Thread Theory

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


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Fashion Show!

 

I must admit I am still struggling to come off the high that accompanied last Saturday’s end of year fashion show, and, based on the endless recaps I’ve been hearing, so are my classmates!

The fashion show went so smoothly and professionally.  The whole day I kept gazing around and finding myself surprised by just how ‘real’ a student show could seem.  There was a huge (approx 150 ft.) carpeted runway, there were gorgeously long-legged models swanning around, there was a press pit (where Matt got to set up his tri-pod, much to his delight!), and there was a big audience of about 350 to 400 people.  I would say those are all the ingredients for a great show – plus some new designers with a shocking range of design styles of course!

There are a ton of pictures on Facebook and I have added a gallery of Terrance Lam’s photos (the Pacific Design Academy’s photographer) to Thread Theory’s facebook page.  In this post are the photos Matt took on his Pentax ME film camera.  He had a blast in the pit with his little camera while professional set-ups hovered over either of his shoulders.  I think the results are quite nice if you are a fan of the aesthetic colour film creates.

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The first years (missing Kaitlind though…we couldn’t find her!)

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Me…this was how excited I looked the entire day. It was exhausting!

My models were absolutely amazing.  Everyone showed up just when they said they would and they were all so encouraging to me!  My sister, Kayleen, did an absolutely amazing job of make-up and hair and also of modelling (she’s the one in the brown linen dress).  She was on her feet backstage all day chugging away styling model after model while I flitted around excitedly (doing nothing especially productive) and then, just before the show, she whipped into her own outfit and rocked the runway!

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Each student made an information board highlighting their collection.  I took the opportunity to do a bit of plugging for Thread Theory and offered rack cards with our website on them and featured my Dad’s Newcastle cardigan (pleasantly worn in by now…with dog hair and all!) on a mannequin beside the board.  By the end of the night the stock of rack cards was greatly depleted!

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A huge bouquet of flowers from my supportive parents.

I was so proud of how my collection presented on the runway as I found it very difficult to see it as a whole before the big day.  I’m sure most sewers will relate to the frustrating inability to see beyond messy back-tacks or an imperfect button-hole to the final garment when you are done a project…if you ever have the opportunity all you need to do to solve this problem is find a beautifully made-up model, some bright lights and an audience and before you know it you will see your garment as simply a pleasing flash of colour and flowing fabric! 🙂

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Now that the show and school are both over, I am working with my lovely co-workers, Heather and Rhonda, at the Heather Company sewing studio several days of the week and the rest of my time, I am pleased to be able to say, is Thread Theory time!  The Jedediah Pants were just graded into their multi-sized format yesterday so I will be sewing up the first pair of size 30s on holiday Monday in an effort to finalize the instruction package before sending it out to test sewers.

To those who celebrate it, have a wonderful Canada Day long weekend!

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Birthday Post!

Today is the first day of summer, the day before my school’s fashion show…and it’s my birthday!

It’s been a great week…earlier this week we had an enormous increase of people viewing the Thread Theory website which was really exciting.

Also, Louisa of Damselfly’s Delights sent us photos and a report on her newly completed Newcastle Cardigan.  It is so exciting to see such a successful version of our pattern!


NewcastleCardi_front

Louisa reported a few adjustments and choices that she made during the sewing process:
“Thom has a 40″ chest and 36” waist so I made a size M. It’s quite close-fitting
and I was glad that I took the waistline curve out or it might
have been a little too tight to fit nicely over the jeans, belt, cell phone,
wallet, etc. that he carries around. I had to chop 2″ off the sleeves and
the cuffs are still quite long enough to be warm. He commented on how
stylish his new jacket is! That is a profound compliment coming from him.
Obviously I have to do more sewing for him now, right?”
NewcastleCardi_back
She chose what sounds like similar fabric to the fleece that I used for my dad’s shoulder and back yokes on this cardigan.  I love how she utilized both sides of the fabric:
“My fabric was a synthetic fleece with pile on one side and a smooth knit on
the other. I used the fuzzy side out for the yokes and the smooth side for
everything else.”
Louisa very kindly sent us and posted a detailed review of our pattern with some intriguing suggestions on how to improve the sewing experience for beginners (we could offer a zipper and binding option to replace the need for facings…what an awesome idea!).
zipper shawl collar
If a zippered version looked something like this, I think it would be very stylish!
With only a day left of school commitments I am eagerly planning to add these adjustments and will let everyone know when they are uploaded…and of course, anyone who would like the revised version and has already purchased the pattern can simply email (info@threadtheory.ca) to receive their copy!  Stay tuned!

 

I have added Louisa’s photos to our Newcastle Slideshow.  We look forward to receiving more emails as the finished cardigans start popping up throughout the internet sewing world!

 

At school this week, every day has been complete chaos in the fashion department.  Matt came into the school on Monday to help me with the photo shoot (isn’t the shot he took of my coat with fur collar pretty?)  and witnessed the general panic and confusion as the fashion show draws nearer and nearer (it’s TOMORROW!).  There have been people crying, models changing in all corners of the building, fabric piles being spread high and low in the sewing room, and a steady feeling of jittery excitement at all hours throughout the week.
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I’ve been chugging through my to do list and only have a pair of leggings and some hook and eyes left to sew today.
Lookbook page
A couple days ago I finished off my ‘lookbook’ featuring my collection’s designs and I even included prices for the runway sample garments in case anyone at the show or online are interested in purchasing my designs 🙂  In fact, Kendra, the beautiful model in the pictures, has already staked her claim on the green tencel pants!

If anyone is interested in receiving a PDF of the lookbook to see my pricing or just to have a browse (is this just wishful thinking?  It’s worth a shot!), send me an email (info@threadtheory.ca)!


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Friday Guest: The Hubby!

Hello folks of the sewing world! I’m Morgan’s husband, Matt, and it is a pleasure to be picked as the first guest poster!

Morgan has been insanely busy this last week (and the one before that, and before that…) with school work; designing, creating patterns for, and sewing seven full outfits for her Fashion Design program is quite the task! Not to mention all the hard work she is putting into getting the Jedediah Pants ready to send to test sewers AND sewing pillows, shams, and duvet covers for a local interior design company. So with her jam-packed schedule in mind, I have been asked to be the first guest blogger for the Friday post!

First, a little about me:

I like to do little wood-working projects!

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I like to rebuild/restore old bikes!

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I like to build computers!

Old computer

And I loooove film cameras!

Pentax 645

And, of course, I love photography. There are many more examples, but you get the gist of it: I have a fairly wide variety of hobbies and interests. This has made Morgan and I an excellent team for starting Thread Theory, and life in general! While Morgan creates the designs, coordinates with our pattern maker, and builds the instructions until she wants to throw her laptop out the window, I handle the more tedious stuff like bookkeeping, website maintenance (super easy thanks to Big Cartel – but shhhh… Don’t tell her that!), and e-mail replies (although I have to get her help with 90% of the sewing questions that come through)! I also do the photography for the clothes she makes, which I really enjoy. In my personal life, I hardly ever take pictures of people; I mainly shoot wildlife, land/seascapes, interesting textures, patterns, etc… so being forced to take pictures of people and make awkward attempts at interacting with them has really helped push me out of my comfort zone!

Another big thing that I do for Thread Theory is receive the digital pattern from our pattern maker and make it ready to sell. The first thing I have to do is take the poster-size PDF and shuffle the pattern pieces into three layouts: one for 45″ wide fabric, one for 60″ wide fabric, and one with no limitations except for being as small as possible. This last one is what I use to split the pattern into pages, which is a tedious process to say the least. I take the new layout, export it to a multi-page PDF with 7.5″x10″ pages, import each page into Photoshop, add the alignment markings and labels, export all the pages as JPEGs, and rebuild them into a single, multi-page PDF file! Then it’s just a matter of finding the right amount of compression (the raw PDF files are HUGE!) and uploading them to the website. At least I only have to do that a couple times for each pattern!

But enough of the technical mumbo-jumbo! Working with Morgan on Thread Theory has been a truly wonderful experience. It’s hard to describe the feeling we get every time an e-mail comes in from someone thanking us for making men’s patterns. Although I’m not a sewer, I really enjoy a quality made garment and I love that Morgan has been able to sew me clothes that actually fit! Like many guys out there, I’m pretty lanky and I can never find a shirt that has long enough sleeves and DOESN’T fit like a parachute. Hand-made for the win!

Beacon Hill Shoot-2

First Attempt at Menswear!

 

I’d like to end this post with a great big shout out to everyone in the blog world that has supported us, sent us encouraging comments, and (of course) bought our pattern! You guys and gals make this project so rewarding for us!

Happy sewing,

– Matthew


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Here is what I’ve been busy with!


line inspiration (blog)

My year at fashion design school is quickly coming to an end – our runway show will take place on June 22nd!  It has been a whirl-wind of a school year.  With only three weeks left my classmates and I are all rushing to complete our runway lines.

My line will include six looks for women and one menswear look (which includes the Newcastle Cardigan and the Jedediah Pants!).  The inspiration is British 1940s wartime sensibilities of “Make Do and Mend” and non-disposable fashion paired with natural fibers and the earthy tones of the B.C. coastline.

I’ve named each garment after a different city or town near the area of England that my family comes from.  I love L.S. Lowry’s paintings of Manchester and have used his common colourway for my line – it is interesting that when the colours have been removed from the context of his grubby cityscapes they perfectly echo the tones one would expect to see on a west coast beach – periwinkle blue, chestnut brown, camel tones, and clay colours.

(c) Ms Carol Ann Lowry/DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

colourway correct

I’ve currently finished several of the outfits but still feel like there is so much to do!  Here is the result of a practice photoshoot taken on a fitting evening with my models (my sister and her field-hockey team mates – aren’t they beautiful?):

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As you can see, from the picture above, the fitting night was lots of fun!  We were told to try to find professional models for our show (I will be using three amazing professionals who are volunteering their time) but I am really glad that I have also included my sister and her friends because, not only are they stunning, they are lots of fun!  The ‘fitting session’ consisted of mojitos, snacks, the goofiest photo shoot ever, and lots of hilarious walks down an imaginary runway.  Much more fun than your standard fitting session!

Here are the technical drawings of my designs – some shown in various stages of completion in the photos and some yet to be made:

finished outfits flats (blog)

Salford: An easy-fitting shirt-dress with contrast shoulder details, flattering princess seams, slim fitting 3/4 length sleeves with a knit sleeve band for comfort, and a flirty flared skirt.
Bolton Shirt and Manchester Pants: A comfortable and elegant pant outfit featuring a linen knit button up with shoulder details and feminine gathering along with high-waisted tencel pants that display the ankle and emphasize the waist.

blog flats castletown blackpool

Castletown: A draped silk cocktail dress with vintage details such as a keyhole back opening with a row of covered buttons, fluttering kimono sleeves, and sprinkled glass and brass beading.
Blackpool, Eccles and Manchester: A relaxed blazer and pant outfit featuring a soft blazer with curved style lines and elegant wool and leather shoulder and back details. Accompanied by a gauzy tank top and a variation on the high-waisted Manchester pants sewn up in hard-wearing bamboo with ankle zippers.

blog flats chester eccles

Chester: Not yet photographed – a camel coloured wool coat with leather shoulder details, pleated and gathered front and feathered embroidery along the main pleat. Features interchangeable wool and vintage fur collars for versatility.
Eccles Tank and Appley Skirt: Not yet photographed. A simple knit tank with nettle and bamboo neckline paired with a glamorous asymmettrical peblum skirt sewn in periwinkle raw silk. Boned waist and flared peblum features the waistline.

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This outfit looked really pretty on the model with the shirt untucked for the photoshoot but I think I will be tucking it in for the fashion show to display the waistband on the pants.

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Doesn’t this model’s gorgeous dark curls look stunning against the pale pink silk?  I had always drawn and imagined the dress on a blond model (the model who will be wearing this on the runway has blond curls) but I do love how it shows off her pretty dark hair!Edited-24Edited-21

This blazer has already been featured on a previous blog post and I am really glad I had it finished so early in the year so I don’t have to worry about such a complicated pattern at this point in the sewing process.  I have yet to hem the shirt (made out of cheesecloth!!) or to make the pants for this outfit…that is next week’s challenge!

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Thank you to everyone who replied last week with suggestions and comments about PDF patterns!  We have sent out the single sheet version to those of you who have already purchased the pattern and preferred to have it printed on a plotter and we are currently working on making this version available along with the multi-page format on our website.  For anyone who purchases the pattern in the meantime and would prefer the single page format, just send us an email at info@threadtheory.ca and we will send you the single page file directly!