'Halloween' Wilder Gown

Happy Halloween, friends! I made myself a subtle little dress for the occasion, which I can wear all year round, because I don't actually have any trick or treat/party plans. 

My idea started taking shape when What Abi Makes shared this glimpse of the dress she made with what she called 'accidental Halloween fabric'. I tracked down the very same viscose for a bargain from Higgs & Higgs, which has the cutest black cat and tiny paw print. 

With a loose Wednesday Addams aesthetic in mind, I decided that the Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown could fulfil my high neck, mini dress vision. I couldn't be happier with the outcome!

My favourite touch is my hacked sleeves. To get the shorter length dress I was after, I had to cut 8cm off the skirt before adding the ruffle. Given that the neckline detail is one of my favourite things about this pattern, I decided to put the excess fabric to good use and replicate that detail on the sleeves. 

To achieve this, I just followed the same instructions I did for the neckline. Because this was an afterthought, I had to unpick part of the sleeve seams and topstitch the finished edges down first. To do this from the get-go, just apply the front bodice seam instructions to your sleeve seams, then follow the neckline instructions for the rest. 

Being a bit of a perfectionist, I decided to anchor my neckline tie so that the gathers and tie ends are always even. I tried the dress on, arranged my gathers how I wanted them and pinned the tie in place at the centre back and front sleeve seams within the channel for the tie. I then stitched along those three points, which are totally hidden by the gathers. I did the same for the sleeves, adding just one row on stitching at the centre front of the channel. 

Other changes I made were to shorten the ruffle and add elastic to the waist. For the ruffle I folded the skirt piece provided at the lengthen/shorten line. For the elasticated waist I followed the suggested instructions provided in the pattern.

Size-wise I made a straight medium, but would be tempted to add an inch to the bodice length so it's slightly less of an empire shape. The sleeves could also do with some tweaking in future. The way that they're drafted makes the whole dress lift up when you raise your arms, which I think means I need to raise the armholes a little and maybe add length to the bodice side seams.

Minor quibbles aside, I love this dress so much! I'm super pleased with how it turned out and look forward to playing around with this pattern some more.

Are you a Wilder Gown fan?


  1. So I was reading and trying to figure out why I like this dress so much when I haven't really been a fan at all of the Wilder Gown ... and then you said you had added waist elastic. A HA! I love this dress.

  2. It's super cute and the print is fun! I have seen a lot of cute versions of this! I am one of those near die-hard Big4 and Burda magazine people so it probably won't get added to the stash, but I do love so many that I've seen!

  3. Not seen this pattern before but as you are a similar shape to me I will take a look. It looks really fun. Jo xx

  4. Love this! It's a fairly subtle nod to Halloween loveliness!

  5. I’m trying to add the elastic but can’t quite get it right :/ Have you got any tips or a simpler way of explaining it?