Even though the weather has taken a turn for the worse here, I thought I would share one of my recent makes, the Bennett dress from Marilla Walker. It is classified as an Advanced Beginner level pattern which I would say is about right. It is a shift style with princess detail in the bodice (or a front panel), waist ties (optional) and two different hem options.
I chose to make Option A which has the shaped shirt style hem, waist ties and front panel. Having loved the double gauze that I made my dungarees in from Merchant and Mills, I thought I would try another one for the Bennett dress, but this one was all together different. It is double sided, one indigo blue and the other a small grid check which is great, but it is very fine, almost see-through, quite an open weave and frays considerably. It is described as double gauze laundered linen, so I guess that's what it is, definitely ideal for very warm weather like we had a couple of weeks ago.
Realistically (because of the fabric) I'm not sure how much wear I'll actually get out of it.
Pattern wise, it's a great style. The instructions are great, probably the trickiest part for me was turning the belt ties the right way round. That was a bit of a nightmare as the fabric would have gone into a hole very easily.
There is definitely plenty of scope for fabric combinations. With it having the front panel, it is crying out for colour blocking, you could go simple minimalistic monochrome, chambray/denim and liberty or a broderie anglaise panel would be lovely. I think it would even be a useful dress for the winter (maybe in a fine corduroy) with a fine long sleeved top underneath.
I made a straight size 5 with no alterations and I think it's pretty close to a perfect fit for me.
So, I think I probably have enough summer dresses now, I'll have to get back to some basics like T-shirts and jersey bottoms. Back soon to show my new culottes, which are also very lightweight, hope the good weather returns SOON!