Finished Object – Amy Butler Blue Sky Sun Hat

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So the Finished Object parade continues with another Amy Butler original. My mom captured this ahhhh soookey sookey picture of me and it just epitomized the hat. I feel so classic when I wear it. It has that Fedora feel with the floppy, stick in your bag, everyday appeal. BTW my earring are courtesy of this lovely artist. I actually subscribe to her etsy store so that I can see all the lovely things she makes.

Fabric: Michael Miller Dandy Damask
Inspiration: Amy Butler Blue Sky Sun Hat
Modifications: 1/2″ shorter brim, Used a 5/8″ seam for the final crown construction seam, 3/8″ shorter crown
Difficulty: 4
Enjoyment Factor: 9
Sewing Time:
Probably 3 hours

The Good:

  • Speed baby, Spppeeed! This thing was done so quickly it was amazing. The most time consuming was figuring out what modifications I needed to make to tailor fit it to me.

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  • Love the fabric which is a heavier weight fabric. At first I thought it would be too busy, but then I thought about the fact that this is a huge brimmed hat so being incognito is kinda out of the question, therefore making the actual pattern heavy nature irrelevant.
  • Did I mention speed? Also, Amy’s pattern directions really keep any confusion at bay, as usual.

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The Bad:

  • Not really a bad, but I did make some modifications to the pattern to custom make the hat to my liking. These were all mentioned by Amy in the pattern, but we all know we like for the project to finish up the first time through minus mods.
    • I reduced the last construction seam on the crown to make it fit a little more snug than the 1/2″ originally in the pattern.
    • For the crown I made it 3/8″ shorter because it was skimming my ears when it was only the crown and I tried it on. Good for a knitted cap, not so much for a sun hat. So I trimmed off a little, but the trimming also made it a little less snug slightly negating the first mod.
    • Lastly I reduced the brim by 1/2″ because I thought I was going to be swallowed in the overall size when done. I probably could have lived with the size, but thought this change would make the hat a little more manageable for me.

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The Ugly:

  • Pay attention to the directions of your seams. If you seam them together without care they will become bulky and make a ridge on the top of the hat instead of the really flat dome at the top. I got a little bit of that, but nothing horrible. You can’t tell unless you are running your fingers across my head, but it is a word to the wise.

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Finished Object – Amy Butler Barcelona Skirt

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This is the week of finished objects cause I have a lot of them that have gone unblogged for quite some time….cough…butterfly. You may also notice that my blogging of said finished objects is going to be a little out of order over the next week because getting the pictures of these things is hard work. My mother was my personal photographer for the modelled shots and she is not so savvy with the digital camera so even these pictures were a lot of work. Can’t say I love them, but you will get the idea. Too bad I don’t have a personal trainer and a fabulous air brush artist like most models because I did quite a bit of editing to keep my self esteem in tack after seeing some of these pictures. Must get chub back to the gym…yesh!

Fabric: Amy Butler French Wallpaper in Mustard from the Belle Collection
Inspiration: Amy Butler Barcelona Skirts – Layered Version
Modifications: None
Difficulty: 7
Enjoyment Factor: 8
Sewing Time:
Probably 6 hours over two days

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The Good:

  • Amy Butler Pattern + Time = Professional looking outcome. This always seems to be the right equation for her patterns. And this pattern doesn’t miss. I used bleached permanent press muslin for my lining. The lined skirt feels like I bought it at the store. In fact, this is my first lined skirt ever so I am feeling pretty FABULOUS!

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  • Amy Butler + Interfacing = Blood + Lots of Time also seems to hold true. Good thing these skirts don’t have any interfacing…phew!
  • Me likey the invisible zipper. My advice…get the invisible zipper foot, it is worth the lack of heartache and yields a very professional look.

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The Bad:

  • Matching up the layered front and back pieces was kinda tricky. All those seams, if not done carefully, can lead to some cussing when you get to this part so all pay close attention cause it pays off in the end. I was not so careful on the last layer of my front pieces and had to rip and resew.

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  • All those damn pieces to cut and resew. Kinda made me long for the simple A-line, non-layered version which only have about 4 pieces instead of the 10 pieces for the layered version.
  • Hems. I don’t like hems. I really need to follow Blossoms advise over at Whispering Pine and get me some more sewing machine feet, especially that narrow hem foot. I love her blog, so much inspiration to be had. For me, Whispering Pine is to sewing as Brooklyntweed is to knitting. I just love them!

The Ugly:

  • Ok, don’t know if this will or will not be an ugly in the future, but looking at my skirt it is already fraying without being washed. I know you are saying, “Duh!! What did you expect would happen?” .  And I know this was the intentional design of Amy Butler, however, when I think about this a little more is it going to fray to the point of being unusable in the future?  I don’t worry about this so much because I rarely wear skirts so this one may last a lifetime based on my past history of skirt wearing 😛 It was just a question I had and a thought for future layered skirt sewer, but nothing to get in a tissy over.
    • Update: Valdorsha gave some good observations to my question over at Craftster where I also posted about the skirt for anyone interested.

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Here Comes the Sun

Thank you gals for all the wonderful compliments on my Weekender Bag. For all those waiting for the courage to begin, I say just go for it! Once you do you will not regret it (although you may need a transfusion due to the loss of blood from pin pricks 🙂 )

So now that my grand pièce de résistance is complete, I have moved on to the Amy Butler Blue Sky Sun hat.

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I actually moved on last week and just completed it yesterday. It is in the queue for a photoshoot, hopefully this weekend.

In the meantime, I will work on finishing up the Orangina shell, which I am now on to the 6″ of ribbing, and start working on the next Amy Butler tribute item for Hawaii.


Finished Object – Amy Butler Weekender Bag

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UPDATE: Woo Hoo!!! My bag got featured on Sew Mama Sew Flickr Feature for Bag Month!! I don’t think I could be prouder of my bag than now! 🙂 Go check out all the other wonderful bags for Bag Month here

So the Amy Butler Hawaii crafting fest begins with our first sewn object, the Weekender Bag. This pattern was my motivation for learning to sew. I loved this bag since I first saw it and was giddy the entire time I was putting it together. I felt like a proud mama when I finally got it done.

Fabric: Joann’s upholstery Fabric
Inspiration: Amy Butler Weekender Bag
Modifications: Added a sub par elastic pocket to the inside, used a separating zipper
Difficulty: 9
Enjoyment Factor:9
Sewing Time: Off and On for two weeks

The Good:

  • The pattern is very well written and I was never lost during the process which resulted in a very professional looking finished bag. I love all the attention to detail despite the price I paid in blood…literally.

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  • The fabric! I loved this fabric and bought it quite a while ago when JoAnn’s had it on sale for the first time at 50% off. When I saw it again for 75% off, I bought two more yards. It is very durable despite its delicate look. I love the quilting on it. It just looks so fresh and so clean clean.
  • The size of this bag is wonderful. When I saw the picture I thought that it might be a little small to handle a weekend worth of my stuff, but man can you really load this thing up. Not only did it hold a weekends worth of stuff

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3 pairs of pants, three shirts, a pair of shoes and my toiletry bag with some room to spare

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It also held my sewing machine with even more space for notions and accessories INSIDE, let along the outside pockets!!

The Bad:

  • The cording! Although I love the way it looks, it was the most labor intensive detail I have sewn yet. I probably ripped enough seams to have made this bag three times over. It was like the Goldilocks rhythm set to the act of sewing. I sew…oops didn’t sew close enough…rip. Sew…oops sewed too close and over the cording….rip. Ahh, sew between where I was the first time and second time….just right!

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  • What is up with the closed bottom 30″ zipper!! This thing does not seem to exist as a common place item. I had to use a separating zipper in a cream color, then I sewed over the open end and made my opening a little smaller to make sure that it would never get to the point of separation. It works fine, but why make us jump the hurdle of finding this elusive 30″ zipper. This is where I wish the pattern gave alternatives. Next time I may use the dual zipper so that you can open it from either side because on one hand it is cool, on the other it comes in 30″!
  • The layers on this bag are thick and murder on sewing pins. I had to throw away at least half the pins I had because they were so misshapen at the end of the project.
  • The pins! Because of the layers they were like razor sharp daggers jutting out of the bag. Ouch, ouch, Sh*t, ouch, damn it, ouch was pretty much my mantra throughout the process. I got the scars to prove it!
  • Although I LOVE the colors, I do realize that yellow is not the most practical and durable of colors when it comes to a travel bag. I will try to Scotch Guard it or something to help out the longevity a little
  • The time involved in sewing this bag is just what one would have expected in such a wonderful bag but it is still hard to take in. I sewed this bag over a two week period. Each step taking longer due to the layers, daggers of death (pins), and the rip rip ripping of progress.

The Ugly:

  • Although I didn’t show it I added a elastic pouch inside for holding my undergarments separate from the clothes. This was the first time I did this using the tutorial from here and it just didn’t come out right. It was just too loose in the end. It is starting to bother me a little since the rest of the bag came out so wonderfully. I will probably add some Velcro to achieve the effect I want.

Look Jenny…Butterfly got new wings**

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So here are the new butterfly wings. I finished the collar and it came out quite nice I think. This was after I completely over thought the process of knitting it and ended up ripping and reknitting. So here is how the saga went:

  1. I picked up the 142 sts to knit the collar. I knit for about 3″ and then thought, hey, why is the seam on the top side of this thing? So I kept knitting but was getting frustrated by this seemingly counter-intuitive construction.
  2. I stopped knitting and looked all over the blogisverse to find a closeup of a butterfly collar. No dice. I had to believe in the pattern.
  3. So much for faith because I ripped out the 3″, picked up the 142 sts again, this time opposite of that the pattern stated and started knitting so that the seam would be underneath the folded over collar. I got about 1 row before I knew that it was just wrong….wrong, wrong, wrong…
  4. So I ripped out the little I had done, picked up 142 sts again, this time the right way and kept knitting secure in the fact that this way was far less wrong than the wrong way which turns out was just WAY wrong. Hee….like the bad engrish 🙂

So 426 picked up sts later I finished the collar. Then I blocked the sleeve. Wouldn’t you know it, I suffered the same fate as my butterfly predecessors. Despite reducing the length of the sleeve from 20 3/4″ to 18 3/4″, it was still too long. So I will have to rip back the sleeve cap on the first sleeve by another 1.5″ and reknit. In the meantime, I am knitting up the second sleeve to the 17 .5″ length that I think it should be because I just don’t have the heart to rip right now.

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In sewing news, I have already started the Amy Butler Goes to Hawaii crafting fest. I have finished the sewing on the front and back panels, next will be attaching the top and zipper. However, this will have to resume after a much needed break due to a recent lack of sleep. Maybe I will have a finished weekender to show you this weekender…I mean weekend.

**Said in Forrest Gump sounding voice.

FO: Amy Butler Patchwork Bag

Fabric: Etsuko Furuya Echino
Inspiration: Amy Butler Patchwork Bag from In Stitches
New Tech/Modifications: I did the bag in all one fabric instead of doing the patchwork Cost: Approximately $15.00
Enjoyment Factor:
8

The Good:

  • I love this fabric! I have been eyeing various Etsuko fabrics and didn’t want to buy them due to the growing stash and expense, cause this fabric aighn’t cheap.
  • I love the way I was able to almost perfectly match the bird on the top of the bag.

  • The instructions were fabulous. I have to give it to Amy Butler, she does a wonderful job with instructions.
  • I found the internal fabric at IKEA. There was a silky pillowcase in the “as is” section that matched the color perfectly. In addition to using nearly every scrap of this fabric, I also recycled the zipper for a future matching zip bag for my notions.

  • I like the durable feeling of the bag. The home decor weight fabric along with the quilting makes this thing feel really professional. Especially the little stop tab at the end

  • This bag works well for it’s intended purpose as a medium size knitting bag. The final straw was when someone mistook my white Apple shopping bag for a diaper and nearly threw it away. It fits about two medium size projects and a few notions. Because of the zipper it also adds some good resistance when you need to pull the yarn out of the bag. By the way, that is the left front of the Butterfly sweater making a guest appearance.

  • It also makes a good home for my knitting charm, given to me by a very crafty friend. It makes a wonderful zipper pull.

The Bad:

  • This thing required a lot of strategic cutting because I only had 3/4 yards of fabric instead of the 1 yard specified AND I only wanted to use one fabric instead of the patchwork, so I had to really plan it so that I had enough.
  • I had limited inside fabric from the pillow case. I actually ran out and had to back the bottom cardboard stabilizer piece with a different fabric, but you would never know.
  • The slip stitching in the lining. Once again this was just a time suck for me. When I am this close to completion having to move this slow was killing me. But it did come out nicely.

The Ugly:

  • There is just one corner of the bag that I wish had gone better. You would never know it unless I told you so I won’t 🙂
  • I love the Etsuko Fabrics and want yards and yards of the all. But the cost is way over my current fabric stashing budget. Don’t get me wrong. It is well worth it to get such a wonderful home decor weight fabric, but at $18+ dollars a yard, you have to plan carefully.

Sewing Time: 10 hours over 2 days