Amanda vs the Alice Top

Sometimes a lady needs a sassy work outfit that says smart but stylish. Sometimes a lady needs a lovely party frock that says let’s boogie. Other times a lady needs a needs a flowy summer top made of fluoro yellow dotted swiss. This is one of these times. It’s official peeps- I have won summer. BWAH HA HA!


This pattern is the Alice dress and top from Tessuti Fabrics. It’s a smock style number with a yoke and what I like to call sleeve wingalings. Seriously. These things are crazy awesome. All hail the wingalings! Now I am a lady who knows a smock frock will not work for me so I went with top option rather than the dress. As I am also lazy I decided to print this pattern at home rather than drive the ten minutes to Officeworks to print on A0. Word of the wise- printing at home and only wanting to cut the smock is HARD because the pattern is so dang big. Thankfully Elizabeth kindly compiled the pages you need to print for the top and you can check these here.

I knocked together two versions of this sucker super quickly. The fabric for the first version is a crazy white voile from Spotlight. But what caught my attention was the fluoro yellow dots, woven in almost like dotted swiss, that assault your eyeballs. The fabric is really lovely and soft and feels great on. It is transparent as all get out so I lined it in a white poplin for the yoke. My midriff, however, is flying breezy and free!


The second fabric is something pretty magical. This is the Snowflake linen from Tessuti. I first saw this on their Instagram feed and had bought a metre of it within ten minutes thinking I could make some sweet summer shorts or a skirt. Then I saw Rachel’s Alice top made from this and I totally had to style stalk. If you want a treat for your eyes check out Rach’s version. She has styled it gorgeously! Sorry for style stalking, lovely lady!


The sizing for this top put me in the Large but after reading a few reviews I went down to the Medium and it worked a treat. 10cm was also taken off the length as the whole tunic vibe is not my bag and I prefer my tops to finish at my hipbone. After the kaftan I think I’m wanting to get a bit short and sassy!


I’d like to say construction was easy but let’s real talk: the first attempt at the yoke stretched out like a saggy baggy elephant. The stay stitching I did around the neckline didn’t hold up and the fluoro voile stretched horrifically. Ugh. If I didn’t love the colour so much it would have ended up in the bin. Luckily there was enough to recut the yoke pieces and this time I very carefully stay stitched stay tape to both the shell and lining and thankfully it worked. Otherwise, the construction was pretty sweet and easy and this only took me a couple of hours from start to finish. There is nothing exciting to report except the instructions were clear and illustrated with photos. Yahoo!


What I liked about this pattern:

  • Relatively quick construction. If you don’t count the yoke “test run”. Oops.
  • The breezy shape. This is perfect for the festive season. I hide all kinds of cake under this top. And I mean literally. Not consumed cakes. Cakes ninja-ed from a dessert table BWAH HA HA!
  • The sleeve wings. I feel like some kind of 80s superhero. OMG what can my power be? Cartwheels of doom? Breakdance fighting? LAZORZ?!?!?!

What I would change for next time:

  • I actually have nothing. This is such a sweet and easy make. Nice work, Tessuti!

The Deets

Pattern: Alice Top by Tessuti Fabrics

Fabric: 1m cotton lawn with fluoro weave from Spotlight, 1m snowflake linen from Tessuti, .3m of both cotton poplin and voile

Notions: Thread, stay tape

See also: Boo Dogg and Me, Sew Brunswick, Sewn By Elizabeth


I’ll be honest- after making these up I was super sceptical about how they looked on. This is a lady used to things with limited ease. But then the snowflake top rocked it out at a work function and the fluoro top, paired with Iris shorts and Chuck Taylors, made a fantastic Saturday afternoon pottering ensemble. It may not be my regular silhouette but this lady is getting crazy and adventurous for summer. If only the temperature actually would warm up!



  1. Hee her wingalings! That’s an awesome term. Love the fabric! I’ve been considering making this top but was unsure of how it would suit. After seeing yours I think I’ll firmly add it to the list.

  2. Spotlight has been coming up with the goods lately, huh?! And Tessuti as well- love their recent pattern releases!

    Two smashing tops here! Roll on summer, woohoo!

  3. Oooh pretty tops! I adore especially the flouro-swiss one. I can imagine it perfectly because I saw that stuff too in Spotlight, though it never occurred to me to buy it. Silly me!

    I must say that pattern bears a startling resemblance to my favourite nightie pattern. But don’t get me wrong, your tops are nothing like my nighties. In fact I’m now considering making myself a nightie-top, inspired by your post! *goes off, pondering fabric possibilities*

    • You totally need the fuoro swiss! It is so wrong it is all kinds of right 😀 I totally thought of this as a bit of a nightie top too- go with it I say! This would be so comfy in the heat and humidity of Darwin!

      • Sadly I think the fluoro-swiss is long gone. Happily I have a whooooooooooooole lot of other fabric that would work nicely in this style all queuing up to be sewn.
        And yep about the style being perfect for here. Nothing wrong with wearing nighties in disguise, I say. I think it’s suddenly on my sewing list. Woohooo! Now which of my many fabrics to choose ???

          • Made it! Just got to put some pretty trim on it then photos and stuff. It’s a nightie with a yoked neckline. And on the kitchen ben- er I mean cutting table another one, exactly this square-yoked style, is about to be cut out. And I may just happen to have another nightie top with a round yoke in the cutting-queue.

            Can’t go overboard with pretty tops like yours in this weather. PLEEEZE let the monsoon come. Pleeeeeeze!!!

  4. I’m loving this style on you and I love the sleeve thingamajigs! How wide was your fabric? The pattern says 1.4m of 112cm wide. Did you eek it out or was your fabric 140 wide?

  5. Love it! What a great pattern. The white one is so pretty and summery…an absolute classic. But I LOVE the spotty linen – just so striking. I so regret missing that fabric now!

  6. Gorgeous tops! I know how you feel about the ease around the stomach being out of comfort zone. I felt the same way at first and I’ve worn my top heaps and I’ll probably be making another one in white similar to your stunning version.
    Glad you found my printing info helpful haha. I so wish Tessuti and other pattern companies would provide which pages to print for which version.

    • It’s so the perfect Christmas noms top!
      And I concur a listing of pages for variations (top or dress) would totally be helpful. Your post was a treesaver! 😀

  7. I’m so jealous that you can sew and wear summery garments. I love both tops but, like you, I prefer fitted things on my upper body. I should follow your lead and step out of my comfort zone once in a while. Totally rad tops!

    • It’s slowly warming up here so I can almost wear these new tops without cards. Almost. I have to say I was highly sceptical on these tops but hot damn I loved them. Give flawy a go once I say! 😀

  8. Lady, this silhouette REALLY SUITS YOU! Seriously! I love the wingaling sleeves. Such a clever design feature. I will have to look into the sizing on this and how easy it is to size up. It’s really cute. I can do cute!

    I’m with you on the dress version though. Nuh uh. Can anyone say Sussan’s nightie from 1978?

    • Also! Spotlight! I am having such a revelation lately about their fabric, and its not something that’s only happened recently, either. Quite honestly, their fabric quality is crapalicious. Case in point – years ago I made a top out of double gauze which I bought at Spotlight. It was a horror to sew with, and looks like a rag out straight off the washing line until I iron the crap out of it. But last week I made the Double Gauze Dress of Awesome from Japanese double gauze bought in Kyoto, and OMG I want to sew and wear all the double gauze things. I barely have to iron this sucker! No rags in sight! And a dream to sew with. And then there is the blatant copying of famous designers that Spotlight do, and the refusal to acknowledge sources on instagram, and the other bodgy dodge cotton sateens that fade after one wash …

      • Mmmm double gauze! I’ve had really varied results from Spotto but their lawns always hit the spot for cute summer wear. Trademark infringement and not acknowledging source material is not cool!

  9. These are amazing! I looked at this pattern when it first came out and was a bit Meh, but the more I see I like it. Both fabric choices are spot on. Now that I know I can smuggle cakes in them I might give them a rethink 😉

    • Thanks, Kate! I have been wearing my blue version to death to work. My white version is waiting for the weather to warm up a bit again to rock it shorts style 😀


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