________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 15 . . . . March 31, 2006


Injeanuity. (Planet Girl).

Ellen Warwick. Illustrated by Bernice Lum.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2006.
80 pp., spiral bound, $14.95.
ISBN 1-55337-681-1.

Subject Headings:
Denim-Juvenile literature.
Textile crafts-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Lorraine Douglas.

**** /4


Ready to use your injeanuity?

How would you like heaps of new clothes and other great stuff?

And without dropping serious cash? All you need are some old jeans to get started. You know, like the ones lying in a ball at the back of your closet?

Snazz up tired jeans with some flippin' fantastic cuffs or a funky waistband. Transform dreary denim into sassy skirts or a halter top. Make stylish and handy accessories such as slippers, purses, carry-all bags and wallets. Or turn your bed into a cushy lounging spot with dreamy denim bolsters. Make your jeans look better the second time around with these injeanious projects.


Injeanuity is a neat book for the crafty girl looking for some cool sewing ideas. It is part of a new series from Kids Can called “Planet Girl” which is aimed at girls who want to create and explore their own individuality and style. This title is like other crafts books published by Kids Can as it is well organized and appealing and provides excellent step by step instructions for projects which are inexpensive to create.

internal art

     Warwick is the author of Stuff for Your Space (Kids Can, 2004) which was also illustrated by Bernice Lum. Injeanuity is divided into several sections with an attention grabbing introduction which makes you want to read all the tips before you begin the projects. Denim has its own special problems with fraying and flat-felled seams, and the author provides a number of excellent tricks for working with this heavy fabric. Warwick packs a lot of useful information into this small size book and is very specific in her instructions. For example, she defines the difference between tracing paper and dressmaker's tracing paper and explains how to use the dressmaking kind for tracing the templates which are provided at the back of the book or for drawing freestyle. The projects require a sewing machine and cannot be completed with hand sewing.

     The first projects session, called “Cuffs and Stuff,” includes ideas on making cuffs which flip for different seasons, flared bell bottoms, adding a strip down the side to widen tight jeans, adding a waistband with beaded cords for a tie closure, and creating crazy cuffs decorated with buttons. A young sewer would need a little experience with cutting and pinning fabrics and sewing with a machine to be successful with most of the book's projects, but some, like the crazy cuffs in this section, are easier for a beginner.

     The second project section, “New Threads from Old Duds,” includes a nice description on converting jeans to a miniskirt and creating a wrap skirt and halter top. The author has good suggestions for recycling materials and using items found at the thrift stores. The next section, “Injeanious Accessories,” has ideas like a wallet and slippers, and the last section has projects for your room, things like a bolster and book cover.

     The bold and colourful illustrations by Bernice Lum have a funky flavour. The step-by-step illustrations are extremely clear, and each finished project is shown in a full colour photograph. The mix of hand lettering and type gives a lively feel to the book which matches its zingy and enthusiastic writing style. A coil binding inside hard covers allows the book to lie flat on the table so you can easily follow the directions while working on the project. But the very best thing about the book is its emphasis on creativity as the author suggests using the projects only as inspiration for developing your own personal style.

Highly Recommended.

Lorraine Douglas, an artist and writer, now lives in Sidney, BC. She worked at the Winnipeg Public Library in children's and youth services for over 25 years.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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