June 1, 2014

Betsy and Ava

I told JB these pictures were important and he need to make me look like a super model.  Not sure he did his job - but here you go, non-the-less.

These two pieces are the Betsy pencil skirt and Ava jacket both by Blue Ginger Doll patterns. 

I will be honest and tell you that I basically begged Abby to let me test.  And she agreed as she was just expanding her pattern line into bigger sizing.  Blue Ginger Doll patterns now go to size 24. 

I will also tell you that any issues I had with the pattern were of my own causing and I stupidly didn't sign up for the blog tour.

I made view A of the pencil skirt and started with a size 24.  My waist measurement is a size 20 and my hips come in right at the 24.  My first mistake is that I muslined this puppy in true muslin.  This skirt is designed with negative ease and needs a fabric with some stretch.  The 24 muslin fit - but had wrinkles across the thighs and pulls from the hips.

So I added some more to the skirt and made muslin #2.  At this point - I had a complete meltdown - over everything.  My size and shape, my complete inability to alter a pattern.  I was ready to list my machines on craigslist and put the fabric on the curb for the first taker.  I emailed Abby - who patiently put up with me and said basically, hang in there, this will work.    On May 17th, I had a sewing day with a friend where we worked on her Mother of the Groom dress and she made some slight tweaks to my 2nd muslin - she's Abby and sewing friend were right - it wasn't too bad. 

So - I dug around in the fabric cupboards looking for something with stretch.  This brown is a stretch suiting of questionable fibers.  I took some of the extra width out of the final version  (ending up with about a size 24.5 [1/2 of the way to a 26]).  I will say - the waist is still too big. 

I then grabbed this lovely wool blend plaid from the fabric cupboard to make Ava.  I have never made a true lined jacket before.  I will again.  Based on the finished garment measurements I made a straight size 14 with no alterations.  I cut the cuffs and the lapel facing on the bias and added an extra layer of interfacing.

I think this jacket is cute and wearable.  It was easy to wear and the construction was easy to.  I did not apply the lapels following Abby's instructions - and I'm not sure why I went my own way.  I have a piece of black and white houndstooth and some faux black piping to make another and will do it properly next time.  I think I'll also cut the back to a longer length - but not much longer - I think it's pretty close to working quite well for me at the length it is.

All in all - I'm very happy with these two makes.  I really want to thank Abby for letting me test and putting up with my pity party.  I'm still not over it - but I'm doing better. 

Even though I didn't play along - please check out the others on the blog tour, they can be found here:

29th May – Tanya at MrsHughes - ( Betsy) 
1st June – Liz at Sewn by Elizabeth - ( Betsy & Ava as well as a little interview with me.)
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)


  1. Those are two nice looking pieces for your wardrobe, how fun to test the patterns.

  2. Two great pieces to wear to work. Nice job!

  3. Both came out really nice. I especially like the skirt. It's a great fit.

  4. Both pieces look pretty darn perfect from here!

  5. I'm sad you didn't join in officially, but so happy that you persevered. I love both of them and you sure look pretty!!! I had just had a similar experience with testing another pattern, but the result was ghastly, so I won't be sharing that!

  6. SOOOO cute!!! I love these pieces! I really love this outfit with the pop of the pink top and your fab sunglasses!

  7. You're beautiful and the outfit is great!! I want to know more about the belt though...

  8. Gorgeous! You did an AMAZING job with Betsy & Ava :) I'm so glad you saw it through to the end with Betsy and got the fit right. I am in love with your Ava too, that fabric is divine!!!

  9. The whole outfit is really nice! And you look good standing in front of that rhododendron, which matches your top.

    I actually sewed a skirt last weekend, and am thinking of sewing a couple more with the same pattern. It felt good to accomplish something just for myself.


I appreciate you coming to see me. It may take me a bit to publish your comment - but I will get to them by the end of every day. If you leave a way for me to get back to you, I will. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your opinions. g

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