Finished Object: Amy Butler Snow Mum Pillow

Snow Mum Pillow

So the Amy Butler Christmas crafting continued with her Snow Mum Pillow pattern.  I loved all the wintery white goodness and had to have this pillow.  I mean the flower alone is gorgeous but as a big snuggle pillow it made it a HAVE to have.  I will be making the flower again and making it a lapel pin at some point with this gorgeous fuchsia wool I have hanging around, but that will have to be another post.  For now, enjoy the details of the pillow.

Pattern: Amy Butler Snow Mum Pillow

Fabric Used: Snuggle Flannel from Joann

Notions Used: HeatBond Ultrahold, button from my stash

Pattern Alterations: Used flannel instead of wool felt and used heatbond ultra hold instead of wonderunder. 16″ instead of 18″ pillow.

The Good:

  • Yet ANOTHER FREE pattern (pdf link) from Amy Butler’s website.  She really has been giving away some wonderful patterns this season
  • I love the snuggly goodness of the flannel I used.  I thought about using the wool felt but wanted something cheaper and more warm and snuggly which brought flannel to mind
  • This pattern is very simple but super elegant when finished.

Snow Mum Pillow Flower

  • I like the button I added because it breaks up the expanse of white just enough and it shines when the sun hits it bringing attention to the pillow.

The Bad:

  • This isn’t a bad as much as an informational addition.  I didn’t use the wonderunder because I already had this heatbond ultrahold NO SEW iron on adhesive already at home.  I didn’t even think about it being no sew until I had used and cut the  pieces.  I went ahead anyway because I figured if a machine can sew through leather it should be able to handle this.  I was right!  I result was a firmer flower petal I think but it adds to the texture in my opinion

Snow Mum Pillow

  • I did have to use a few more petals on the second to last ring.  The pattern calls for 12 small petals but I ended up using 14 because it seemed a bit sparse for me.  Then I added one more inner ring of 4 small petals.
  • I was so happy to use the 18″ pillow form I had lying around naked and needing a cover, but when I saw the beautiful flower on that huge pillow that also swallowed up my chair, I opted to downsize to a 16″ pillow.  I think it gives just enough room on the pillow without losing the flower.

The Ugly:

Snow Mum Pillow

  • Do you remember how I said wool felt is the mother of all cat hair collectors?  Well, flannel is the daughter.  I was so amped by the finish of my tree skirt that I just wanted to get this project started.  I wanted another color of flannel or felt and there just isn’t that much selection that would match my house without trying to overdye it so I went with a slightly off white.  So far the kitties haven’t paid it any mind so it might be safe afterall 🙂

Finished Object: Amy Butler Tree Skirt

Amy Butler Tree Skirt

Last year was all about Christmas crafting for others, this year is about Christmas crafting for the house.  I was all set to get my fix with felted ornaments but when I saw the gorgeous patterns that Amy Butler put up for Christmas on her website for FREE,  I knew I had to make at least one of them.  Although you can’t see it an any of these pictures I have a bit of a Charlie Brown Tree, not very full and obviously fake, but I love it anyway, especially with the addition of Christmas Tree scent 🙂 .  What I didn’t love was the fake snow blanket that surrounded it every year.  Now at least the bottom of my tree looks like a million bucks!

Pattern: Amy Butler Tree Skirt

Fabric Used:

Trim – Michael Miller Pod Ditz

Inner Fabric – Quilted Fabric from JoAnn’s

Lining Fabric – New Chick on the Block’s Ever Changing Shapes

Notions Used: 1.5″ covered buttons

Pattern Alterations: Used quilted fabric instead of wool felt, used 1.5″ buttons instead of 2.5″, no interfacing

The Good:

  • Another wonderful FREE…yes…FREE pattern by Amy Butler (pdf link)
  • I liked the fact that I used the quilted fabric instead of the wool felt for a few reasons.  One – I was dreaming of a quilted tree skirt for some time and was happy to find this fabric at JoAnn’s.  Two – I am cheap and wool felt is kinda expensive, Three – I didn’t have to interface that huge piece of fabric because it is quite thick already, and  Four – My cats love sleeping under the tree and felt is the mother of all cat hair collectors.

Amy Butler Tree Skirt Amy Butler Tree Skirt

  • I love the reversibility of the tree skirt.  One side is a little more subdued, the other is kinda funky.  It lends itself to having quite a lot of versatility through the years
  • For some reason, I just loved how you cut out the inner fabric using the pin in the center and then using the string to mark your perfect circle.  Geeky…yes I know.

The Bad:

Amy Butler Tree Skirt

  • Pay attention because the lining fabric calls for 54″ wide fabric.  54″ was not readily available at my quilting shop and my piece was already cut by the time I figured this out.  So I asked her to cut another .5 yards.  Which was lucky because I needed it cut just like that, because you are going for width not length.  I simply pieced the fabric to the sides to make it wide enough to accommodate the circle.  It worked out quite nice especially because I don’t have a directional fabric.

Amy Butler Tree Skirt

  • 2.5″ covered buttons!  Once again, not readily available in my circle of craft shops so I opted for 1.5″ and used 5 instead of 4.

The Ugly:

Amy Butler Tree Skirt Amy Butler Tree Skirt

  • Interface the button loops?!  Ok, this was frustrating because I used a woven interfacing to interface these pieces the first time.  Then tried to gather…way too thick, broke both gathering threads.  I then tried a very thin non-woven interfacing…still no dice.  It took all my strength to cinch the tiniest bit.  I then tried no interfacing at all and it was still a bit of a challenge but actually worked that time.

All in all a wonderful project and I highly recomment spicing up the tree with this beauty!

Amy Strikes Again…

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OMG OMG OMG!!!  I have been stalking the Amy Butler site for a glimpse of the new patterns and they are up!! I am soo happy 🙂

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I have been lusting after the Lotus tunic and cami every since seeing it in the inspiration section of the site and now it is here!!  The Sophia carry all is definitely high on the must sew list as well.  Maybe I will make it to match my Weekender since I have more of that fabric stashed away.  I can’t wait for November 1st because that is when they are suppose to be available.  Yeah!!!

I NEED These…

I do recognize that there is a fine line between need and want in the America. I NEED food, I want more yarn. I NEED water, I want more clothes. This is where my fine line comes in because I WANT and NEED to make these bags. I have already earmarked each one for its intended use – one for knitting, one for everyday wardrobe, one for sewing projects and one for travel.

Ok, these bags probably don’t fit with the classic definition of need and are probably more of an obsessive compulsive, consumerism, addict sort of need but it is need nontheless.

Go check out the inspiration page! You may find that you NEED one too 🙂

Finished Object – Amy Butler Frenchy Bags

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These are two bags that I made for my trip to Hawaii. They were done pretty last minute so I had no time to blog about them before I left. The green one was given as a present to my friend for her birthday, hence the lack of pictures, and I liked it so much that I made the orange one as a last minute addition for me to use. Here they are modeled on location in the picture above.

Main Fabrics: Amy Butler Poppy Fields, Joel Dewberry Aviary
Inspiration: Amy Butler Frenchy Bags
Modifications: Only one set of pockets on one side, shrunk pocket size
Difficulty: 4
Enjoyment Factor: 9
Sewing Time:
Probably 5 hours each

The Good:

  • The design of this bag is very unique. It catches everyones attention when wore because it is so different.
  • The pattern was pretty easy and, as always, Amy does a wonderful job detailing out every step.
  • I changed the pattern bags to have just one side of pockets instead of both sides, I split the pocket into three, which would have probably been better as two, and shrunk the height of the pocket so that it was not as deep. Next time I might put pockets on both sides with the split, because they were not as intrusive as I thought when sewn to the side panels
  • I really liked the poppy fabric as that was a heavyweight fabric and didn’t need any interfacing, which made for less cutting. I also think it flows a little nicer than the fully interfaced orange one, but that is just my opinion (then again, so is this whole post 😛 )
  • LOVE those pleats. I gotta say that they really make this bag.
  • Joel Dewberry is a genius!! I love his fabric, especially the Aviary collection. I bought quite a few yards of this at the Purl Soho warehouse, which I normally do not do without a specific project in mind.
  • LOVE the wood paneling on my orange bag. I just like the idea of saying that my bag is wood paneled 🙂 . The stripes (not shown) on the green one are pretty cool too. I have to say my favorite combo is the green one, but the orange one is a very close second.

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The Bad:

  • I didn’t like how you had to top stitch the connection between the top and the bottom panels and do it again when the product was finished. I know it was probably for a good reason and I didn’t do that bad of a job, but I think it starts to make the stitching look sloppy due to the excessive passes.

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  • I am not a “hold my bag in hand” kinda girl so that green one is a little small for me. It actually proved a little small for my friend as well. I would definitely lengthen the handles next time to make it a little more practicle.

The Ugly:

  • The second pass of top stitching definitely takes attention and care so that you do not bunch up the lining fabric while trying to keep your stitch lines straight. Definitely the biggest pain of the entire project, which sours the ending a little. That is until you use the bag and magically forget about this little bit of irritation.
  • That stupid magnetic snap cost me$4.00 at Michael’s because Jo Ann’s was all out of the 3 for $1.49 pack. Did I stock up the next time I saw them, hell yeah!!

Crafts in Action – Weekender Bag, Barcelona Skirts, Blue Sky Sun Hat

Thanks for all the well wishing with the sunburns and lost photos.  Despite all that I want to reassure you we had a wonderful time!

The question did come to mind while I was traveling, once we make our wonderful crafts and then blog about them, what happens after that? Do they go into the oblivion of our closets? Do they get pampered in relation to our store bought goods? Do they ever get washed 😯 ?

Well, I am normally one of those people that actually use what they make and since I crafted so much before my Hawaii trip I wanted to tell you how each one faired during the journey

Weekender Bag:

This bag really does hold quite a bit of stuff. I used this as my carry-on and it worked out really well as it was perfectly sized for the overhead compartment and was easily accessed during the trip. If packed with a lot of stuff it did become heavy after carrying it around the airport for a while as the straps are not super padded.

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One big thing that occurred during the trip was that the stitching that holds the strap to the side of the bag was not strong enough to support the load. It was not a lot of stuff, but if you actually fill the bag it does put quite a bit of stress on the handles. Despite following the instructions for backstitching at each end, the one line of stitching with just a few backtack stitches was just not sufficient. The bag still held up to the challenge though because of the 3 to 4 times the handles were stitched to the bottom panel of the bag.

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Advice: I would do something similar to the “x” above to reinforce the straps at both the bottom and top stitch point and backstitch across the entire top and bottom stitch line, not just a few stitches.

Layed Barcelona Skirt

My Barcelona Skirt also worked out well for the trip. I was amazed at how many times I actually wore skirts during the trip and may be inspired to wear them more often. I will have to work on fit a little more as the back was a little gappy as my badonkadonk is bigger than my waist causing some fitting issues. When I returned I machine washed the skirt and it frayed quite a bit, which was expected, and took on a wonderfully different look.

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This is after the 10 minutes it took to snip all the frayed edges resulting in a pile of this

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which came from the front AND backside of the top layer of the skirt.
Advice: Hand wash! At least in my case. I don’t know if the skirt will take too many more runs through the washing machine as the fraying on some parts was pretty deep. But I love the frayed look so like I said before, this will be cared for as delicately as I would my hand knits.

Blue Sky Sun Hat

Unfortunately I have no real update for this hat because this hat is a sun hat NOT a wind hat and it was pretty windy the entire time I was in Hawaii, especially at the beach. When the wind would blow it would flop down or back and threaten to take wing and fly away.

Advice: Make sure it is sunny not windy when wearing.

Please note: I still love all my projects and recommend them highly, but like people, they are not without their quirks 🙂 Just trying to let you all know how they faired in action. Good Luck!!

Aloha and Aloha!

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….because I am back!!! What a wild and wonderful adventure it was. I was gone for 8 days but is might as well been months because I returned home and even my bedroom felt foreign. And OMG 😯 the bloglines were insane with 643 posts to catch up on.

I learned a lot of life lessons during this trip that I will share with you this weekend, but none were too bad. The picture above is one of my favorites from the trip as I took it with the end result in mind. I love the sepia and the added film grain treatment.

I also came back to the wonderful news that I won third place for my Weekender Bag on the Sew Mama Sew Bag Month Contest for the ‘Other’ Category!!! I was flabbergasted as the competition for every category was fierce. I won an Amy Butler pattern to add to the “must sew” pile. Woo Hoo!!! 😀

Anyway, more Hawaiian hijinx and an “8”Things meme to come.

Aloha!