Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sew Subversive: Down & Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista” as Want to Read:
Sew Subversive: Down & Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sew Subversive: Down & Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  260 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Sew Subversive is about making fashion your own, whether it's embellishing or customizing off-the-rack clothing or transforming clothes that have lost that loving feeling. The three twenty-something co-owners of Stitch Lounge, an urban sewing studio in San Francisco, teach you, in plain, fun language, how to do it, whether you're hand sewing, machine sewing, or, in a few c ...more
Paperback, 186 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Taunton Press (first published September 1st 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sew Subversive, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sew Subversive

The Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool by P.J. LaRueCradle to Cradle by William McDonoughThe Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition) by Kelly CoyneThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanSilent Spring by Rachel Carson
Being "Green"
37th out of 260 books — 179 voters
Knits for Nerds by Toni CarrTwisted Stitches by Phil DavisonThe Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie BurtonAnticraft by Renee RigdonCreepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden
Geek crafts
55th out of 70 books — 18 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 574)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 09, 2008 Erica rated it it was ok
Shelves: browsed
The actual patterns and ideas for clothes are slightly repulsive, but their actual introduction to sewing is fabulous. They helped me thread the machine for the first time all by myself, which was quite surprising.
Oct 15, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
If you are new to sewing clothing than Sew Subversive is a great place to start. The book starts off with hand-sewing basics: the different stitches, mending, sewing a button back on, patching things up, and hemming. Next the book goes over machine sewing - how to use your machine, finding the right machine for you, the different machine stitches, etc. Next the book covers supplies you'll need, fabric choices and notions.

Finally, it's project time!

The very first project teaches you how to create
Dec 15, 2007 Teresa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beginning seamstresses, crafters
I've seen the authors of this book about town for a while, because they run a really cute shop in San Francisco - a sewing lounge, actually. The idea is great - you can come in and take a class centered around a project, or you can rent out a machine by the hour, and the staff will help you out with any questions or dilemmas that arise.

So, these girls know from direct experience (they're self-taught) and client interactions all about the problems that new seamstresses face. And their first book
Jul 12, 2007 Sarah rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: sewers, crafters
Shelves: crafty
I was excited to see this new DIY sewing book in the new books section of the library, as I've been eyeing it on-line for awile. However I have mixed feelings about the book after reading it. Sew Subversive offers the begining sewer and "Fashionista" very practical advice at the beginning of the book on a number of topics including, choosing a sewing machine and how to thread it, hand-sewing, understanding fabrics, reading a pattern, organizing supplies and other nitty gritty. Much of this infor ...more
Beth Eisenberg
Dec 31, 2015 Beth Eisenberg rated it liked it
This book is a great introduction to sewing, by hand and machine. It provides detailed information for the novice sewer and accompanying images are helpful to reinforce the lessons. If you are more than an absolute beginner when it comes to sewing, however, you would more than likely find this book too basic. I picked this up when I was a newbie and this book did help me overcome some of the more intimidating aspects of sewing!
Jan 10, 2008 jess rated it it was ok
Shelves: craft, 2008
yet another sewing book with "subversive" in the title! just what we all needed! usually i'm a fan of punny alliteration, but this trend is overdone.

about the contents, though: this is a pretty solid basic intro for the people who never learned to sew, and might be intimidated by the craft. i felt like the basic principles were covered fairly, and there was some attention paid to the subjects of appliqués & embellishments. if you are looking for more detailed or specific info about special
Laura Ellison
Aug 05, 2015 Laura Ellison rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, crafting
I didn't really find anything I wanted to make in this book but that might be because it is almost 9 years old and styles have changed. A lot of the outfits actually made me think more of the 90s.
Apr 17, 2009 Jupiter rated it it was ok
It's a good introduction to sewing novices with lots of information for noobs on sewing,in general. For those who have been sewing & refashioning their own clothes for many years, it's a good book for idea prompts.

ANNOYANCE: The finished projects in the photographs look sloppy and rushed. I "get" (and cultivate myself) the rough/DIY look and perhaps threads were left hanging and seams not sewn straight to convey the message to beginners ,"You can do this yourself,too!" but it bothered me to
Apr 28, 2014 Hope rated it liked it
Helpful book and fun, but I personally didn't find any projects that appealed to me.
Mar 16, 2012 Lotus rated it liked it
I liked this one quite a bit. Like their other book, Subversive Seamster, it had lots of great tips and I learned what ruching was as well as how to make ruffles!

I also enjoyed learning about making those awesome but too small tees wearable again!

So definitely some great projects - I know my daughter can't wait for me to be sewing animal ears on to all her hoodies!

This is another one i got out of the library and I was able to learn what I need to as well as jot down some info in a notebook befo
Apr 14, 2009 Kristy rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book caught my eye last week... "Sew Subversive... Down and Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista", put out by Stitch Lounge.

All in all it's a great book! Within the pages are heaps of inspiring photos and projects, as well as a run down on the basics of sewing at the beginning of the book.

Who would have thought to make a tote out of your favourite (but too old to wear) labelled t.shirt... or to make legwarmers from the arms of an old jumper!

I really enjoyed the 'down-to-earth' projects in
Aug 11, 2014 Mckinley rated it liked it
Shelves: craft, non-fiction, sew
Decorative ideas and patterns for adding unique embellishments and alterations to your cloths. Geared to female fashion.
Oct 02, 2007 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sewers, crafters, beginners
I got this as a birthday gift to compliment my new sewing machine, and it is a blast. It has a whole section on "the basics" of sewing--good for first timers or as a refresher course--along with lots of tips. This was my first introduction to the idea of "refashioning," which is basically making new clothes out of old clothes. I'm getting really into it, and love the easy tips and illustrations in the book as well as the cute-and-funky narrative style.
I liked the authors' other book better. This one, while containing great sewing tips for those who don't sew, didn't have many projects that caught my eye. The only one I think I might ever make is the tote bag from a sweatshirt. The clothing stuff is too young a look for me. Not bad, just not as much to my tastes.
Aug 04, 2008 Nikkishell rated it it was ok
Shelves: craft
A cool little project book but not my cup of tea. Although i like to refashion the projects are not stuff i would make. Saying that though there are some fabulous ideas in here and they show you how to do particular techniques that could be used in many ways.
Jeanne T.
Sep 29, 2009 Jeanne T. rated it liked it
I bought this on a whim and wasn't too excited about the project within. It seemed like a book I would have really loved when I was about 22--It's got that "riot grrrl cuts up her own t-shirt" feel. Buy this for a crafty tween girl with a punky streak.
May 24, 2012 Sara rated it did not like it
This book, on the other hand, isn't even good looking. Beyond that, some of the projects in here (dare I say half?) are downright ugly. Nothing in here I'd make.
They also spend (as most books of this sort do) WAY too long going over sewing basics.
Mar 22, 2011 Cathy rated it liked it
Although a majority of the book focuses on actual patterns and the like, the first quarter deals with basic sewing information about machines, materials and fabrics for the Newbie sewer. That is perfect for me.
Nov 04, 2008 Cherie rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, crafting
B-/C+ Skimmed much of it. Not too many practical tips or good patterns, and nothing too new in here that you wouldn't be able to find in any much better sewing books. For the hipster who isn't a serious sewer.
Sep 24, 2007 Dee rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Beginning Sewers
Good book to get you started sewing. Simple, easy to understand explanations of sewing machine, types of fabric, stitches, etc. Includes several beginning sewing projects. Great graphics, diagrams.
Apr 29, 2008 Heather rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who want to sew, darn it.
Shelves: craft-books
It starts from looking at the sewing machine and showing you everything from how to drop in your bobbin to making hoodies with dinosaur spikes. I'm not sure I could ask for more.
May 10, 2011 Cy rated it liked it
Good, simple approach to sewing. Some of the clearest language I've come across. Some of the projects are nice - others are a bit pokey.
May 12, 2013 Hope rated it liked it
Fun to flip through. It's a bit too simplistic for experienced sewers but doesn't have enough instruction for an actual beginner.
Apr 06, 2009 reed rated it liked it
Not a ton of ideas that are directly applicable to the sewing I want to learn how to do, but a fun and inspiring book nonetheless.
Jun 09, 2009 Lietta rated it liked it
Nope, not for me; but definitely for people who are more creative and skilled in the art of sewing, designing.
Sep 10, 2007 Cari rated it liked it
Recommends it for: funky diy fashionistas
Shelves: have-read
has some fun ideas on what to do with your old stuff, but a little too funky for what i am doing at the moment.
Aug 08, 2007 crafty_puppy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crafty, diyclothing
LOVE this book. really great ideas. full color photos. gets you very EXCITED about sewing!
Jan 04, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
The projects are OK, but the overviews, how tos, and conversational style are great.
Dec 28, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Shelves: sewing
Most of the stuff was okay, but my reaction was "but why would you want to wear that?".
Dec 11, 2009 Beth rated it did not like it
Ugly projects and half the book was wasted on how to operate a sewing machine.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Subversive Seamster: Transform Thrift Store Threads Into Street Couture
  • Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt
  • Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics
  • Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist
  • Sew & Stow: 31 Fun Sewing Projects to Carry, Hold, and Organize Your Stuff, Your Home, and Yourself!
  • ReadyMade: How to Make [Almost] Everything: A Do-It-Yourself Primer
  • Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics
  • Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroidery Patterns and How-To
  • 99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim, and Tie Your T-Shirt into Something Special
  • Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing
  • Sew Everything Workshop
  • Last-Minute Fabric Gifts: 30 Hand-Sew, Machine-Sew, and No-Sew Projects
  • Simple Sewing with a French Twist: An Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes and Home Accessories with Style
  • Sew What! Bags: 18 Pattern-Free Projects You Can Customize to Fit Your Needs
  • Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects
  • Sewing Green: Projects and Ideas for Stitching with Organic, Repurposed, and Recycled Fabrics
  • Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects
  • Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing: Fabu-Low-Sew Projects for the Everyday Crafter

Share This Book