Sunday, 1 June 2014

Pattern Testing & Blog Tour: Betsy & Ava

I'm thrilled to be a part of Bluegingerdoll blog tour for Abby's new patterns Betsy and Ava. When Abby contacted me to pattern test I was beside myself and these patterns did not disappoint! I've been itching to share them and the hardest part of the whole thing was twiddling my thumbs waiting for the patterns to be released. To ease my pain I sewed up this Belcarra Blouse to match my outfit. Get ready for a lot of photos! Also, a big thanks to Tim for taking these shots. Betsy and Ava brought the diva out in me...

Betsy and Ava Bluegingerdoll

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.
  
Betsy and Ava Bluegingerdoll

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.

Betsy and Ava Bluegingerdoll

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.

Betsy and Ava Bluegingerdoll

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.

Betsy and Ava Bluegingerdoll

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!

Betsy and Ava Bluegingerdoll

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.

Betsy and Ava Bluegingerdoll

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.

Betsy and Ava Bluegingerdoll

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!!).

Betsy and Ava Bluegingerdoll

24 comments:

  1. Wow! That is one beautiful ensemble! I especially love the jacket - I know a lot of people who would totally race to make that! (Me included if I could grade it to my size!)

    The mustard lining and buttons are inspired. Gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG! I take back what I said about the grading! They totally come in my size! Yay Bluegingerdoll!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much Michelle.
      Abby has releases a larger range of sizes for theses patterns. From 4-24

      Delete
  2. You look great Elizabeth :) the jackt looks a dream, so many different variations on that

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love how this is now a neat collection for you. They're both keepers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks and I totally agree. They'll definitely get worn!

      Delete
  4. You look awesome! I love how the buttons on the skirt match the lining of the jacket.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They look great! I really like the jacket.

    ReplyDelete
  6. These are gorgeous - and I 'need' Ava in my life now! Love the mustard on your Belcarra as well. Lovely work ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Go get a little Ava in your life!

      Delete
  7. Not sure if my previous comment made it through...but love this outfit, the perfect suit and the more relaxed style of the jacket is just my style!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, so glad you like it Mel. Hope you give it a try some time.

      Delete
  8. Wow!! The perfect post for me to read tonight - one week into being back at work and I need some new work clothes pronto. These patterns look perfect and you look great :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The skirt would be perfect for everyday work and the jacket for more important meetings! good luck back in the office!

      Delete
  9. Wow Liz!! This outfit is seriously stunning!! I nearly bought these patterns last week when they were released but resisted temptation because I have a bunch of women's patterns that I've bought and not sewn up yet. Better get onto them so I can justify a new purchase!! Gorgeous :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nat! get sewing so you can have your very own Betsy and Ava :)

      Delete
  10. I love this whole outfit! I'm really intrigued by the jacket - off to check the pattern out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gail, I'd love to see your take on it!

      Delete
  11. Work the DIVA look as you look amazing in these pieces. The skirt is so flattering and I think that jacket is going to end up as a staple in many people's wardrobes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan! the skirt really is super flattering I've made one more to blog and have another cut out.

      Delete
  12. Ooh, they make a fabulous suit together! I love pencil skirts and I love swing jackets, so I feel like I should really try these two.

    ReplyDelete