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Designers Create Garments for Amy Butler Trunk Show

Nicole Smith made a custom-designed dress from Alchemy Victoriana Sateen Bliss in zinc.

Fabric designer Amy Butler is introducing a new collection that’s sure to entice fashion sewers who love her signature bohemian style, bright colors, and exuberant prints. With the Alchemy Studio Collection, Amy has launched five new fashion fabric substrates: cotton voile, rayon challis, cotton velveteen, plain-weave linen/cotton blend, and cotton sateen.

Prints created for Alchemy Studio Collection of fashion fabrics are designed to work together and complement each other. The new fabric substrates offer a variety of choices for sewers and lots of potential for projects, from garments to accessories and home décor.

To celebrate Amy’s entry into the fashion fabric arena, Rowan Fabric tapped several sewing stars to design a garment collection for a traveling trunk show, including Louise Cutting of Cutting Line Designs, educator Mary Ray, and Linda Lee of The Sewing Workshop, along with Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns, author Betz White, Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction, author Cal Patch, Angela Wolf of ABO Apparel, Anne Adams and Liz Johnson of Sew4Home, and author Nicole Smith.

Each designer created a garment or outfit using the Alchemy Studio Collection of fashion fabrics to showcase the fabric collection’s designs and versatility for garment sewing. The trunk show has started making its way around the United States so that the fashions can be displayed at various sewing venues to help launch the fabric line.

Visit AmyButlerDesign.com for details on the trunk show locations. Scroll through the photos above to see what each designer did with her choice of fabrics.


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  1. Modiste1000 | | #1

    I am astonished that anyone thinks these looks do Amy Butler's fabrics any good at all. Each woman looks like a poorly designed couch - and frequently, the actual fit is poor. Most of these outfits scream, "I hate my body, so I'm gonna try to hide it in too-large prints and traditionally girly colors, so maybe I can feel pretty after all." The only truly excellent combination is the blue-and-white scroll/vine print in the jacket and pant combo ... And I love that only because it's so heavily reminiscent of the turban-tunic-boot combo (in a single upholstery-inspired print) that was done several times so effectively in the 1960s. it would not now sell to most customers, as it will now read more like costume than like clothing.

    And that's the problem with the whole collection. It looks like a mediocre college production of a Jane Austen play. Badly done, Threads.

  2. User avater
    yousewsmart | | #2

    Ghastly designs!!! Modiste1000 is absolutely correct...the collection looks like it was put together by wannabe designer with no talent.

  3. nettletea | | #3

    I'm inclined to agree with the above comment, though I like the colors. Have we lost touch with the natural grace of the human body? There is nothing of these garments that flatters.
    they look amateurish.

  4. tinadesigns | | #4

    None of these designs do the fabric justice. They are not appropriately matched to the fabric at all. The only one that is even close to working is the quilt/throw. The Jacket/pant combo could work... but doesn't. The shirt in the one sitting down may possibly be alright, but you can't tell since she is sitting down. These are professional designers/educators who created these garments???

  5. hotdotyuki | | #5

    Sorry to say that the style of the garment or the fabric design do justice to each other. Shades of Sound of Music...

  6. user-2431978 | | #6

    Whoa, too much eye candy!!! I can not seem to get on the ambutler bandwagon for adult clothing. - children yes and even then, a little goes a long way!! I would appreciate seeing lighter touches on women's clothing.

  7. AndiBrown | | #7

    So it's not just me... I thought my reaction was b/c I'm such a 'newbie'...

  8. Corrales | | #8

    This is truly terrible!!!I agree with everyone else,what are the designers thinking?? Why are they hiding the body's on these models, except for the one with leggings.

  9. User avater
    SewEnthusiastic | | #9

    These Amy Butler do absolutely nothing for the creative juices! Try again!

  10. msum | | #10

    Just awful. I won't be using any Amy Butler designs or fabrics anytime soon. There is absolutely no grace in any of these.

  11. wyldwynd | | #11

    I would be mortified to have my fabric used this way ... truly poor design work.

  12. [email protected] | | #12

    The problem is not with the designers or their patterns. It is that Amy Butler's colours and prints remind us too much of the house dresses and aprons our mothers and grandmothers wore to cook and clean in. We wouldn't be caught dead in them.

  13. sewingagain45 | | #13

    Afraid I have to agree with the previous comments. I went to the Amy Butler site and there are some nice fabrics but more suitable to summer decor and summer bags than clothing. To be honest though, I'm having trouble liking any clothing patterns available today,regardless of fabric! I'm not skinny and I'm not young.........and I'm short...tough finding patterns these days!

  14. User avater
    sewingagain | | #14

    This just isn't my style--patterns or shapes. Quilting fabrics trying very hard to be beautiful clothing. Sigh . . .

  15. User avater
    scissorhand | | #15

    Personally, I like a lot of the Amy Butler fabrics and her patterns. I'm 50+ and dumpy in figure, and yes, I can't see myself wearing a lot of it, but I applaud the new color combinations. My mother never wore things that looked like these pictures, so my "retro" experience must go farther back than some. I didn't have fabric that looked like hers in the '60's either. As a sewing educator, I am excited about Amy Butler's presence in the sewing world because she excites the interest in sewing among the 20 - 30 somethings that don't have to sew to have clothing. Besides, the fabric quality is dependably good. I have made the Goddess Apron and the Liverpool Tunic,to name a few, and found them to be great palettes for her fabrics and the designs are flattering, even on me. I hope those unfamiliar to Ms. Butler's product line won't avoid her due to the comments submitted by your readers.

  16. User avater
    SLMiller | | #16

    Wow, it seems very few readers like bright colors and wild prints. It's perfectly understandable that such a cacophony of color and print isn't to everyone's taste.
    However, please do keep in mind that Threads did not produce this collection, although some of our frequent contributors participated. The collection was commissioned and produced solely by Rowan Fabrics for Amy Butler. This blog is where we post a wide variety of news, information, and sewing techniques.
    Having handled the fabrics in the collection myself, I can say that they are very lovely in person, have a wonderful hand and drape, and are of good quality.

  17. jrssews | | #17

    Wow! Seriously retro and I'm old enough to have the old clothes to prove it. I loved the bright colors and relaxed shapes then and I still do. Just can't wear some of those prints now. Not as slim as I was then! I hope young sewers will jump in with both feet!

  18. user-2431978 | | #18

    I love bright colors and wear them often, I just find the Amy Butler designs overdone for clothing. Like I said before, use some restraint, a touch here, a touch there, not a whole cacophony of color and pattern that overwhelms the body and the viewer. I am glad younger people are sewing, but the way I see it, Ms. Butler has some very good marketing going on. Surely there are other textile designers out there who deserve promotion.

  19. User avater
    user-941735 | | #19

    @jbrider-go look at Petites Plus Patterns, she has lovely, perfectly proportioned patterns for vertically challenged individuals size 12 and up.

    @user-766440- my grandmother and aunts dressed much better and sassier even working around the farm. Even their aprons were amazing!

    These outfits are dowdy and bulky in shape. The fabrics are better suited to quilts or handbags. Quilt weight fabrics need to be used for blankets not blouses. Just not impressed.

  20. User avater
    beadrbop | | #20

    I have a few of the Amy Butler fabrics and love them. The pattern and item of clothing make all the difference. I have some feminine tops picked out for the fabrics that are light and have a wonderful drape. The photos in the article are using some of the bolder stronger prints that are not flattering on everyone. The fabrics I picked have a more subtle pattern.

  21. hazelspi | | #21

    I have some Amy Butler fabrics and love them...for quilting, that is. Even at that, they have to be tamed down a bit with some offsetting solids. Love the fabric for quilts but I'm not particularly fond of these garments. I may possibly use some of the colorful fabrics for accent in a garment.

  22. rosestargold | | #22

    Love the color! but i know that this is not everyone taste. I used quilt fabric for make me pants and very single pieces of clothes for use in home. I love them. may be not for use in a garmet for ouside but very fun for use in my home. For me is confort because is cotton...

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