Thread Theory

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


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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.


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My Mother-In-Law’s latest Thread Theory sewing projects

Three Camas Blouses Thread Theory

In case you are a relatively new follower of the Thread Theory blog, let me introduce to you Sue, my mother-in-law!  She is a talented sewist who sewed quite a lot in the past, stopped sewing for many years and then picked up the skill again when we launched our first patterns.  She has since sewn many renditions of our designs and has even contributed to the blog!  You can read her first blog post from Thanksgiving 2013 here.  Above is a photo of Sonia (our graphic designer and my future sister-in-law), Sue and I bedecked in Camas Blouses on Thanksgiving this year.  Apparently the modelling of Thread Theory sewing projects is becoming a Thanksgiving tradition!  Sue sewed both Sonia’s blouse and her own and I sewed the one I’m wearing last winter.

Our photoshoot was complete with a photobomb:Three Camas Blouses Thread Theory-6

This is Charlie – Matt’s grandparent’s very rambunctious and adorable puppy!Three Camas Blouses Thread Theory-4

All three Camas Blouses are really unique – the outer two are sewn using slightly gauzy and light sweater knits and Sue’s features a very drapey and dense viscose knit.  I love how each print suits our personalities:
Three Camas Blouses Thread Theory-8

Recently Sue had another Thread Theory project on her sewing table.  She created a pair of dressy trousers for her husband in time for a cruise holiday.  They are the result of combining both the Jedediah and Jutland Pants patterns.  She did quite a bit of pattern manipulating for this project and took the time to write down some of the thoughts and challenges that occurred as the project progressed.  As I’m sure most sewists will agree, it is always very interesting and also relatable to read about the sewing thought process so I’m very glad that she’s shared hers with us!

Without further ado, here is Sue to explain her project:


I wanted to make a pair of dress pants for my hubby and had found a lovely light to medium weight wool blend material  that I thought would be perfect for the project, but I didn’t have a dress pant pattern. I had already made a semi-casual pair of Jeds for him, that he loved the fit and comfort of, so I had that pattern and the Jutland pattern.

The thought occurred to me that I could combine the two patterns to get what I wanted. My aim was to have front slash pockets like the Jeds, back welt pockets like the Jutlands, and a leg width somewhere between the two. I at first started to try to match the front of the Jeds pattern to the back of the Jutlands, and was struggling with it. Then I talked with Morgan (why I didn’t do that in the first place I don’t know) who reminded me of a previous post by Roni describing how to modify the Jeds pattern to remove the yoke, and add welt back pockets…perfect! So, I followed those instructions, and also widened the legs from above the knees down to the hem. Morgan also suggested that I do a mock-up first to ensure a correct fit, but I was limited by a deadline (wanted to get them done before our cruise), so I forged ahead and hoped for the best.

I wanted to end up with a professional finished look to the pants, so tried my best to do the fine finishing touches suggested in the patterns. So I used bias tape to finish the seams, and french seamed the front pockets.

Trousers 1

Like Roni, I couldn’t figure a way to do a french seam on the rear pockets, so I just used the nicest finishing stitch I could find on my machine that worked with the material.

Trousers 5

I knew I didn’t want flat felled seams on the legs as that was too casual a look for these pants. As well, this material was starting to fray quite a bit, and I had troubles with fraying and getting a good flat felled seam on a previous project. So in the end, I decided to do french seams for the outer leg seams, and then a standard seam and zig zag finish on the inner leg seam. I was really happy with the french seam finish on the outer leg, but not so happy with the zig zag finish on the inner leg, as my material tended to bunch up. In hindsight I think I should have had some kind of stabilizer on the material to do the finishing of the edge.

Trousers 7

Trousers 6
The last modification I did was to use the waistband from the Jutland pattern so that I could sew the belt loops into the upper seam and lower seam when I attached the waistband to the  waist of the pant, for a more finished look. I later hand stitched the bottom of the loop to hold it in place against the upper pant.

Trousers 2
Trousers 3

Both my husband and I are very pleased with the end result, and he has worn his pants with pride while on the cruise and many times since. These are a couple  photos  of the final product.

Trousers 8

All in all a very successful project. What I learned: If you are thinking of modifying a pattern, talk to Morgan before you start, she may have some valuable suggestions that can save you a lot of time and energy! (Note from Morgan: Yes, please do contact me if you are wanting help with a project or just a chance to mull over your ideas with someone!  Email me at info@threadtheory.ca)


 

Thank you for taking the time to write a blog post for us Sue!  The results of your thoughtful sewing are, as always, very professional and very wearable!


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Tutorial: Easy ways to create a roomier trouser crotch

Let’s say you have just sewn up a muslin of the Jedediah Pants or Jutland Pants pattern (or any other trouser pattern) and notice strain lines radiating from the fly of the trouser when you try the muslin on.  The trousers seem to pull and bind between the legs and are generally tight feeling and restricting across the stomach and upper thighs.  Don’t worry, this fit issue can be overcome!  Here is how:

With the muslin still on the wearer, cut a horizontal line through the center front of the crotch.  The fabric will release the tension and you will be left with a smile shaped gap.  Measure the widest point on this gap – this is the total amount you will need to add to the crotch seam so that there will no longer be strain lines.

muslin

There are two common pattern alterations that you can try to add this measurement to the crotch seam.  The first common and quick fix to try is to simply lengthen the crotch depth by slashing across the pants front at the hip and adding the appropriate amount of length.  This simple pattern alteration maintains the shape of the crotch curve but just makes it a little longer.

lengthening crotch depth

If you try this pattern alteration and it does not seem to work for you (for instance, your new muslin now looks like you are wearing drop crotch pants!), this is likely because the fit problem isn’t about the crotch depth being to short for you.  Instead, the problem is that the crotch circumference is too narrow and the seat seam curve does not suit the shape of your body.  This may be because your abdomen is slightly more rounded than the fit model’s shape or it could be due to roundness in the crotch caused by specifically male body parts!  Either way, you will need to perform a slightly more complicated alteration to your pants front pattern piece.

Here is how to add crotch circumference: 

1. Mark all the seamlines on your pants front pattern piece.  The seam allowance included within the Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants patterns in 5/8″.  When performing alterations to a pattern piece you need to work from the seamline (where you will actually be sewing) rather than from the edge of the pattern piece so that you will retain the original shape of the pattern.

Mark seamlines

2.  Draw a horizontal line across the hips of the pant front pattern piece.  Slash along that line from the fly front to just before the side seamline – don’t cut all the way through the seamline and seam allowance because you will need to leave a little bit of paper here to act as a hinge.  Now cut into the seam allowance without removing that tiny paper hinge.

3. Draw a line from the inseam seamline at knee level up to the crotch seam.  Try to end your line somewhere before the fly extension curve.  Cut from the crotch seam down to the inseam at knee level and again leave a little hinge of paper at the seamline.  Cut into the seam allowance on a diagonal without removing that tiny paper hinge.

Slash lines

4. Spread the two slashes slightly so that the crotch seam extends to the left and the waistline swings upwards.  You will notice that the little clips you made into the seam allowance will allow the seam allowance to overlap as you spread the pattern.  When measuring along the seamline (not the edge of the pattern piece), the total size of your two gaps should equal the measurement that you found when you cut across your first muslin.

Spread

5. Secure your spread pattern piece in place by taping the pattern to a couple new sheets of tissue paper.  Smooth the curve along the crotch seamline and smooth the seam allowance to match.

 

6. Depending on the pattern you are using, you will likely need to adjust a number of other small pattern pieces to suit the changes you made.  These will likely include the pocket pieces and facings and the fly shield.  The easiest way to make these changes is to line up the paper pattern pieces underneath the pants front pattern and trace the new angles onto the pocket.  Lengthen the fly shield to match the new length of the fly facing.

Other pattern pieces

 

*** If you are experiencing lines radiating from center back across the bottom and the pants seat seems generally too tight and flat for the rounded shape of your body, the same alteration can be applied to the pants back.  Slash and spread along several points at center back – try to pick points along the seat seam where the seam seems to least match your body.


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7 Ways to Customize Pants Pockets for Men

In case you do not know her already, I’d like to introduce you to a talented seamstress and one of the very first supportive sewists that Matt and I digitally ‘met’ when we started our big Thread Theory adventure: Meg of the blog Made by Meg!  Meg has been a test sewer for us several times in the past and has sewn up many inspiring versions of our patterns.  Her blog has been one of my favorites for a number of years now.  Combine all of these elements and you can see how thrilled I am to tell you that Meg has written a guest post for our blog today and has plans to write many more in the future!

Now let me pass you over to her – enjoy the post!

PIc ThumbnailHi I’m Meg! Making clothes is my creative outlet, and I started sewing and knitting in school when I realized I couldn’t wear a thesis or embellish my reports. Along the way, my sewing adventures have led me to knit scarves in the Peruvian Andes and refashion traditional dresses in Mexico City. I love to make things up as I go, mixing patterns and making changes on the fly. Professionally, I’m a researcher who loves presenting data visually in formats that are easy to understand. I hope you’ll follow along as I present inspiration and tutorials from Thread Theory patterns! You can also find me at megmadethis.blogspot.com.

Customize Pants Pockets

In men’s clothing, the details are everything. While womenswear tends to plays with dramatic silhouettes and design elements, menswear is all about classic tailoring with special touches. On the Jedediah and Jutland pants, one place to add that special touch is the back pocket. Below is some inspiration for back pocket embroidery to suit a variety of styles.

1. Abstract

Abstract

Source: Diesel Jeans & Boots, Jeans & Leather

These pockets have a fun, modern look, and are easy to sew!

2. Topstitching

Topstitching

Source: Stronghold & Pronto Denim

Sometimes something as simple as a line of topstitching can create an interesting effect. These pockets play with the unique shape of the pocket and elements such as rivets.

3. Nature Inspired

Nature Inspired

Source: Prima Jeans & Two Random Words

For the outdoorsy guy, I love nature-inspired pockets, especially for a rugged pattern like the Jutland Pants. You can allude to nature with an organic shape like waves, or do what fellow blogger Sophie-Lee did and embroider a landscape.

4. Embroidered Shapes

Embroidered Shapes

Source: Vintage Sergio Valente & Japan X Lee

If you are handy with your sewing machine or have an embroidery function, shapes are really fun. Perfect for the playful guy!

5. Embellishments

Embellishments

Source: Phable Jeans & Vintage Jacket

These subtle embellishments prove once again how small details can enhance a design. On the left, scraps from the selvedge edge have been stitched down to the pocket. On the right, small pieces of leather decorate and strengthen the pocket.

6. Fabric

Fabric

Source: Apliiq Jeans & Pinterest

This technique can be either loud or subtle, depending on the fabrics you choose. While I love the flower look on these jeans, more conservative dressers might appreciate the subtle variation of a similarly-colored fabric with a bit of texture.

7. Special Touches (1)

Special Touches

Source: Pinterest & Kings of Indigo

Sometimes plain and simple pockets are the best. But even then you can have some fun with it. Initials in the corner are a simple way to go. Or, do what denim company Kings of Indigo does and embroider a design inside the pocket where only the wearer can see it.


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A Tale of Two Trousers: The fit and style differences between the Jeds and the Jutlands

Flats

Due to popular demand, here is an in-depth discussion about the differences between our two men’s pants patterns: The Jedediah Pants and the Jutland Pants!  Let’s delve right in:

The Jedediah Pants are a slim fit trouser with several distinctive features: Slash pockets, a back yoke and pointed back pockets.  They are part of our Parkland Collection which features casual clothing suited to slim bodies and daily wear (while strolling through B.C.’s provincial parks!).

The Jutland Pants, on the other hand, are a relaxed fit trouser with these distinctive features: Curved front pockets, shaping back darts and the choice between welt pockets and squared patch pockets.  They are part of our Alpine Collection which includes rugged clothing designs meant to perform purposeful tasks (hiking mountains or working in a mechanic shop!).

These two pants patterns fit differently in every area – they feature different crotch curves, different hip shapes and different leg widths.  A few people have asked me whether they could skip mocking up the Jutland Pants by simply transferring the fit adjustments that they made on the Jedediah Pants pattern to the Jutland Pants pattern.  Since the Jutland Pants were drafted to fit a different body type than the Jedediah Pants, it is very necessary to mock up the Jutland Pants even if you have already sewn the Jedediah Pants.

IMGP1226

The Jedediah Pants feature roomy chino-style hips and very slim legs.  This shape is a modern, slim fit that is trendy and very well suited to the slim, lanky bodies of young men.IMGP1247

The Jedediah Pants pattern includes two variations – the first is a full length pair of trousers and the second is a knee length pair of shorts with rolled cuffs.Edited-3

Where the Jeds are roomy the Jutlands are slim and where the Jeds are slim the Jutlands are roomy (that sounds like a riddle!).  The Jutland Pants feature straight, narrow hips and wide legs for a classic, conservative fit.  The fit of these trousers make them suited to a wider age range and body type than the Jedediah Pants.

Jutlands-3

Aside from fit, there are many differences in style between these two patterns.  The Jedediah Pants, as I mentioned earlier, can be made as shorts or pants and they include stylish jeans-style patch pockets (pointed and slightly angled.

The Jutland Pants do not include a shorts variation (though you could easily slash the pattern at you desired length to create shorts!).  There are many interchangeable design features included in the Jutland Pants pattern – you have the option to create welt pockets, big patch pockets, flat cargo pockets, reinforced knees and hems, and even a full lining.
Edited-3

Now that I’ve discussed all the fit and styling differences between these two patterns, let’s discuss one similarity:  Both the Jedediah and Jutlands Pants are mid-rise pants.  They are not designed to be dress trousers that sit at the natural waist and they are not designed to be low rise pants that require a belt to keep them resting over the hips.  Both pairs of pants will likely sit snugly on the body without a belt (if you choose to style them this way) and will not be prone to exposing underwear!  They are drafted as mid-rise based on my personal preference (I find this rise to be more flattering to men’s proportions than low rise) but I am sure, as we continue to develop more menswear patterns that we will eventually offer a rise and style to suit just about everyone!

Edited-7

I hope this analysis of the two patterns will help you decide which pattern best suits you or your recipient’s preferences!  Are there any other questions you might have about these two patterns?  I’d lover to answer them!

You can find both of these patterns, along with their body and garment measurements, in our online shop.


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Tutorial: Removing the yoke and adding welt pockets to the Jedediah Pants

Today I have the first of three tutorials to show you (as a result of our Tutorial Contest).  This tutorial was submitted after the contest deadline by Roni Arbel but it is so excellent I just HAD to include it along with the winner’s two tutorials!  Now get ready for an excellent lesson in both pattern manipulation and careful sewing as Roni teaches you how to use the Jedediah Pants to create an entirely different style of pants!

ÖùàöëÜ1 ÖùàöëÜ2 ÖùàöëÜ3 ÖùàöëÜ4 ÖùàöëÜ5ÖùàöëÜ6 ÖùàöëÜ7 ÖùàöëÜ8 ÖùàöëÜ9 ÖùàöëÜ10ÖùàöëÜ11 ÖùàöëÜ12 ÖùàöëÜ13 ÖùàöëÜ14 ÖùàöëÜ15ÖùàöëÜ16 ÖùàöëÜ17 ÖùàöëÜ18 ÖùàöëÜ19 ÖùàöëÜ20ÖùàöëÜ21 ÖùàöëÜ22 ÖùàöëÜ23 ÖùàöëÜ24 ÖùàöëÜ25ÖùàöëÜ26 ÖùàöëÜ27 ÖùàöëÜ28 ÖùàöëÜ29 ÖùàöëÜ30
Thank you, Roni, for taking the time to create such a wonderful tutorial!  I love the design changes and especially love the single button on one of the welts – very professional!

Expect more great information and posts in the future on Roni’s new blog, Wardrobe Histology!

Do you have any questions about this tutorial?  Ask them in the comments below and I will answer them for you. I look forward to seeing the trousers made using Roni’s excellent instructions!


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Shorts On the Line – Menswear Inspired

Shortsontheline2

I made myself some Jeds!  What better excuse than Shorts On the Line to make my dream of Jeds for women a reality? If you have been hankering to make some shorts or have already done so in the last year, head on over to the Shorts on the Line Sew-Along on Kollabora to join in!  There are some awesome prizes up for grabs and there is a tonne of great shorts-sewing inspiration already posted.Shortsontheline1

My Jedediah shorts are super comfy.  I made them in our smallest size (Size 30) which was too big for me at the waist but fits quite well when worn lower on the hips.  I love this classic, casual chino style – it is perfect to pair with feminine blouses if I want to be dressy or (probably more realistically) to wear with a t-shirt or button-up when I’m working on the garden or riding my bike!

I used an organic cotton twill for this pair which was left over from a pair of Jedediah pants that I made for Matt…so we could match if we wanted to (but we don’t want to :P)!  I shortened the pocket bags because when I went to hem my shorts, they were hanging out well below the hem.  As much as I loved their french seams and pretty floral fabric, I couldn’t bear to display them to the world!
Shortsontheline3

I made a bit of a Jedediah production line and sewed some Jedediah pants at the same time that I sewed my shorts.  It really didn’t take too much longer to sew two pairs instead of one!Jedsforme2

I LOVE the fabric I used for these.  It is a stretch cotton sateen with all sorts of flowers, birds and even butterflies printed on it.  It is pretty light weight and quite cool to wear in the summer heat.  Because it was stretchy I made two small pleats in the pants front (positioned half way between the fly and each pocket) before attaching the waistband and then cut off the excess waistband once one side was attached to the pants.  This resulted in a much snugger (and probably much better) fit than the shorts version and they sit where I would normally wear my jeans or pants – not too high waisted but not low on the hips.Jedsforme5 Jedsforme3

I took a little bit of width off of the knee area so they wouldn’t look so baggy (probably only about an inch) and shortened the hem considerably.  I left off the back pockets on both the shorts and the pants to create a bit more of a feminine and maybe dressy look.  I like the fit that the back yoke created but I didn’t get any pictures of the back view without my hands in my pockets.  Unfortunately, my hands are creating drag lines in both of these photos but you’ll have to trust me that they aren’t there when my hands aren’t in my pockets!Jedsforme4

My favorite part of these Jeds is the cuffed hem I created.  I serged the raw edge, turned approximately 3″ to the inside, stitched it in place and then folded the new hem upwards to create a small 1″ cuff with no wrong side visible.Jedsforme

Well, there you have it!  Two menswear pieces never even intended for a man and proudly worn by me!  Thanks, Carla, Rachael and Kollabora for the excuse to spend some time sewing for myself!

This post is part of the Shorts on the Line sewalong.  Shorts on the Line 2014 is sponsored by: Britex FabricsHawthorne Threadsmiss matatabi, and Soak Wash.  Hosted by imagine gnatssmall + friendly, and Kollabora.