I am going to start by saying this make started out as a gamble for me. I brought the Wilder Gown Pattern soon after it’s release admiring the beautiful makes of Victoria Smith, I Seam Sew Happy xx, Trine Schroeder and the Pattern Cover from Friday Pattern Company. I purchased my fabric and printed the PDF pattern several months ago but other projects kept taking precedence over starting this one.
My fabric was dead stock from a local designer. It was a score. The fabric is a printed 100% silk georgette and cost $40 for 4m. The print itself is super interesting with boarders and panels. I really thought about print direction and pattern placement for each pattern piece to make the most of the intricate design. And I’m slightly obsessed with symmetry.
I used both the straight grain and cross grain to achieve the pattern placement I wanted. It is ok to do this if you are trying to achieve a specific look with your fabric prints as there is little difference between fabric on the straight grain and cross grain. Please don’t apply this principle with bias grain as the bias grain has very different properties.
You will use slightly more fabric when being particular with pattern placement but it’s worth it when you are using boarder and panel prints. Also really think about symmetry and how different patterns will look when placed horizontally as opposed to vertically and vice versa.
I cut my Wilder Gown a size smaller than the pattern recommended as this is a full dress pattern. The pattern is very well notched with the notches all lining up. I commend Friday Pattern Company on their detailed sewing instructions. They were methodical and logical which is perfect for the beginner sewer.
This is a pattern that combines maximum impact with simplicity. It is a good beginner / intermediate pattern with the degree of complexity in fabric choice. The more stable your fabric the easier it is too sew. Keeping in mind I think this pattern works best with drapier, lighter weight fabrics.
Take your time with the gathering process. I always divide my gathering stitches into 2 or 3 sections depending on the width of the panels. It is much easier to pull your gather threads a shorter distance and if a thread breaks you don’t have to start from scratch.
To get the best results on any gathered garment make sure your gathers are even all the way around. Avoid having clumps of gathers and then nothing at all. Always use 2 rows of long stitch for gather stitches and never try to short cut by using one. The results are simply not the same. You can also get a gathering foot for your machine but in my experience it is hard to control the amount of gathers. I will always take a short cut if there is one worth taking but when it comes to gathers I find the time consuming, old fashion method to be the most affective and therapeutic.
A big shout out to all those who recommend the Sadie Slip Dress Pattern by Tessuti Patterns for my undergarment. It was perfect and a great sew. By recommendation I increased my facing width by 1.5cm to prevent it from popping out. I also understitched and pressed the facing extra well. The Sadie Slip Dress is the perfect length to work with Wilder Gown.
If you prefer to wear garments less full you can accentuate your waistline by belting this dress. I opted to wear with a shorter slip when belting my dress.
I have styled my dress with my new Zimmerman Canvas High Tops as I’m slightly obsessed with these shoes at the moment. I have also worn with heels to create an evening look. Strappy sandals would also be great for a casual Sunday lunch look.
Long story short, the gamble paid off with this make and I’ve ended up with a dress that I love. It’s always hit and miss in the world of home made garments. That is part of the journey and part of the fun. Don’t stop experimenting, don’t start playing it to safe. Mistakes are a good thing and most things are salvageable even if it’s in a different form.