Tag Archives: sweet harmony handbag

Sewing Fail: Amy Butler Sweet Harmony Handbag

15 Feb

I try to put my very best effort into every thing I make, but still a lot of my sewing projects don’t go exactly as planned. Usually I can salvage them – adjust the fit, hack a dress apart to make a skirt, add fabric panels, etc – but occasionally I end up with wadders & sewing fails. I don’t normally post them – mostly because they don’t normally happen (as far as Lord-this-can’t-be-saved pieces) – but I’m going to put myself out on a limb for y’all today. Also, I think it’s kind of funny and I like laughing.

So here it is – the Amy Butler Sweet Harmony handbag FAIL.

Bag fail
It doesn’t look too bad at the first glance – kind of lumpy, and the handle is doing something weird, but that can be overlooked, y/y? I must admit that this bag is definitely a Monet – from far away it looks ok, but up close it’s just a big ol’ mess.

Let’s look at the other side!

Bag fail
Oh, that’s nice – what the hell is that giant dent over the cell phone pocket? What the hell is the cell phone pocket even doing? And look at the handle – that seam is supposed to be at the bottom, not turned up to the side.

Bag fail
Here, I have stuffed some fabric (isn’t that fabric delightful, btw?) in to show you what it looks like closed. WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK.

I’m going to take a break here and explain why this bag failed. First of all, I definitely used the wrong fabric and interfacing. The pattern calls for quilting cottons or home decorator fabric… and I used some squishy wool coating (very similar to wool crepe). When I was interfacing my pieces, I realized I didn’t buy enough fusible (I went by the pattern directions, but good ol’ Amy didn’t bother to mention that her suggested fusible yardage was for 44″ wide, not the standard 22″ wide), so a lot – like, half – of the pieces are interfaced with sew-in interfacing. This does NOT provide enough structure, especially coupled up with that squishy-ass coating. Also, the coating snags quite easily, which makes the whole thing look cheap and, well, shitty. Also, Amy Butler is totally onto me.

The next problem – and the biggest one, imo – is that I got way too frustrated with the bag and rushed through it as quickly as possible. I’m a pretty fast sewer, but I absolutely have my limits and when they are reached I have to stop because otherwise I start getting sloppy. This bag is a prime example of LT being sloppy – the seam allowances are crooked, the corners are fudged pretty badly, and the whole inside is just wack. Oh god, the inside LOL. Hold on, I want to show you the inside.

Bag fail
See where I didn’t clip the seam allowance at the curve? Or how about the fact that the lining does not fit in there at all? The whole thing is just… wrinkled and poochy. Ew.

Some more Bag Fail pictures:
Bag fail
This is what the bag looks like open – gap fail. You can also see where the interfacing & outer fabric are pulling away from each other.

Bag fail
The bottom is a special piece of work all on it’s own – I sewed the bottom panel on, realized I didn’t quite catch the fabric on one side, but instead of picking the stitches out like a normal person, I just hand stitched it together. Yeah, that looks real nice.

Here is the picture that makes the laugh the hardest.

Are you ready?

Bag fail
LOL IT DOESN’T EVEN STAND UP STRAIGHT WTF.

I will have you know that I actually carried this bag around over the weekend, despite hating every second of it. I carried it aaaall the way to Atlanta, and seriously considered leaving it behind every time we stopped in a store. I still don’t know what to do with it. I actually feel bad taking it to Goodwill. I might just throw it away (after I salvage the purse snaps, of course!) – it is that bad.

As an apology for making you sit through multiple pictures of something that looks like my cat threw up, here are some images of Landon & myself wearing furry hats at the H&M in Atlanta:
LT in a furry hat

Landon in a furry hat

Anyone else have a sewing fail they want to share with the group? C’mon, it’s FUNNY.

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Amy Butler Patterns, and Why They Make Me Rage

1 Feb

I’m taking a tiny break from garment-sewing to do a little craft-sewing – specifically, I want a new handbag that is roomy enough to hold my Kindle Fire and maybe a little ball of yarn to knit on when I am stuck waiting somewhere. I don’t like big hold-everything-you-own-in-here bags and the going price of handbags makes me recoil in horror – you want me to pay how much for that fake leather thing that thousands of people have the exact same copy of because it’s from ~Target? Ew. No.

Do any of y’all ever sew stuff like purses & totes? I am all kinds of in love with the Sweet Harmony handbag and tote pattern from Amy Butler. I’ve actually made this pattern before and it’s the absolute perfect size and amount of pockets for me. LOVE IT. Unfortunately, it’s a little worse for the wear these days (aka: dirty) and I’m bored with that fabric so I’m making a new one.

amy butler sweet harmony handbag
Here’s my old one! More info/pictures in this craftster post if you are just dying over it or whatever.

I figured I could push one out and keep (mostly) in line with my fabric-buying ban – I already have the pattern, I could use the leftover wool coating from my lady grey, and I have all the notions on hand (including purse snaps!) so all I’d need to buy was a little piece of quilting cotton and some fusible fleece. Which I did buy, but here comes the title of this post.

AMY. What the hell is up with your fabric requirements?

My beef is that she just makes you buy way too much fabric. According to the fabric requirements (which are difficult enough to read as it is. I’m not even going to get into that today), I needed 1 5/8 yard of lining/cording/contrast fabric. After cutting my pieces out… I used maybe 1/2 yard. Fusible fleece – she tells me to buy 1 yard, I use about 1/3 yard (if that!). We are talking about quilting cotton that runs $13/yard minimum and fusible fleece that is about $9/yard. It adds up, especially when it’s fabrics that I don’t normally use, like quilting cotton. I don’t make garments with that stuff and I’m not too crazy about home decor sewing projects. So the remainder just sits on my shelf until I realize I’m not going to use and it give it away. The first time I made this purse, I had enough fabric left over to make a second one. Crazy.

My theory is that she is conspiring to make us buy more fabric – it can’t be a coincidence that she also has a (really amazing, btw)fabric line. Way to nickel and dime us to death, Amy. !!!CONSPIRACY!!!111!!

Does this piss anyone off as much as it pisses me off? I understand buying a little extra fabric to match patterns or weasel your way out of a sewing mistake, but I consider “extra” to be like 1/4 yard… not a full yard, certainly not more than that. Actually, the wool I’m using for the exterior of the purse was part of the same issue – I bought over 4 yards of fabric for my Lady Grey, as instructed by the pattern, and ended up with over a yard extra. That coating cost close to $20/yard, too! I don’t even pay attention to Colette yardage requirements anymore, to be honest… I cut out my pieces and measure what I need and write it on the envelope. Looks like I should be doing the same thing with Amy Butler patterns, ehhh.

Also, as lovely as Amy’s patterns are, I’m not really thrilled with the fact that I have to draft half the pieces myself & measure to do my own markings – uhhhh, isn’t that your job? You just made me pay $13 for the pattern, can you please just include the markings for the pocket placement with that? Ok?

Now that I’ve probably pissed off a bunch of Amy fans and I guess Amy herself, I’m going to soften the blow by pointing out that she does have some really cute patterns. And her fabrics are just gorgeous – yes, they are expensive, but it is quality fabric.


Rainy Days raincoat? I die.


The Weekender Bag is a personal favorite – I made this a few years ago, with my mama! I still use it all the time and it’s awesomeeeee. I should take a picture of it, huh?

Anyway, sewing this thing has been a total bore. I spent a couple of hours cutting the pattern pieces out (and grumbling to myself), then I had to trim seam allowances and corners off all the interfacing (again – these should be separate pattern pieces included in the pattern, in my opinion), and even more hours fusing interfacing to every.single.piece (sometimes twice!). Needless to say, that part sucked. Now I’m just in the process of wrestling all the layers under my sewing machine and beating the shit out of the seams with my clapper.

Lest you should think this entire sewing experience has been one complaint, I have been enjoying the bonding with my new Featherweight…
bonding with the Featherweight :)
See? It’s not all bad :)

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