This should have been the easiest make for me. The Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company requires very basic skills to put it together: join seams for raglan-sleeve bodice, make neck ties, attach skirt panels, gather skirt, join more seams, hem and voila – mission accomplished!
However due to my own foggy mind, I made some embarrassing rookie mistakes that made the project more time-consuming than it needed to be.
Mistake #1: I didn’t look at the yardage requirements. I assumed 3-meters would be enough for a piece of 110cm wide fabric. That meant that when I bought the fabric, I was 1-metre short. But “Champions adjust! ” So I reduced the width of the skirt panels by half an inch, cut everything out on a single layer, and instead of cutting the back bodice on the fold, I added seam allowance to create a centre back seam. All these adjustments allowed me to squeeze all the pattern pieces into a 3m piece of fabric for a short-sleeved version. And I even managed to pattern-match! So actually, the mistake had a positive outcome for less wastage.
Mistake #2: The lower tier is made up of 3 rectangular panels. The seam of one of the panels is supposed to be the centre back seam of dress. I was a doofus and placed it in the centre front. Urgh! When I realised what I had done, it was too late to correct it. I had already trimmed the seam allowance and overcast it. Urgh! Urgh! This was a blow to the perpetual planner-perfectionist in me.
After kicking myself for 15 minutes, I decided that “Champions adjust!” So I adjusted my way of looking at things. There is good in accepting and embracing this boo-boo. After all, this is not my first mistake, nor will it be the last boo-boo in my sewing adventure. Perhaps it ranks as the stupidest of all, but it is what it is. Stop being so hard on myself. Get softer, get wilder.
Be gracious and grateful for mistakes and imperfections. That is wabi-sabi in a nutshell, I guess. At least, that is my understanding of this Japanese philosophy for beauty and aesthetics. Nothing is perfect unless there is a mark of imperfection on it. That’s a lovely way to live, isn’t it? To see “I M PERFECTION” in the word “imperfection”. So here’s my wabi-sabi Wilder Gown:
The fabric I used is a light Indian cotton block print with gold highlights. This was purchased from Hammer Textil in Tel Aviv. The pattern goes from size XS to 4X, and is loose-fitting. There are options to make a long-sleeve version and to make it into a blouse. You can also play around with the width of the skirt panels to change up the length of the skirt or make a tunic.
So sew up one for yourself. It’s so easy, any beginner can do it. The instructions are clear as always from Friday Pattern Company. Some have expressed that it has too much of a nightgown feel to it. But I am partial to the feeling of floating and flying like Wendy Darling. Wearing the Wilder feels like air.
Before getting into sewing, I used to be addicted to potting. Handling my Wilder fabric has made me itch to go back to it. The main decorative techniques I used were sgraffito (which means scratching, or carving into the pot) and inlay. Here are some pictures of my pots that survived the fire: