Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Seamwork Benning Dress

Between this dress and my Mave skirt, I think I've done more gathering in the last month than I have my entire sewing career!

I don't know what's come over me; historically I've eschewed gathers, both because I dislike sewing them and because they didn't feel like "me." But I seem to be fully on board with gathers these days. Who knows. Everything is upside down.

In any case, I really liked the look of the Seamwork Benning dress that came out a couple months ago... all the versions I've seen on Instagram have been so lovely!

I love a cut-on sleeve and a pretty V-neck. And I was strangely attracted to the gathered skirt tiers, too, despite my aforementioned aversion to them. 

For my Benning, I cut a size 18 from the curvy range, which worked well. The only thing I would consider changing for next time is enlarging the armholes ever so slightly.

However, this time I did make some changes to the size of the tiers! I figured if I was going with gathered tiers, I might as well make them as dramatic as my fabric would allow.

I used the size 26 pattern piece for the middle tier, and the whole width of the fabric (54 inches, although I trimmed off the selvages) for the bottom tier. Maxed out the twirl factor!

I also wanted a bit more length, so I opted to sew the tiers on with 3/8 inch seams, rather than 5/8 inch. A subtle difference.

The fabric is a heavier weight rayon challis that I bought at one of the fabric markets in Vietnam several years back. 

I liked the colors, although after I got it home I decided the design looked like rows of little hearts, and it turned me off the fabric for a while. But then I realized if I turned it the other way, it didn't look like hearts at all! 

Pretty chuffed with this dress. It's cool and floaty for summer, but not wildly oversized so it's still wearable in public!