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Topic: Rant on Amy Butler  (Read 1677 times)
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« on: September 22, 2009 05:43:12 PM »

I'm sewing my first Amy Butler pattern (mini-dress/tunic) and I'm getting increasingly frustrated with the way she words her directions!  She spent all of step one telling me how to transfer dots on each pattern piece!  I could understand if this was labeled as a "beginner" pattern, but she asterisks all other "techniques" and terms such as backstitching, top-stitching, clipping, pivoting, etc., for you to go look up in the glossary.  Yet we get a full diatribe on how to transfer dots!?!

Though the pattern is deceptively simple-looking, I spent 40 minutes making 8 shoulder pleats in each piece of bodice and facing.  Broke 2 needles due to carelessness.  Can you tell it's time for me to put it down for the night?  I really want to make this top.  I've lusted after her patterns for so long.  DH finally broke down and bought it for me.  It's been forever since I made something for ME, due to recent arrivals of my nephew and other small persons.  I just want to have something cute and wearable!

Does anyone else find Amy Butler instructions rant-worthy? 

Mama to baby twins.  Frantic crafter while they nap!

My blog: http://SLiPsofthetongue.wordpress.com

DH's humorous and often offensive blog: http://mymasonicapron.blogspot.com
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2009 09:07:07 AM »

Although I have never used an Amy Butler pattern, I can certainly sympathize with your frustration. At least the pattern explains how to do things. I've been sewing all of my life, yet I still find some of the Big 4 pattern instructions almost impossible to follow. Steps are left out, and it is assumed you know what things like "transfer the dots" mean without any explanation whatsoever. The major pattern companies also don't utilize some great products on the market that they can't mention by name (i.e. Steam-a-Seam, Chacoliner, Wondertape, etc.)

May I suggest that before tackling any new pattern, you sit down and read the instructions all the way through. You should be able to picture each step in your head. If not, then highlight the area and ask a sewing buddy for help. Make notes in the margins before and during your project. That way you'll know exactly what to expect when you sit down to sew.

By the way, whatever time I estimate to complete a garment, it usually takes 3 times that long. My estimates always seem to forget about finding stuff I misplaced, going back and marking the dots I forgot, ripping out mistakes, filling bobbins, replacing needles, filling the iron, waiting for the iron to heat up, petting the cat, and other non-sewing activities.
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009 03:37:17 PM »

At least her patterns have directions.  Regular sewing patterns do not.  I bought a pattern online from someone and it was a 120 page PDF... (!) Crazy!

I made an Amy Butler Birdie Sling Tote.  The first one took me all day, but I don' think that had anything at all to do with her directions, I am inexperienced with bag sewing and I need to read directions thoroughly at all stages when I learn new things.  After the first one, I've made 3 more that were much quicker.

« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009 08:05:51 PM »

Take a deep breath & step away from the pattern!  Smiley  I make careless mistakes when I'm tired.  Best to put down for a day or two.

I am collecting cotton Hawaiian fabric scraps for a quilt if you wanted to send any my way!
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009 05:37:59 AM »

I agree with you about the wordiness of her pattern directions.  I just sort of read it quickly and paraphrase.  I made the mini dress.  I did end up altering the pattern a little because as I see pictures of other peoples' finished products, I noticed that the empire "waistline" (as I interpreted from the front pattern photo) was not exactly a waistline, but more of an over or across the bustline...(not a pretty look on me)....so I added about 4 inches to the front bodice and back bodice lining.  It turned out really cute.  In fact, I love the one that I made as a wearable muslin so much, that I wear it all of the time.  Good luck with this pattern....and have some patience for the directions.  The finished product is worth it.

« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009 03:57:17 PM »

Well, I finished it.  At some points I was following the directions blindly, because they were too wordy or didn't have a corresponding picture to help.  At one point the back panel is mislabeled (E), when it's actually (D). 

I guess I just like the standardization of the Big Four, whose patterns and pictures I can almost always figure out with a combination of the pictures and the words. 

azlorena, you're right.  The dress is worth it in the end.  I made the tunic, knowing full well it would be a short dress on my 5'0" frame.  And maybe, if I can tolerate the stupid shoulder pleats and remedial dot-transferring directions, I'll make it again in a different length.  I was really unhappy with the zipper installation -- both my attempts, and her directions.  I was also displeased with how lumpy the back facings lay as a result of putting the zipper between the back panel and the facings with the top-stitching already in place.  But, zippers aside, I love it.  I finished the hem this morning and wore it today!  Pictues shall be forthcoming. 

Mama to baby twins.  Frantic crafter while they nap!

My blog: http://SLiPsofthetongue.wordpress.com

DH's humorous and often offensive blog: http://mymasonicapron.blogspot.com
I'd claim it was my magnetic personality, but really, that's just the steel.
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2009 08:18:48 AM »

Her patterns are kind of messed up sometimes.  The last time I made one (the cabo halter) I had to redraft part of it completely- it had the straps being completely 100% straight.  Which is phenomenal if you were sewing them to the back, but not so much for a halter unless you want odd gappy folds over your chest where you can see the lining fabric.  (and they were short, too.  I'm 5'2", and short in the torso, and I had to lengthen them since the given length wasn't enough to actually double knot or tie a bow behind my neck.)

I've heard similar complaints about some of her clothing, too.  Maybe the "stuff" patterns (Bags, pillows, etc) are better than the clothes?

« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2009 07:14:59 PM »

Ahh....I left the zipper out.  I have a thing about wasting a zipper on stuff where the zipper will never be used.  This dress is definitely NOT tight enough to warrant a zipper.

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