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By Melissa Rannels, Melissa Alvarado and Hope Meng
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 cases, simply wielding a pair of scissors.
The first three chapters lay the ground work: Hand Sewing Basics, You and Your Machine, and Gearing Up, which includes Fabric 101, how to set up a sewing space, and a run-through first project on the sewing machine. Then the fun begins with Embellishing and Customizing projects, including adorning your pant legs with ribboning, turning a computer-scanned image into an iron-on that you can apply to a t-shirt or skirt, taking in a skirt, or untapering a pair of pants (the authors believe tapered pants are the devil's work). Then move onto Refashioning: The Next Life of Your Old Clothes and turn a t-shirt into a skirt, a sweater into a halter top or legwarmers, or a pair of pants into a hip belt. There are 22 projects in all, some of which only require an iron and/or pair of scissors, while others can be sewn by hand, for those readers who haven't yet made the sewing machine plunge.