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Subversive Seamster: Transform Thrift Store Threads into Street Couture Paperback – October 16, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, these are beyond stylish (in the strangest way), and most of the fashions are just plain weird. I will try to upload some customer images, so readers can take a look and decide for themselves.
I understand that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" so my opinions are clearly not gospel...they are just that...opinions.
My 2 stars are for the excellent pages of sewing instruction at the beginning, and the nifty method of making a custom dress form using an old T-shirt and duct tape. That is very clever and a thrifty idea!
I liked some of the accessory and home ideas: pillow covers from button down shirts, the checkbook cover, the shopping bag. The fashions are mostly so out there that not many real people will be caught dead in them.
If you were hoping to make these clothes useful for filling out an everyday or professional wardrobe, for instance...on a budget...don't get your hopes up. Many are just plain ugly and unflattering, even on the uber-hip women pictured in the book.
Here are some examples:
...a pair of pants with sewn-on chaps
...crocheted poncho turned into a skirt, looks like it's just being worn over a slip
...a winter mini skirt made from a wool dress coat (theirs is ivory, no less!). Take a look at the picture, and then try to imagine sitting down! Also, think "bulky wool coat pockets" around most women's hips. Ick.
...a pleated school uniform-type skirt turned into a tube top.
...Read more ›
If you must look at this book, a trip to the local library and about 30 seconds is all you will need.
Oh. My. God. Where to begin? Upgrading ordinary clothes is a hobby of mine and I purchased Subversive Seamster by mail hoping for fresh ideas. After I turned the first pages I realized that the real value of this book is entertainment. As each photograph reveals a new fashion atrocity you begin to merrily anticipate further sartorial horrors and you are not disappointed. Chest-flattening tops, skirts without proper hems, tucks that look like accidents, a shirt sleeve made into coin purse (who is THAT poor?), appliqués zigzagged with " medium stitch length and width" showing unraveling edges and other hobo projects. If you want to apply for food stamps wear one of these creations. It will help. I alternatively laughed and cringed. I still cannot decide which project wins the Palm of Ugliness: the bulging un-hemmed Peek-a-Bootylicious Skirt made of men's pants or the gaucho pants with applied flannel pajama legs. I also question the wisdom of sacrificing a classic leather vest to make a pair of earrings. I would no more want to wear such clothes than I would want to eat from a garbage container. If you are very poor, save your time and effort by wearing unaltered thrift store clothes, you won't look any worse.
This book is AWFUL.
The 'ideas' in here are terrible. They should NOT HAPPEN. To ANYONE. No one should have to look that bad. They must have given the models Valium or something to make them smile like that. I would cry if I was wearing old man pants re-made into giant, unflattering short-shorts. Truly, the original items are very 'vintagey,' but kinda cool in a retro, hipster way. The re-made items, however, are just so ill-fit, bizarre, and badly made that no one could think they looked good in them unless they were high on something.
Also, the duct-tape dummy idea? Nice thought, but 1) that's a concept you could have gotten off of the internet and 2) I tried it. It didn't work so well. The problem is that there is nothing inside of the dummy to make sure it stays in the proper shape - it fluffs out round, like a Coke can, not side to side like a person is. Unless you are a master sculptor when working with duct tape and stuffing, it's just a recipe for making an awkward dummy of yourself. My kids had fun tackling the dummy, but sad for them, it's going in the trash (wonder what the garbage guys will make of that!) and I'm looking at buying a real dress form. They're only about $70 anyhow, and they're re-adjustable.
So for 'new' or recycled ideas, this book is just not worth it. The only good thing about it is that I got it from the library and can just take it back.
The only person to suffer now is the next person to check it out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too many of the projects just scream "I made this out of men's pants!" and "home-made!)Published 23 days ago by Bohogirl
The only reason I am giving this book even one star is because of the idea in the beginning on how to make your own dress form. Read morePublished on July 18, 2014 by pigamoore
This book is filled with excellent ideas that are do-able! Nothing is too hard for the beginner seamstress and there are tips for sewing through out the book. Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by Margaret Sampson
I read this book recently and posted a review on my sewing blog.
In general, a fun idea book with the techniques you need to make interesting casual clothes.
Have you ever asked someone where did you get that skirt, blouse, jacket etc.? If you like the unusual and the dramatic pieces to wear or to decorate your home with, then this is... Read morePublished on June 18, 2011 by Linda Lanese