Monday, November 15, 2010

I used a pattern!! An Amy Butler pattern, no less!

 Due to being absolutely miserable with The Plague or The Bloody Snotty Death Cough or whatever it is I have, I have been reeeeeally lazy for the last week. I think Child Protective Services should come and remove my children from this unsafe, unsanitary environment. 
(I wonder if I called in a complaint if they would figure out it was me...?)

Anyway, as I was languishing on the sofa this weekend, the library called and said they had a book at the front desk for me. I put a sweatshirt on over my crusty a-leper-wouldn't-wear-them pajamas and brought my germy self down there to see which book it was (since I had forgotten what all I had requested). It was Amy Butler's Style Stitches!!  I was so excited to get my greedy little hands on it.  Almost made me feel better for a second.

I have a friend who recently started working at the library and she has been amazing me with the books she can find. I do catalog searches and come up with nothing, but if I ask her she can almost always find them for me. So: make sure you check with the librarians at the front desk if you can't find the book you want in a catalog search. They may be able to get it for you.

This was the first time I had ever actually used an Amy Butler pattern or read one of her books, but I love the fabric and I wanted to see what the patterns were like. (Plus I think I need to learn to use patterns. And plus her bags are really cute.)
The book is beautiful. It could be a coffee table book. The photography is gorgeous, and the pages almost have a scrap-booked kind of look to them. It is well laid out and has a ring binding so you don't have to worry about it falling apart. The pattern pieces are all full size and are in a cute little folder at the back of the book.

I have not used patterns very many times (for anything, not just bags) so some of the terminology was confusing to me, but I managed to get the first bag in the book- the Cosmo bag- finished during the past few days. I have seen online where people made this bag in a sitting, but it took me much longer. Just the cutting took hours. Once the cutting was done it really seemed to go quickly. The projects are arranged easiest to hardest, and this was the first one in the book. EEK! It was a little tricky I thought. I definitely would not have been able to make this bag if I was a beginner. I am a bit nervous about tackling one of the harder ones.

The book has you cut all the pattern pieces out, then the fusible interfacing, and then you iron the interfacing pieces to the fabric pieces. If I make another one, or any of the other bags with lots of pieces like this, I will iron the interfacing on to the yardage in big chunks and THEN cut out the fabric pieces which would save a step. It would use a little more interfacing, but not much, and the time saved would be totally worth it.

hanging (empty)
sitting (empty)
I also wish the book had more drawings to illustrate the individual steps. I was quite lost a few times, but that could be partly due to me not bringing my A game this week. I am going to make a stiff bottom insert and see if that helps the bag hold it's shape more on the inside.
 I did not divide the pockets as the book showed. I wanted to be able to put papers or magazines in the inner pockets so I offset the stitching line to one side or the other. I also added some smaller pockets behind the large ones. Not crazy about the pockets this bag has, but that's a really easy fix.
I have to rip apart the top stitching that is on the inside of the handle. It doesn't look nice, and I didn't catch everything I was supposed to. This is the last place you sew after you flip the bag right side out, and it's got a lot of curves so it's kinda tricky.

Overall, I very much like the book and will buy it. There are some other really cute patterns in it and I learned a LOT making just this one bag.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I heart lime green...

... ergo, our front "Fo-yay":

I am contemplating which of my vintage sheets to slice into for new curtains for the door window...