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Styling the Finlayson Sweater for Spring

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Last week when I shared some of the submissions to our Finlayson Sweater Photo Contest I didn’t share Nancy’s beautiful photos of her husband modelling his sweater because I didn’t yet have the right format of photo to share.  These photos are too great not to share so, now that I have the photos, I decided they are well worth an extra blog post!

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Nancy’s husband paired his Finlayson Sweater (Variation 1 but with an added kangaroo pocket from Variation 2) with a leather jacket and tan trousers for a perfect spring outfit.

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I think these photos show how versatile the Finlayson can be because you can see it here sewn up in a cozy and casual sweatshirt fleece…yet look how put together and polished it looks when dressed up a bit with the right jacket!

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Thanks, ever so much for sharing your photos, Nancy (and for re-sending them to me in a different format!), and thanks to your husband for making such a dashing model!

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You can see more of Nancy’s very wearable, practical and stylish sewing projects on her instagram account (@notfancynancy) or on her blog.  I particularly enjoyed her Instagram post about the collar she replaced on her husband’s much-loved field jacket as a birthday present.  She gave the jacket a fresh new lease on life!


Get the Finlayson Sweater sewing pattern here: PDF pattern and Tissue Pattern

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Finlayson Photo Contest Winners

Wow, that was a really tough choice!  Our Finlayson Photo Contest ended at noon PST today and I had a lot of amazing photos to choose from.  Thank you for carefully sewing, wrangling up a model, and taking such lovely photo shoots!

Congratulations to our three winners:

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Mary sewed Variation 1 and took gorgeous wintery photos of her husband, Kyle, wearing his new sweater at Falls Park in Pendleton, Indiana.  These will be the main photos of the Finlayson on our website!

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Roni sewed Variation 2 featuring an eye catching contrast hood lining.  Her brother did a great job modelling!  This will be the secondary photo of the Finlayson in our shop.  Thanks, Roni!

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And, lastly, from the increasingly large and varied selection of Finlaysons on Instagram at #finlaysonsweater we’ve chosen this gorgeous Finlayson (with lots of interesting RTW inspired modifications) sewn by Andrea’s daughter for Andrea’s son and shared by Andrea @fabricepiphanies.  I’ve contacted you via Instagram, Andrea!

While I couldn’t choose everyone as winners for this contest, I must show off some of the hard work you guys went to and the wonderfully wearable garments that resulted:

Finlaysons sewn by: 1. Nancy (view her sewing related blog here) 2. Lily 3. Ginger Luv Designs (@gingerluvdesigns) 4. Rosemary (view here sewing related blog here) 4. Fiona (@somethingnice_blog) 5. Heike (@lillia_flor) 6. Ashley 7. Kim 8. Zoe @zonmatrondoesart

Thank you to all who took part in this contest!  If you are inspired to sew the Finlayson Sweater after viewing all of these versions (I know I am!), head over to the shop to claim your PDF or tissue pattern.

Now it’s time for me to edit and resize the winner’s photos to update our old and not-so-great website shots of the Finlayson…wahoo!


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Finlayson Sweater Photo Contest

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I’d love to buy your very best Finlayson Sweater photos!

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I’ve never been happy with the photo shoot that we did for our Finlayson Sweater pattern and am constantly impressed by the pictures I see popping up of the Finlayson on blogs and Instagram…so I thought that I might invite you to send me your favourite Finlayson photo shoot to feature as the main pattern photos on our website!  Believe me, Matt will be incredibly grateful to be spared the pain of modelling for a fresh Finlayson photo shoot (he detests modelling).

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Here is how the contest works:

  1. Email me at info@threadtheory.ca with a link or your attached photos by March 2nd.  This gives you two weeks to sew a fresh Finlayson or take pictures of an existing Finlayson.  I’ll announce the winners on the blog that day!  All photo shoots must include a minimum of three (3) photos of the same Finlayson Sweater.
  2. Two winners will be selected – one featuring the collared Variation 1 and the other featuring the hooded Variation 2.  The sweaters must be sewn as per the pattern instructions to be considered (no modifications).  Each winner will receive $100 CAD for their photo shoot (which I can e-transfer to you upon announcing the winners and after I have contacted you to ensure I have the right email address to transfer your prize).
  3. Photos must be available for me to purchase in high resolution.  Once purchased, Thread Theory would have the right to edit and use the photos that we purchase as our own.
  4. Keep in mind our Thread Theory aesthetic when taking your photos!  We love natural backgrounds featuring woodland, grassland and mountains.  We love when men smile for photos and act as natural as they can (a difficult task when modelling for a photo shoot!).  Our website images are portrait orientation but we like to have a landscape option as well so we can use at least one photo for our front page banner.

 

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And lastly, a 3rd prize of a $50 credit to our Thread Theory shop will be given for our favourite photo featured on Instagram using #finlaysonsweater!  This 3rd winner will be notified directly through Instagram.

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I look forward to seeing what you come up with!  Thanks for joining in the fun!

Please ask any questions via the blog comments…you will want to be certain you are clear of the contest rules before you go to all the work of sewing and photographing!


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Sweater for my Dad (psst…the sale section has new 30% off items!)

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I sewed my dad a cozy Finlayson Sweater for his birthday last week!

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The main body is the super soft hemp and recycled polyester fleece from our shop.  This is the “Lake” colour but we also have charcoal and a lovely forest green.

The decorative facing at the neckline is a scrap of bamboo and cotton stretch jersey, also from our shop!  I added charcoal grosgrain along the neckline seam allowance as the Finlayson Sweater directions instruct you to do.

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Even with these details, this sweater only took me 1 3/4 hours to sew, including the time taken to cut out the fabric!

It makes such a great gift because the fit is very forgiving and it is so quick to sew…but it doesn’t look like a rushed gift at all.  In fact, the Finlayson can be a very thoughtfully personalised since the neckline can be customised with fabric and ribbon choices that perfectly suit the recipient.

I decided to give this Finlayson purely as a gift with no strings attached – usually I ask him to model for me but I thought he could really use a break from that for once. 😛


 

In other news: I’ve added a number of new items to the sale section of our shop – you will find a variety of tools, fabrics and patterns at sale prices of up to 30% off!  The Finlayson Sweater (both PDF and tissue) is one of those 30% off items!  Enjoy!


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Fabric Sale!

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Despite the knee high snow and driving icy rain outside, I know Spring will be on its way soon!  It’s time to clear the studio shelves a little so that I have room to order our Spring Fabric Collection!  Our entire selection of fabric is currently 15% off – so if you have been tempted to order some Dintex rain jacket fabric or some beautiful merino wool, now is your final opportunity!

Use the discount code WINTERFABRIC upon checkout to receive 15% off any fabric in your shopping cart.  The sale is for this weekend only!

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Once most of these fabrics are sold out we won’t be restocking them any time soon since I will be choosing a new selection of fabrics that work well with our sewing patterns each season.  We are already sold out of many of the Dintex colors…but there are still some great options available!

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It isn’t only the Fall and Winter fabrics that are on sale…all of our fabric is!  The very high quality Canadian-made knit fabrics that I have stocked since the launch of our menswear supply shop in Nov. 2015 are also 15% off right now!

I just sewed Matt a new Finlayson Sweater using the black sweatshirt fleece.  As long as Matt stays well away from our white-haired pup, Luki, I think he looks really smart in this pure black fleece!  It’s the warmest sweater in our closet so I’ve been wearing it quite a bit lately too.

It makes me happy and reassured to think that no aspect of this sweater was created outside of Canada.  The people who manufactured this fabric work in excellent conditions with fair pay.  And the person who manufactured the sweater (me!) certainly works in great conditions and received a Matt-made hall table in trade for this garment…I’d say that’s pretty fair pay too.

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It’s very difficult to convey how luxurious these Canadian-made fleece, interlock and ribbing fabrics are using photos since they are all solid colors that may just look like any other knit when photographed.  As soon as you feel the density of the interlock or the incredibly plush wrong side of the sweatshirt fleece, you will know what I mean!  I have been told by a number of sewists who have ordered these knits from us that they are reminiscent of the thickness and quality of pure cotton knits in the 1970s.  A t-shirt made in the interlock or a sweatshirt made in the fleece will last for MANY years of heavy wear.

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I hope this fabric sale has come at a good time for you!  Maybe you can squeeze in a couple more cozy winter projects before the weather warms?

Peruse our fabric selection >

Don’t forget to use the 15% off discount code!  It’s WINTERFABRIC.


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12 Menswear Sewing Projects + 2 Blouses

You guys are such an inspiration!  Each day I begin the work day by checking out what you’ve been making and sharing on Instagram, via email (info@threadtheory.ca) or on Facebook.  Be it the fabric choice, the creative hacks, or the skilled stitching, your projects always allow me to see our old designs from a new perspective.

I’ve created a gallery for each pattern that you guys have been sewing of late.  Above you can see a couple ofexcellent Fairfield Button-ups (along with some VERY elegant Jedediah trousers!).  The aqua colored Fairfield and black Jeds are part of matching father and son outfits in honor of father’s day.  They were sewn by Belgian seamstress and milliner, Jo Chapeau.  The chambray Fairfield Button-up was sewn by Georgia for her partner James.  The fabric is a Robert Kauffman chambray (have you ever seen and felt these in person?  I love the depth and texture of the fabric.  It is so luxurious feeling while giving the overall appearance of a casual fabric choice.)

These two Strathcona Henleys could not look more different but they were sewn by the same person!  Esther sewed one men’s version featuring the Henley placket and long sleeves and then modified the pattern to create a women’s version which she has dubbed the Mariner’s Tee.  It looks as though there is orange striped piping around the neckline.  I love the attention to detail and the way she played with the stripes.

The Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants are excellent skill building projects.  I never fail to feel pride and amazement each time I complete a trouser fly.  I think these talented sewists felt the same (judging by their Facebook messages, Instagram comments and emails!).  From top to bottom, left to right: 1.Jedediah Pants by Lindsay (@designbylindsay) 2. Jutland Shorts by Ben 3. Jedediah Shorts by The Drapery 4. Jutland Shorts by Isis.

The Finlayson Sweater, on the other hand, is a very quick make and is forgiving of all manner of stitching and fitting imperfections.  There is very little topstitching and the fit is boxy enough that you don’t have to worry about tweaking it much for a variety of body shapes.  Even though it is a simple design, it can still be made special by making an unusual fabric choice.  I love the color blocked sleeves and collar in the top photo (sewn by @lafamillecreative).  The French Terry used by Khadetjes for the Finlayson in the lower photos looks extremely cozy.  You can see some close up photos of the texture on her blog – it looks perfect for a chilly day like today!

Photos of Comox Trunks are some of my favorite to stumble upon because I get such a kick out of the wild prints many people select!  You would be hard pressed to find such colorful and cheery underwear in the shops!  The top pair has been sewn by @theunknownstar and the bottom pair (along with the matching thong) have been sewn by @superlousew.  I may have shared this couple’s set of undies on Instagram or the blog before but I can’t find evidence and I can’t resist spreading the concept of matching undies throughout the sewing world!

This Camas Blouse caught my eye the other day – it was sewn using a woven fabric with a beautiful cotton lace yoke.  I like how the lace yoke shows peeks of the main fabric through the gaps.  This lovely blouse was sewn by @lamuseauplacard.

Lastly, let’s not forget the Goldstream Peacoat!  Near the end of each summer progress shots of Goldstream Peacoats never fail to pop up on my Instagram feed.  These images, by @timetosew caught my eye due to the very precise basting and padstitching she has completed.  I have had the pieces cut out for a Pendleton Wool Goldstream for over a year now.  Since I have made so many Goldstream Peacoats over the last few years, I thought I would veer from the sewing process which I detail within the instruction booklet.  This process features very easy yet effective methods that are approachable even if it is your first coat project.  This time I’m going to use some of the tailoring tips from our Tailored Peacoat Series!  Obviously, I am a tad intimidated (this is why the project has sat for over a year in my WIP bag) but I am thankful for the inspiration from sewists like @timetosew who just buckle down and get stitching!  It’s time for me to do the same so Matt can finally replace his old ratty Goldstream that I made him years ago as an early sample from very cheap faux wool.

If you have a Thread Theory project on you sewing table, I would love to hear about it!  Send your questions, your ideas, your photos, and your stories to info@threadtheory.ca, message me on Facebook, or use #threadtheorydesigns.