holey socks (he sure goes through them) and am going to stitch them together into a tube scarf.
    The book looks awesome – I’d so love a copy to help me recraft the world!

  • http://tartarouchos.blogspot.com Tartaruga

    A cozy pilowwcase with a felted sweater and yarn leftovers.

  • Clare

    I’m pretty new to upcycling as well, but am determined to find some more time to make and create some little treasures of my own. I’m always making envelopes from magazines and rescuing furniture from the rubbish tip for use at home. But my favourite project so far, was cutting down a work uniform, wool jumper into a vest that I embellished with buttons and lace. TO make something so pretty from something with such negative connotations was a true delight.

  • kim

    Used vintage pillowcases to make totebags for my daughters doll collection.

  • Crystal

    My favorite upcycled item that I have made is a plastic tote out of plarn. Plastic grocery bags are cut into strips and tied together to make a plastic yarn. Then I crocheted this into an awesome tote. People always ask where I get it, and I tell them it is upcycled!

  • http://sew-and-so.blogspot.com Becky

    One of my all-time favorites was actually my first– when I was in high school, my brother had gotten two pairs of baggy wale-less corduroy jeans. More of a velveteen texture than a corduroy one. He decided he didn’t want them anymore, so he gave one to a friend and one to me to do what we would with them. I turned them into a messenger bag, with a piece of webbing that my mom had around here for the strap and fabric leftover from the curtains she’d made from my bedroom for the lining. For years, that was my go-to bag for day trips, outdoor concerts, etc– it was the perfect size to hold all the necessities and a few extras like my camera. It’s finally at the point where it’s just too worn to safely use, but I still have the bag– I’d really like to take it apart and use it to make a pattern for a new one!

  • Corynne

    My fave so far is a striped tank top I made with 4 old t-shirts, upcycling is fun and gratifying!

  • http://thoroughlymodernvintage.blogspot.com Jenifir

    I make purses using upcycled felted wool sweaters (some of which I have featured in my new blog). I have also made cell phone pockests and wristlets and plan on making tea and coffee cozies. The purses are all lined with thrifted remnants or clothes that are very datedor damaged. I plan on making aprons from some of those clothes and I have a few vintage tableclothes that really need to be called cutters so I love the skirt in Betz’s book.

  • http://rhubarbsky.com Carrie of Rhubarb Sky

    Felted sweater sleeves turned into fingerless hand mitts.

  • http://cheesepirate.wordpress.com CheesePirate

    My favorite I’ve made was a last-minute holiday gift for my nephew. I took apart a really beat-up pair of brown leather mary janes and used the leather and some corduroy left over from a pair of pants I’d made into a skirt, and a little scrap of plaid to make him a wallet. My brother – his dad – wants one, too.

  • Sabrina

    Reusing old clothing that my relatives try to throw away is the constant upcycling project going on with me. The “felt the wool sweater then re-use the material for bags or stuffies” is a good one, but my favorite thing to do is take old t-shirts with holes everywhere, chop them up, and stitch them together to make patchwork t-shirts. Switching colours around is fun!

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5087864 Tressa

    I’ve made loads and loads of upcycled, recycled, reloved things over the years – it’s my absolutely favourite way to create. Something I haven’t done yet and am really excited to find the time to do, is make a t-shirt shopping bag. I have these awesome band tees that are too tattered to wear, I thought I’d double them up with some random t-shirt for strength.

    I LOVE this book, my friend has it and I would LOVE to have a copy too.

    Thanks, CAGW! xoxo

  • KarenV

    I am working on a t shirt quilt with thrifted tie dyed t shirts with reverse appliqued peace signs. It makes me feel hopeful when I work on it.

  • http://www.kristenmary.com Kristen Mary

    I received some clothing and scarves from my mom that belonged to my grandmother. I call them Grand-me-downs. :-) The items that aren’t so precious that I can’t bear to cut them up I will use in pillow cases or cozies around the house to have reminders of her.

  • http://www.greeniebeanrecycle.etsy.com Kelli

    This book sounds so cool. My favorite upcycled projects are the tote bags I make out of recycled tee shirts! I use no new materials!!!

  • Kelly O.

    I made a dress this winter for my dd out of two thrifted wool sweaters….
    much like something from Hannah Andersson but much less pricey and better for the environment.

  • Rhonda

    My favorite upcycle projects so far are dishcloths that I make from layers of raggedy towels and the plastic netting bags that onions or fruit come in. I layer them up so that one side is toweling and the other side is netting, for the “scrubby effect”. I embroider cute stuff on the toweling side so they are pretty as well as useful. They always make me smile when I use them, which is always welcome at dish washing time!

  • http://veganmama.com Danica

    My favorite upcycling projects are ones using worn out and outgrown clothes. I’ve upcycled them into new clothes, bags, pillows, diapers, blankets, etc.

  • Debbie H

    I love reading your blog! I’d love to pass on my love of sewing/crafting to my daughter–with a new, green, spin!

  • http://FunInTheMaking.net Hester Jane

    I can’t wait to see Betz White’s new book.She is so clever and talented.

  • http://kritterific.blogspot.com Kritty

    I made a travel pillow that looks like a U shaped weiner dog, made from a rainbow GAP sweater that was washed by accident. great for napping babes in car seats!

  • charlotte

    i am excited about felting and repurposing them into a blanket/quilt. i also found some great tutorials on creating sweet little dresses out of a man’s button down shirt.

  • Panya

    My favorite thing that I make is little dolls made from old clothes. Really easy, and the babies in my family love them.

  • sharon

    splicing together a pair of cool, but a little too ripped (thus, scandalous) jeans from a shorter friend’s trash pile with a too-tight shirt from another friend’s goodwill pile for a pair of zip-cropped jeans that rival current offerings from bloomingdales and anthropologie =D basically, i took the shirt in a contrasting but not outlandish color and lined the jeans especially where the jeans ripping had gotten out of control, then harvested two jeans zippers from old and torn jeans for the zip crops at the calves.

  • http://www.lifeisfulloffourleafclovers.blogspot.com Kelley

    I just came across a few ideas for re-using old sewing patterns. I have stacks of them that I’ll never use again but can’t bear to pass on…..happy crafting!

  • Laura F

    I love Betz White!!

    My favorite upcycled project I’ve made are bibs for my nephew.I found really cool old teatowels at a thrift store.I used that for the front of the bib. I then used one of my old flannel sheets for the inside layer.Then I used a thrifted ,natural colored linen shirt for the back layer.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8460741@N07/748703190/

  • Amanda

    I like using old clothing to make new clothes for my toddler.

  • http://hmarksthespot.blogspot.com ~Heather

    Free sheets that I pick up out of the free box at our local hospice shop become pattern pieces for patterns I create. ~Heather

  • http://www.makesomethingnew.com kim

    Out of love for vintage treasures and upcycling, I reclaim old shirts, jackets, and bags. Refashioning old shirts into cute dresses and tailored tees, my friend and I silkscreen our designs on them to give them new life. I am also currently working on relining bags and jackets with silkscreened patterns!

  • http://bostonsewer.blogspot.com Tina in Boston

    I’m saving up t-shirts to make a t-shirt quilt. I look forward to looking back over all the fun places I’ve been!

  • Allison L.

    I like taking apart old, falling apart jewelry and making new jewelry/adornments with it. I haven’t done many sewing projects yet, but am getting sewing lessons from my mom. My mom and I both enjoy recycling and reusing, so I’d love to pick out some projects from this book and work on them together.

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  • Erika

    My favorite upcycled project that I made was a tank top that I made out of a too-large Earth Day tee-shirt that actually had the wrong date on it… I need to get back to making more of those.

  • http://miekoslittleadventures.blogspot.com Allie

    My husband is a farmer and we periodically wind up with huge bunches of greens in our refrigerator. My aunt, instead of using paper towels to absorb extra water from bunches of greens or herbs, rolls them in old dish towels and then puts them into reused plastic bags, for storage in the fridge. Inspired by her idea, I am going to sew simple bags made out of old dish towels (you know– the ones too stained to hang in the kitchen) for storing veggies and greens. Just put two dish towels together, sew them together along three sides, and you’re done! If the lettuce in them gets funky, pop the bags in the wash, air dry (save money and electricity by not running the dryer) and reuse. Voila!

  • http://simplesavvy.wordpress.com SavvyChristine

    I made a superhero cape and mask for my nephew out of two thrift-store pillowcases, with fabric from an old t-shirt. He loves it! Whenever we talk on the phone or someone mentions “Auntie Chris” to him, he runs to the toy box, pulls out the cape, and starts running around the house wearing it.

  • http://2malig.blogspot.com Ulrike

    I love paper upcycling. There are so many possibilities to use paper. And the used paper is so much more interesting.
    And I also like any kind of fabric upcycling..

    I’d like to quit my studies and do nothing but upcycling… ;)

  • http://onepearlbutton.blogspot.com Alli

    I love upcycling clothing – I’ve done a lot of sweater-to-cardigan transformations, but my favorite project has probably been turning an old men’s corduroy shirt into a pretty little shoulder cape. So fun!

  • Bena

    I’m new to crafting and recycling so what a great resource to start with! thanks!

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