First up is Betsy, a classic pencil skirt with some fantastic design features which set the pattern apart. For pattern testing I made Version A which has a back vent and buttoned waistband tabs. Version B is a gorgeous wrap variation which I have plans to make very soon. Version C is a little bit different, it's a high waisted pin up style with a beautiful pleated kick pleat.
For Betsy I cut a size 14 which is one size larger than I'd normally go for. In the past I've found BGD patterns very fitted and I like a little more ease (so I thought). I made Betsy and Ava up in a lovely medium weight wool blend with a slight amount of stretch from Darn Cheap Fabrics. From a distance the fabric looks gunmetal grey/blue but up close it actually a tiny black and teal houndstooth. I choose mustard as a contrasting fabric for Ava's lining and also for the buttons on Betsy.
Other than minor teething problems with the original instructions, Betsy sewed up like a dream. The pattern itself was spot on. I'd recommend the pattern for a confident beginner. I made no changes to the pattern other than to cut approx. 1"of the hem AND to take the side seams in approx. 1/2"on both sides! I then trimmed down my pattern pieces to a size 12 so I wouldn't make the same mistake next time. With the taken in sides the fit is perfect.
Because I took my hem up a further 1" I find that my back vent is a little playful. It's shorter than intended and doesn't want to sit flat. For those intending on shortening their skirt I'd recommended you alter the pattern to increase the length of the back vent a little.
Ok, on to Ava. Ava is a fully lined drapey jacket will a shawl collar, turned up sleeves and a generous amount of ease. She's a glamorous thing!
I went with my chest measurement and cut a size 8 for Ava. The jacket is a simple design and totally beginner friendly. However the collar attachment can be a little confusing and there is a lot of hand stitching to be done! Seriously, Ava really whipped my hand stitching skills into shape. It would be lots of fun to use contrasting fabric for the collar and cuffs. I used the mustard fabric for my under collar which is a bit of a treat. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of it.
The fit is intended to be generous and boxy. A light weight drapey fabric is ideal so as not to be drowned by a stiff boxy jacket. I think my Ava turned out great and I don't feel overwhelmed by it. Together, Betsy and Ava have come together to be a lovely suit. When I first started blogging I talked about making a conference cambie (never happened!!). I can totally see myself wearing my Betsy and Ava suit to a conference or other important meetings. I'd like to make another more casual Ava in a fun lightweight fabric to pair with jeans. Betsy will be on high rotation in my work wardrobe.
Ok, that was a long one! I hope you're following along the blog tour and falling in love with Betsy and Ava as much I have. Check back in tomorrow as I'll be sharing a bit of a treat (read: giveaway!!).