the versatility of the amarena dress and blouse

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

When the pattern testing opportunity came out for the Amarena Dress and blouse, I was thrilled to be able to do so and jumped right into maker mode as this was the perfect style! Liesl & Co’s aesthetic fits so well into my wardrobe & lifestyle.

woman wearing long-sleeve, knee length, v-neck champagne colored dressWhile I committed to the View B V-neck dress in a champagne rayon blend jacquard shirting for testing, I decided to create a toile as a blouse with the View A collared neckline. I love the creative opportunities that are always offered with Liesl’s patterns and am always trying to extend how I can use each option for different looks!

My body measurements generally fit into a Liesl & Co pattern size 6, although I always measure myself first as things shift! The only modification that I made to the pattern was to the sleeves. My arms from shoulder to wrist are 20 ½” and because I was hoping for a wearable toile and my stash fabric had nice drape, I decided to modify the wrist treatment of the sleeve.

The stash fabric that I used for the Amarena blouse was a 1 ¾ yards/55” wide length of a black floral rayon poplin blend. I made the blouse exactly as listed in the directions, leaving the sleeve hem for last as I had several inspiration sleeve treatments on my Pinterest board and I also used a “myBodyModel” croquis to try different versions, a bit like paper dolls! I decided to style it using the gorgeous shape of the collar as my idea.

vision board line drawings of long sleeve shirt and styling options

First, I started by trying on the blouse and pinning off the fabric at the topside of my wrist (opposite side from the sleeve seam) that allowed for a snug fit including a pleat that would be inside the sleeve hem but left me enough room to slide my hand through at the wrist.

Next, I turned the sleeve inside out and made a pleat that would open at the top of my sleeve hem of the excess fabric by creating a seam for the pleat. Starting at the unhemmed edge of the sleeve, my pleat seam was sewn 3”, then back sewn for extra strength.

inside sleeve tuck detailAfter sewing the pleat seam, I centered the pleat over the seam and basted the pleat and sleeve hem together (I overlocked mine) to turn the hem per the pattern instructions.

Lastly, the hem was turned over 1 ½” which keeps the sleeve snug at my wrist. I hemmed by hand, but it could be done by machine.

woman wearing long sleeve, shawl color, 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 for a holiday version. The fabric is a rayon blend with gold Lurex dots woven through it for some “shine” and sized up to an 8 through the body to allow for extra fullness. I used gold piping on the View A collar and View B pockets.

woman wearing long-sleeve, knee length, green dress with shawl collar and piping detail

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

I love to use my croquis paper doll designs to come up with new combinations- typically I draw in black and white so that I leave my fabric options/color blocking open. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Amarena toile blouse with jacket and trousers (already completed)
  • Amarena View B blouse cropped to wear with high-waisted trousers.
  • Amarena View B w/pockets midi length/slit on the side paired with Liesl & Co Cannes Wide Leg Trousers (dress up or down depending on the fabric).

vision board line drawings of long sleeve dress and styling optionsThe classic lines of this pattern lend themselves to a wide range of creative making, and so I will be making several Amarena-inspired garments. I have 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 and match of options provided in the pattern, and Sue’s additional details!  You can see more of what Sue’s up to on Instagram @Lizzlebydesign.  

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



1 Comment

  1. SShaw

    It’s fun to see different takes on this pattern and your process. I’m really impressed with your design drawings and notebook!

Post a comment