Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Amy Butler Sweet Harmony Bag

Carissa (daughter)and I made the Amy Butler Sweet Harmony Bag. You can see hers on her Bumblebee Bliss blog, plus the umbrella tutorial that she did. I have wanted to make something from toile fabric for a long time, so when I saw this pink and brown, I bought it. I read several reviews for this bag on Pattern Review before doing it, and was very glad I did.

Amy Butler patterns are not for beginning sewers and some of the instructions leave you scratching your head for awhile. She says if you use 45 inch fabric you need 2 layers of interfacing on some pieces, and 54 inch fabric only needs one layer of interfacing. What she doesn't say is that 54 inch fabric is home dec fabric and heavier, thus not needing the second layer of interfacing. That kind of thing that takes a few minutes to figure out.

I made my handle a bit longer to be able to tuck it on my shoulder and under my arm better. Some people complained that you have to cut out all the fusible fleece and interfacing and then trim them all down, thus wasting fabric. It would be nice to have included separate interfacing pieces.

All in all, it was easy once I got into the sewing of it and it went together fine.
I do love it.

Flower Tutorial

Here's a little tutorial to show you how to make the flower that I put on the Amy Butler Sweet Harmony bag.

Cut out a flower shape from paper. I made a pansy petal using wool felt. Cut out about 6 or so petals, then three more to make smaller petals to go in the front.

Using one of those fancy stitches on your sewing machine that we almost never use, stitch around the edge of each petal. The stitching pulls the edges up slightly to make a little curve to each petal. This makes the flower look dimensional. You can see this better if you click on the picture.

Take three of the petals and cut them a little smaller to go in front of the larger petals, to make a more realistic looking flower.

Glue the pansy petals together into a desirable shape to make a pretty flower.

To make this flower center, I used a 1 1/2 inch piece of fabric, folded it in half lengthwise and stitched down the middle with a gathering stitch. Gather up to a desired length.

Make a nice circle with this ruffle by trimming it, then glue it together, then glue it to the pansy and add a cute button from your stash.

For the green frill that will go behind the whole flower, I used a 1 1/2 inch strip of fabric, sewing a gathering stitch down the middle and gathered it up. When the inside of the flower is complete, glue it to the back of the flower in an attractive way to peek out in three or four places.

The finished product! Glue a pin to the back to attach to the purse.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Umbrellas

Here's a peek at what Carissa and I did this past week when she and Ben came for a week. Using Amy Butler's laminated fabric, we took vintage umbrellas, took the fabric off and used it for a pattern to make a new umbrella. Since they are now living in Vancouver, WA, she will make good use of the umbrella. She will be putting a tutorial up on her blog, Bumblebee Bliss, in the next few days, so check back