This December, for the first time ever I wasn’t able to travel home to the UK and spend Christmas with my mum – ironically I’m probably the closest geographically I’ve been for many years, having travelled home for Christmas from France, Spain and Thailand in the past! But with lockdown restrictions and more, this year despite being just a 40 minute flight away, it just wasn’t going to happen.
That being said, this was no reason not to dress up over the festive season and in between making gifts for friends and family I managed to squeeze in some time to whip up two festive dress options in two very beginner friendly patterns – the Lotta by Tilly and the Buttons and the Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company.
This is one of those patterns that I bought within approximately 5 minutes of TATB launching it earlier this year. The dress is so simple and straightforward, but being a complete novice in knits I liked the idea that if I couldn’t get it right in stretch, I could still enjoy the pattern in a woven garment!
I’ve had this polka dot crepe in my stash for a while after buying it from Abakhan Liverpool earlier in the summer. Abakhan shopping tactics deserve a blog post of their own, but their stores have a section that sells fabrics by the metre and another that stocks them by weight, where you can pick up some brilliant bargains! I think 2.5m of this crepe cost me approx £7!
The Lotta was really quick to stitch together, especially if you have made the Nora before as the sleeve construction is very similar. I made a size 4 and feel this was the right size for me (36-30-40.5). I love the elastic casing and will be stealing this step for future makes for sure.
There were two issues to this make for me; firstly the neckband was trickier than I expected, having done the Nora neck with no problem I made a real mess of this neckband. I’d recommend practising on spare fabric first before launching into the Lotta.
I also find the sleeve seam to be really bulky and had the same problem with the Nora. I’m not sure if this is my sewing or the pattern, but don’t like the finish of it so may need to practise more.
I ended up wearing this dress on Christmas and it was the perfect Christmassy dress – cosy and comfy but I felt glam all day!
Another option I had for Christmas was the Wilder Gown. This is a cult icon in the sewing world, with thousands of versions present on Instagram and beyond. The smock, billowy look isn’t for everyone but I wanted to give it a go.
The construction of the bodice is really interesting and I do like the raglan style sleeve. After doing some reading on the fit of the dress I made a Medium and am glad I chose this size as it’s spot on for me. I also lengthened the bodice by 2cm, which was fine but I might even add another cm on the next one.
I would also add another tier (I didn’t have enough of this gorgeous Calico Laine crepe, sadly, but am happy still), and add waist ties to the next Wilder. I just prefer some definition on my waist and a fuller skirt, so would maybe try a different gathered skirt pattern piece next time too.
Overall, I can completely understand the hype of this dress and can see why it’s been so poular. The possibilities for this dress are truly endless, from double gauze to crepe, chiffon and beyond. I personally see a chiffon version in my future!
Have you been sewing over the winter holidays? I’d love to hear what you’ve been working on!