the versatility of the amarena dress and blouse

When I saw Sue's versions of the Amarena dress and blouse, I knew we had to know more! Today, Sue shares her inspiration, customizations and styling of the Amarena dress and blouse.

When the opportunity to test a pattern came up for the Amarena dress and blouse, I was thrilled to be able to do it and went straight into designer mode because it was the perfect style! Liesl & Co's aesthetic fits so well into my wardrobe and lifestyle.

While I committed to testing the View B V-neck dress in a champagne rayon blend jacquard shirt, I decided to create a canvas like blouse with the View A collar neckline. I love creative opportunities which are always offered with Liesl's patterns and I'm always trying to expand how I can use each option for different looks!

My measurements are generally for a size 6 Liesl & Co pattern, although I always measure myself first when things change! The only change I made to the pattern is the sleeves. My arms from shoulder to wrist measure 20 ½” and since I was hoping for a wearable canvas and my spare fabric had a nice drape, I decided to change the treatment of the sleeve cuff.

The stash fabric I used for the Amarena blouse was 1 ¾ yards/55 inches wide of a black floral rayon poplin blend. I made the blouse exactly as shown in the instructions, leaving the sleeve hem for last as I had several sleeve treatments for inspiration on my Pinterest board and also used a ‘myBodyModel' sketch to try different versions, a bit like paper dolls! I decided to style it using the beautiful collar shape as an idea.

vision board line drawings depicting long sleeve shirt and style options

First, I started by trying on the blouse and pinning the fabric to the top of my wrist (opposite side of the sleeve seam), which allowed for a perfect fit, including a crease that would be at the inside the hem of the sleeve but left enough room for me to slip my hand at the wrist.

Then I turned the sleeve inside out and made a pleat that would open at the top of my sleeve hem from the excess fabric creating a seam for the pleat. Starting at the unhemmed edge of the sleeve, my pleated seam was sewn at 3″, then backstitched for extra strength.

folded detail inside the sleevesAfter sewing the fold seam, I centered the fold on the seam and basted the fold and sleeve hem together (I overlocked mine) to turn the hem as per the pattern instructions .

Finally, the hem was turned up 1 ½”, which kept the sleeve snug on my wrist. I hemmed by hand, but this could be done by machine.

woman wearing long sleeve, shawl colored, black floral patterned shirt with brown pantsNext steps for Amarena on my cutting table! The first addition was to change the look of the dress to a holiday version. The fabric is a rayon blend with gold Lurex dots woven through it for a bit of “shine” and sizes up to an 8 all over the body to allow for extra fullness. I used gold piping on the View A collar and View B pockets.

woman wearing a long-sleeved, knee-length green dress with shawl collar and piping

I also paired this Amarena with a wrap belt (Sew House Seven Wildwood Wrap) for a whole new look.

I love using my paper doll sketches to create new combinations. Typically I draw in black and white to keep my fabric/color blocking options open. Here are some examples:

  • Amarena canvas blouse with jacket and pants (already finished)
  • Amarena View B cropped blouse to wear with high-waisted pants.
  • Amarena View B with pockets, midi length/side slit, paired with Liesl & Co Cannes wide-leg pants (dress from top to bottom depending on the fabric).

line drawings of long sleeve dress vision board and style optionsThe classic lines of this pattern lend themselves to a wide range of creative designs and so I will be making several Amarena inspired garments. I found the lines and fit of the Amarena to be a great addition to my wardrobe.

I love seeing how the look of the dress changes with different fabrics, the mix of options offered in the pattern, and Sue's extra details! You can see more of what Sue is up to on Instagram @Lizzlebydesign.

Get your copy of the Amarena dress in print or digital format and show us what you made #lieslandco #lieslcoamarenadress.

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