shelley amarena top

Shelley, @lightningmcstitchis here to tell us more about her Amarena dress and top.

When the tester for the Amarena dress arrived in my inbox, it was winter in Australia and I knew I wanted to make the long-sleeved View B to wear over a skirt. But I also loved the collar of the View A dress, so I had to make both!

For my View B dress, I carefully chose the colors I wanted to use and saved fabric by cutting all the pieces along the grain. The fabric, measuring 150 cm wide, was wide enough for the length of the dress to extend from one selvedge to the other. I cut each front and its corresponding facing from two 50cm lengths of fabric and the back, sleeves and back facing from a 1m cut. I'm between sizes 10 and 12 and made the dress in size 12 thinking I might want to wear it over something.

off-white, black and navy merino t-shirts folded on the floor

As soon as I put it on I realized that yes, the pale olive color looked really weird next to my skin and I needed something underneath. So, I went back to the store, bought a lovely light navy merino knit and made a Metro thermal t-shirt. Of course I couldn't resist buying the cream, dark green and black too and made three more Metro merino t-shirts before returning to my pattern test!

front and back views of a woman wearing a shawl collar linen short sleeve shirt with rust colored pants

My opinion A cropped top is made from leftover double jacquard cotton. If the fabric looks familiar, that's because it's leftovers from making my mother this Gallery dress/Capuccino combination that was featured on the blog.

The leftover fabric I used was an odd shape so I can't give an exact length, but by laying out the traced pattern pieces I worked out what I would need to cut it from a straight length. My top is a size 10 and the length was cut at the optional cut line on the patterned fabric. On 44 inch or 58 inch fabric, I could comfortably cut it at 1 ½ yards. I suspect this might not change even for the larger sizes, especially on the 58″ fabric, as the bodices are likely to fit side-to-side on the folded fabric once the larger skirt sections are cut from the pattern piece. My advice is to trace out your pattern and lay it out, then measure the fabric you need before purchasing. Or play Tetris with whatever fabric you have.

Woman wearing a short-sleeved, shawl-collar linen shirt with an off-white skirt, salmon coulottes and a yellow skirt.

We are heading into warmer weather and I know this little top will get a lot of wear. I collected a few Liesl + Co. bottom halves to wear with: a crinkled linen Everyday skirt, a pair of Girl Friday linen culottes and a City Stroll denim skirt. They're probably all “fall colors,” so maybe I'm in season after all.

You can read more about Shelley's adventures in sewing, knitting and more on her blog, Bartacks and Singletrack.

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