Tag Archive for 'Amy Butler'


County Fair Birdie Sling

This is the second Birdie Sling that I’ve made for my mom. (Here’s the last one) She put in a special request this year for Christmas for a new version with darker colours. I looked through my stash and found a generous piece of this dark County Fair home dec fabric by Denyse Schmidt. It went perfectly with the coral prints from Tula Pink’s Salt Water collection that I used for the bands, handles and the lining.

We always have the Birdie Sling Pattern in stock, it’s a classic!

County Fair Birdie Sling

County Fair Birdie Sling


Bib Front Dress in Corduroy

If this dress looks familiar, it’s because this is version #3 of this style! First made is summery pink/purple gingham, then in navy with gold linen and now with the softest purple/grey corduroy.

Let’s talk about this fabric first. I bought it a few years ago in New York at B & J Fabric. I love to treat myself to a nostalgic trip to B & J whenever I can. I used to have the luxury of wandering the aisles for hours after work every day, dreaming up new things to make. The wale on this corduroy is so fine, the fabric feels a bit like velvet. The colour mixes my two current favourites, grey and purple.

From my past versions, you know all about this pattern. It is based loosely on the Amy Butler Liverpool Shirtdress with some major adjustments.

I actually made this dress just before the holidays, it was my Christmas dress. It feels really cozy to wear, so it’s the perfect winter dress. AND apparently winter isn’t quite done with the snow we’re having today!

Bib Front Dress in Corduroy

Bib Front Dress in Corduroy

Bib Front Dress in Corduroy


Far Far Away II Birdie Sling

I’ve been using my sewing machine again and it feels so good. We were on a little break from each other, but I’m suddenly feeling really inspired to get going on some projects.

I was waiting for the Heather Ross Far Far Away II fabric to arrive so that I could make myself a new Birdie Sling bag. I knew it would make the perfect new fall bag. This is the fifth Birdie Sling (1, 2, & 4) that I’ve sewn, so when I make it now, there’s a nice rhythm and familiarity with the pattern that is so satisfying. Mind you, some of you eager sewers out there have made this bag twelve to thirty times! (Dawn, Kelly, Kristen!)

This is still by far, my favourite bag pattern. I used two Far Far Away fabrics for the outside, the grey roses for the body and the grey Sleeping Beauty for the handles and bands. For the lining and pockets, I used a vintage orange floral fabric that I bought in Brimfield. The Far Far Away fabric is a linen/cotton blend and it awesome to sew with. Plus, it’s crazy cute. Also, this colour palette of grey + orange + bits of blue feels perfect for fall.

As soon as I had finished this bag, I started to work on another project using Far Far Away. This fabric gets me so excited! I’m going to finish that up today and try to post it tomorrow. I’m pretty proud of it, since I made up my own pattern and it totally turned out. Love when that happens.

Far Far Away II Birdie Sling

Far Far Away II Birdie Sling

Far Far Away II Birdie Sling


Liverpool Shirtdress

It’s taken me a while to tell you about this project. I made Amy Butler’s Liverpool shirtdress back in June, but needed to make some further adjustments on it and I ended up starting another project instead. You know how it is.

The fabric I chose is from B&J in New York and is a lovely cotton shirting fabric. The buttons I found in my collection from my New York days. They are absolutely perfect with this fabric! Since I worked in the garment district, I would often wander through the fabric and trim shops after work purchasing random bits and bobs. It’s so satisfying when those odd purchases make perfect sense nine year later.

I made a couple adjustments to the pattern right from the start. I adjusted the shape of the collar and made it more square. Amy’s collar was a bit too flared out for me. I also made the dress less a-lined and added side seam pockets. The pattern calls for ties that are sewn into the side seam and can be tied either in the front or the back of the dress. I decided to create the tie as a separate piece. I also made it extra long, so that it wraps around twice and gives me options with the type of knot or bow I might want to do.

Because I make so many Japanese dress book patterns these days, I sometimes forget to read the instructions when I’m doing an English pattern! I didn’t realize until I was almost done the dress that I had cut the back piece of the dress as one panel instead of two pieces. Oops! This meant that I had an extra inch in the body of the dress which actually made a big difference in the fit. I went back, removed the collar, cut the back in half and put in the french seam that was meant to be there. Depending on your print choice for this pattern you may want to omit doing the french seam and opt for cutting out the back as one piece. To do this you simply need to remove half an inch (the seam allowance) from the centre back line of the pattern piece. For plaids or ginghams or stripes, this would allow the print to flow uninterrupted across the back.

I got stuck when I was doing the cuffs. I just couldn’t seem to figure out her instructions no matter how many times I read them. I finally googled this problem and discovered several people posting about having this same issue. If you ever get stuck on a pattern, I recommend doing a search on the internet. You’ll probably discover an answer to your question. Amy has posted an addendum to the Liverpool pattern here that elaborates on how to do the cuff.

Another note on the sleeves. They are long. I did the 3/4 length sleeve and they come very close to my wrists. It would be wise to measure your arms versus the sleeve pieces to figure out the right length for you. I plan on wearing the sleeves rolled up, so I didn’t fix this.

This is also the pattern we did in our Shirtdress Day Camp. We had a really fun week, sewing, chatting and working together. Everyone’s Liverpool turned out fantastic! Here’s our class photo. We have one more day camp coming up this summer and I’m looking forward to being a student this time and spending the entire week sewing and quilting.

Amy Butler "Liverpool" Pattern

Liverpool Shirtdress

Liverpool Shirtdress

365 : 2

365 : 2

365 : folksy flannel pjs

My first completed project of this year was a mandatory pair of Folksy Flannel pajama pants. I definitely need more flannel in my life. I used the Amy Butler lounge pant pattern for the third time, taking the original wide leg in by just over an inch. I’m not ashamed to say that over my mini break I wore them all day long.


Fig Tree

Okay, so the majority of my trip to Quilt Market was actually spent wandering around in a bit of a daze surrounded by ridiculous amounts of fabric and more quilts that you can ever imagine. Whoa. For someone who loves textiles, it’s definitely sensory overload.

Let me start by explaining exactly what Quilt Market is. It’s a huge trade show for the quilting industry that happens twice a year. The fall show is in Houston Texas, while the spring show moves around from city to city. The spring 2010 show will be in Minneapolis. The first part of quilt market is to the ‘trade only’ and all the fabric manufacturers, designers and distributers have booths where they show off all their new collections. The booths are usually filled with quilts, accessories and clothing made up from the fabrics and you can sit down and look through all the collections and place orders for your shop. Sewing machines, notions, quilt patterns, books and magazines are also represented. You would not believe all the sewing gadgets, accessories, and even lotions and potions that are represented. I was surprised to see several vintage dealers who sold fabrics, quilts and even buttons and jewellry. I treated myself to a sweet pink vintage feedsack and a few yards of an old orange floral fabric.

Snow Fantasy

There is also a Quilt Festival that happens right after Quilt Market and this is open to the public. There is a huge exhibit of vintage quilts, along with quilts that have been entered into competition. The lighting was pretty awful in the convention centre and especially in the exhibit, but I tried to get photos of my favourites. It’s fascinating to see all the different types of techniques that are used in these modern quilts, including all kinds of hand painting, beading and photo transfers.

Heather Bailey

Since I was hanging out with the Soak gals, I got to tag along to their meetings with some of the designers. I got to meet (and secretly gawk at) Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Heather Bailey, Joanne Figuerora, and Sandi Henderson. Each of these talented ladies were so incredibly sweet and I was just blown away with the new amazing collections and patterns they have come up with. You can be sure to find lots of their new stuff coming to the workroom a.s.a.p. I was especially charmed by Anna Maria Horner’s new line of flannels for kids – FINALLY, flannel prints that are modern and not too cutesy. Heather Bailey won for best booth design at the show and it was well deserved. I loved her wallpaper, clothes line and she even had real sod laid out. Check out her cute new patterns – Henrietta turtle and Claira & Clancy pig dolls. I can’t wait to get them in the shop.

There were so many independent quilt pattern designers at the show, but the one that stood out for me was Carolina Patchworks. In particular her Another Brick in the Wall and Golden Waves seemed like super fun quilts to make. I picked up four of her patterns for the shop and can’t wait to try them out.

stack of puti de pome prints

I told you before I left that I had two missions – Japanese fabric and felt. Sadly I didn’t discover a good source for felt, but I hit many home runs on Japanese fabrics! I made great new contacts and ordered some unbelievably awesome Japanese prints. I was so excited about them that I completely forgot to take photographs of them, but this way you’ll be surprised and delighted when they arrive.

I do have a sneak peak for you of my favourite find – Puti de Pome. I ordered quite a few of these prints including this sweet map fabric, these cars and this border print. Of course, I also ordered some of the new echino line. I tried not to go overboard, but it was really hard.

To sum up all that – great food (not counting the convention centre food), quilt mania, inspiring designers and new fabrics and lots of J-A-P-A-N-E-S-E cuteness on the way!!

Check out part two of my slide show…

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


The quote above is from ‘Twilight’. I read the first book on Monday and last night I read the entire second book, “New Moon”. It’s safe to say that I’m completely hooked and that my day job is currently interfering with me spending more time with Edward Cullen. I haven’t seen the movie yet. I’ve decided to wait until I’ve read through the rest of the series first. The premise of the books is that a young teen girl falls in love with a hot vampire and misadventure ensues. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but I’m so pre-disposed to teen drama. My So-Called-Life, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, Gossip Girl – you name it, I love it. I’m curious if this obsession will ever end or will I still be hooked on the lives of fictional teens in twenty years?

The quote is typewritten on muslin and stitched to the inside pocket of my new Birdie Sling. I forgot to press the space bar between two words, so it’s not perfect, but that’s the charm of the typewriter. There is no delete button.

It was definitely time for a new bag. After six months of daily use, Birdie Sling #1 needed to retire. Plus, I wanted to be a bit matchy and make something to go with my new coat.

I did a couple things differently this time. Instead of fusible interfacing, I just basted a layer of washed cotton muslin to all of the bag’s pieces. I really like how this turned out. I often find fusible interfacing rather frustrating when it bubbles and doesn’t stick properly. For the pockets, I turned the small pocket into a zippered pocket to add a secure spot to keep my ipod, phone charger and lip balm.

I also made a matching zippered pouch for my Shinzi Katoh agenda. This way I can keep my pens, cheque books and business cards altogether. This system is working out really well for me and makes me feel like I’m making progress with my life-long wish to be more organized.

But really – Twilight, anyone?

Birdie Sling #2


There’s something about these pants, perhaps it’s in the name. I definitely have been doing more lounging these days, which is a good thing, considering my self-imposed busy schedule.

For my second pair, I did end up slimming down the pattern by 3cm on each side seam (for a total of 12cm). The pants are still wide legged, but now I think they’re perfect for me. If you’re planning on doing the same, I recommend making a first pair as the pattern suggests and making your second pair with any fit adjustments. Once you make one pair, you will at least want one more pair so that you can wear them every single day. Trust me.

The fabric is from Amy’s new line, Daisy Chain, and the print is called Dandelion Reed. I couldn’t resist the blue and grey, since it matches my bedroom and my quilt in progress. I might make one more pair, but that’s it. The Kimono Robe and Bedside Organizer are next on my list from the In Stitches book.

I was surfing around on BurdaStyle last night and found a few patterns that I’m thinking of trying out. My current winter wardrobe is very uninspiring.

  • the Esther cardigan
  • the Franzi
  • the JJ blouse
  • the Emily blouse

    I’ve been meaning to try a few projects from Amy Butler’s In Stitches book for some time. Last week, I was feeling the need for a quick project that would give me some instant gratification. The lounge pants looked like just the project to fit the bill. While sewing pants is extremely challenging, sewing pajama pants is super easy. Amy’s pattern provides you with the top part of the pattern and requires you to draft out the legs of the pants. Easy. I decided to go with some Amy Butler fabric, the print is called Nouveau Trees. I have a particular fondness for the pink and green combination, it reminds me of my childhood bedroom.

    The sewing is very simple. It took me about an hour, perhaps less. I omitted adding trim to the bottom and opted to use some of the cute embroidery stitches on the Bernina Artista to hem the pants. As I was sewing, I thought about how these would make a really nice gift. It wouldn’t be hard at all to make several pairs quite quickly, once you had them all cut out.

    The pants are really cozy, perfect for these chilly nights and mornings. From what I’ve read online, most people doubt the extreme wideness of the legs as they are making the pants and then fall in love with them once they are done. This happened to me too, they just seemed ridiculously wide. Now, I love them. On that note though, the next time I make these pants (there will definitely be at least a couple more pairs), I will try slimming down the leg a couple inches, now that I know my sizing.

    There are a bunch of other projects I’m planning on doing from this book – the bedside organizer and the kimono robe are on the top of the list. If you need a fun, simple project that you can wear, this is it. You’ll be so happy when you’re wearing your new lounge pants in bed watching episodes of Gossip Girl in the dark.

    13 DRESSES : DRESS 10

    Pattern: Amy Butler Anna Tunic
    Fabric: Art Gallery Fabrics Pink Le Fleur

    There is just over a week until Labour day and somehow I’ve fallen behind in my dress challenge. Reading back on my first post about the challenge, it seems a bit fuzzy as to when the challenge officially ends. I did say the end of summer, which technically isn’t until September 22. I still have three more dresses to make! What do you think? A little leniency for a busy girl?

    Dress 10 is from Amy Butler’s Anna Tunic which many of you may not know can also be turned into a dress. The photo on the cover of the pattern is deceiving as it only shows the top version. The dress goes together quite easily, with only a few fiddly parts. I found the instructions on how to attach the facings to the body of the dress slightly awkward and wished there was a more elegant way to do this part. I had to read the instructions several times slowly at this point to make sure I understood what I was supposed to do. Basically it is just top stitching the facing closed after you have pressed under the seam allowance and pinned each section around the yoke. There is no zipper in this pattern. For those who fear zippers, you may enjoy doing the button loops and buttons. I like the button detail very much.

    Amy Butler’s patterns always seem to be quite a-line. Often times it’s too much for me and I end up straightening out the silhouette. On this dress, I quite like it. I made the longer version of the Anna Tunic and even wore it with the belt. (I rarely wear belts) The dress is fully lined which makes it feel slightly formal, in a good way.

    The pink fabric by Art Gallery Quilts is clearly inspired by Art Nouveau. I love the swirly motifs which remind me very much of Paris.

    I wore this dress on Sunday at the Kids Trunk Show. For once I thought I’d show you photos of the dress in action and me without my head cut off. Looking over the photos of the show, you’ll notice a good percentage of them include cupcakes. The night before, I baked four dozen cupcakes from scratch. I also made 7 minute frosting for the first time, which I really loved. Most the kids only ate the tops of the cupcakes. That probably had more to do with all the candy piled on top of them than the ‘Madagascar Vanilla Bean’ or ‘Shaved Dark Chocolate’ frostings.

    p.s. Yes, I ate all the leftover cupcakes for breakfast this week.