You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Amy Butler’ tag.

Proud Floridians will tell you that genuine Key Lime Pie is never actually green, but yellow. My newly finished McCall 5525 jacket is green, but I’m calling it “Key Lime Trench” anyway. I decree that genuine Key Lime Trenches can be green. I finally got around to photographing it today. Well, more correctly I ran around in a park while Dan snapped pictures- thanks, Dan! It’s still too chilly here for a spring jacket (I wore my heavy wool coat to the park and changed into my trench for the vanity shots), but I’m looking forward to warmer temperatures soon. Until then, I’m still playing with snow.

I used a combination of views- the length, collar, and lapels from view D, the sleeves and button bands from view E. I’m really glad I added the button bands on the sleeves- in the end I think they’re helping to keep the trench from looking too crafty-quilty and giving a more tailored finish. There’s lots of topstitching too, which helps as well.

The fabric is Amy Butler’s Full Moon Polka Dot in lime (100% cotton), fully underlined with white muslin (also 100% cotton) because it’s too lightweight for a jacket on its own. The freakishly matched buttons are Gutermann, the on-seam pockets are silk taffeta, of which I had a remnant from my Delancey dress, the lining is Bemberg (100% rayon) in a blush pink.  It’s a bit flimsy for a jacket, but it was all I had in the house:

I did a fair bit of hand finishing on this coat- the hem and sleeve hems are blindstitched by hand and the bottom of the lining and ends of the sleeve lining are also slipstitched by hand. I actually like hand sewing, and I find it gives me more control when easing than using the blindstitch on my machine (maybe because I rarely use it, so I’m not good at it.)

And here, more for the sake of stroking my sewing ego than any other reason, are lots of pictures of my new favorite spring jacket, in all of its buttoned and unbuttoned, front, side, and back view glory, shown here with a pair of my beloved Jalie 2908 jeans, cheery orange heels from ModCloth, and a beater I probably bought more than a decade ago. 


I love you, Key Lime Trench! 

For the first time in a while, I actually had a block of several hours in which to sit down and sew. So I did.  Here’s progress on my McCall 5525 jacket, done in Amy Butler Full Moon Polka Dot in lime, one of my recent cute prints acquisitions:

I’ve got most of the shell done, which took longer than one would think because I decided to interline all of the pieces with muslin to give it more body.  Yuck, like cutting pieces for TWO jackets. (Cutting is my least favorite part of the sewing process.) Now I’ve just got facings and lining left, and then finishing. And I’m considering adding button bands to the sleeves.

Although I do love to make fun coats, I took this one on with some apprehension because it seemed as though it could veer into crafty crazy territory, a.k.a. calico housecoat. But it’s actually looking ok so far- it looks less crazy on me than it does on the hanger. And Dan didn’t burst out laughing when he saw it, which is generally a sign that something can pass for Real Clothes, rather than Sewing Project. Keep your fingers crossed for a final result that I won’t be ashamed to wear out of the house!

A friend of mine once remarked that physically attractive women could be divided into three categories of attractiveness: Beautiful, Sexy, and Cute. I don’t think this is the only possible way of dividing the space, but it seems as reasonable a taxonomy as any. I also don’t think it’s quite so simple, as I find that women generally possess all of these qualities in different measures and ratios, and perhaps some even in equal measure. But I think my friend’s point is rather valid that for many or most women, one of these qualities is more dominant (Primarily Beautiful, Primarily Sexy, or Primarily Cute) than the others in their attractiveness. (I think the same taxonomy could also be applied to men, but I think people use those words differently when talking about men, so I’ll just ignore the topic of men’s attractiveness for this discussion.)

If the Selfish Seamstress may be so bold as to assume that she is at least somewhat attractive to some person somewhere (and we are talking about being attractive on the outside, as everyone knows that on the inside the Selfish Seamstress is purely hideous with no redeeming inner beauty), then she would have to also (somewhat grudgingly) place herself squarely in the Primarily Cute pile, rather than the Primarily Sexy or Primarily Beautiful pile. Moonfaced, round-eyed, and no larger than your thumb, this seems the most obvious categorization.

So why am I thinking about this today?  Because I’ve recently purchased some awfully cute prints (contrary to popular belief, the Selfish Seamstress does not hate prints):

That’s an Amy Butler polka dot cotton, earmarked for a light spring trench jacket.

That’s a bold floral Amy Butler cotton sateen in a light decorator weight, intended for a simple 3/4 length coat, to be worn with the simplest of sheath dresses and updo. (Sigh.  If I must be forced to admit it, I got the idea for such a coat after seeing a floral coat on some random lady on some random TV show.  She’s NOT my style icon, but I just like the coat, okay?)

This was a vintage find- 8 yards (!!) of cotton with a French market scene border print, destined to become a sundress with spaghetti straps and a full, full skirt. I would love to find a cardigan in that shade of French blue to belt over it. 

So what was the point of that whole prelude about cuteness?  Simply that I think that if you fall into the Primarily Cute bucket (not literally fall into a bucket of cuteness), you have to take especial precaution with your cute prints. A tall, skinny, exotic model can make a pink flowered chiffon Anna Sui babydoll dress look chic and edgy; the same dress on the Selfish Seamstress would look as though she had indeed stolen it off of a baby doll. For me, it is imperative that a cute print be paired with a sophisticated or even austere cut, unless I want to look like a giant toddler. 

Particular details of cut about which I have to be careful: the aforementioned babydoll silhouette, puff sleeves, flounces at the hem, Peter Pan collars, empire waists, a-line dresses (a-line skirts are ok), bows. Most of these I think I can pull off in some cases with a sophisticated or plain fabric, but you won’t catch any of them stepping out with any of the prints above. Incidentally, I would also warn the ladies in the “Primarily Sexy” category to be careful when pairing cutesy print + cutesy cut.  Could end up looking a little costume-y, if you know what I mean.

In any case, prints are still a gamble for me, and even sticking to simple fitted bodices and tailored trench details don’t guarantee that the garments I have planned for those fabrics won’t be flops. But I guess that’s just trial and error at work.

How about you?  What elements and combinations do you love and what do you know to stay away from?

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

Little Black Dress Medium

Get Selfish Seamstress Haiku Stuff!

100% of sales proceeds are currently being donated to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Total donations to date:
$270.00 to the Atlanta Humane Society
$464.00 to the American Red Cross
$119.56 to Doctors Without Borders

The Selfish Seamstress Recommends:

Is your awesome sewing blog missing from this list? Let me know!