Friday, March 25, 2011

Amy Butler Gumdrop Pillow Pattern Review

Last week I made 2 Gumdrop Pillows from Amy Butler's pattern and had a sew in with my Sew Mod group to teach them how to make the pillows as well. I guess I really made 4 Gumdrops since I made 2 inner pillows and 2 covers.
I have to say, they were totally easy and the directions were great. I like the fact that she has really well drawn diagrams as I'm a picture directions person rather than a word person.That being said, you should always read directions too! If you follow the directions and make them as is, you can easily get it done in an evening. I think stuffing the mass amounts of fiberfill into the shell took me the longest amount of time.
This would be a great pattern to make with a younger sewer for her room. It's almost instant gratification sewing/decorating.
I don't like cutting apart my patterns since I tend to lose the pieces, so I trace mine onto freezer paper and cut it out from there. I also cut my freezer paper templates to full size, so where it says to place the edge on the fold of the fabric, I fold my freezer paper and line the fold up on the pattern and cut it out.
One good reason to do it this way is that you can iron your template to the fabric so that there is no shifting, you can line your ruler on the edges easily and rotary cut out multiple layers at one time, so there is much less time spent cutting. It also makes it easier to fussy cut elements out, as I did on my Cosmo Cricket Snorkel Gumdrop (which the hubby called a beach ball).
I, of course, can't just let things be, and decided that I would make an inner Gumdrop and a washable outer cover as I was intending my trial run pillow for my 19 mo old nephew. I had seen this idea on a blog somewhere, but have no clue where at this point. Having never installed a zipper before, I did some research and found this fabulous tutorial by Kay Whitt of Sew Serendipity. It worked pretty spectacularly, except I installed it w/the zipper pull at the top of the pillow instead of the bottom. That being said, the pillow is sooo large, and the zipper opening soooo small, that it was a you-know-what to get that pillow in the cover! I ripped a couple of holes in the seams that I had to stitch back up.

Enter *brilliant* idea number two! Install 2 invisible zippers to make the cover open up in half. I totally screwed this up. First, I installed one of them w/the panels on the wrong side, so the pattern was all screwed up and I had to rip it out. I ripped the fabric while doing this and had to recut a panel. Then I sewed the seams together at the top and bottom, which means that it wouldn't open all the way up!!
At this point I gave up, had a glass of wine and watched Rick Steve's Europe Through the Back Door on PBS. The next night, everything went much smoother and it worked!!! It's not as pretty as I would have liked, but it's not bad. The seams where the zippers are are a little puckery, but they iron down fairly well. And it's significantly easier to remove the cover and put it back on than with the one zipper.
Lorrie found a make your own invisible zipper where you can make it as long as you like instead of being restricted to 20-22" invisible zippers that you can only get at JoAnne's. If I make a third pillow, I'm going to try that option and start it at the upper middle part and continue it to the opposite side upper middle part.
I think I may be a glutten for punishment.
Here are my final projects. I fussy cut out the largest blossom from the Optical Blossom Midwest Modern fabric for the top of my grey and citron Gumdrop.
The muslin covered inner pillows:
Pillow cover action shots:
Why is Kelly all smiles with her Gumdrop? Because she followed the directions as they are written and had hers done in an afternoon! I just notice how well Kelly and her pillow match my kitchen. Sweet.
The left Gumdrop is Lorrie's Kate Spain Central Park and the right is Paige's Amy Butler Midwest Modern 2 and Daisy Chain pillow.
A Gumdrop on a Tuffet!

Overall, I say this pattern is an A+ if you actually follow it as written.
I tried to link to Lorrie and Paige's Sew Mod blog for more photos and whatnot, but Blogger is being testy and refuses to let me link, so if you would like to see more photos from our Gumdrop Party, please click on the Sew Mod link located in the 'Fun Places' section in the right margin.
Happy Sewing!


Anonymous said...


Ashley Everett said...

These are completely adorable!!! I am obsessed with them they look something you'd see at Anthropologie! Love them! Gotta say as someone with animals, the zipper addition was genius!

Jenny said...

These are great! So when you order through amazon, what's included in the Amy Butler Gumdrop pillow pattern? Where do you purchase the actual gumdrop pillows? and fabrics? Sorry, I'm new at this and I really want to make one for my daughter's room for Christmas! =)

Anonymous said...

You posted this a while ago but I wanted to thank you for posting it! I just wrote about my version after your example emboldened me :) Stephanie