Tag Archives: ranty mcrantpants

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 🙂