When I started making a few little totes and purses, I noticed really great Amy Butler purse/bag patterns in some of the quilting shops. I didn’t pick any up, but instead I looked for a book… and found Amy Butler’s Style Stitches.
The book has great photographs and illustrations, and all of the projects use the beautiful, floral, kind of funky fabrics that Amy Butler is so well-known for. The directions all seem clear and well-written, though perhaps a little wordy. I confess, I wouldn’t really follow too many instructions in this book, but I rarely follow pattern instructions anymore unless there is an unusual feature that I’m less familiar with.
Generally speaking, the patterns seem quite simple, so I think that they would work for any sewing level. Advanced sewers could probably whip one up quickly or add their own personal touches, while less experienced sewers might want to take the time to read all of the directions and work more carefully. The patterns are printed full-size (hurray for not having to enlarge them!) on large format (I didn’t measure but I’m guessing about 20×24″) regular paper – so if I were making any up I’d still want to trace them out. The book has a great project-friendly binding – the book lays perfectly flat because of the coil binding. This is a great feature when you really want to work along with a book project rather than just referring back once or twice throughout the project. I do find that it’s a little less “sitting-on-the-couch-reading” friendly though because of this binding. Unfortunately, none of the designs themselves (as nice as they are) really appeal to me today, so I won’t be making up any of the projects right away.