I’ve been working away at Colette Pattern’s Negroni men’s shirt today as mentioned in this previous blog post and it’s going well. I’m taking pictures as I go so there will be a tutorial added once I have finished – it will explain how to add shoulder patch details, and add details such as buttons with contrast thread, a grosgrain ribbon under the buttons, decorative top-stitching, and contrast cuffs . Here are a few sneak peek photos of my progress so far:
Isn’t that such a lovely green? I’ve chosen to use a Kona cotton because my husband tends to skip ironing pretty regularly and surprisingly enough, even when I offer to do it, he won’t let me iron the old shirt I made for him out of quilting cotton because he likes the crinkled, casual look. I wouldn’t agree with him on most shirts, but, for a casual with-jeans look, the heavier cotton actually looks pretty nice. It gives an intentionally well-loved designer look to the shirt. And anything that keeps us away from the ironing board is worth pursuing!
Lately I’ve been making good progress with Thread Theory menswear patterns. After consulting often with my very helpful patternmaking instructor, I decided a month ago to hire a professional patternmaker for the Parkland Collection and then sew the samples and write/illustrate/photograph the instructions myself. Kathleen Fasanella has written on the amazing site, Fashion Incubator, a great analogy that I agree with wholeheartedly. She says that we don’t expect a restaurant owner to be the only cook (or, I might add, to even be the cook!), why should independent pattern company owners expect to be able to successfully design garments, create patterns, write instructions and sell products? Most independent pattern companies I have come across seem to operate in this way, but I think it is best, at least while I am starting up, to begin with a completely accurate and well drafted pattern based on my design so that I can fully concentrate on writing and illustrating clear instructions where I think my strengths lie . This way, I hope the collection will be a dream to sew and the patterns will produce very satisfying results!
After a month of searching, I have found a great patternmaking company right here in Victoria, B.C. where I live! My wonderfully supportive patternmaking instructor, Alex, owner of In House Patterns, ran across the company on Linked In. I want Thread Theory Designs Inc. to use as many local services and connections as possible so I am thrilled to have found Sabine David of Suncoast Custom Patternmaking and Design Service. She has been incredibly prompt at replying to all my questions so far and has agreed to make my designs. I’m hoping to start with just the Newcastle Cardigan so that I can experience the whole process from drafting to fitting to receiving the digital pattern and then have the rest of the designs made.
I was beginning to worry after a month of contacting patternmaking companies to no avail but now that I have found a patternmaker, the June collection launch date is still looking very realistic!
If anyone has any hopes for the patterns or advice for a new company, here are some questions I would love to hear answers to!
- What menswear sewing patterns would you like to see and to sew?
- How do you prefer sewing instructions to be formatted: booklet or a single large sheet?
- What do you find easier to understand: photo or line drawing illustrations? Or a combination of both?
Have a great weekend!