Thread Theory

Welcome to the new era of menswear sewing. Go ahead and create something exceptional!


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Launch Day: Wallet sewing patterns!

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The wallet is an essential item for most men (and women) so it was only a matter of time before we added our take on the wallet to the growing collection of Thread Theory menswear sewing patterns!  Meet our 3 new mini PDF patterns: The Elastic Wallet, The Card Wallet, and The Bifold Wallet.

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The goal for these wallet designs was to produce a minimalist cash and card storage solution that carries all of the necessities while remaining very slim.

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An equally important goal while designing these patterns was to create the most storage options with the fewest pattern pieces possible.  This way, each wallet is a true beginner-friendly project and the project is compatible with all home-sewing machines regardless of the material that you choose to use (even leather).

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An added advantage of their minimalist design is that these wallets are shockingly quick to sew – making them ideal for gift-giving!  Sew any of these wallets in well under an hour (seriously, some of these take mere minutes to sew) and fill them with a gift card to create a great Christmas or birthday gift!

Now you know our motives, all that remains is to decide which wallet suits you best.  Let’s get to know them:

The Elastic Wallet

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The Elastic Wallet is the simplest of our three new patterns.  It features a length of cleverly folded 2″ elastic and a top stitched cash pocket.  Instructions are included to add an optional tag that can be attached to a lanyard or key ring.

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This tiny wallet can carry a surprising amount of cards and cash!  The strong elastic expands to hold 6 cards easily (more can fit in snugly if you really want to take the whole stack with you).

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If you prefer to carry less or to use this wallet as a single gift card holder, it still keeps a small load very secure.

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It slips in a front or back pocket or can fit in even the smallest clutch or purse.

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Unlike many elastic wallet designs, this wallet looks attractive and can easily be personalised by mixing and matching printed elastics with a contrast cash pocket.

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I think the contrast pocket paired with a ribbon, leather or grosgrain tag really elevates this wallet from pure functionality to a lovely combination of function and fashion!

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We’ve added a great selection of printed and solid 2″ elastics to our shop so that you can get creative with your design choices…isn’t this embroidered elastic stunning?

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Here are a few of the new elastics – aside from being perfect for the Elastic Wallet pattern, many of them are also great choices for our Comox Trunks:

The Card Wallet

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Our second new wallet pattern is a versatile Card Wallet.  It can be sewn up in everything from quilting cotton to industrial felt!

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I’ve created two separate patterns and two sets of instructions depending on the material type you choose.  This way there is no guess work about how to pre-treat your material or where to top stitch, no matter the material you select from the wide range of possibilities.

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One of my favourite features on this wallet is an optional leather storage pocket which is the perfect size to hold a house key or, if you are inclined, a guitar pick.

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The angled design of the wallet holds cards very securely while also allowing them to be accessed with a quick swipe of your thumb.

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Depending on your material choice, this tiny wallet can hold a lot!  Stiff materials (such as Kraft-tex or leather) will hold fewer cards than materials such as cotton canvas or felt.

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Like the elastic wallet, the card wallet makes a lovely sewn gift because it takes mere minutes to make (the Felt & Specialized Materials variation only features several inches of actual sewing!) and holds a gift card very attractively.

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If you are looking for a gift for a musician, how about filling it with a gift card to the local music/record shop and a fresh guitar pick?

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Once the gift has been given, the gift card holder will become the recipient’s only wallet for years to come (Matt can attest to that…in fact, his felt Card Wallet is tucked in his jeans pocket right now!)

If you would like to create an industrial felt card wallet like the wallet pictured above, you don’t have to look far to find wool felt – I’ve just added it to the shop where you can purchase it by the square foot.  This way, you can buy only the small amount that you need for your tiny wallet project.

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The Bifold Wallet

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Our final wallet design is a classic Bifold Wallet with a twist!  This wallet contains all of the card holders and cash dividers that you would expect of a bifold.  It is a standard size and functions in the standard way you would require a bifold wallet to function…but it consists of only two pattern pieces!

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Instead of a whole stack of card slot pattern pieces and tricky seams, this wallet pattern allows you to construct a bifold with a few quick origami folds and some simple top stitching.

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Just as I did for the card wallet, I’ve included separate pattern pieces and instruction booklets to guide you through the construction process based on your material choice.

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You can sew this wallet in cotton, canvas, felt, Kraft-tex, Tyvek, leather or any other material you feel inclined to try!

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The contrast cash pocket is an excellent way to discreetly personalise your bifold by using printed cottons or elegant lining materials.

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I love how little fabric this project requires!  I attended an indigo dying workshop a few years ago and have had a tiny scrap of dyed cotton kicking around since then.  It almost ended up in the compost once or twice since it was too small to even make a pouch…I’m glad I saved it though since it was enough to make this gorgeous contrast cash insert:

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If you like to carry a bit of change in your wallet, the Fabric Variation of our Bifold Wallet pattern includes instructions to add a zippered pocket to the back of the wallet.  The pocket construction is uncomplicated and beginner-friendly.

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I sewed my favourite version of The Bifold Wallet in washable paper (Kraft-tex).

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It stores Matt’s entire set of essential cards and cash yet still manages to look pretty much empty!

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The Bifold Wallet is quite slim and very light so it is comfortable to wear in the back pocket of jeans.

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If you would like to try constructing a wallet or bag with Kraft-tex (otherwise known as washable paper), this is also a new addition to our shop!

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I’ll be writing a separate blog post about it soon, but in the meantime, check out this link to my bag-making Pinterest board for plenty of washable paper inspiration.  You can also read my very detailed description of Kraft-tex in our shop.


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Now that you’ve had a chance to get to know our three new patterns, it’s time to get sewing!  You can find the PDFs listed individually or you can download the entire Wallet Gift-Giving Set at a discounted price.  The Gift-Giving Set includes each PDF pattern and an extra PDF containing all of the pattern pieces for the three wallets puzzled together so you need only print 6 sheets of paper.  This is a great way of printing your projects if you plan to batch sew them as Christmas gifts!

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3 Mini Patterns Coming Soon!

Three new mini patterns will be released very soon so please sign up for our newsletter to ensure that you receive the launch day discount code!  You can sign up here.

The patterns are a departure from our usual focus on garments and will instead fill a non-apparel related void in the home-sewn menswear wardrobe.  Above you can see a few of the useful materials that will be added to the shop on pattern launch day!  Can you guess what sewing project these things could be used for?


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Sweater for my Dad (psst…the sale section has new 30% off items!)

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I sewed my dad a cozy Finlayson Sweater for his birthday last week!

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The main body is the super soft hemp and recycled polyester fleece from our shop.  This is the “Lake” colour but we also have charcoal and a lovely forest green.

The decorative facing at the neckline is a scrap of bamboo and cotton stretch jersey, also from our shop!  I added charcoal grosgrain along the neckline seam allowance as the Finlayson Sweater directions instruct you to do.

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Even with these details, this sweater only took me 1 3/4 hours to sew, including the time taken to cut out the fabric!

It makes such a great gift because the fit is very forgiving and it is so quick to sew…but it doesn’t look like a rushed gift at all.  In fact, the Finlayson can be a very thoughtfully personalised since the neckline can be customised with fabric and ribbon choices that perfectly suit the recipient.

I decided to give this Finlayson purely as a gift with no strings attached – usually I ask him to model for me but I thought he could really use a break from that for once. 😛


 

In other news: I’ve added a number of new items to the sale section of our shop – you will find a variety of tools, fabrics and patterns at sale prices of up to 30% off!  The Finlayson Sweater (both PDF and tissue) is one of those 30% off items!  Enjoy!


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Now available: More of our patterns in French!

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The Belvedere Waistcoat, Fairfield Button-up and Lazo Trousers instruction booklets are now available in both English and French!  We’ve also created a French instruction booklet for our FREE pattern, the Arrowsmith Undershirt.

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Andrea’s inspiring print-mixing made the Arrowsmith Undershirt into a great use of small fabric scraps! @jollygiraffe1

To access the French instruction booklets, follow the link at the bottom of each product page to instantly download the free file (follow the links above).  This way, even if you’ve already purchased our pattern along with the English instruction booklet, you can now quickly access the instructions in your preferred language.

Happy sewing!


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Bring on winter sweater fabrics!

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Cozy mid-weight merinos and ever-so-soft hemp and recycled polyester fleece have arrived in our shop!  They are absolutely ideal for cold weather Finlayson Sweaters, Newcastle Cardigans.

This summer Matt tested out our mid-weight merino sweater knit in the Yukon and northern British Columbia while on a road trip with his uncle.

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I couldn’t resist sharing a few of his stunning photos to get you in the mood for chilly sweater weather!

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He wore a (sewn by me) wool Strathcona Henley layered over a superfine merino base layer (not sewn by me, but could have been using the superfine merino that we carry in the shop) and topped things off with this (sewn by me) Merino double knit Finlayson Sweater:

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Paired with his (sewn by me) Dintex Hemingway Windcheater and a (knit by me) toque he stayed warm and also mobile during frigid early morning walks.  This merino double knit has a black nylon backing which makes it slip easily over woolly long sleeve layers and prevents one from feeling uncomfortably ‘bundled up’.

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We have three merino double knit colorways in the shop right now: Two gorgeously saturated options and one more sedate charcoal grey.  The newest merino double knit is a stunning Nova Red which contains just a hint of warm orange.  We also have restocked Moroccan and Charcoal in the shop which were in huge demand last winter:

 

In addition to these merino blends, you will also find another option within our growing collection of sustainable and rugged hemp knits!  This time, in keeping with our sweater theme, I’ve added three colorways of hemp and recycled polyester fleece.

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This fleece could not be more ideal for the Finlayson Sweater or a classic zip-up hoodie!  The wrong side features an ultra soft brushed nap while the right side is attractively heathered.

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This hemp fleece is available in Lake blue, elegant dark Charcoal, and a very gentle Forest green.

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I will be cutting in to one of these before the end of the month to sew a birthday Finlayson Sweater for my Dad.  I know he’ll be reading this blog post but don’t worry, I already spoiled the surprise by asking him if he would like a Finlayson Sweater a couple of months ago!  If I sew for someone else, I like to be certain that they actually want or need the finish garment in their wardrobe.  He said he would love Variation 1!

Speaking of being certain and confident in regards to your sewing plans, I’ve added Swatch Kits to our shop so that you can feel our fabrics and perhaps show them to the intended recipient of your hard work before committing to buying yardage!

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The swatch kits cost $5 CAD and come with a coupon to give you $5 off of your next Thread Theory order so that your kit will be fully reimbursed.  You can choose any three fabrics and I will pack them up along with our sewing themed coaster and a little note card.

If you’ve been wanting to sprinkle water on our waterproof Dintex fabric, have wondered how our canvas feels, or been unable to choose between interlock and jersey t-shirt knits, the swatch kit is for you!

I’ll leave you with my favourite shot from Matt’s trip up north:

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Have a good weekend!

Peruse the winter fabrics >

Order your swatch kit>


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Look a little closer – sewing pattern gold

We have a fresh batch of vintage patterns in our shop courtesy of Susan, a very generous sewist who emailed me to say that she would send me a huge box of menswear patterns from all the way across Canada.  In lieu of payment she asked me to donate the money I would have given her to the Red Cross and their efforts to help those affected by the massive wildfires we had in central British Columbia this summer.  When I received Susan’s email I was very touched by her awareness of the troubles going on in my province and her concern…especially since Matt was away fighting those fires when she asked me to make the donation!

As is often said on sewing blogs and social media…isn’t the sewing community filled with just the most supportive and thoughtful of people?

I have yet to add the rest of the patterns she mailed (it really was a massive box) but I’ve begun to make headway and found the box to be filled with gems.  Here are a few of my favourites (there are loads more in the shop!):

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Every time I add a vintage caftan pattern to our shop it heads off almost immediately to a new home.  I wonder if this one will become a linen shirt with subtle embroidery around the yoke?

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The technical illustrations for this zippered sweater or jacket show lots of promise.  If it were sewn in a soft shell material rather than fleece (with lots of topstitching and perhaps a reflective zipper) it would create a very modern and high end jacket similar to those designed by Patagonia or Arc’teryx!

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I often receive emails requesting a pattern for a workshirt that can be worn atop another layer.  While I haven’t yet designed such a pattern, this McCall’s design could fill the void!  While the workshirt is the main draw for me when examining this pattern, it handily includes a pattern for a vest and trousers to complete the outfit.

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I love the idea of a contrast bias band on this tie!  What a great way to mix and match small scraps of silk.  While the fabrics chosen for the sample don’t especially appeal to me, I can imagine a more subtle use of solids to create an ombré effect or perhaps a combination of florals.

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This Father & Son pattern would make a great base to use for Christmas pajamas!

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I really love this jacket pattern and was tempted to keep it for myself if I could ever find time to sew my dad a jacket from charcoal boiled wool with a brass zipper!  The side entry pockets would be very practical for him and I can imagine finishing off the chest pockets with antique brass snaps.  He would also love that quilted vest…if only my sewing time were limitless!

To see the rest of the vintage menswear patterns (as well as unisex and boys) head on over to the Vintage section of our shop. >