When did I become a batch sewist? Until this year, I’d hardly made any patterns more than once. Then came 2020 and everything has changed. I’ve made 16 items so far this year and all of them are either repeats or I have immediate plans to make another version. Most notably, I’ve made six Hey June Sheridan sweaters (one for a friend), but I’ve also made two sweaters for my husband using the DIBY ABB men’s tee pattern, and most recently my back-to-back versions of the Wilder Gown top.

The Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company came out last summer and the sewing community lost it. Everyone gushed about this pattern. I was…not on board. Until! Friday Pattern Co’s founder Chelsea posted her sweatshirt version. (Check out her blog all about it here!) The Wilder is intended for lightweight, drapey wovens, but she used a french terry and added cuffs and a band to turn it into a sweatshirt. I fell in love. I’ve been on the lookout all season for interesting sweatshirt details, and this gathered tie neckline is not something I’d ever seen.

After seeing this on Instagram, I basically dropped my other sewing plans and bought this pattern. I immediately cut into the only knit in my stash which was this melange cotton jersey given to me by Minerva. It’s a pretty standard mid-weight tee shirt fabric and worked as expected for this project.

What didn’t work out so well was the sizing. According to the chart, my bust and waist put me at an XXL. Based on the finished measurements and accounting for the stretch in my knit fabric, I sized down. When it came time to try on, I realized that it was way too big. Not loose-fitting or roomy – just too big. I took out 4 cm from each underarm and side seam . I should have taken it from the raglan seams, I wasn’t about to unpick my neckline topstitching a second time (I made a silly mistake the first time). It worked okay, but the balance is a little off.

My second version went a bit smoother. I sized down again to a Large and I feel much better about the fit. I think I could have used a little more room across the bust. I notice my sweater creeping up around my bust every now and then. I took 4 inches off the bottom since my hem band was added a lot of length. My French terry was a bit trickier to work with than the cotton jersey. It was a little bulkier and more difficult to topstich evenly.

Despite some struggles, I love this version. I feel instantly cooler from the second I put it on. I love how the hemband, cuffs and raglan sleeves are so sporty in contrast to the frilly, ruffle collar and necktie. This meeting point of casual and romantic is exactly where I’m wanting to live style-wise.

I’m so glad I dropped my plans and threw my sewing caution to the wind to jump into this project! The blue sweater in particular has been a wardrobe staple for me. I’m wearing it a couple times a week. I like the purple one a bit less, but I think that’s mostly the color. It’s not a color I typically gravitate toward but I wanted to try it. I also think a pattern with this amount of frills and details needs a really clean, fresh color or print, and the melange jersey doesn’t quite offer that.

Make Breakdown
Pattern: Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown
Size Range: XS-4X (34-57″ hip)
Fabric & Notions: 1.5 Meters Cotton Jersey and 1.5 Meters French Terry
Design Modifications: Used knits instead of drapey woven, added cuffs and waistband
Fit Alterations: None to the size L
Size: L fit me better
Difficulty: Beginner

Now that I’ve made these two knit versions, I’m really curious to try a woven version as the pattern was originally intended. I’m still not totally sold on the dress, but I think I a solid, lightweight top version would fit nicely into my spring wardrobe since I have lots of skirts planned this season. We shall see! Thanks for reading and happy sewing!