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

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.

35 Responses to “Sewing Fail: Amy Butler Sweet Harmony Handbag”

  1. didyoumakethat February 15, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Bless your cotton socks! This would be a perfect entry for Ugly Amnesty, though I think you’ve covered everything here. I don’t mind admitting that a couple of the shots had me giggling. On a positive note, I am fully admiring your scissor collection and the impressive organisation of your cork board with fabric samples and everything! Thank you for reassuring us you are a fallible human, just like the rest of us.

    • LLADYBIRD February 15, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      Lol it should go in the Ugly Amnesty! That doesn’t mean I can’t throw it away, though, right??? 🙂

  2. Claire (aka Seemane) February 15, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Not sure which is funnier your post on the bag-fail, or the pics in the hats 😉
    I made a top last year that I think makes me look like a dinner-lady (pics of UK dinner ladies) I actually wore it to a sewing blogger meet up last year – I was pretty proud f it at the time, and the finishing wasn’t bad for a newbie like me – but now the top has done the opposite of grown on me, and I think it’ll be going to the charity/thrift store this weekend (opps!)

  3. Janice February 15, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    I’m not ashamed to post my sewing fails. Usually it happens because of poor planning and rushing through a project, as well as not making a muslin. Case in point:

  4. Mikhaela February 15, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    LOVE this post, especially in light of my sewing almost-fail with my skirt yesterday… I think my best sewing fail ever was trying to make a giant drop-shouldered sweatshirt pattern into a chic maternity sweatshirt… but I just ended up looking like a Star Trek redshirt:

    I was going to cut it up for baby clothes because it was such nice stretchy soft French terry… and then I just threw it out in a fit of rage.

  5. Jill February 15, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Hilarious post. The vast majority of my sewing failures can be traced back to two mistakes: poor fabric selection and/or failure to make a muslin. But I make the same mistakes OVER and OVER.

  6. Kerry February 15, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Yikes! Have to say that I am interested in seeing other peoples’ sewing fails tho. And on that note I will be posting one of my own (Colette Violet Blouse) tomorrow.

  7. oonaballoona February 15, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    oh my god i love you so much.

  8. Sassy T February 15, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Lol most of mine are sewing fails, when you look close. Am a “beginner” and am not kidding I am always making boo, boo’s. It’s the way I roll at the moment.

  9. gingermakes February 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Damn you, Amy Butler! What’s worse than working on something that keeps getting progressively worse? UGH!

  10. leahfranqui February 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    I hide my failure and my shame, sigh. I don’t usually document the things I think really are horrible sad messes. Though maybe I should, just to be even handed. Of course, as I improve and look back on things I make a year ago, I think, oh, god, struggle.

  11. Nancy Bryson February 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Oh my gosh. I have been following your blog for weeks now, but haven’t been brave enough to write…until today. I can understand your frustration and sympathize…believe me….I have been there….but I couldn’t stop laughing reading your post.

    You are such a prolific sewer and have such a great sense of humor. I love your site.

    • LLADYBIRD February 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      Hahaha I’m glad I could entertain everyone! 😀 And thank you, totally blushing right now 🙂

  12. Celine @ Sew Lovins February 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Wait I want to know how Amy Butler is onto you??! 😉 Thanks for sharing the good, bad and ugly. Its fun to see the fails too:)

  13. Larissa Holdsworth February 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Love your site.
    That post just made me my morning good as I am sure like everyone can relate and its nice to know that it is not just me who has failures.
    Thanks heaps 😉

  14. scruffybadger February 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    O sweetie the way you tell it had me in stitches. Cannot believe that you ,yes you of fab coats, chevron matching renfrews ever cut corners ( or not clip!)….. You are even more on my sewing pedestal now I know you are human! ( but I miss how It’s as bad as you say…..!) X

  15. Amanda February 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Hat win!
    This is pure gold!

  16. Carrie February 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Oh that’s awesome. 😀 I always love when people post their fails, it makes me feel less alone when I screw up. Unfortunately none of mine are this funny!

  17. msleesh February 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    hehe this post gave me the giggles, and makes me feel much better about the projects of mine that have ‘unhappy’ endings. I think I might have to take big fat photos of my most serious muck-ups and pin them to the wall as a reminder not to race through everything…

  18. TanitIsis February 16, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Totally send it to Goodwill. The colour’s pretty and I guarantee there’s an eight-year-old girl out there who’ll swoon over it, even if her mom doesn’t. (I tend to give my wadders to my children… It’s remarkably therapeutic.)

    • LLADYBIRD February 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      That is a really good idea – I didn’t even think about younger kids being interested in it. I will do that – purse snaps intact and everything 🙂

  19. Sam February 16, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    Hahahahahahaha. Thank you so much for sharing this! It is a special work of art that is created when when something just doesn’t turn out quite right, isn’t it? Thanks for giving me a smile 🙂 Sam xox

  20. prttynpnk February 16, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Thank you. For showing me I’m not the only one with some “monets’ on hand. I giggled shamefully all thru this- as I recognized every fail as one I had done. You need to keep this bag on hand in case you start teaching- it’s a great case study for method, isn’t it? I tend to think that i know better than a pattern too, sometimes!

  21. Casey February 16, 2012 at 7:13 am #

    The fact that you didn’t throw it away immediately makes you a sewing hero! 😀 I am guilty of once a project is looking too far gone, of quietly putting in the “fail” drawer and then tossing it later on (or cutting off all the bits I can salvage and throwing the fabric into a scrap bag I occasionally donate). I have far less patience for flubbed sewing projects, I think–definitey need to work on that. 😉

    But then again, I also have this idea that bag patterns are of Teh Devil too–so far I’ve only ever had one (besides the easy-peasy tote bag style) work out. 😉

  22. zilredloh February 16, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    heh! I think I would have done exactly the same as you: tough through the sewing and then carry it around for a while. I’ve donated several projects just because I didn’t want to feel awful & sad about it when I them it lying around my apartment. (Hello Crepe dress!)

    On the plus side, I do really love your color choices: the bag, piping, and lining. 🙂

    Now’s the dreaded question…. Will you try another?

    • LLADYBIRD February 16, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      I thought about it and I don’t think I will – not right now, anyway. I’m just going to keep buying purses at the Goodwill outlet where they are $1 :B Maybe next year I’ll try another bag… maybe!

  23. Rehanon February 16, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    oh chickadee you do make me chuckle! Bless you and I’m sorry the bag making Gods weren’t smiling down upon you. They certainly weren’t when I made my first and last Ceylon (unless I did decide to have another crack of the whip). Whatever I did it just went wrong but the dress finally went together a bit ragged round the edges but it did this weird billowing thing across the back and maybe look like the Hunchback of Notredame but I wore it anyway because making it nearly blew my head off. I think this fail pales in comparison to all your making wins. Well done for laughing about it and getting back in the sewing saddle 🙂

  24. symondezyn February 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    LOL thank you for posting this – I’m always so impressed with your craftsmanship, it is so reassuring to know everyone makes mistakes, even those we look up to 🙂 I do love the fabric choices though 🙂

  25. Rochelle New February 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Hahah!! You are too funny. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every second of this post.

  26. Sophia February 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Oh gosh. I know exactly where you’re coming from. You just keep truckin’ along… determined… stubborn… to make it work. What’s great about sewing blogs is that we can share these with people and get a laugh out it. If nothing else, the fabric is absolutely amazing 🙂

    I try to be honest with my failures, too. It’s just good for morale (so people see no one is perfect… ever). Check out this dowdy bag:

    • LLADYBIRD February 17, 2012 at 8:43 am #

      On the plus side, you could always consider that shirt a fitting muslin & a practice run for your real shirt! For $2, that’s not half bad! 😉

  27. Max January 20, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    I don’t think it is THAT terrible, but I love the commentary and I was laughing pretty hard at the end. I have many many craft fails, and I usually end up just chucking them. I get so angry at them and hate looking at them ahah

  28. Anonymous April 2, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

    I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Thank you for this delightful post. This made my day.


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