I made the much talked about Wilder Gown from Friday Pattern Company. Well, mine is a top but you know what I mean. Details. Who needs ’em! This isn’t just any Wilder Top, though. I’m positively thrilled to share that this Wilder Top is HAND SEWN using an amazing kit from Thimble and Snip! Thimble and Snip is the brain child of my friend, the spectacular Alexis Bailey. You probably remember her incredibly stylish post on how to wear espadrilles. Well, she just launched Thimble and Snip, a hand-sewing kit business. I nearly fell out of my chair when she gave me one as a gift. I’m completely in love with both my hand-sewn Wilder Top from Thimble and Snip and also the kits themselves.
Yes. This beautiful piece of clothing was made without ever touching a sewing machine. She sat in my lap and between my fingers but never did her luscious fibers find themselves squished between the metal vice of feed dog and presser foot. The process was really lovely.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about making a garment by hand. I was a little bit intimidated. With as much sewing as I have done, I’ve only hand-sewn small bits of a lining or a slip stitch here and there. A whole top?! That seemed daunting. Turns out, it is exactly the opposite.
Before we go much further I feel obligated to tell you that all of her kits are nearly sold out so you should hurry over to Etsy and order one.
The process of hand-sewing this Wilder Top from the Thimble and Snip kit was so much more than I expected it to be. It was actually kind of profound.
First of all, Alexis has thought of everything. The kit arrives ready to sew because the fabric is already pre-cut in your size. While they do (thoughtfully) include a pattern, you don’t even have to open it up! There are even little stickers to mark the notches. It’s possible to pop open the kit and get started right away. (She actually designed the kits with traveling in mind, isn’t that cool! How fun to pack a kit in your suitcase knowing you can hand-sew a garment while on vacation. You know, when we can travel again!) It’s truly a genius idea!
I found the pre-cut fabric so refreshing. No wrestling with fabric or sorting out the pattern. It was all done for me! Don’t think I realized just how much I dislike that part of the process until it was done for me.
Included in the kit are hand-sewing instructions that not only walk through how to make the specific garment but also a detailed primer on the dos and don’ts of hand-sewing. I had no idea that you don’t have to tie a knot in the thread! Now I do it all the time. Like a pro!
Even a little fabric scrap, that I assumed was decorative, is purposefully included so you can try out different hand stitches and get used to stitching by hand. I mean, talk about thoughtful!
That’s not the profound part, although having everything you need and gentle, helpful instructions no doubt paves the way for a joyful experience. It’s really the portability and flexibility of the project. I’m not a knitter so I’ve never had a portable project before! The process of hand-sewing made me feel so closely tied to the creation of this top. It was physically close to my body and my hands the entire process. Yet, I wasn’t isolated from my family. I hand-stitched during a zoom call with friends, a town council meeting, family movie time and while listening to my book club book! All of that ‘life’ embedded itself into the fibers of this top, I’m certain of it.
I anticipated it would take a long time to hand sew this Wilder top but I found a great rhythm and ease to it all. I end up finishing it in four days. Four! And, it’s not a lightweight make. Alexis is all about creating a strong, very finished garment and that is reflected in her instructions. This top has HAND-SEWN French seams, people! I stitched all those seams twice! I got a bit obsessive about creating even stitches and, in the parts where my stitches are visible, I was especially focused. It became a bit of brain break from all the noise of the world to just work the needle and thread evenly and cleanly.
The whole thing was so meditative and the results are stunning. I know that slowing down, taking care, and connecting deeply is the philosophy that Alexis brings to her business and it shines through. She has definitely hooked me. It was nice to take a break from being behind the sewing machine. I’m super proud of this top. I kind of can’t believe it’s hand-sewn.