Thread Theory

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


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50% off PDF Patterns!

Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-4

While Black Friday isn’t a worldwide phenomena, it has most certainly spread from the US into Canada in recent years.  If you are like me and don’t enjoy the masses of people or the frenzy of advertising that takes place on a day like today, you’ll probably be holing up inside your sewing room to enjoy the process of creating rather than consuming.  In case you run out of projects but don’t want to run to the store:  Our PDF patterns are 50% off for Black Friday, the weekend and Cyber Monday so you can download your next project without the need to leave your sewing machine!  Let the making begin!

This weekend I hope to get a start on Matt’s tailored Goldstream Peacoat – at long last – using our Tailoring Supplies Kit and some wonderful Pendleton wool.  Last weekend involved all sorts of making too; Matt’s brother and his fiancee (our talented graphic designer), Sonia, were visiting.  Sonia joined my Mom and I at a local Christmas craft fair called Stagnhare.  It was a lot of fun and very exhausting to chat with so many people about sewing!
Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-9

By the way, the screen printed bag you can see on the left hand side of the photo (that reads: Go ahead and create something exceptional) is a project that I just finished screen printing in time for the craft fair.  It will be available in our shop next week!

Sonia is an avid knitter so we agreed that she would teach me to knit while they visited if I taught her how to sew.  It was a great arrangement for me because my knitting lessons came with a whole team of ball-winders :P.Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-3Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-2Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-6

I’ve begun to knit the Funnel Neck Sweater from Erika Knight’s book, Men’s Knits: A New Direction.  Here’s an Instagram post that I made about this project recently so you can see part of the sweater design:

While this is a big project to tackle for my first serious knitting project (I’ve never properly followed a pattern before), I think it’s a good choice because it is something that I REALLY like and want to see finished.  I was hesitant to choose a smaller project that I was less excited about because I wouldn’t be as inclined to finish it!  I’m using the Maxi Wool from our shop for this project.  Sonia helped me choose slightly smaller needles since this wool is a little bit thicker than the pattern calls for.  I knitted a test square and it came out exactly the right size!

I didn’t get a photo of Sonia working on her sewing project unfortunately, but you can take my word for it that she did an excellent job!

Thread Theory Menswear Supply Shop-41

We grabbed one of the new Carry-All Bag Making Kits from our shop for her to work on.  She chose the “Ready for the Next Adventure” design and tackled the project on my industrial sewing machine.

Thread Theory Menswear Supply Shop-40

I know a speedy industrial machine probably isn’t the best suited for teaching new sewers but I thought it would be excellent practice for her because she hopes to learn how to sew on a Sailrite machine so that she can sew canvas and repair sails for their sailboat.  Working with heavy sails and a finicky but powerful machine is a whole different ballgame than sewing garments and working on a domestic sewing machine.  The industrial machine and the canvas bag project were a step in the right direction for her.

Have you ever taught someone to sew?  This was my first time and I really enjoyed it!  It felt very satisfying to provide Sonia with the skills to hem her own pants and dresses (she’s short like I am so I know just how empowering that can be!) and to start her on her way to sewing for her sailboat.  She was stoked with her new bag too, so that’s a bonus :).

 

Happy sewing!  I hope you enjoy the 50% off pattern sale!

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On Seamwork Radio and Around the Web

I was going to announce a few new tools and kits in our shop today but woke up to find my voice on Seamwork Radio this morning so I will share that first before moving on to product release news!
Seamwork Radio Sarai on Seamwork Radio

Seamwork Radio is a podcast hosted by Sarai of Colette Patterns.  It is a relatively new endeavor and, from what I understand, it has been a smashing hit with sewists!  Here is the description of Seamwork Radio that you can find on the Seamwork website:

Sewing your own clothing can change your perspective in surprising ways. Seamwork Radio brings you personal stories about all the ways designing, making, and wearing your own clothing can alter your life. We talk to artists, designers, and everyday creators about how the act of sewing has helped them slow down, get to know their bodies, discover their own identity, and take part in the growing movement to revive the art of sewing.

It is a thrill to be on Seamwork Radio and it was wonderful to finally have a chance to chat with Sarai.  When Matt and I travelled to Portland in April 2014 I agonized over whether I should pop by the Colette studio or not – I was so star struck by Sarai and her amazing company that I ended up chickening out and regretting my lack of courage after we left the city!  I don’t know what I was so scared of though.  Sarai is incredibly gracious and welcoming.  She was also very understanding of my nerves while being recorded for the radio episode~  I tend to lose my vocabulary when I am nervous and have a very high, squeaky voice – not the best situation for radio!

Anyways, if you would like to check out the episode I am featured in, you can find it here.  Thanks, Sarai, and the Seamwork Radio team for including me on your wonderful podcast!

Father's Day Tie - Thread Theory - 38

While I’m on a roll here talking about Thread Theory in the ‘public eye’, SewMamaSew featured my silk tie-making tutorial in their Luxe Gift compilation earlier this week.  The list features all sorts of luxurious gift ideas – some that feature sewing skills and others that do not.  I really love the leather tote bag and beautiful wool cape included within this list!  Thanks for the feature Sara (from Now Try This) and SewMamaSew!


 

Okay, moving on to the new goodies in our shop!  Let me announce the newest kit that I have put together for the holiday season:T Shirt Making Kit by Thread TheoryIt’s The Strathcona Henley & Tee Sewing Supplies Kit!  This kit features my favorite t-shirt making supplies and is prettily packaged and ready for gift giving!  As I assembled these kits I enjoyed imagining sewists giving them as Christmas presents to their non-sewist friends with the promise of an intro-to sewing t-shirt making session!  Wouldn’t that be a nice way to spread the joy and creativity of making this holiday season?

While this kit is designed to suit our Strathcona Henley pattern, it would be perfect to create all sorts of t-shirts – there is enough material included to sew any manner of men’s or women’s top.  You can check out all of the kit details on our website.

 

We also added a fresh shipment of Merchant & Mills books and tools in the shop this week!

Merchant and Mills Tools Thread Theory-5

While the Workbook isn’t menswear related at all, I’ve received quite a few emails from Canadians hoping that we might stock this gorgeous pattern book so that they can avoid the cost of shipping from England!  For male sewists I’ve added another Merchant & Mills book to the shop:Merchant and Mills Tools Thread Theory-3

This is a great volume for men interested in learning how to sew because it is refreshingly unisex!  The Sewing Book introduces you to all of the basic sewing concepts and then walks you through a series of projects so that you can employ your new skills in a hands on manner.  By the time you have completed the series of projects you will be ready to tackle any project and pattern you might be interested in!

In addition to the new books, we’ve added these tiny glass vials of minuscule hand sewing needles.  Tailors swear by them for evenly stitched invisible hems and quilters swear by them for quick and even hand quilting stitches.

Merchant and Mills Tools Thread Theory-2

And here is what is back in stock!  Beautiful, sharp buttonhole scissors and big, strong glass headed toilet pins!
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Both of these tools sold out almost instantly last time we added them to our shop so I ordered LOTS this time so that you can be sure to get your hands on them when you need them :).

Head on over to our shop to check out the new books and tools in detail.  Please send me an email (info@threadtheory.ca) or comment on the blog to let me know if there is a specific tool that you would like us to stock (Merchant & Mills or otherwise).  I’d love to know!

Have a great weekend!


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My Mother-In-Law’s latest Thread Theory sewing projects

Three Camas Blouses Thread Theory

In case you are a relatively new follower of the Thread Theory blog, let me introduce to you Sue, my mother-in-law!  She is a talented sewist who sewed quite a lot in the past, stopped sewing for many years and then picked up the skill again when we launched our first patterns.  She has since sewn many renditions of our designs and has even contributed to the blog!  You can read her first blog post from Thanksgiving 2013 here.  Above is a photo of Sonia (our graphic designer and my future sister-in-law), Sue and I bedecked in Camas Blouses on Thanksgiving this year.  Apparently the modelling of Thread Theory sewing projects is becoming a Thanksgiving tradition!  Sue sewed both Sonia’s blouse and her own and I sewed the one I’m wearing last winter.

Our photoshoot was complete with a photobomb:Three Camas Blouses Thread Theory-6

This is Charlie – Matt’s grandparent’s very rambunctious and adorable puppy!Three Camas Blouses Thread Theory-4

All three Camas Blouses are really unique – the outer two are sewn using slightly gauzy and light sweater knits and Sue’s features a very drapey and dense viscose knit.  I love how each print suits our personalities:
Three Camas Blouses Thread Theory-8

Recently Sue had another Thread Theory project on her sewing table.  She created a pair of dressy trousers for her husband in time for a cruise holiday.  They are the result of combining both the Jedediah and Jutland Pants patterns.  She did quite a bit of pattern manipulating for this project and took the time to write down some of the thoughts and challenges that occurred as the project progressed.  As I’m sure most sewists will agree, it is always very interesting and also relatable to read about the sewing thought process so I’m very glad that she’s shared hers with us!

Without further ado, here is Sue to explain her project:


I wanted to make a pair of dress pants for my hubby and had found a lovely light to medium weight wool blend material  that I thought would be perfect for the project, but I didn’t have a dress pant pattern. I had already made a semi-casual pair of Jeds for him, that he loved the fit and comfort of, so I had that pattern and the Jutland pattern.

The thought occurred to me that I could combine the two patterns to get what I wanted. My aim was to have front slash pockets like the Jeds, back welt pockets like the Jutlands, and a leg width somewhere between the two. I at first started to try to match the front of the Jeds pattern to the back of the Jutlands, and was struggling with it. Then I talked with Morgan (why I didn’t do that in the first place I don’t know) who reminded me of a previous post by Roni describing how to modify the Jeds pattern to remove the yoke, and add welt back pockets…perfect! So, I followed those instructions, and also widened the legs from above the knees down to the hem. Morgan also suggested that I do a mock-up first to ensure a correct fit, but I was limited by a deadline (wanted to get them done before our cruise), so I forged ahead and hoped for the best.

I wanted to end up with a professional finished look to the pants, so tried my best to do the fine finishing touches suggested in the patterns. So I used bias tape to finish the seams, and french seamed the front pockets.

Trousers 1

Like Roni, I couldn’t figure a way to do a french seam on the rear pockets, so I just used the nicest finishing stitch I could find on my machine that worked with the material.

Trousers 5

I knew I didn’t want flat felled seams on the legs as that was too casual a look for these pants. As well, this material was starting to fray quite a bit, and I had troubles with fraying and getting a good flat felled seam on a previous project. So in the end, I decided to do french seams for the outer leg seams, and then a standard seam and zig zag finish on the inner leg seam. I was really happy with the french seam finish on the outer leg, but not so happy with the zig zag finish on the inner leg, as my material tended to bunch up. In hindsight I think I should have had some kind of stabilizer on the material to do the finishing of the edge.

Trousers 7

Trousers 6
The last modification I did was to use the waistband from the Jutland pattern so that I could sew the belt loops into the upper seam and lower seam when I attached the waistband to the  waist of the pant, for a more finished look. I later hand stitched the bottom of the loop to hold it in place against the upper pant.

Trousers 2
Trousers 3

Both my husband and I are very pleased with the end result, and he has worn his pants with pride while on the cruise and many times since. These are a couple  photos  of the final product.

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All in all a very successful project. What I learned: If you are thinking of modifying a pattern, talk to Morgan before you start, she may have some valuable suggestions that can save you a lot of time and energy! (Note from Morgan: Yes, please do contact me if you are wanting help with a project or just a chance to mull over your ideas with someone!  Email me at info@threadtheory.ca)


 

Thank you for taking the time to write a blog post for us Sue!  The results of your thoughtful sewing are, as always, very professional and very wearable!


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The Thread Theory Studio Tour

Thread Theory Studio-23

We moved into our new house/studio in July – I’ve been waiting for the elusive perfect day to photograph the studio to show it to you!  In my imagination I had decorated my sewing room, vacuumed recently and had replaced all of our storage bins (read: shoeboxes) with whimsical rustic barn-wood crates.  Thread Theory Studio-21The other day a sewing friend came to check out all of the new Menswear Supply Shop inventory and exclaimed at how beautiful everything looked.  At first I thought to myself, “How can it look beautiful, I haven’t even started decorating?!” After a pause though I could suddenly see the studio through a visitor’s eyes.  Thread Theory Studio-29 The tools, fabrics, books, and kits have done the decorating for me!  So, without further ado, and without further tidying, let me show you exactly how the Thread Theory premises look on a Friday morning in early November…Thread Theory Studio-20

All of our inventory (aside from the large majority of our patterns) are displayed on shelves in my office hallway.  The office is a cozy nook over-top of the home’s garage which is attached to the main house by a long hallway.  The hallway is conveniently lined with bookcases on both sides which I have cleared of the home owner’s books and filled with Thread Theory products instead!  We’re house sitting for the foreseeable future so I will definitely need to get some bookshelves like these when we move in to our own home.Thread Theory Studio-24

The shallow shelving keeps everything tidy.  The Merchant & Mills tools look especially nice displayed in the open like this – it would be a shame to box them up and put them away because I love to look at them every time that I walk by!Thread Theory Studio-26Thread Theory Studio-25 Thread Theory Studio-28

I will need to get some more baskets and crates to house our tailoring supplies since they are prone to flopping about:Thread Theory Studio-30
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The yarns and knitting books are on the opposite side of the hallway from all of the sewing and tailoring items.  I’ve kept all of the yarns in their cellophane bags to prevent them from getting dusty.Thread Theory Studio-17

My packing station features our coasters (a complimentary coaster goes into every envelope and box that we ship out), behind which sit our stamps and beside which sit our tape dispensers.Thread Theory Studio-37

At the end of the hallway the room opens up into a cozy attic-style office.  The lighting is always a soft and peaceful green tone due to the holly tree outside my window.  I find this private space to be very relaxing and quiet compared to the rest of the open concept house.  My cat, Jazzy does too – she spends the bulk of her time up here with me (hence the scratching post in the foreground on the left):Thread Theory Studio-45

We store all of the fabric bolts and rolls downstairs in my sewing room (which suddenly feels decidedly small after all of the shelving was added!).
Thread Theory Studio

In the photo below I am standing beside the fabric storage racks while I take the picture – they are on the left hand side beside my ironing table.Thread Theory Studio-5

I will likely be re-configuring my sewing room shortly because Matt and I do our website photography in this room.  We set up a canvas backdrop over my ironing table.  It runs down the wall and over the table to create a backdrop with no horizon line.  The tripod for the camera and all of the flash equipment takes up the main studio floor space so I plan to move my industrial sewing machine into a corner so I can still sew while photography equipment is set up.Thread Theory Studio-7

Right now my industrial machine is in my preferred position – against a window so that I can look outside at my veggie garden while I sew!  My Tailors Shears, Brass Thimble and wooden magnetic needle minder are always on the windowsill beside me so that they are ready to use:Thread Theory Studio-8

This is the current state of my inspiration board:
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And a pretty built in unit has become an ‘inspiration shelf’ right beside my board:Thread Theory Studio-3

To finish up the studio tour, here are a couple of projects that I have in the works!Thread Theory Studio-6

I’m currently sewing the Seamwork Magazine Denali Vest for my dad.  I’m REALLY pleased with how it is turning out!  I’m using ripstop fabric for the shell, llama fur insulation (from this company) and plaid stretch cotton lining.  I will do a whole blog post about this vest once it is done!

I’m also thinking of starting my first knitted sweater project (if my sister-in-law has time to help me out *hint hint*…thanks Sonia!).Thread Theory Studio-51

I really love this design from Erika Knight’s Men’s Knits book:Thread Theory Studio-47Thread Theory Studio-49

I’m hoping to use Classic (a nice blue) colored Maxi Wool if my sister-in law thinks this is a good pick for the sweater!Thread Theory Studio-53

 

I hope you enjoyed this peak into my work space!  Now I better get back to enjoying it 😛


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#makemenswear winner!

It’s November 1st which means that our Thread Theory Menswear Supply Shop is up and running – and it also means that today I get to select the winner of our #makemenswear giveaway!  Thank you for the hundreds of entries we received on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (I only sorted through these forms of social media but thank you, also, to people who have been using the hashtag on other forms!).  I used a random number generator to select the winner.  Drum roll please!

Congratulations to wouter.vdub on Instagram!

First real wearable shirt. Thanks to the sew-along by @peterlappin #menwhosew #makemenswear

A post shared by Wouter Vdub (@wouter.vdub) on

 

I’ve commented on his post and look forward to hearing back from him soon!  He has been given the choice between a physical prize package worth $100 CAD full of goodies from our new shop or a $100 CAD gift card to the shop so he can select his own prize.

I hope that people will continue to use #makemenswear – I have REALLY been enjoying the huge variety of project styles that have been added to this collection.  In case you are curious, it would seem that Instagram is by far the most successful platform for this hashtag (there are currently 268 posts on Instagram while there are only 15 posts on Twitter and 18 on Facebook – and most of the Facebook ones have been posted by me).  So, you don’t already use Instagram and wish to be part of a vibrant worldwide menswear making community, it would seem that Instagram is the place to go!

Here are a few inspiring #makemenswear entries to close off this post and to get you in a menswear-making mood this Sunday.

Newcastle cardigan – new hubby favorite! #makemenswear @thread_theory

A post shared by Emily Adams (@dressingtherole) on