Pattern Testing: The Betsy Skirt and the Ava Jacket

 Hi, and for those of you who don’t already know me, I’m Melissa and this is the second-to-the-last stop on the Betsy and Ava blog tour!

I was a more than a bit flattered when Abby of BlueGingerDoll Patterns emailed me a couple of months back about testing out a couple of her new patterns. I had seen several of her adorable designs around the web but I hadn’t yet gotten a chance to make one up (I’m sure I’m not the only one out there with a “to-sew” list a mile and a half long) so I was excited to try out a couple of her latest designs.

First, here’s my Betsy skirt:
I chose to make view A, which has these cute little button tabs. I love little details like these.
I have to be honest, when Abby told me I’d be making a pencil skirt, I was a little nervous. I have a very pear-shaped body type and I usually gravitate towards more A-line or flared skirts rather than tighter skirts that emphasize my hips. There is also a pretty significant difference between my waist and hip, so I knew I would need to add a little bit of room for my hips while keeping my waist measurement the same. I pulled out my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book (1970 edition), which I would highly recommend to anyone who sews and especially if you love vintage styles (there are lots of them on Ebay). Here’s what they had to say about this issue:

A closeup of the diagram:

Here’s my alteration on my Betsy pattern. It was a bit of trial and error and I actually ended up taking off some of the volume that I added, but it did succeed in the end!

A closeup of the waistband. I’m always happy to have an excuse to use some of my vintage buttons.
And the back view:
I love how it looks with a cute top and a cardigan, and I’ve already worn this one several more times since I took the photos for this post. It’s really comfortable to wear, especially with the little bit of stretch in the fabric, and the denim matches with pretty much anything, and despite my fears I don’t think it highlights my hips at all and is actually rather slimming. I think I’m now fully converted to the pencil skirt camp!

Pattern: Betsy by BlueGingerDoll Patterns, view A
Fabric: Stretch denim from Jo-Ann fabrics
Size:16 with full hip alteration

Now for my Ava jacket. As you can see, it’s a loose, kimono-style jacket. I made this one in a yellow linen-rayon blend from Jo-Ann Fabrics and lined it with a very lightweight gray-and white striped cotton.
Let me apologize for the wrinkles in these photos! I ironed my jacket at home but by the time I got to the restaurant where we took the photos it was wrinkly again. That’s linen for you.

I decided to try it out with a belt as well. What do you think? Yea or Nay?
Belted back view:
I have to admit that, like the Betsy skirt, this jacket ran contrary to the styles I would normally sew for myself (I tend to be more comfortable with the “fitted on top, loose on bottom” thing). However, just as with the Betsy skirt I ended up really liking it. It’s also very comfortable and it has a vintage look that I really love. Just goes to show you that it pays to step out of your comfort zone once in a while, in sewing and in life!

Pattern: Ava by BlueGingerDoll Patterns
Fabric: main: rayon/linen blend from Jo-Ann fabrics,
lining: lightweight shirting cotton from Jo-Ann

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out these lovely ladies on the blog tour and see their fabulous versions of Ava and Betsy!

29th May – Tanya at MrsHughes – ( Betsy)
1st June – Liz at Sewn by Elizabeth – ( Betsy & Ava as well as a little interview with Abby.)
2nd June  – T at uandmii ( Betsy)
3rd June  – Mary at YoungBroke&Fabulous
4th June – Mary at Idle Fancy
5th June – Andrea at foursquarewalls
6th June– Tanya at MrsHughes – (Ava) 

7th June – Melissa at Scavenger hunt 
8th June –  T at uandmii ( Ava)