The Wilder Gown and the joy of a home sewn gift

As you may have seen from the Ilford Jacket saga, handmade gifts are not my forte. Truth be told, I just prefer sewing for myself. However, my best mate’s birthday was nearing and she sent me this photo from the Esska shoes Instagram page. Of course, my sewist mind instantly jumped to the Wilder Gown and I before I knew it, I was saying “I could make you that”:

So I did.

The Wilder Gown from Friday Pattern Company is one of those dresses that takes the sewing world by storm. It is elegant, comfy, striking, yet straightforward to sew. Plus that neckline gives an edge that is instantly recognisable. I was emulating the version on the Esska page, so I went for some plain black viscose challis from Minerva. Although the inspiration image looks more like a slightly sheer speckled fabric, I chose a plain opaque for wearability. Plus it was only £5.99 per metre and I was winging this without my friend’s measurements (because she wouldn’t give them to me, not because I feel a minor thing like measurements aren’t needed!).

Although pretty bargainous, the fabric was lovely and had the perfect drape for the Wilder. There are loads of blog posts about this pattern already so I won’t go into the ins and outs of construction. My main point to make is that this is such a clever design. I wasn’t totally sure how the tie neck would work until I could see the pieces all laid out, but it really does come together as easily as everyone says.

One thing to bear in mind is it looks terrible until that neck tie is in. Like really, really bad.

Sexy, eh?

Throughout the whole project I followed the Friday Pattern Company sew along on YouTube and it was great. I’ve never followed a sew along for any other project but it was a really lovely way to sew; like having a buddy there sewing with me. Highly recommend.

Once the necktie was in it looked a million times better. Phew…

The rest of the project was a lovely sew, guided along by the tutorial on YouTube. The lower tier of the skirt is ENORMOUS. It was almost 3 meters wide, all to be gathered to attach to the tier above it; take heed if gathers are your sewing nemesis. I hemmed the bottom of the tier before attaching it – I was so glad I did this as that would’ve been a huge amount of fabric to handle.

So my main takeaways from this dress that has quite rightly got everyone going Wild(er):

  • The dress version uses a lot of fabric – I needed 4 metres 
  • The YouTube sew along is great
  • Hem your lower tier before attaching it
  • That bottom tier is a beast; don’t tackle if stressed/tired/wine has been consumed.

I may be the last sewist to make this dress, but I can totally see what the hype is about.

And in case you were wondering…I made this in time for her birthday! Who knew that was even possible?

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