Posts Tagged ‘Amy Butler’

Giveaway!!! — Now CLOSED –

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Yeap! We are having a giveaway and I hope you’ll like it.

How do you fancy winning an Amy Butler pattern?  Since many of you have said that this year you want to sew more, we thought of giving you some help and giving away one pattern.

The frency bag pattern is timeless and a favourite that we have to keep re-stocking.

What do you need to do? Well just let us know which ones are the 3 fabrics that you will use to make it (from the ones we have in stock).

If I was allowed to enter I will probably go for any of the Echo designs, but this new collection could also make a great bag, and then we have the solids! :) oh! decisions, decisions!

Anyway, leave a comment mentioning your 3 fabrics, next week on Wednesday 8th February we will mention the winner.

Good luck!!

 

Sunday Stash #8 *** SOLD OUT***

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

All three fabrics are gone now, thank you for your fantastic support. Don’t forget checking next week for more Sunday Stash bargains.

I hope you like our choice this weekend, we have 3 fabrics on sale, they are ridiculously discounted and they are becoming a bit of a classic.

Amy Butler’s Love collection remaining designs are up for grabs at only £5.50 per metre!!!

With open arms

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I made these 2 little purses for my mum and baby sister that are coming to visit us for a few weeks.  I was a bit short of time, so I decided to go for something quick to make, but still pretty and useful, specially whilst you are travelling.  The pattern is Origami Bags from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches and they were a joy to make.

Choosing the fabrics was by far the best part of the whole process, but seeing them finished is great.  They are a bit addictive, and I want to make a few more but larger and I might even try a smaller one made all with natural linen and the stitches with a thicker thread in a contrasting colour.

I hope my guests like them and more importantly, I hope they find them useful.

I'm quite happy mixing the vintage feel of Denyse Schmidht fabrics with linen

Fabrics used for Mum’s bag

Large exterior fabric: Prairie Rose in Piney Woods – Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidth

Small exterior fabric: Essex linen/cotton in Putty

Lining: Thistle leaf in Piney Woods – Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidth

I have used quite a lot Momo's fabrics, but can't you blame me?

Fabrics used for Trouble’s bag

Large exterior fabric: Flower garden in Jelly – Just Wing It by Momo

Small exterior fabric: Four Petals in Jelly – Just Wing It by Momo

Lining: Stripe in Jam – Just Wing It by Momo

About bags and fabrics

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Those two words used in the same sentence are just heaven for me, and they often put my strong will power to the test when I am a bit short of cash; but it was certainly heaven when I made this bag a few months ago with 3 of  the fabrics that I have in stock.  I didn’t blog about it then because it was going to be birthday present for my sister.  I say “was” because she never got it.  The bag is still with me and I don’t feel the tiniest bit of remorse about it (as they say, to accept your problems is the first step to solve them).

I can fit anything in this bag!

The pattern is the Cosmo Bag from Amy Butler’s latest book Style Stitches (read my review here) and I used 2 of the fabrics from the Botanica Collection by Lourdes Sanchez and Kona Zucchini for the lining.

The bag was incredibly easy to make, for some reason if I see a big bag with pockets and things I usually think it is going to be difficult, but this pattern proved me wrong.  I do like the designs of the fabrics, but perhaps I should had used Springs in Cream for the handles instead of the one that I used or maybe a solid colour.  The thing is, I was so desperate to use Leafy Stripes that I convinced myself that it was the way to go.  I don’t think it looks bad, but I guess it could have looked better as the pattern of the fabric is difficult to appreciate, or what do you think?

Anyway, the bag is done and I am very happy with it.  Now whilst I don’t feel too mucho remorse I do feel guilty! so I must crack on and make one for my sister!

About presents

Friday, October 29th, 2010

I am absolutely mad about buying presents, specially for my loved ones. I am not really into buying lots of presents, I rather give one or a couple of good ones, carefully chosen, than give lots of presents just for the sake of it. Another thing that I like about present is choosing the wrapping, ribbons, tags, etc. I have even designed and printed my own when I can’t find what I want.  I have always thought of the wrapping as part of the present.

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and after buying his gift I went to all of the shops that sold wrapping paper but couldn’t find one that made me 100% happy. So I thought of putting my stamp on it and wrapping with fabric. After all this is what I am, a fabric lady :) So here it is how it looked:

Prince Charming loved it, both the present and the wrapping. I am sure you agree with me that it is such a great feeling to see people that you love with a big smile on their face. But the very best part of the whole thing was that after he went off to play with his new gadget, I still got a bit of fabric to use for my hexis!

And seeing as we are in a celebration mood, I have teamed up with Fiona from The Sewing Directory for a Giveaway.  For the chance to win a £15 voucher from The Fabric Loft just let us know which fabric or fabric designer you would use to wrap a present, or you would love to receive as a present from the ones that we have in stock (of course feel free to add these to your Fabric Loft wish list and send it to your loved ones!).  Send your answer to fiona@thesewingdirectory.com or by filling out this easy form.

You must be quick, the winner will be drawn at 6pm Monday so you have only got this weekend to let us know which one is your favourite!

Lesson learned

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I have been planning to make a Barcelona Skirt.  In fact I have been planning it for the last three years.  A few weeks ago I chose the fabric, I cut it and I even sewed the zip on.  Then lots of other little projects and distractions came by, and the pieces of the soon-to-be-skirt were left neatly folded… OK let’s just leave it at folded on the side.

So last Saturday was the day that I was going to finally finish it.  That was it, I had made the decision.  So after breakfast, I packed my fabrics, pattern and my best intentions and headed to my sewing club.

Where is the skirt you might ask?  There is no skirt.  I couldn’t finish it.  Why?  It is only a simple A-line skirt!!!  Well everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong.  I was not in the mood, but I pushed it.  And as you would expect things kept going wrong.  All that went through my mind was “I can do this, I have done more complicated things that this and much faster”; I thought other things too but it would not be appropriate to mention them in a blog like this.

Large Floral (Botanica) and Thistle Leaf (Hope Valley) fabrics

To make a long and painful story short, I folded the pieces once again, put them in my bag, gathered all my bits and pieces together (by this I mean my shattered confidence and bad mood) and left.

Needless to say this is not the first time it has ever happened to me.  I should know better; I should stop when things start going wrong, not in a defeated way, but in a wiser “this is not the right time for it” way.  I will finish the skirt this week or maybe the following.  I will proudly show you photos of it, but for now I am just going to go and read a good book and relax.

Have you had days like this?

Style Stitches

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Amy Butler is a lady who needs little introduction, we all have seen her fantastic fabric designs, timeless patterns, books and now even wallpaper! For this post however I am only going to concentrate on her new book Style Stitches, mainly because if I don’t I could possibly break the Guinness World Record for the longest blog post ever (and if it doesn’t exist I would be setting a very high bench mark which would be difficult to beat).

I have used Amy Butler’s patterns before and her designs are simple and perfect lines that create beautiful things, and the instructions are easy and precise which means that you can make a garment or a bag with confidence. This book is not an exception and I fully recommend it.

It has a good variety of bags and purses, to suit most tastes and skills.  Most of them have variations, almost as if she had read our minds, so before you can finish saying  “I like the Cosmo Bag but short handles would be better” you will discover that there are instructions for that, or “If the Ruffled Handbag was larger I could carry all my gym stuff” yeap youv’e guessed it there are instructions on how to do that too, she has done all the adjustments so you don’t have to fiddle with the pattern and design.  How clever is that!

The bags vary from a simple tote (with a twist of course) to a pleated clutch, to the most fantastic Take Flight Handbag/Shoulder Bag.  This last one along with the Everything Wristlet have such a beautiful vintage look that they will make you feel like Grace Kelly.

The instructions in this book have not only been written to help you sew together a bag, but to efficiently use the material and your time like a pro.  When you look through the pages you get the impression that attention was paid to every single detail.  Not only on the designs and the instructions, but also on the diagrams, the spiral book format and photos, which by the way not only show the designs in the different alternatives, but in different fabrics to help us awaken our imagination on how to create a unique one of our own.

At times like this when sewing books are being released by the dozen, we have lots to choose from and we can be picky… but if you ask me, I would certainly pick this one as a ‘must have’ for your collection.

Amy Butler’s Style Stitches is published by Chronicle Books, £19.99 (ISBN 978-0-8118-6669-9)

Reviewing: Little “Wrap” Skirt

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

As you might already know I have added to our stock Patterns by Wink Designs.  They are pretty designs for girls and what’s great is, the patterns are downloadable, so you get them straight away.  As well being very pretty they are also very easy to make.  Originally, I wanted someonelse to review them and let you know that they are what the label says.  Unfortunately it was not possible and I almost gave up until my always supportive husband asked me “why don’t you make it yourself?”.  Firstly I didn’t want to do it, because I thought my review might sound a bit too much like an advert rather that that of a non-bias critic, but I guess I will leave it for you to judge.  So please have a read, even if you are not interested in children’s patterns you are welcome to join me in my sewing projects.

Wrap skirt made using Memento and Sun Spots from Amy Butler's Love Collection

Where were we? Ah yes, Wink’s patterns.  I decided to go for the Wrap Skirt for two main reasons: 1) it says it is an easy and quick project, 2) I personally love the design.

Choosing the fabrics was an easy task, not only because I have them in my own house, but because I wanted to make something with Memento in Midnight and Suns Spots in Mint they almost jumped off the shelves.   The skirt is more of a mock wrap-skirt, so even if your child is jumping up and down the skirt won’t fall down.

After printing the instructions, I put together the pattern.  There are 2 main pieces, each one of them is made up by putting together 4 A4 sheets of paper together (this would had been much easier if I had closed the windows, I hope nobody saw me chasing the pattern around the room each time a gust of wind blew through! but nothing to blame the designer for).  Cutting the fabric would had been easier had I not been on the phone with my nan, which resulted in cutting the piece of fabric that wraps the skirt the wrong way (again, no one to blame just my lack of multitasking skills).  Instead of cutting more fabric, I decided to use what I had already cut and make a few changes, so the skirt now mirrors the original design (instead of having to tie it to your left, this one ties to the right, no big deal right?).  Which I could say shows how forgiving the pattern is should a mistake be made by the not so experienced or, as in my case, distracted maker.

Before we pass on to the sewing part I want to clarify that I have not sewn any kind of garment for 3 years; ever since I have been moving my sewing machine from one part of  the house to another but not doing anything with it.  I would also say that I am a beginner with some rough sewing skills.  Having clarified that, I feel now more comfortable  saying that it was very easy to put the skirt together.

Back of the skirt but still so not less pretty than the front.

As always, it does help if you press the fabric to get a neat finish and use the right colour of thread.  I used two because I didn’t like the navy blue thread on the mint fabric.  More importantly, reading the instructions from start to end before you start it is always a must (OK I confess, I only read them after I cut everything, but didn’t go any further until I read all the remaining steps).  Reading the instructions will not only give you a better understanding of what are you going to do, but also the way Marina (the designer) has written them, it makes you feel like she is talking to you, something that you don’t often find with many commercial patterns.

Would I recommend this pattern?  Absolutely Yes!  It took me one afternoon to make it, if I hadn’t been on the phone (or chasing the pattern around the room!) I could have done it a bit quicker.  This is the first time I print and assemble a pattern, but because the skirt is made of simple lines and it is a small garment it is much easier than you think.  I didn’t put the pocket on because I love so much the Memento fabric that I didn’t want to put anything on top.  I also used the main fabric for the ties for the same reason.  The final result was a skirt that suits a little lady but the fun contrasting spotty fabric remind us that she is still a little child, don’t you think?

I must admit that making this skirt has filled me with confidence to try sewing other things, so if you don’t have a little girl to make it for, try it anyway, the satisfaction that comes from making something like this can’t be beaten!

Summer dress for all year round

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

After reading Perry Lewis’ article yesterday in The Guardian I end up looking for clever ideas, cool classic dress patterns with modern fabrics, then I found plain and more basic fabric designs matched with quite contemporary patterns 
… then I found the perfect match!  Clever Mary Jo from Five Green Acres made The Liverpool dress using Denyse Schmidt Prairie Rose from the Hope Valley collection.

The Liverpool dress by Mary Jo

 

I can see that sort of dress/shirt being one of the most useful pieces in any wardrobe all year round.  During the winter I could wear it with trousers, a few layers and voilá!  I would probably use Prairie Rose in Piney Wood instead of the grey colour, but I guess that it is one of the beauties of making your own clothes, you can do whatever you want!

Prairie Rose in Piney Woods by Denyse Schmidt

 

Personally, I love the idea of using a pattern from one designer and the fabric from another.  It makes the whole project even more unique and personal.  If you are thinking of making any of the variations of The Liverpool Shirt pattern, take your time and read Mary Jo’s post, and, of course, show us the pictures!

V&A Quilts 1700-2010 Exhibition

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Very few things in life are as comforting as a quilt.  Quilts for me are sort of a hug and a cup of hot chocolate in a rainy day all mixed together.  So when I found myself on my own during the wet Bank Holiday in early May, I knew where was the place to go to make me feel a bit better.  I took and early train to from Oxford to London and went straight to the V&A Quilts Exhibition.  It was like an instant fix to my blue day!  The museum was quite busy, and as much that I’d love having the galleries for my self, I think it is great that many people also want to admire all the treasures in the museum.

Liberty Jack Quilt, Janey Forgan. Patchowrk and quilting, Oxford, 2008. V&A Museum.

 

My first stop was at the Sackler Centre to sew a 12×12 inch patchwork block, that it later was sewn together with other blocks made by others and transformed into a quilt to be donated to the Project Linus.  I have never done a quilt in my life (although it is in my list of to-do-things), so I was quite impressed with little block.  Tutors were helping people like me and I was lucky to be guided by the lovely (and patience) Mrs Jo Poulton (who also is part of Greenstede Quilters in East Grinstead).  I think events like this are great for getting people into crafts and also crafting for a good cause.  My day was getting so much better after that!  

Nine-patch squares at the V&A waiting to be created in lovely blankets for children with serious illness.

 

On my way to London, I had wondered how an exhibition of an every-day-thing such as a quilt can attract so many visitors.  I must say the curators had done a fantastic work; the quilts are stunning, both antique and contemporary.  You find yourself wondering  about the people who made them, or who owned them.  I am sure they never thought that their coverlet was going to be displayed in a museum hundreds of years later admired by people from all over the world.  The contemporary quilts are fascinating.  It is an eye-opening to see how people from different paths of life do and enjoy making quilts with such rich techniques, and all of them use a quilt to express themselves.

Many of my customers are quilters or use patchwork in some of their projects, and their results are incredible beautiful and certainly they all are museum material.  I am not surprise that some of the designers fabric that we stock have already been in art galleries.  But could you imagine travel in time and see an Amy Butler quilt made by you, or a tablecloth made with Leanika fabric?  And I think we all can see Denyse Schmidt’s designs in museums!

Coverlet, Patchwork and quilting. Possibly Exter, England, 1690-1720. V&A Museum