Thread Theory

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


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Merry Christmas from my Mom and I (in our Lazo Trousers)!

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Merry Christmas!  I hope that the next few days find you surrounded by loved ones and in good health.  I am about to begin my holidays (I will be back to blogging in the first week of January) so I wanted to sign off with a fun ‘editorial’ style shoot of my Mom and I decked out for Christmas in Lazo Trousers.

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The purpose of the shoot isn’t to show you the trouser design details (since I have been overwhelming you with posts about the particulars of the pattern!).  These photos are meant to give you a glimpse of the Lazos in action!  We both chose to style our Lazos the way we would wear them to Christmas dinner.  My mom’s pair is made out of a synthetic fabric that was terrible to work with (loads of static and it frayed like crazy!).  I like how it has a bit of body though and does not wrinkle easily…it also doesn’t press easily :S.  My pair are made out of the beautiful tencel I was telling you about from Blackbird Fabrics.  They are VERY comfortable but perhaps turned out a bit big because my weight has been fluctuating lately and I thought I was ready to size up (only to fluctuate back down by the time the trousers were finished).  I am usually a size 2 but sewed a size 4 this time.  As a result, they sit about 1-2″ lower on my waist than intended and perhaps look quite casual because of this.

lazo-trousers-for-christmas-10I paired my Lazos with a cozy angora sweater and, as per normal, tucked my sweater in.  I like to emphasise my waist (and wear heels) when dressing up because doing so makes my legs feel a bit longer.  My Mom wore a flowing silk blouse and vest over her Lazos because she never tucks her blouses in.  I think the tapered legs pair nicely with a loose top and long vest.

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My Dad and my parent’s dog, Jake, joined us for the photo shoot (and Matt was behind the camera, of course).  It ended up being a bit of a family portrait session!  We can’t help ourselves at Christmas: We hammed it up and embraced the cheesiness by attempting to create a continuous loop of Christmas crackers.  Jake was trying to help:

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It was difficult, but in the end, we managed 😛  You might notice my Dad is wearing his buffalo check Fairfield shirt…he reports that he wears it very often.  In fact, he wears a t-shirt under it so that he doesn’t have to put it in the wash daily and thus can wear it more!  So there you go – we are a family of red handmade clothing this Christmas (unintentionally matchy-matchy but I kind of like it!).

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I’ll leave you with one last photo to round off 2016…Jake!

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Happy holidays!  May the new year bring many great projects for you (and us!).  Thank you for giving us such a stable, fruitful, and connected year!  We look forward to many more like it.


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Lazo Trousers: Style Inspiration (and pattern hack ideas!)

lazo-hack-contest Christmas is quickly approaching so this will be my 2nd to last post about the Lazos before a short holiday.  I will be posting about some Christmassy Lazo outfits on Friday and then will be taking a break from blogging until January 2nd.  We will be kicking off the New Year with all the fitting posts, tutorials and Lazo Hacks that I have been promising to you!lazo-trouser-drawings-1 Today’s post is meant to get your creative juices flowing before you have a chance to cut into your Lazo Trousers fabric.  I imagine many of us will be too busy spending time with family until the end of the month to actually delve in to sewing something for ourselves – that’s no problem!  It just gives you more time to daydream about your creations and post about your pattern hack ideas!merchant-and-mills-back-in-stock

As you are aware, I am hosting a Lazo Hack contest that runs until the end of January.  I will be awarding prizes at random until January 31st so the more often and sooner you enter, the higher your chance of winning a prize!  Prizes will include digital gift certificates to a great selection of sewing shops and all sorts of goodies that will be mailed to you (worldwide!).  Yes…some of our gorgeous Merchant & Mills tools and books will be given away as prizes!

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To enter the contest, draw a sketch, share an inspiring photo, take a snap shot of the supplies you’ve gathered, post your WIP, create a tutorial, or share a photo of your finished Lazos!  Use #lazotrousers on Instagram or Facebook or email me at info@threadtheory.ca with your images.

The contest is meant to inspire creative interpretations of our Lazo Trousers pattern – meaning you could alter the pattern to suit a figure other than the recommended hourglass shape, you could change the pleats to gathers, you could add width to the legs, or you could even just sew the pattern as is but style it differently than I have done!  Anything is fair game!

You don’t need to actually sew your Lazo Hack idea – you could post sketches of a dozen ideas and then pick your favourite to sew.  The more entries, the merrier 🙂

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I will be contributing to the Lazo Hack contest by hacking the Lazos into the comfiest and prettiest sweatpants featuring a mock fly, a drawstring waistband, and deliciously cozy terry knit fabric.  Stay tuned for a tutorial to create this in January!


Now that you know the details about the Lazo Hack contest, here are some of the inspiration photos that I gathered before drafting the Lazo Trousers in school:

 

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The image on the left is a sketch that I made for my Lazo Trousers design.  Sorry for her creepy blank stare – we were told to turn our sketch into a vector (so it could be coloured in digitally on the computer) and I discovered that this is NOT something I excelled at naturally 😛  All of the other images come from a Pinterest Board that I have created for the Lazos.  Click on any of the collages in this post to link to the Pinterest board.  Unfortunately, I believe you need a Pinterest account (which is free) to view the board but I’ve displayed most of my inspiration in this post for you to view anyways!

As you can see from the five images of modern store bought trousers, I was taken with the idea of a loose, pleated front with stovepipe legs.  I noticed, as I was selecting images, that I always preferred the overall silhouette of trousers that sat at the natural waist (instead of the hips).  This was a bit of an epiphany for me since, prior to creating an inspiration board, I was sure I preferred very low rise trousers!

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Next up, we have these tiny skirt and palazzo trouser images above.  They come from Pinterest…which is a great source of inspiration and an exellent way to organize thoughts but it can be hard to find high quality images or original sources! A fitted waistband with a full skirt attached (a dirndl skirt) is my most comfortable silhoutte…but I find I can never wear it because all that fabric is not very practical for dog walking, bike riding, and generally living actively.  The free feeling of wearing one of these skirts or palazzo pants paired with the practicality of trousers = my goal for the Lazo Trousers.

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The fashion line that I created while in school was called ‘Rationed Fashion’ and it was inspired by British women’s fashion during the second world war.  Rationing led to an appreciation of hard wearing fabrics.  Women had to select their clothing to suit their new jobs (and often wore uniforms for their work).  Design details were subtle and functional so that the garments would remain wearable for many years.  I hadn’t watched the show Land Girls yet when I designed the Lazo Trousers but, the Land Girls uniform was exactly what I had in mind (second image from the right, above).  As you can see in the photos above, jodhpurs or breeches have often been a working or adventuring woman’s go-to pair of trousers in the last 100 years.  They were popular for aviators and equestrian women in the 1910s and 1920s.  They were a staple of wartime working women in the 1940s.  And there have been periods throughout the 1970s and 80s when trousers with fitted waists, roomy thighs, and fitted calves were in vogue.  It is a functional style because it allows full range of movement without excess fabric getting in the way.

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The wide Lazo Trouser waistband and slash pockets provide a great blank canvas for small design details.  Leather or vinyl buckles are my go to choice but you can also feature self fabric buckles, statement buttons, self fabric covered buttons, or even those beautiful frog closures that are always in fabric stores but rarely get used!

 

Quite a few of you have shared your ideas for the Lazos with me so far (not as contest entries, but instead as comments…you guys should sketch your ideas and submit them as contest entries!).  There are many people planning to make safari style Lazos and there are a couple of you planning to cut in to tartan wool and use kilt buckles.  And a number of you want to add width to the legs to create elegant palazzo pants.  I’m so excited to see your creations!

Download the Lazo Trousers >

Check out my Lazo Trousers Pinterest Board >


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What type of fabric should I use for the Lazo Trousers?

It was lots of fun yesterday to receive all of your emails, blog comments and Instagram comments about our Lazo Trousers release!  As always, thank you so much for letting me know how excited you are to sew our patterns and also for asking all manner of questions before you delve in.  Your questions are helping me to direct my upcoming posts about the Lazos…so keep them coming!  Today I’m going to answer what is always the most pressing question when we launch a pattern: What fabric should I use?

The Lazos are a bit of a wild card when it comes to styling.  Depending on your fabric choice they can appear dressy, casual, cozy, or even a touch rugged.  Over the last few years I’ve sewn airy versions that are best for the hottest days of summer.  This is my favourite summery version in tencel (I added a big statement bow to the waist).  Of all my versions, I really cant beat these ones for comfort!

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My sweatpant version was a close contender though 😛  I hacked the Lazos while I was in school to create heather grey sweatpants with a satin ribbon draw string (that’s the only pair I’ve actually worn out…I guess that says something about my dressing habits!).  A sweatpant hack will be on the blog in January as part of our Lazo Hack contest!

I’ve also created some active wear cropped Lazos that were intended for summer hiking using a poly twill.  Photos of these will be on the blog soon (once Matt has had a chance to photograph me).

Lastly, of course, you can’t beat the classic ‘work’ trousers in a wool blend suiting:

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Can you see what I mean about the pattern being a wild card?

So, when you ask what sort of fabric you should use…the answer is not a quick one!  Let’s dig in:

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Within the instruction booklet I recommend the following:

Light to medium weight fabrics that drape nicely. These trousers are especially comfortable if the fabric contains a small percentage of spandex for stretch.  Keep in mind that the pleats will look best if you choose a fabric that presses crisply. Great choices include suiting fabrics, tencel or rayons, crepe de chine and peach skin.  Self fabric or light weight wovens can be used for the waistband facing. Pocketing or tightly woven cotton can be used for the pocket lining.

The main information to take from this paragraph is the recommended weight, drape, stretch, and pressing ease of the fabric.  I’ll elaborate on these criteria without actually naming any types of fabric.  That way you can get a deeper understanding of what properties you are looking for.  If you’re excited to get shopping and just want some actual fabric options, scroll down to find them near the end of this post!

Weight

Most trouser patterns call for mid to heavy weight fabrics but the Lazo Trousers do not.  If anything, I recommend choosing something on the lighter side!  The reason I recommend light to medium weight fabrics is because there is a considerable amount of fabric situated across the belly and thighs – there are pockets, pleats, and an overlapping wide waistband all in one small area!  Using a lighter weight fabric, regardless of its ability to press or drape, will help to ensure that the Lazos do not look bulky across the lower tummy and upper thighs.  A light to medium weight fabric is more likely to sit close to the skin softly rather than fold and buckle rigidly.  Lastly, a light weight fabric matches the look and feel of a super comfortable full gathered maxi skirt that was my inspiration for this design.

If you want to experiment and choose a heavier weight fabric, make sure that it drapes very nicely – it will work best if it is loosely woven and soft.  This raw silk version of the Lazos is the thickest fabric I have used but it is very light and soft because it is loosely woven.  The waistband is fairly bulky and, I think, looks best with an un-tucked shirt as a result.

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Drape

In my opinion, soft drape (sometimes called ‘good drape’) is the most important criteria for the Lazo Trousers.  As my instructor always said in design school, drape is a deceivingly tricky thing to quantify and understand.  Essentially, drape is the way a fabric hangs on the body.  There is a very informative blog post about drape on the blog “Cucicucicoo”.  Lisa has included an excellent selection of pictures showing ‘good’ drape fabrics vs. “low” drape fabrics.  Here is an example from her post:

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I think the Lazos look consistently best, regardless of fabric type, when the fabric wants to form itself to the body’s shape and fall fluidly towards the ground.  Choosing a fabric with soft drape will encourage the pleats to sit closely against the legs, ensure the waistband looks smooth and perfectly formed to the curve of the waist, and allow the legs to remain smooth and crease-free.

If you are feeling like experimenting, I would love for you to prove me wrong about drape!  The only Lazos I have sewn with a stiff, rigid fabric are the cotton muslin samples that I sewed while developing the pattern!  I imagined the design to be soft and fluid so I was never inclined to sew structured trousers. If you end up sewing with a stiffer fabric, be prepared to accept some wrinkles after sitting and a bit of volume from the pleats (this isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on the look you are going for!  Maybe your going for the chic 1920’s look featuring voluminous jodhpurs?).

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(Source: The Maryland Historical Society)

Stretch

The Lazo Trousers are designed for fabrics with no stretch but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid stretchy fabrics!  Sew them in a fabric with a little bit or spandex or even in a very stable knit!  Many suiting fabrics and bottom weight fabrics contain about 6% spandex these days – these would result in a very comfortable pair of Lazos!  The waistband is very closely fitted so you will not need to size down to accommodate for stretch.

With some modifications to the pattern, a stable ponte de roma or sweatshirt fleece make for creat Lazos (the sweatpant hack I was mentioning).  Don’t try to sew the waistband as drafted (without my upcoming mods) in a knit fabric though – there wouldn’t be enough structure for the centre front overlap to look nice and crisp.  You could try sewing a woven waistband and cotton legs though!  Oooh, that would be comfortable!

Press Crisply

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I encourage you to choose a fabric that presses nicely so that your pleats look crisp and professional.  At the same time, you will probably want to avoid fabrics that wrinkle exceptionally quickly since the loose legs may become creased when you sit down.  Some gentle creasing (just as you will notice on most wide leg trousers) is just fine…but you don’t want to choose fabrics that crease at the slightest provocation.  Test a fabric by bunching it up in your fist and letting it warm in your closed hand.  Release the bunch and examine it to see if it falls flat or if it remains a crumpled ball.  If the fabric does not remain entirely smooth but only has light creasing, it will still work for the Lazos!


Now that you’ve read my reasoning, here are my top fabric picks for the Lazos.

Tencel

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I cannot recommend Tencel enough for the Lazos.  Indeed, I designed the Lazos with this specific moss green fabric already purchased and sitting happily in my fabric stash (it was fueling my imagination!).  My favourite source for Tencel is Blackbird Fabrics, an online fabric shop based out of Vancouver.  Caroline currently has two weights stocked in her shop – both would be excellent choices for the Lazo.  The above green version is similar to her lighter weight option (though I purchased the green fabric from a shop near my school years ago).

Here is a navy blue Tencel that she currently has in stock:

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She describes this as a twill with a unique brushed surface and suede like texture.  It has very good drape and just enough body to hide bumps that you don’t want to show.

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I have just finished sewing myself a pair of Christmas Lazos in Blackbird Fabric’s slightly heavier tencel twill.  They are dreamy!  The twill weave is a bit more pronounced with this fabric.  I look forward to showing my Christmas outfit to you in a future post!

There are quite a few beautiful colors (in both weights) within the Blackbird Fabrics online shop.  I am tempted by the camel color for my next pair!

Suiting

If you plan to sew the Lazos in a suiting material, be aware that there are MANY suiting fabric styles with all manner of properties.  Not all of them will work well!  Make sure to choose a light weight suiting that drapes well.  To give you an idea of what I mean: It should be thin enough and soft enough that you would need to add a LOT of interfacing and structure if you were to use it for a blazer.  Stylemaker Fabrics (an online shop based in the US) is an excellent online source for beautiful yet affordable suitings. Here are my top 3 picks!

Pick one is a solid brown stretch suiting featuring polyester, rayon and lycra.  The polyester would make this fabric hard wearing, the rayon would allow the fabric to drape softly, and the lycra would make for a super comfortable waistband!  The brown is a nice versatile colour.  The other solid is a rayon and lycra stretch twill in wine.  The rich colour paired with the beautiful drape of rayon would make for a very dressy pair of trousers.  My third pick is this statement Shepherd’s Check!  It features polyester and rayon (so there is no stretch).

I had actually purchased this fabric to make a pair of Lazos inspired by English riding attire but it got swallowed in my fabric stash and I just recently unearthed it to create a vest for Matt (the first sample of a future menswear pattern!)!  If I wasn’t told that it has no wool in it, I would never believe it!  It feels luxurious and high quality.

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I have a bit of (likely) unwanted advice for you…You may have noticed that I have not featured any wool suitings.  I am a huge wool enthusiast so, if you are too and can source lovely light weight wools, please go ahead and cut into your bounty to create some Lazos!  Before you go crazy trying to find the right wool (I have a hard time sourcing nice light wools), consider this:  If you like your clothes to wear well without much special treatment, choose a polyester blend suiting.  I know many sewists steer clear of poly blends in favour of pure wool, but this is a situation where a bit of polyester will be very beneficial!  A wool or rayon and poly blend is a good choice for trousers because it withstands abrasion and remains looking new (without special care) for longer than pure wool.  Even more important for the Lazos:  Wool/poly blends generally drape better than pure wool suiting materials.  An added bonus is that blended suitings are generally very easy to source and are quite affordable!

Bottom Weight Fabrics with Texture

My last fabric category to discuss today is a grab bag…really this category is just a mish mash of all my crazy ideas to help you ignite ideas of your own.  I have found that the Lazo Trousers are a great canvas for light weight fabrics with unusual textures!  As long as you can ensure the fabric has the weight and drape we have discussed, why not try rich velvet, adventurous faux suede, airy rayon crepe or matte peachskin?

All fabrics from Stylemaker. Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Faux Suede, Jacquard, Peachskin, Metallic Rayon Crepe, Chevron Rayon Crepe, Bold Rayon Crepe, Cranberry Stretch Velvet

These options are untested by me but I think, based on my experimenting over the last few years, they could be stunners!  The rayon crepes would create summery Lazos similar to my Tencel versions.  The Faux Suede would definitely create that safari look that I mentioned!  I purchased the black Jacquard to make myself a pair of Lazos…it remains languishing in my stash but it will emerge one day!  It has the lowest drape of all these choices and would definitely create voluminous pleats.  I think this would result in a great silhouette for New Year’s parties!  Last, but certainly not least, the stretch velvet is beckoning to me…how about you?  Of course, the pleats would not press well and working with velvet would require some careful forethought…I think I would convert the double pleats to one large pleat on each side of the fly and leave the folds unpressed so as not to crush the velvet.  I would also add a lot of interfacing to the waistband and cut the waistband facing from a thin cotton to add structure.


I hope I have your creative juices flowing!  Send me a link or a photo of the fabric you are considering and I will give you my opinion :).

Next week I will be sharing my inspiration and styling photos on the blog.  That should be a fun post!

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To close for tonight, I want to remind you of the Lazo Hack contest!  It will run the rest of December and all of January.  I had intended to explain it further in this blog post but this has become rather long…stay tuned for a small post of it’s own next week.


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Happy Birthday – we have a new pattern!

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The Lazo Trousers – our second pattern for women – is live in our shop!

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These trousers are designed to flatter an hourglass figure by hugging the curves while maintaining complete comfort.  They have a wide, shaped waistband from which the pants hang like a skirt.  There is no pressure across the hips or thighs due to the roomy pleats and tapered leg.

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There are two variations included within this pattern – one is full length and the other is a cropped trouser with wide cuffs and statement belt loops.  Of course, you can mix and match variations by adding belt looks to the full length version!

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This pattern, as many of you know, has been in the works for the last four years – in fact, the design itself pre-dates Thread Theory!  I developed these pants, along with the Camas Blouse, for my end of year fashion show during design school.  My goal for my fashion line was to create elegant garments that do not sacrifice comfort.  These trousers, in particular, were designed to combat a myriad of issues that I have with most women’s casual pants…the narrow waistband digs in to my lower tummy, there is never enough room for my bum, and I tend to feel a bit like a sausage stuffed in to its casing due to the tight fit across the hips and thighs.  I prefer to wear close fitting trousers so that I can balance them with loose fitting tops (so wide leg trousers aren’t an option in my daily casual wardrobe).  The Lazo Trousers were my answer to all of these complaints and criteria.

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Maybe they are the answer to your pant related complaints too!  When I posted photos of the trousers on my blog (which was very new at that time), I received such an enthusiastic response that I decided to develop a couple of women’s patterns to compliment our menswear line.

Our 4th birthday:

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Fast forward over four years later to Thread Theory’s 4th birthday, and the trousers are available at last!  We’ve launched them today to help us celebrate this anniversary and to thank you, our predominantly female community, for enthusiastically supporting our menswear supply shop and pattern line over the last four years.  THANK YOU!!!

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As another way to celebrate, Matt and I are giving back to an organisation that is close to our hearts.  50% of proceeds from each Lazo Trouser sale will be donated to Help Fill A Dream.  This is a Vancouver Island based organisation that assists children with life threatening conditions by fulfilling their dreams and by providing care and financial support for their families.  You can read more about their efforts and the dreams they have filled on their website.

This organisation means a lot to me because I was diagnosed with Leukaemia when I was a toddler.  Help Fill a Dream gave my family and I something to look forward to while I went through chemotherapy by promising me a trip to Disneyland.  As a young child, unable to comprehend what I was going through, the trip to Disneyland remains my only memory of the whole ordeal.  I can only wish that every child facing such health challenges could grow up healthy and look back on that period of their life with such fondness!

Behind the Scenes – Pattern Development:

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Now that you know the inside scoop on our birthday celebrations, here is a look behind the scenes during the Lazo Trousers development process:

As you can probably guess, based on the four year time frame required to complete this pattern, there were quite a few snags along the way.  First, I had to gain confidence in my fitting skills before even considering developing a pattern designed to fit the hip, crotch and waist curves of a woman’s figure!  Helping all of you with your menswear fitting challenges has, of course, given me a fairly diverse amount of experience.  I also took a women’s trouser fitting workshop two summers ago to compliment the fitting class that I attended during my design program.

The next challenge was the pattern testing process.  I sent the pattern to volunteers with a large variety of body shapes and sizes.  I also sewed up many samples to try on the women in my own life.  After this experience I was given a HUGE amount of feedback by my generous testers and fit models…it took me months to wade through it all! I then tweaked the pattern and pretty much re-wrote the instructions based on this wonderful feedback.  During this process I came to terms with a very important concept: One trouser pattern will never fit everyone…especially not this one!  These trousers are quite a unique style that were drafted to fit body type.  They are meant to flatter someone who has a large difference between their waist and hip measurements (i.e. an hourglass figure) and to fit someone with a fairly rounded bottom and flat stomach (their hip circumference is mostly distributed towards the back).  Even someone with the exact figure I just described will still need to fit this pattern to themselves because the human body is incredibly unique.  If you don’t have an hourglass figure but long for the Lazos in your wardrobe, go ahead and give them a try!  I bet, with a muslin, some fitting and tweaking of the style, you can sew yourself a pair of perfect trousers!  Just be prepared to do a little bit of extra work before achieving the results that you want.

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Don’t let my talk of fitting scare you off of sewing trousers!  Just think, store bought trousers are not fitted to your figure and you have probably been wearing these more or less successfully your whole life!  A few simple fit adjustments will produce trousers that are REALLY comfortable because they are tailored to your body.  I have included side seams on the Lazo waistband to make it easy to fit your unique waist to hip curve.  I have illustrated quite a few tips within the instruction booklet to help you fit to your lower back, bottom and crotch curve.  I will also be photographing some important fitting techniques on the blog in the coming weeks.

Let’s sew Lazos!

Ready to tackle a pair of trousers?  I will be posting a list of recommended fabrics tomorrow!  In the meantime, you can find the awesome buckles that I used for my favourite sample in our shop.

Grab a pair to use on your own Lazos! >

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Lastly, we’re hosting a fun Lazo Hack contest.  The purpose of the contest is to show off your creative manipulation of this pattern by sharing your tips, tutorials, sketches, and finished Lazo projects.  Submit photos or illustrations using #lazotrousers on Facebook or Instagram or email them to me at info@threadtheory.ca.  I will be handing out prizes at random until January 31st.  This means, the earlier you submit your images, the more chances you have at winning a prize!

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An upcoming post on recommended materials for the Lazo will feature more details about the contest and my own ideas to hack the pattern.

Download your Lazo Trouser Pattern now >


 

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Thanks again, from Matt and I, for your enthusiastic support of our menswear supply shop and for making the last four years so much fun!  Happy Birthday to Thread Theory 😀

P.S. Please comment below if you have any questions about fitting your figure.  I am preparing the fitting blog post and will launch it next Friday Dec. 23rd.  Now is the time to ask so that you can have your questions answered!

 

 

 

 


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Sew a Gift this Christmas!

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Some of you might have noticed I didn’t write a blog post last Friday (my mom and my mother-in-law both joked that they worried I was ill and dying…fortunately, this was not the case!).  You guys must have some big Christmas sewing plans because, last week in particular, I spent every day madly packing up your menswear sewing supplies so I could cart them to the post office as quickly as possible.  I simply didn’t have time to prepare a blog post!

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While in line at the post office I was wearing a red wool coat, a big white scarf and had a whole shopping cart of Christmas parcels.  The man in front of me said I looked just like Mrs. Claus!  I certainly felt like a Christmas elf at least!

With Christmas gift giving on my mind, I’ve gathered together a selection of sewing inspiration to give you an extra boost as you fill all the items on your Christmas gift list.

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Let’s start with this year’s gift ideas!  Usually I do a blog post about my ideas (see last year’s and one from a couple of years ago) but this year I was invited to chat with Rachel on the Canadian podcast MakerStyle.  We talked about my top five gifts to sew for men.  Be sure to check it out – there are a couple of ideas that wouldn’t take too long to assemble so you still have time to get into the DIY gift giving spirit!

And here is some more gift inspiration for you from the Thread Theory community!  Do you see anything your husband, boyfriend, brother, son, or friend would love for Christmas?

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These two gorgeous wintery blue Fairfield Button-ups would look great worn to Christmas dinner!  On the left is a Fairfield sewn by the proprietress of the German fabric shop, Brinarina.  You can find more photos of her Fairfield on Instagram.  The close up shot of the Fairfield on the right is from Anna who just shared this beautiful photo on her Instagram account (@grosgary).

comox-trunks

Comox Trunks make such a fun stocking stuffer…plus they are very quick to sew and are a great way to recycle t-shirts or use up fabric scraps!  I love the whimsical fabric that @adlesim used for the pair on the left.  If you don’t end up having time to sew the trunks, no need to worry! You could take a leaf out of Jenny’s book and wrap them up as an appealing kit…maybe along with the offer to teach your recipient to sew?  Jenny sells these bright kits and finished trunks in her glorious sewing shop, the Makehouse (in Victoria, B.C.).

finlayson-sweater

The Finlayson Sweater is always the first pattern that I recommend for gift giving.  It is pretty safe to just guess a size with this boxy design!  I absolutely adore the lengthened version that Jessica made at Handcraft Workshop.  On the right is an incredibly cozy looking quilted Finlayson made by @mllechouchou.

newcastle-cardigan

The photo on the right was emailed to me by Matthew recently – he turned the Newcastle Cardigan into a classy jacket featuring herringbone cotton, bemberg lining and a lapped zipper!

And, to wrap up our show and tell, on the above left is a photo by @kristieinbc featuring her Thread Theory purchase beside a pretty basket of wintery pinecones.  This is how I like to wrap up your orders – they are sent as brown paper packages tied up in string!

The last thing I want to share today isn’t a menswear gift idea but, is instead, a heartwarming tale about a man learning to sew!  Every time I hear such a story, I feel inspired to continue with Thread Theory’s emphasis of sewing menswear.

practically-awesome

Christopher recently emailed me to share a link to a blog post detailing his new passion for sewing.  I HIGHLY recommend giving it a read…especially if you would like to find out how he wound up with such a gorgeous vintage Elna!


 

I really enjoy rounding up my favourites from the Thread Theory sewing community but I’m sure there are many other inspiring projects and stories out there that I’ve missed!  I have received a few requests lately to create a Facebook group for Thread Theory patterns.  I am relatively clueless when it comes to using Facebook but it seems as though this is a pretty easy and also common way to create a sewing themed discussion group or forum.  The purpose of the group would be to share your finished projects and to discuss ideas for our patterns amongst yourselves (topics could include fabric selection, modifications and questions about tricky sewing steps for instance).  Does this sound like something that would be useful to you?  From your experience, do you think Facebook is the best platform for this kind of community?  Or would you suggest a different sort of forum or community board?  I would love your input!