Thread Theory

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


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The Sayward Raglan sewing pattern is here!

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Let’s welcome the Sayward Raglan – an excellent addition to your spring or summer sewing plans!

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Our newest pattern is a casual and flattering raglan t-shirt with short and long sleeve variations.  We also included instructions and cutting layouts to walk you through the process of creating a color-blocked tee (à la the classic baseball tee).

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Raglan t-shirts have many benefits for both the sewist and the wearer.  From the wearer’s perspective, the raglan sleeves have been curved in just the right way to create the appearance of a strong chest.  Very flattering!

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From the sewist’s perspective, the process of attaching a raglan sleeve is a breeze in comparison to wrangling the curve of a classic t-shirt sleeve head.  Raglan sleeves eliminate the one tricky step in the t-shirt sewing process to result in a quick project that can be cut, fitted and sewn in the space of a single relaxing evening.

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Our interpretation of the raglan t-shirt features an easy fitting (but not boxy!) body and sleeves.  When compared to our slim-fitting Strathcona Henley, this t-shirt is far less figure hugging and thus will fit a broader range of body types.  It also features an extended size range compared to the Strathcona Henley – up to 4XL!

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If fitted is more your style, the instructions include easy steps to fit as you sew (so that you can create the slim sleeves and body that you desire on the go).

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The neckline on our raglan is a relaxed crew-neck.  It is not as tight as a classic crew-neck t-shirt making for a slightly more youthful/stylish look that works well with thick or thin necks (no one wants a tight crew neck choking them on a hot summer’s day!).

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I’ve sewn the first of our two main samples in a combination of heathered grey tencel and organic cotton french terry for the body paired with a white cotton interlock for the sleeves:

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Matt reports that the thick and soft end result makes for a very comfortable t-shirt and I have been surprised to see him wearing it on hot spring days!  He says it breaths nicely and he doesn’t overheat despite the cozy loft provided by the french terry loops.  I’m pleased with this result because the french terry is SO easy to sew – it is stable, does not curl and it behaves more or less like a cotton woven fabric.  It would be a great option for a beginner sewist to use.

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Jayden’s version is sewn with the same tencel and cotton french terry body paired with bamboo and cotton french terry sleeves and neck binding.  All the terry fabrics come from my favourite local sewing studio – The Spool Sewing Studio.

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I also sewed a solid version (no color-blocking) to show you that the raglan sleeves are not very noticable when no color-blocking is employed.  The end result can be worn as would any basic t-shirt!  This fabric is a cotton and spandex blend jersey in navy with tiny anchors.  I found it at my local Fabricland.

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If you are new to sewing knits, this is an excellent pattern for you to start with.  As always with our knit patterns I include instructions for sewing with a regular sewing machine or with a serger.  I instruct how to hem with a twin needle or a zig zag stitch.

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A sew-along will begin next Friday, May 18th.  You can easily have your first raglan tee finished in time for Father’s Day (or in time to clear your sewing queue for our next pattern release in June!!!!).

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I hope you like our newest pattern!  It has been one of our top request (second only to a button-up shirt) since we launched Thread Theory.  No wonder – it’s fun to sew and easy to wear!

Read more about the Sayward Raglan >

Share your Sayward on Instagram or Facebook using #saywardraglan

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Searching for menswear sewing patterns

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First off, thank you for the huge response to last week’s call for pattern testers!  Our five testers have been chosen (this was very difficult since there were so many outstanding and enthusiastic candidates) and they are busily sewing away as we speak.

To thank you all for your continued interest in the Thread Theory blog and, especially, for your enthusiasm each time we call for volunteers to test, here is a $5 discount code that can be used on anything in our shop.  If you have found the perfect fabric but don’t want to wait around for our patterns to go on sale, this $5 coupon will be just the ticket to get you sewing faster.  Enter INVOLVED upon checkout and your order will be $5 cheaper! 🙂  There is no expiry on this code.

Now, moving on to new business, I have a pressing question to ask you: Do you know and love any PDF menswear patterns created by other indie pattern designers?  We’ve been scouring the internet to find every menswear PDF pattern out there since we are endeavouring to collaborate on a very exciting upcoming project.  We don’t want to leave anyone out!  Comment below with the any menswear sewing patterns (and the name of the company that created them) so that Matt and I can send these talented designers an email to make acquaintances!

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Thanks for helping us to foster a sense of community in the online world of menswear sewing.  We’re really hope you’ll help us meet some new (to us) colleagues!


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Call for testers! – Closed April 27/18

It’s that time again!  We have a pattern ready for test sewers – would you like to join the team?

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This time around we are looking for 5 test sewers who can complete the project in one week.  This might sound like a short deadline but don’t worry, it is realistic for the amount of sewing time needed for this quick wardrobe staple!

Please comment below to volunteer if you match one (or more) of the following criteria:

  1. You will be sewing for someone who is likely at one or the other end of our newly expanded size range (XS-4XL).  You are willing to thoroughly use our body and garment measurement charts and comment on our sizing and fit.
  2. You are brand new to sewing knits and can give your opinion on the approach-ability of the instruction booklet from this perspective.
  3. You are extremely detail oriented and can give excellent feedback on grammatical errors, the clarity of the instructions, and the clarity of the diagrams within the instruction booklet.

What do you think?  Is test sewing right up your alley?


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Vintage Patterns – Exceptional western shirts

 

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(Click on each pattern image to head to the listing in our shop)

There is a lovely new selection of affordable vintage patterns in our shop!  These western shirts caught my eye in particular since they include such a huge amount of detail and would be a wonderful sewing challenge to sink your teeth into.  Check out the shaped yoke in the pattern below:

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Many of the shirts include iron-on embroidery transfers so these patterns would not only provide a satisfying sewing project, but they would allow you to try your hand at some colourful embroidery too!

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Even though each pattern includes only one size, be sure to check out the western shirt listings because we have several copies of each pattern in size small, medium and large!

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In addition to the western shirt patterns, we have a wide range of other new patterns – some decades old and some relatively new.  This tie making kit is interesting because it includes cardboard templates to make cutting out your bias silk very quick and accurate.  If you plan to sew a large number of ties, this template would be very useful.

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These two patterns are created by an independent pattern company that really intrigues me.  Have you ever heard of Elements patterns?  I tried googling them with no success but from what I can see from the packaging, they are (or were) a very detail oriented active wear sewing pattern company (under the umbrella company Pitter Patterns…also doesn’t come up on Google) based out of Ontario, Canada.  I love the idea of designing ‘systems’ and wish I had the rest of the patterns to go with these sets!

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To check out the complete selection of vintage patterns, head on over to our shop! >

 


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Remnant Sale and Fabric Clearance

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Since our focus is patterns this year (two new patterns are getting quite close to my favourite phase of development – sending them off to pattern testers!), we are clearing out the seasonal fabrics that we added to our shop last year.

We may go back to our routine of seasonal fabric collections next year since I really enjoyed the process, but this year we want to focus on our first priority – new patterns for you!

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As a result, you’ll find our remaining fabrics and a nice selection of usable remnants at very good sale prices in the shop today!

Have a look >

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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!