I liked the look of the Antero Shell top as soon as I first saw it on Instagram, posted by the designer, Amanda Carestio of Sew News magazine. It was being sold as part of the first Sew News capsule wardrobe, the Well Traveled Capsule, on Interweave. Luckily for me, I noticed that this capsule was on sale during Black Friday 2019 sales and it was one of my only BF purchases. Mainly for this top!
After all that time, I've finally traced it out -- super, super easy, two pieces. I used some green seersucker scraps from my stash and tried it out and even with this crisper, low drape cotton blend I liked it!
So then it was on to trying it in a lighter weight and drapier fabric. I found some plain navy linen in my stash; I am not entirely sure how it got there since I rarely buy or use solids but it was a nice lightweight linen so I gave it a try for my 2nd version.
The main alteration I made to the pattern was to raise that V neck by an inch. I knew it was too low for me as drafted, especially since I am short between shoulder and bust. So when I traced it off, I changed the V and the corresponding facing before even trying the pattern.
The other adaptation I made was to grade it out from medium at the shoulder to large at the hip, and added an extra 2 inches to the length on my first try. On the blue version I also added a little sleeve cuff.
This is a really basic top but it's effective on the body. The shoulder drape and the fit are relaxed and on trend. It's a great beginner pattern, but also a great base to do some alterations and additions to. I might embroider a white floral spray on to my navy version to perk it up a little, for example.
There is a tutorial on the Sew Daily blog by the designer on how to make this into a dress (simple also) and she suggests ideas like pockets or a waist sash. She's also posted a handful of amazing patchwork versions, with other variations on that blog as well.
I have been taking some pattern drafting courses on BluPrint (before they disappear) and that's given me ideas about design that I'm planning on trying using this simple top as my base. We'll see how that goes!
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