Book of the Week: InStitches By Amy Butler

Some of you may wonder why the delay for the review... Well, I didn't want to post it until Amy officially released her book - which happens to be today! I've actually been dying to share it with you since I've had it for a few months (I was sent an advanced copy) - I've been quite anxious to talk about it! If you're a decor8 regular, you know I'm a huge Amy Butler fan. I think her prints and patterns are just delicious, and now that she has a second book on the market, I know it's only going to fuel my desire to sew more, especially over the winter. With beautiful fabric and now, this great book, Amy gives you two major ingrediants for designing some cool stuff for yourself, friends, and for your pad. Now you just need to make time and pull out that sewing machine.

Amy Butler's InStitches features nearly 30 sewing projects that are stylish and functional, from a cool kitty tunnel to an awesome patchwork duvet and a CD/desktop organizer.

kitty tunnel

When you first crack open this beautiful book, you have a pocket on the left side (opposite of cover) with all of the patterns that you'll need to get started on your project. Each project in the book has its own pattern, as well as very detailed instructions and illustrations showing the more complicated steps, plus a photo showing the finished product. All of the photography in this book is stunning, and I love how Amy groups each project by category, i.e. Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom, Office and finally, Personal Style.

The book opens with a discussion on fabric, where Amy dishes about finding fabric, caring for it, using it, trims, notions, etc. The book closes with Simple Techniques And Basic Equipment, which defines the terms used throughout the book, and finally with Resources, which lists all of the retail and online stores that carry not only her fabrics, but many other beautiful lines as well.

Things that I love about the book:

* It's actually a book that includes patterns so it's an amazing deal! Patterns can add up ($), so to find a book with nearly 30 of them (for $15!) is a total bargain.

* Detailed instructions. Easy to follow. Illustrations for complicated parts.

* Spiral spine. On the outside, the book has a beautiful hard edge spine. But there's a surprise! When you open the book, it's actually spiral bound. Perfect idea for following each step of the project without the book closing up on you.

* Each pattern is brand spankin' new. If you're an Amy fan and already have some of her patterns, don't worry, they aren't included in this book. All of these patterns and projects are fresh off the press.

* Great variety of projects. Stitch a checkbook cover, bag, scarf, duvet, pillow, laundry bag, etc. All are items that you'll use frequently. Even something for kitty.

* Suits all levels. I do suggest you learn to sew and have some classes or experience under your belt before taking on this book though, as it can be overwhelming if you don't have skill (yet). If you do sew, but not often, and find yourself at beginner's level, start on a project that's more straight forward without too much detail, like the placemats or dinner napkins. If you are a bit more advanced, you can try the pom pom pillows or bedside organizer. For the pros out there, stitch up the wide leg lounge pants or the patchwork duvet (which is stunning).

This book is one that all who love to sew (or have an interest in learning) should add to their library. You'll find so much inspiration by the photos alone, and with the array of projects with step by step instruction, you'll only run into one problem. What to sew first?

Want the book? It's available right here at Amazon for only $15.74 (list price is $24.95).

patchwork duvet

(images copyright holly becker decor8 2006)