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Sew Subversive: Down & Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  275 Ratings  ·  43 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)
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Community Reviews

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Erica
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
Megan
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I finally fired up my sewing machine a few months ago, i had the urge to make something to wear, something eccentric and bold and all my own. Of course I had no idea how to do that... so I grabbed this book at the library (and then got it for Christmas, yay!) and was inspired by the ideas inside. The projects look like they will be easy to adapt to fit my style and preferences, and the instructions on how to do each piece seem pretty easy to follow. Hopefully this year I can take that plung ...more
Sarah
Jul 12, 2007 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
Amy
Aug 11, 2008 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
...more
Teresa
Dec 15, 2007 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
...more
jess
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008, craft
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
...more
Jupiter
Apr 13, 2009 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
...more
Kristy
Apr 11, 2009 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
...more
Lotus
Mar 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fashion-design
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
...more
Beth Eisenberg
Dec 31, 2015 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!
Jamie
Oct 02, 2007 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.
Emily
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.
Nikkishell
Aug 04, 2008 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.
Cherie
Nov 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crafting, non-fiction
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.
Cathy
Mar 19, 2011 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.
Jeanne T.
Sep 29, 2009 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.
Sara
May 24, 2012 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.
Bear
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Easy hand sew patterns for "remodeling" your wardrobe.
Cari
Sep 10, 2007 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.
Tamara
Mar 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: crafty, non-fiction
Some cute embellishment ideas.
Elizabeth
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Makes me want to bust out my sewing machine.
crafty_puppy
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crafty, diyclothing
*OWN IT*
LOVE this book. really great ideas. full color photos. gets you very EXCITED about sewing!
Jennifer
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Great ideas fr repurposing!
Heather
Apr 29, 2008 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.
Emma (Miss Print)
Aug 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Would have liked more pictures of the stuff people made.
Hope
Apr 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Helpful book and fun, but I personally didn't find any projects that appealed to me.
Laura Ellison
Aug 05, 2015 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.
Mckinley
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: craft, sew, non-fiction
Decorative ideas and patterns for adding unique embellishments and alterations to your cloths. Geared to female fashion.
Emily
Sep 24, 2008 rated it liked it
This book has some real fun activities to do, and is a good read for any DIY fan
Dee
Aug 24, 2007 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.
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