Thread Theory

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

A good book and a sunny afternoon


sewing books

Nothing beats a good book in a shady spot on a hot summer afternoon!

Have you checked out the Literature section of our shop?  We have a couple of book shelves in the corner of my studio that we’ve filled with an eclectic selection of sewing and menswear related reading.  It’s all 15% off right now so it’s a great time to pick out a book from my shelves for a summer read!

menswear sewing books

Let me give you a chance to peruse through my bookshelf.  Click on any of the photographs within each collage (below) to view things like the table of contents for each volume in detail:

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This is the newest book on offer from Merchant & Mills.  It’s the only book on my shelves that isn’t unisex or menswear related…but we received so many requests for it from Canadian sewists who didn’t want to pay shipping from the UK that we decided to add it to our collection.  And I’m glad we did!  This book is chock full of inspiring photographs, creative sewing projects (which include prepared patterns), and lovely hand drawn illustrations.  All of the garments within this book are for women.


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The Merchant & Mills Sewing Book, on the other hand, is the best unisex introduction to sewing in existence (in my opinion!).  Even as a very experienced sewist I find it to be an entirely engrossing read.  I love how this book goes into such detail about sewing tools and how best to use them.  By the time you complete the projects within the book you will be equipped with the skills to tackle any sewing project you desire…plus, the wonderful motivational writing and beautiful styling within this book will have you itching to create!


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This is a book for people who would like to knit menswear.  It includes loads of designs ranging from classic to unique.  The yarn choices and photography are very modern and appealing which makes it far easier to choose a menswear knitting project than sifting through vintage patterns or Ravelry.  I like having a tidy collection of patterns within one book to cover all of my menswear bases.  When I showed Matt the photos he found them to be very appealing and asked me to knit quite a few of the garments.  I knitted the Funnel Neck sweater that you see pictured below for my Dad.  It was my very first time knitting a garment using a pattern and I was thrilled with how the sweater turned out!  I blogged about it here.

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Now lets move away from the project based books and sift through the fashion and history section of my bookshelves.  If you are at all interested in British military history, fine tailoring, or Savile Row, this book is a treasure trove of information and awe inspiring photos.  This elegant and massive (!) coffee table book covers the entire history of Gieves & Hawkes, a tailoring firm on Savile Row which is renowned for supplying the British Military.  Of all my collection of fashion books, this is the one with the most beautiful photographs.  The close ups of historic garment details are amazing (the trims!  the wools! the precision!).

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This book is also about Savile Row but from a broader perspective – it covers the entire history of bespoke tailoring.  While this book is extremely visually appealing, it is also packed full of well organized information.  It covers everything from the development of the suit to an overview of each well regarded tailoring firm.  There is even a concise section that explains what to expect when ordering a tailored suit.  By the time you’ve read this book, you will feel as though you have a solid understanding of what menswear tailoring is all about!

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Moving away from the coffee table books, lets have a look at a few books that are more reminiscent of the texts that were on my reading list in fashion school!  First, let me show you this comprehensive overview of menswear fashion design.  Within this book you will learn about the design process from many perspectives including interviews with famous menswear designers to case studies of classic menswear garments.

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When I was in fashion school I took a few courses on fashion illustration.  While illustration wasn’t my forte or primary interest, I just found it to be so much fun!  This text provides an overview of the works of all the most influential menswear fashion illustrators.  I would have loved to read this book while I was in school because I found it to be a little frustrating how focused the class and resources were on women’s fashion.

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This book really appeals to me as an indie pattern designer because it is all about indie menswear fashion!  A lot of the brands that are discussed within this book are major sources of inspiration here in the Thread Theory studio.  The book is less about runway fashion or tailoring and more about what people are actually buying and wearing on the streets.

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To continue our look at street fashion, let me show you this cute little book by street fashion photographer Guiseppe Santamaria.  It is a compilation of his menswear photographs taken in several major cities around the globe.  More than anything, perusing through street photography gets me excited to sew and design.  I love that this little resource gets me away from the computer screen (my usual source for street photography…blogs…Pinterest…forums) and allows me to feel inspired while resting my eyes on beautiful matte paper.

Read about menswear

Now, let’s end with the most outlandish volume on my shelf!  This large and glittery book is a compilation of the best from decades of the renowned menswear fashion magazine, Another Man.  The moment you crack open the cover on this book, be prepared to be bombarded by visual stimulation!  The scrap book style of this book allows you to peruse through it in no particular order so that you can soak in the colors, poetry, mini essays, and fashion editorials that fill every inch of this massive volume.  I love the cacophony formed by mashing together so many years of menswear fashion into one volume!


What are you reading this summer? Anything sewing or menswear related?  I’d love to hear your suggestions for new reads (novels too)!

Head to our shop for the 15% off Literature sale >

4 thoughts on “A good book and a sunny afternoon

  1. I am Dandy: The Return of the Elegant Gentleman

  2. I started The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. A friend gave it to me. It’s not sewing-related, but is rather an intriguing fiction book. It’s a good story with good writing.

    Looks like you have a great selection of interesting books! I always love seeing new fashion inspiration.

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