Thread Theory

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

Studio Tour

13 Comments

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My parents and grandparents were over for a family dinner last weekend (my Mom’s birthday).  After dinner everyone gathered in my studio to have a peek at some of the projects I’ve been working on.  It had been a while since they had been in my studio, and, since we only moved in to our home 5 months ago it had changed greatly since their last inspection!  After checking out all of the customising I have done, my dad said it was high time for a studio photo shoot to share my space with you on the blog.  So here it is!

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My studio space is really the reason we decided to buy the house (Matt and I joke when we say this but it is at least partially true).  It is a nicely converted garage with gabled ceilings, two huge windows and LOADS of lighting options.

When we first moved in, Matt’s mom and dad devoted a weekend of their time to paint the studio with us.  Matt’s mom was still painting the trim when Matt, his Dad, and I enthusiastically moved everything in to the room.  I was eager to start using my space!

Since then I’ve slowly puttered away at adding functional details to the room…my latest small additions are three hooks on the wall for my scissors:

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I set up my sewing machines in front of the window so that I have the best natural light (and a view of the kids playing on the cul de sac) while I sew.

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My most used work area is my big oak desk.  It is a beat up old provincial government desk that Matt and I purchased when we lived in Victoria and have lugged along with every move since!  It’s a bit of a beast but I really love having such a huge work surface (it is usually covered with all sorts of paperwork).

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My seat cushion features a lovely little bit of embroidery that I made using one of my friend Sarah’s gorgeous bug themed embroidery patterns.  She just released a bunch of Christmas themed embroidery patterns that would make gorgeous ornaments and a great project to work on while sitting by the fire.  She also has a vintage sewing machine pattern – I definitely need to add that one to my studio decor.

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All of the smaller items that I stock in the shop are sorted on large barn-wood shelves throughout the studio.

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The barn wood is salvaged from an old horse stall that we pulled down while house sitting last year.  The building was no longer structurally sound but, once dried out, some of the wood was in decent shape.

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It’s pretty tough to find such wide, long and beautiful solid wood boards these days!  I feel lucky to have these.  They are very practical for me (I like open storage) and they are full of character.

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I’ve affixed my most used bobbins to the underside of one of the shelves using a couple of magnetic strips.  They are directly above my thread rack so it is easy to keep track of matching colors.

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My yarn is stored in three massive baskets that I sewed using the canvas, strapping and screen prints that we include in our Carry-All Bag Making Kit.

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I used this great tutorial to create these…but increased the dimensions by A LOT to make massive versions.

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I found a male dress form (pinnable!) at a second hand consignment shop a few months ago and was over the moon about it as I have been longing for one ever since I left behind the great mannequins available at design school.

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The mannequin didn’t have a stand…but…I mentioned my desire for a stand to my parents while they were admiring the studio and, low and behold, I now have one!  Just two days ago, my Dad dropped by with one that he made for me!

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He re-purposed the disk brake from an old vehicle, painted it with left over spray paint from another old vehicle, lathe turned a beautiful wooden base out of a scrap of wood, used a stainless pole and mount from the sailboat that he recently refitted to sail to Hawaii, and rigged up a system to fit it to the mannequin’s empty attachment point!  My dad is the best sort of Renaissance man :D.

I would be remiss to give you a studio tour without showing you my studio companion and his favourite place to hang out!

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Luki may look serene here but in reality he is quivering with excitement while neighbourhood cat-watching.

Needless to say, my timid little cat, Jasmine, does not share office hours with Luki.  Even though she can easily boss him around, she generally likes to avoid him and prefers to come to work in the evening and night (she blooms at night, just like the Jasmine flower).  She likes to help me sew by sitting on my fabric (classic).

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She loves the corner of the studio I’ve devoted to her – it is complete with a great viewpoint, a selection of feathers, and a stash of homegrown catnip.

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I hope you found this peek into the Thread Theory studio interesting!  Time for me to get back to work!

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And, just to remind any of you who missed yesterday’s post – all PDF patterns are 50% off in our shop until Monday!  Check out the largest sale of the year >

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13 thoughts on “Studio Tour

  1. Your new space looks both inviting and practical. I really like the mix of old and new. It is wonderful that you have no commute but don’t ” live amidst work”. I enjoyed the info on your machines. I had a Kenmore that I used almost daily for about 18 years and miss it still. I replaced it with a Pfaff Quilt expression about 12 years ago it was a good machine but didn’t last like the Kenmore. I now have a Pfaff creative and for the 3 months we have spent together we have been at odds. The main issue being I’m not and never have been interested in an embroidery machine ( the embroidery unit is still in the box) I just find it finicky without the control I like for garment sewing. I do sew with a lot of heavy fabrics and am seriously considering an industrial next. Space is an issue as my sewing space is ” walk in back out” my grandmothers Singer Treadle would have to live in a different room and I like having it there. Lol, guess I will just have to enjoy its close company while I save up!

  2. This is really an inspiration. I just LOVED seeing all these pics.
    thank you! and congrats, really ❤

  3. Thank you so much to share your studio with us. This ia a very calm place to work with a lot of day light.
    Your very well organised, bravo!
    Thank you also for the huge discout on paterns, I bought a lot to renew the wardrobe of all the mens in the familly. I will show you my projects when they are done.

  4. Thank you so much for the tour! I loved it! I thought the collaboration with both sets of parents was really neat–the backstory behind the studio really enhances it that much more. It looks like such a lovely place to work with the natural wood and the natural light. It’s easy to see how you’ve been able to thrive with the wonderful encouragement and support that you have (and give!).

  5. I have that same old coffee can that’s sitting on your window. I like to go “antiquing” in my in-laws house (because they don’t throw things out) and that was one of my recent finds. I love seeing your studio. It’s always so cool to see where people work. What a great space!

    • Interesting! My tin is actually a maple syrup tin from Quebec. Matt’s brother and his wife brought it back to us (full of maple syrup…yum!) when they lived in Montreal a few years ago. Is yours also a maple syrup tin or is it a coffee brand with similar colors? I’m curious 🙂

  6. This was great fun! I was surprised to read you had set up your studio in your new home – are you not sharing commercial space any longer with your local colleague? A new home with a whole garage for your passion and business is a dream come true I’m sure! Congratulations Morgan. I had an old gov’t desk just like yours years ago and I loved it for it’s huge space and solidity too 🙂 it’s long gone however so it was fun reading how you’ve dragged this one hither and thither for years. They are HEAVY!! You didn’t talk about your sewing machines which I would love to know more about (we sewists can be a little nerdy about our machines).

    • Ah yes, I don’t know if I fully explained the transition on the blog since the flurry of activity when we bought our house last July was so intense! Matt and I had no intentions of leaving the downtown shared studio space but were looking for homes to buy. We didn’t think it would be possible (with our budget) to find a home that had enough space for Thread Theory as well as for us. When we found our dream place my studio mate kindly suggested that I move out of the studio because she was ready to expand her business into the whole space anyways! It was excellent timing for both of us 🙂

      Yes, the desk is extremely heavy! Matt has had to move it on his own once – fortunately the pedestals separate from the table top. He still reminds me of the struggle each time he’s asking me for a favor 😛

      That was silly of me not to talk about my sewing machines! I have mentioned them once or twice on the blog in the past but it has been at least a year or two since I did this. My little Kenmore was a gift from Matt’s mom. It was her trusty sewing machine for many decades! It works flawlessly and I love the all-metal construction. I use it for it’s zig zag stitch and spectacular buttonhole attachment. My serger is an old Janome which my parents gave to me when I was first getting serious about sewing. My mom taught me to sew using her Janome serger so she hunted down the very same model for me! Unfortunately, my serger is a little worse for wear these days…I think I used it too heavily when I sewed part time for an interior designer. I have had it tuned up numerous times but it quickly reverts back to skipping stitches. It does the job for finishing my seam allowances though! Lastly, my pride and joy is my Reliable industrial sewing machine! My parents helped me purchase it when I started the fashion design program. At first I was in the market for an old Juki industrial since these were what my school sold and they are a bit more affordable to purchase used. I changed my mind though when I had a chance to try out a new industrial with a silent ‘servo motor’. When the machine is on but not engaged it is completely silent. This was a big bonus for me because I found the constant whine of the industrial machines at school (which were left on all day even when we were doing classroom work in the same room) to be hugely headache inducing. This machine also rests on a pan of oil so it oils itself! I just need to change the oil in the pan whenever it gets too dirty (which has only been once or twice so far). I highly recommend an industrial machine for anyone who plans to sew small production items (for craft fairs, an Etsy shop or on a larger scale) or for people who plan to sew with a lot of heavier fabrics. I’ve never regretted choosing my industrial over a fancy new computerised machine.

      • Thank you for that run down on your machines (my inner-nerd chortles). I had a Kenmore once! It was given to me by my mother-in-law (twenty-five years ago) on it’s own table but I only used it a few times. When we were moving out here (Victoria BC from Kitchener ON) it just seemed crazy to lug it around (seeing a theme here with the gov’t desk? 🙂 so it got left behind. But it was a workhorse! I don’t think an industrial machine would suit me as a home sewer – I love my computerized Elna 🙂 but I did buy a new serger and coverstitch this year (SERIOUSLY extravagant, self indulgent and joy 🙂 they are both Babylocks) and I know everyone sings their praises – I could wax poetic about them myself having switched from that crazy S25 Husqvarna. Congratulations again Morgan on finding just the perfect home to grow your business (and family I suspect I intuit 🙂 )

  7. I loved seeing your studio. What a great space! It’s so important to have a dedicated and beautiful space to work in, and your’s is all that!

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