There's a great saying my Dad taught me: If you want to hear God laugh, tell Her your plans. Well, I had planned to finish this dress in time for Thanksgiving. God is laughing Her a$$ off at me. But then, that's not unusual.
Anyway, I did manage to finish it today, and I'll wear it during the holiday season.
According to the Naughty Bobbin website, " It's time for a new dress. The Amare dress has a fluid tea length half-circle skirt and simple fitted cut-on-the-bias surplice bodice with just a hint of kimono sleeve. In a stable knit or woven, the Amare an excellent choice for an al fresco rendezvous. So get yourself some Love Italian Style with the Amare dress.
Inspired by Diane Lane as Frances Mayes in Under the Tuscan Sun (2003). Wardrobe by Nicoletta Ercole."
I loved that movie when it came out, and the dress that Diane Lane wore was TDF, so I've been contemplating this for a while.
The pattern calls for either a woven or a stable knit. I thought about making it in one of my rayon double knits, but with the amount of fabric, I figured that would be too much weight pulling on the dress. So I opted for Rose Garden ITY Jersey - Reds/Peaches/Greens on Burgundy instead. I love the colors, and the print makes me happy. Plus it's a great fabric to span seasons, so I'm sure I'll get LOTS of use from this dress if we ever can gather again.
There are a few things to note about this pattern. The instructions, while well-written and clear, do have you jumping around a bit, especially if you're using a knit, so I advise reading them through before starting on the project. The bodice, especially, made me go back and read the instructions a couple of times to make sure I got it right. But once I sussed out where she was going with them, it made complete sense.
The other thing I found with this pattern is that the bodice runs long. Here's a picture of the dress on Shelley, and you can see that the waistline seam is pretty low:
Also, she recommends a waistline stay (which I think is absolutely necessary, especially with a knit). Her method for attaching it is to sew the waistline seam, then zigzag stitch a length of clear elastic to the waistline after the fact. Since I needed to shorten the bodice, I decided to create a 1-inch casing instead, and I threaded plain white braided elastic into that.
That killed two birds with one stone: the bodice is now the correct length for me, and the waistline sits nicely at mine.
Other construction notes: I serged all the main seams and used my Little Brother machine to finish the hems. I thought about using the coverstitch, but I like the single line instead for a dressier look. I used SewKeasey knit stay tape to stabilize the hem.
I was bad - I didn't bother to fold over the hem. Bad Ann, no biscuit. But seriously, anyone who tries to examine my handiwork up that close deserves to get slapped (thank you, Kenneth D. King!). 😂
One thing I really like is the way she has you construct the bodice. It's partially self-lined, and she inserts an ingenious hidden button and buttonhole to keep it from gapping.
This dress turned out really well. I'm pleased with the results. Here's the finished product on Shelley:
And here's how I'll style it - with T-straps and jewelry. Maybe a belt, too.
It's funny, the minute I put the shoes with it I got a 40s vibe. I really like it!
I hope you're staying well. BTW, Gorgeous Fabrics' BFCM (Black Friday/Cyber Monday) sale runs through Monday, November 30, 2020. And during the month of November, I'll donate 10% of sales (not profits, sales) to the Greater Boston Food Bank. So thank you for your support, and know that your purchase will also help our neighbors in need.