Averil is a friend, and my local tester. I always like to have at least one tester who I know, so I can see the garment as they make it, and assess any fit issues and things that come up in person.
Plus, Averil helped test how accessible the Amalia Jacket pattern is to new historical sewist. She hasn’t been sewing for very long full stop, and I only tempted her to the dark and full-of-handsewing side at the end of 2019.
She took to it like a duck to water, and has since made a Fantail Skirt, a 1360s dress, and a full 18th century ensemble – fichu, Augusta Stays, shift, petticoat, apron, and then the Amalia jacket.
So she’s doing a great job of what’s possible as a new costumer with a little help and a lot of determination. And I think her Amalia Jacket is just gorgeous.
She managed to squeak the whole ensemble out of 4 yards of Colonial Williamsburg’s (possibly discontinued?) ‘Francis Open Floral’.
I’d bought for a specific project, and then decided wasn’t quite right for my project, so sold it to her. Selling it is change of mind I both really regret now that I see how beautiful her Amalia ensemble is, and really don’t regret now that I see how beautiful her Amalia ensemble is!
I helped Averil cut the jacket, because pattern layouts are my superpower. There was some rather elaborate wrangling that had to go in to this to jacket to get it and the petticoat out of only 4 yards of 44” / 112cm wide fabric – and the only place she had to piece was on the very bottom of the inside sleeves!
When we were done there was just enough fabric left for Nina to have a small square for the hussif she’s putting together. It’s turning into an ode to the local Amalia Jackets, because she’s also asked for a bit of mine!
Now that we’ve all admired how beautiful the outfit is, and how fabulous Averil looks in it and my 18th century brain hat (which I apparently forgot to ever write a post about!), let’s have some silliness…
Because silliness is one of the many things that makes Averil fabulous, and is part of why we love her so much!
Whether it’s chortling over how much the wind reveals the contours of your Francis Rump…
Or Averil doing a spot-on impression of me posing for photos, complete with running commentary about “first I shall point my toe and gesture elegantly with my hands, and now I’m going to inspect this leaf, and then I’ll just gaze wistfully into the distance while tilting my head to the left, and now I’ll try gazing wistfully into the distance while tilting my head to the right…”
Or me exacting my revenge by catching Averil and Kezia having a very excited conversation about how beautiful each other’s costumes are…
And how large kiwi eggs are:
(don’t ask me. I have no idea how they got from “oooh, your ruffles are amazing!’ to ‘and their eggs are this size and take up 1/3 of their body!” 🤣)
Great pattern tester, great woman, great times!