Free Project Friday: The Feisty Stitcher Edition

June 18, 2010, 01:45 am  Posted by Lark

Oilcloth Bike Bags

Do you love your sewing machine like a soul mate? Are you fearless when it comes to materials? Are you a pedal-to-the-metal kind of sewist? Welcome to Feisty Stitcher-dom! Susan Wasinger, author of The Feisty Stitcher, explains… and offers up a too-cute bike bag pattern!

What constitutes the Feisty Stitcher attitude?
The Feisty Stitcher grew out of the simple idea that your sewing machine is a power tool.  The same way guys get inspired and empowered by revving up a circular saw or firing up the drill, we feisty crafters can let our sewing machines power up our imaginations.  

Sewing doesn’t have to be wispy and cute; it can be bold and brawny, surprising and practical.   Even though fabric is often soft, you can make something substantial and strong and really useful with it.

When did you first encounter your inner feisty stitcher?
Well, I have always been willing to sew anything. When I was four and ready for my first sewing project, my grandmother taught me how to sew a pair of pants. As a kid growing up in Aspen, Colorado, we had a coed home ec class where we sewed down parkas and sleeping bags.  I’ve sewn guitar cases and overalls and awnings.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also sewn baby quilts and prom dresses, but I wanted the feisty stitcher projects to prove that sewing isn’t some prim little hobby. It’s a powerful craft so let’s be fearless in what we can make with our hands.

What is your favorite project in the book? Which is the feistiest?
Hmmmm, favorite project is hard because I love so many of them for different reasons. I love the furry trapper hat made from vintage motel curtains. I get so many compliments whenever I wear it; people want to buy it right off my head.  I love the inner tube agenda cover because it is so wonderfully bizarre. Just think, you can take the rubber from an old truck tire and turn it into something hip and und useful and surprisingly chic.  I also adore the punched lampshade project.  It expands what your sewing machine can do, turning it into a punching tool.

I think the feistiest projects might be the snap-together storage bins.  I love how they are almost furniture in the way they can “furnish” a room. I love that the bins incorporate a material that might seem difficult at first but is totally tamed and civilized by the end, plus all that shiny, industrial-strength hardware.  Love that they are smart and clever and have that satisfying snap!   Also have a huge crush on the Retro Oilcloth bike bags. They are completely yummy-to-look-at and totally practical, too.  I use mine every single day on my very vintage, orange-sherbet-colored mountain bike. I keep dog biscuits in there for my favorite four-pawed companion.

Ready to get your feisty on? Try a snappy video project or a free PDF project (Oilcloth Bike Bags) that’s perfect for bike weather.


17 Responses

    sy says:

    Susan sews tire tubes and neoprene!? i'm even afraid to sew denim on my sewing machine. the book looks inspirational.

    Sabine Clement says:

    LOL – I love the comparison to how “guys get inspired and empowered by revving up a circular saw”. I never thought of it that way, but yes, there's a lot of truth in there! I am still a newbie – two years ago, I'd never yet met with a sewing machine from close-by – but I just love how versatile the machine is and how versatile it can make me feel too.

    I have been thinking about designing myself some oilcloth bike bags with “my own special features”, but was not sure how to handle it all. I think that both bike bags in “The Feisty Stitcher” may be just the things to get me started & inspired.

    Thank you for featuring this book and its author. And congrats on a clean and yet colorful website.

    Sabine, Belgium

    Michelle says:

    I really like the photo of the bike bag project–practical and pretty, my favorite combination!

    Jeanne says:

    What a great project. Pretty and still very functional. I think I've figured out what to do with the piece of oil cloth I've got in my fabric pile.

    Nancy Parks says:

    The snappy baskets are amazing! This has inspired me to get back to sewing after a very distracting spring. Thanks!

    Karen B. says:

    This is SEW cute! (I know…GROAN!)

    Dblosczyk says:

    Great projects, the bike bag makes me want to run out and purchase a bike for it! Love the storage boxes, too.

    RaccoonLdy says:

    After watching the totally snappy video, I'm sure this book will be on my bookshelf soon!!! Very cool!!!

    lclarke522 says:

    That book is on my wish list – love the cover photo! Thanks for the free project – it may be just the motivation I need to dust my bike off :-)

    Sandi says:

    I found this book at the library, and after paging through it six times, oohing and aahing over the projects (and sampling a few), I think I'm going to purchase the book. It has “real” projects – things I can see myself using, not just sewing because they're cute. Finally, a sewing craft book for someone who doesn't care to make children's clothing!

    Doktrmom says:

    I already made 3 of the little coin purses and a rug! I only bought the book 3 days ago.

    Feisty Attitude says:

    I love the Feisty Sticher book. I am working my way through all the projects for Christmas gifts. I am having trouble finding the lampshade spider with the screw-on ball finials. Does anyone have an online source?

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