Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Colorblocked Wilder Gown

Like a lot of sewists, my fabric shelves are usually bursting. Mine are not full of brand new cuts however, more often than not they're overflowing with large scraps. Too big to stick in the "future pocket bag" box, and too small to create an entire garment. I don't consider myself a master of combining colors and fabrics, but sometimes I get lucky and do okay. What do you think, is this dress a success?

I made the Wilder Gown once before (OMG the list of things I haven't blogged is a mile long) from a rayon crepe. I love the swish factor and despite how fussy it looks, it's actually an easy sew and comfy to wear. I decided to gather up all my red/pink/coral/rust/brick/brown linen scraps and see if I could piece together another Wilder with them. I tried a few methods for choosing scraps, and ended up laying everything out on the floor to better visualize how I wanted to cut. I tried to recreate a complete piece of fabric, with selvages on each side and gaps filled in with scraps.

This method worked for me because I felt like I could "see" the project as a whole, rather than one piece at a time on my cutting table. It also helped that the skirt is simply rectangles without pattern pieces. That was easy to visualize and to know quickly if I'd have enough yardage. Additionally, the front of the bodice is cut in two pieces, making it simple to use two colors there.

It did take quite a long time to cut all the pieces. Most of my scraps were wrinkled and needed ironed out first. The rectangle skirts needed the smaller components sewn together into the right size. It was tedious, but that was outshined by how great it felt to use up these pieces! 

I made an XS and shortened the last tier by 4" (I'm 5'4") from personal preference. There is a generous amount of ease in this pattern. Next time, I may shorten each tier equally instead of just the last one.

I'm so pleased to have used a lot of extra fabric that was destined to gather dust. I was concerned that they wouldn't all play nice together (some were linen, some cotton, some Tencel, and various weights) but in the end they worked. This project definitely boosted my confidence with color blocking, and I'll be turning to that solution the next time my shelves are overflowing!

Most of these fabrics are from Blackbird or The Fabric Store Online. If you're curious about a certain one, please ask and I will try to find the source for you!

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