In Stitches by Amy Butler: A Book Review

Amy Butler

Renown for her bold grafic fabrics and beautiful, simple patterns, Amy Butler has also authored some beautiful books.

Her personal mantra is "Go easy on yourself." In an interview with CountryLiving, she says, "It's easy to get wound up about stuff. If you stay relaxed, you can enjoy what you're doing."

Her creative mantra is:

Utility can be beautiful.

Comfy can be stylish.

Organization is healthy.

My personality is unique.

Handmade is best!

And this is certianly what Amy Butler's In Stitches: More Than 25 Simple and Stylish Sewing Projects inspires.

Envelope holds pattern pieces, while spiral binding allows pages to lay flat.
Envelope holds pattern pieces, while spiral binding allows pages to lay flat.

In Stitches

The book is beautifully designed. From its basic design, to its thick pages, full of beautiful pictures of finished projects, wonderfully drawn illustrations and clearly written instructions.

It has a hardcover for durability. Is spiral bound on the interior, for lay-flat usability; and has an envelope built into the front cover, which holds all the pattern pieces used through out the book, full size. I especially like this feature, as I have purchased many pattern books that require tearing pages out, making copies and enlarging patterns. The envelope is made of cardboard, so it will not easily tare, nor will the pattern pieces get lost.

The sewing projects are geared toward the beginning or intermediate sewer, but even for an experienced sewer, they are fun and useful.

Amy Butler Fabric Samples

Overview of Projects

Living Room Projects

  • Decorative Patchwork Throw
  • Floor Cushions (2 sizes)
  • Kitty Tunnel
  • Big Dot Pillow, Round Ruffle Pillow, Pom-Pom Pillow

Kitchen Projects

  • Placemats and Napkins
  • Giftable Recipe Card Bags
  • Short Pleated Apron
  • Square Pot Holder

Bedroom Projects

  • Patchwork Duvet Cover
  • Bedside Organizer
  • Wide-Lag Lounge Pants
  • Sleeping Mask

Bathroom Projects

  • Kimono-Style Bathrobe
  • Hanging Toiletry Basket
  • Oversized Laundry Bag
  • Decorative Hanging Towels

Office Projects

  • CD Holder and Desktop Organizer
  • Document Duvet and Photo File
  • Fashion Checkbook Clutch

Personal Style Projects

  • Clutch Handbag with Fabric Flower
  • Sash with Beaded Fringe
  • Simple Leather-Handled Shoulder Bag
  • Patchwork Handbag with Zipper Charm

Where to Begin?

There are so many projects in this book that I am anxious to make. The CD Holder and Document Duvet would greatly improve the view at my desk, while the Oversized Laundry Bag looks fantastic for traveling -- much more stylish than the ball-bag I'm currently using.

I love the looks of the Clutch Handbag, even though I really don't need another purse. The Floor Cushions are the perfect answer to the lack of seating in my living room.

The thing I love most about sewing for my home is that each piece will be personalized in my choice of fabric.

My First Project

As much as I could use of the other projects in this book, I decided to make this apron first. It caught my attention in the store, and has continued to call my name. I finally justified it over more practical projects, by declaring it my wool working apron. None of my others (a bunch of light-weight half aprons, made for serving at banquets and a chef's apron) seemed to do the trick, and this one, with the heavy hem looked like it would work so well. And it does!

It reaches to my knees and the skirt is full enough that it easily covers my lap. The bottom corners of the skirt are easily grabbed to make a neat basket, so I can quickly transport goods. It works so well, I might have to make a second for the garden...

The written instructions were clear and easy to follow. The pictures are well drawn, and enhance the written instructions, leaving no questions. The pattern calls for light to mid-weight cotton. I used light-weight cotton canvas.

Ivorwen, 2009.

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Comments 5 comments

marymacbrookins profile image

marymacbrookins 6 years ago from waco my waco

you did a good job on thtat apron. so I did my first pattern ever, which was an amy butler birdie sling purse. I emailed Amybutlerdesigns and sent a picture. I told them about my experience sewing and do you know she sent me a free pattern of my choice!?! send her your pics and story!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thanks for the tip! I never thought about e-mailing the company. I was just very pleased with the book and the patterns.


Margaridab profile image

Margaridab 6 years ago from Lyon, France

There are some very good patterns to download! thanks for sharing it.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Your welcome, Margaridab. I know that I have enjoyed the patterns.


SilkThimble profile image

SilkThimble 5 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Good review. I've been debating about this book, and I will definitely be putting on the To Buy list.

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