asmita’s amarena dress

Asmita joins us today to talk about her latest Liesl + Co. project.

The release of Liesl+Co's fall designs is always something I look forward to because even though I live in a country where we have very few cooler months, I find the fall designs versatile enough to be worn all year round. This year is no different and I'm excited to create the three new designs. But first, the Amarena dress.

Sizing: My body is currently going through several changes and my measurements can vary a lot. The way I start, if I've made a few patterns from the same designer, is to start with the bust size of an already made garment. In previous brands, I started with a size 4 A/B cup. Recently I found out that I needed to go a larger cup size, so I started with a C cup and then progressed up the waist and hips as the design required.

Choice of fabric: Choosing a fabric can be one of the most enjoyable parts of making a dress. Like many, I tend to hoard precious fabrics, thinking I will use them for a special project. Lately I've been trying to break into that pile of fabrics that are too special to use, like this cotton-linen blend. I chose this fabric because it has an element of linen (my all-time favorite choice) with enough cotton to prevent excessive wrinkling. Plus, I knew I wanted a softer drape and lightweight fabric to wear year-round and layer. I wanted to incorporate the red selvedge which made the fabric even more special.

Reflections/learnings: I learned a lot of new things while making this dress, some of which will carry over into clothes I make in the future.

First of all, even though I made a few muslins before cutting my final fabric, I was too focused on getting the perfect fit across my shoulders, bust and back to try the technique that was the most difficult for me . For me, the shawl collar was the most difficult part of the sewing process, and many times when making the final version I wished I had tried it sooner.

After making it, I will say that it was the most rewarding part of the sewing process! Liesl's instructions are always excellent and clear. The shawl collar takes more time than the simple v-neck, but after making both, I can say that the collar is worth it.

I also wish I had made the whole dress out of chiffon and not just the top. In my fashion fabric, I discovered that the size I chose for my hips was quite snug. This was fixed quite easily by reducing the seam allowance, but it would have been just as easy to correct this if I had made a full length muslin first.

Eventually, I was so busy getting the selvedge to appear evenly at the center front seam that I didn't pay attention to cutting the fabric to see if the checks on either side matched. They don't! I had enough fabric when I started, but it was something that didn't even cross my mind. It would have been nice if both teams were equal.

Styling: I can see myself wearing this dress all year long with an occasional t-shirt inside. But what I'm really looking forward to is wearing the dress to the beach. There is an opportunity to vacation in a coastal town very soon and I can't wait to take this beautiful dress on my trip.

women's models short-sleeved blue gingham dress with shawl collar

It was a difficult achievement for me, but full of little details that make me feel special, and I'm happy I decided to make it! I hope you too !

Asmita, known on Instagram as elephant in the office, has sewn many Liesl+Co patterns. Take a look at what she did with the Cannes pants, the Geneva blouse and her pajamas made from a mash-up of patterns.

Dream of your personalized Amarena dress with Liesl's suggestions, then purchase your pattern in digital or printed format. Tag us when you post your finished dress #lieslcoamarenadress.

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