Thread Theory

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


Leave a comment

Hemp, Bamboo and Organic Cotton: Spring Capsule Collection

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-4

Spring menswear fabrics are in the shop!  I’ve created a capsule collection of blue, teal, grey and khaki that could be paired together to create a complete menswear outfit.  This collection focuses on more sustainable fibres – primarily hemp, organic cotton and bamboo.

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-3

Above you can see that I’ve matched the new fabrics (top fabric and bottom two) with two of my re-stocked favourites from our Fall and Winter 2016/17 collections.  Top to bottom we have:

1. 100% cotton herringbone terry knit in heathered grey – perfect for a Finlayson Sweater.

2. My favourite bamboo and organic cotton jersey in grey and navy stripe (from the Winter collection) – this would make a great Strathcona Henley or Arrowsmith Undershirt.

3. 100% brushed cotton buffalo check shirting (from the Fall collection)- such a luxurious feeling fabric and perfect for the Fairfield Button-up.

4. Brand new deep teal hemp and organic cotton jersey – I’m really excited about this one!  It is unusual to find such a richly dyed hemp.  And this jersey doesn’t contain spandex…yay!  I like spandex in some fabrics but I find it frustrating how difficult it can be to find knits without spandex these days.  Because this doesn’t contain spandex it can be washed and dried with abandon without risk of wearing it out.  This would be ideal for a hard wearing Strathcona Henley or T-shirt and would also make a lovely Camas Blouse.  I am also stocking this hemp blend in an attractive flecked brown.

5. Also new for Spring, this Khaki colored canvas is comprised of hemp and organic cotton.  It is the perfect weight for Jedediah Pants or Jutland Pants.  The khaki colour is a classic which can fit in to any wardrobe.  It pairs beautifully with bright colours, neutrals, blacks, blues or browns…you don’t have to worry about wearing the wrong colour of shirt or shoes with this menswear trouser staple.

Before taking a closer look at the fabrics, here is a bit of the inspiration behind this collection.  Look closely to see designs similar to our Goldstream Peacoat, Newcastle Cardigan, Jedediah Pants, Fairfield Button-up and Strathcona Henley:

 

I really like the look of a layered Henley (especially the two Henleys worn one atop the other in the middle right photo).  I also think a buffalo check Fairfield Button-up Shirt peeking out from underneath a casual sweater (perhaps sewn from the grey herringbone terry) is a fresh look comprised of comfortable classics that many men could pull off, even if they aren’t all that interested in menswear fashion.  Of course, nautical stripes, khaki trousers and a white Henley are Spring classics that will always be in style and appealing!

All photos above are from the Pinterest boards that I’ve created for each of our patterns.  You can check them out (and link through to the original photo sources) here.

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-5

Okay, let’s take a closer look at the fabrics.

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-13

This khaki canvas is a rugged blend of 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton.  I really love how the hemp content adds a matte and nubby appearance to this fabric.  Hemp tends to wear in comfortably the way linen does to become softer and less rigid.  There is a depth and rustic charm to it that you would not find in a pure cotton canvas.  Hemp is a sustainable fibre because it can be cultivated densely without the use of herbicides or pesticides.  It is quick growing and does not deplete the nutrients in soil. It produces a very rugged textile that softens with each wash but does not easily wear out.

This particular canvas weighs 305 GSM or 9 oz/yard, which, in my opinion, is the ideal weight for menswear chinos or casual trousers.

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-14

This jersey, the second hemp based fabric in our shop, is such a rich colour!  It is comprised of 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton.  It is completely opaque (imperative for menswear) but feels loose and light making it an excellent breathable fabric for warm weather t-shirts and Henleys.  I’m just about to sew my Dad a Strathcona T-shirt in the brown version of this hemp/organic cotton blend.  I can’t wait to hear his feedback!

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-17

Like I said, this Buffalo Check isn’t a new fabric in our shop but I want to feature it again because I don’t think I’ve done it justice on the blog!  This brushed cotton shirting is a great weight for cosy and casual work shirts.  I made my Dad his black and red Fairfield Button-up last Fall and he has worn it steadily as a work shirt ever since…and the fabric still looks like new.  The brushed side is very soft and the smooth side looks quite polished.  I sewed my dad’s shirt with the smooth side to the inside since I like the appearance of the brushed fabric, but you could do the reverse so that the wearer can have the cosy brushed side against him and the smooth side facing out.  This would result in a dressier look (perfect with khaki Jeds and a Newcastle Cardigan!).

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-22

We stock a navy and white stripe as well as this heathered grey and navy stripe bamboo jersey in the shop.  The navy and white is the current best seller but I think this colourway deserves consideration!  It is perhaps more approachable for conservative dressers because it doesn’t make such a bold nautical statement.

This bamboo and organic cotton jersey contains 6% spandex which, in the past, would not have been found in menswear fabrics but is now pretty much the norm for t-shirts in many of the big clothing chains!  The spandex allows for nice slim sleeves that will not become baggy with wear…just remember that spandex will degrade if subjected to the heat of a dryer regularly.  I think this stripe would make an awesome Strathcona Henley for layering under a Herringbone Terry Finlayson Sweater or Newcastle Cardigan.  It would look nice worn over a white t-shirt and paired with khaki Jedediah Shorts for a late spring and early summer look when you still need long sleeves to keep you warm.

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-25

Lastly, here’s a great photo of the herringbone pattern on this super cosy cotton terry fabric.  I’ve stocked matching ribbing so you can create a Finlayson Sweater with ribbed cuffs and hem band.  This terry is the same fabric as the Oatmeal version that we stocked with our Winter fabric collection.  Even though my photos of the Oatmeal version of this fabric weren’t so great (they didn’t show the texture as much as I would have liked), this fabric sold out almost immediately!  Luckily I saved a bit to make myself a pair of Lazo Trouser sweatpants.  I wear them every day…the wrong side of this fabric feels just as soft as a brand new hoodie even after I’ve washed the pants many times.  I’ve saved a couple of meters of this grey version to make Matt a Finlayson Sweater (I’m thinking version 2 with the hood).

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-28

And that’s it for our Spring collection!  I already have some plans for our summer fabrics (linen knits!!!) but would certainly consider adding some of your requests.  Is there a menswear fabric that you struggle to find?  Do you have a preference for a certain type of (more) sustainable fibre – linen, hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, or recycled polyester?

Thread Theory Menswear Fabric-34

***Hint: We will be holding a sale for newsletter subscribers only very soon…make sure that you have signed up to receive the newsletter!***

Browse our menswear fabrics >

 


3 Comments

The Vintage Pattern Collection is live!

Vintage Menswear Patterns - close up view-3

It worked!  Remember my blog post asking for vintage patterns a couple of months ago?  Well, it turns out that quite a few of you had some gorgeous menswear designs tucked away in your pattern stash!  As a result, the start of my vintage pattern collection is up in the shop.

Vintage Sewing Patterns for Men (5)

I’m really excited about the range of pattern companies and eras that the collection already includes…and this is just the beginning.  I will try to add more as quickly as I can find them since every time a pattern is sold it is gone for good and removed as a listing from our shop.  If you have patterns you would like me to purchase from you, send me an email at info@threadtheory.ca and I would love to do so!

Vintage Sewing Patterns for Men (6)

You will notice that the price of each vintage pattern in our shop varies greatly.  This is because I purchased some of them (plus the cost of shipping) and some of them were given to me (I still paid for shipping).  I’m not really intending to make money on this aspect of the Thread Theory shop…it is really more of a passion of mine than a business venture! I’ll delve in to my reasoning behind the vintage pattern collection momentarily.  First though, I want to explain: I am listing all vintage patterns at approximately my cost.  My cost includes purchasing the pattern (unless it was given to me), paying for the pattern to be shipped to me, a little bit of time spent checking over the pattern and adding it to the shop, and lastly, the cost of the box or envelope to send them to you.  That way, if the patterns are sent to me as a gift, the generosity of the person that sent them to me can be passed along to you!  I would love to hear your thoughts on this (i.e. do you like having a greatly varied price or is this disconcerting?  Would you rather they all be listed for an even $8.00 CAD so that I am losing money on some of the more expensive patterns and gaining money on others?).

Vintage Sewing Patterns for Men (3)

Anyways, enough about the nitpicky details, it’s time to explain to you what makes me so excited about this project!

Vintage Sewing Patterns for Men (1)

I have always been fascinated by ‘old’ and ‘used’ things because I like to imagine the stories attached to them.  In university, I majored in history and just loved sitting over my notebook, frantically taking notes during an engrossing lecture…it felt like every class was story time!  I wrote most of my essays on the effects of fashion on politics and vice versa.  Later in my degree I studied the impact of home sewing as employment for women just prior to the industrial revolution.  All throughout university and later on during my time in a fashion design program, I meandered through antique shops and thrift stores to admire vintage sewing machines, notions and patterns.

Vintage Menswear Patterns - close up view-7

Even more than previously loved sewing notions, vintage sewing patterns ignite my imagination.  Their era specific illustrations, intriguing instruction styles, and of course, the story of the person who used them are all so fascinating!  As I photographed these ones and added them to our shop I found myself imagining the woman or man who purchased each pattern, perhaps the loved one that they intended to sew for, and the places to which the finished garment was worn.  Some of these patterns have a name scribbled on the envelope or a note listing measurements within the folds of the tissue.  Was the pattern used many times to create the perfect business shirt for a husband?  Or perhaps the trousers pattern was traced in multiple sizes to sew up for all of the men and boys in a family.  Maybe the knit suit pattern was purchased with the dream of acing a job interview.

Vintage Menswear Patterns - close up view-1

Aside from the intrigue and glimpse into different eras of home sewing, vintage patterns offer such a vast array of menswear styles…which are certainly not found within modern pattern offerings!  Many of these styles are still very relevant with perhaps just a tweak or two to collar size, leg shape or fabric recommendation.

Gathering all of these menswear patterns in one place will allow sewists to compare design details and sizing to choose the pattern that best suits their preferences.  For instance, if you are planning to sew a button-up shirt, you can examine all of the details included in each vintage pattern (and our Fairfield Button-up) and then pick and choose the ones that suit you best.  Even now, in the early days of my vintage pattern collection, we already have button-up offerings that include double back pleats, western styling, a pin tuck tuxedo front, and even “2 hour jiffy-sew” option!

Vintage Menswear Patterns - close up view-3

My last, and possibly the most important reason for collecting these vintage menswear patterns is that I am saddened when I see an unused pattern from two or three decades ago.  It hasn’t fulfilled its purpose yet!  And I know, based on experience working in a thrift shop, that vintage patterns are just as likely to be tossed in the recycling as they are to be placed on the shelves for a sewist to find.  All of those patterns took such work to draft and the instructions are, more often than not, incredibly detailed compared to most modern pattern offerings.  Why should that hard work go to waste when it could be valued by a menswear sewist today?

 

Vintage Sewing Patterns for Men (8)

I hope these vintage patterns will ignite your imagination as they have mine and that you will be able to extend their lifespan by using them to create menswear that perfectly suits the style preferences and sizing of the person you are sewing for!

Shop the pattern collection >

Or, offer me your vintage collection for sale by emailing me at info@threadtheory.ca!


4 Comments

3 new tools to try on your next sewing project (and a discount code!)

Sewing Tools Thread Theory-33

Strangely enough, my first time trying pinking shears was only a few months ago when I ordered these Italian made beauties.  I grew up with a serger in my house (thanks to my Mom’s nicely appointed sewing and craft room) and, even as a complete novice, used it to finish my seams.  Not everyone is that lucky!  Or perhaps not everyone wants a second machine gathering dust and leading to hours of frustrated attempts to change the thread color!  I guess that depends on perspective…

Anyhow, you might like to consider pinking shears: An excellent and traditional way to minimise the fraying of woven fabrics.

Pinking shears were invented by Samuel Briskman in 1931.  He was inspired by the serration on a bread knife that he had bought for his wife.  His invention was patented and used enthusiastically by textile manufacturers and home sewers alike until the development of serging.  You can read Mr. Briskman’s obituary for more details on his invention here.

The simplicity and effectiveness of pinking shears for finishing woven seam allowance is really appealing to me, even as the owner of a brand new serger.  I like how pinking shears can be used to both finish and notch curved seams simultaneously.  I think a pinked seam allowance looks quite charming!  And I love pinking fabric samples when I create mood boards or scrap books (or send fabric samples to you guys when you are wishing to feel the fabrics that we have in our shop!).

Sewing Tools Thread Theory-31

The Gingher pair that I have just added to our shop (and my own sewing kit!) are exceptionally nice.  They have blunt tips that will not snag delicate fabrics, very sharp blades, and a hard wearing double-plated chrome-over-nickel finish.  Plus…they have a lifetime warranty!

Sewing Tools Thread Theory-35

Another classic tool that I have added to our shop and have used far more frequently throughout my sewing career is a set of french curve rulers.  This clear plastic set by Bohin features the three most common shapes and sizes of french curve.  I find it really handy to have this set in my toolbox to pair with my large dressmakers curve (which is a metal ruler with one gradual curve…it looks a little bit like a very subtle lower case “r”).  The smaller curves found on these french curve rulers allow you to draft or adjust a greater variety of details – for example, when a side seam is moved forward or backwards on a garment (such as the Goldstream Peacoat), the bottom of the armhole features a pretty sharp curve.  My dressmaker’s curve does not match something like this, so, without my french curves I would be left to imprecisely draw the curve by hand!  French curves are also useful for drawing pocket shapes, collars, armholes, necklines and hem curves.

Sewing Tools Thread Theory-38

Moving away from traditional tools, the last item I want to show you today is my favourite – a flexible curved ruler!

Prym Flexible Ruler

It is amazing for fitting and adjusting existing patterns.  You can bend it around your body to get an accurate representation of your crotch curve, hip curve or any other curve.  Then, simply lay that curve on the relevant pattern piece to see if the pattern matches the shape of your body!  If it doesn’t, your curved ruler is all ready to go…it is firm enough that you can use it just like you would a metal or wood straight ruler.  Push your pencil against it and draw your new curve.

Prym Flexible Ruler-4

Aside from visually representing curves, you can also use this ruler to measure existing curves.  For example, if you would like to check that the armhole and sleeve seams are the same length just bend the ruler along the seams and measure in either metric or imperial.

Prym Flexible Ruler-5

Here is a great post (filled with photos) during which Becca demonstrates how to use a flexible ruler to perfectly fit a trouser pattern to her body.


 

Well, there you go – I hope you’ve been introduced to a new tool or perhaps reminded of an old one today!

Head to our shop to peruse our growing collection of sewing tools.  They are 10% off this weekend if you use the discount code USEFULTOOLS


5 Comments

Winter’s Last Hurrah: Knitting Sale

copper-stitch-markers-21

Snow was falling in the Comox Valley this morning (which is quite unusual for late February in our area) so Matt and I have been wearing lots of cosy wool.  I’m embracing the winter weather by knitting and trying my hand at needle felting for the first time since both activities are great for dark evenings by the fire.  This is what our house looked like a couple of weeks ago…

copper-stitch-markers-20-2

Isn’t that amazing?! (Think in the context of my location of course…some of you in Quebec or Ottawa or especially the east coast of Canada might think nothing of this!).  On days like that, we simply couldn’t get enough wooly layers on to our bodies!

Anyhow, whether you are warming yourself by a fire or nearing the end of a hot summer, you can still enjoy my cosy vibes by taking advantage of my wintery discount code:  Our entire knitting section is 15% off in the Thread Theory shop! Use the discount code: WINTERKNITTING

The code is for this weekend only, it expires on Monday.

copper-stitch-markers-knitting-4

We have a great selection of 100% wool yarn in stock and some classic menswear knitting patterns by British designer Erika Knight.  I’ve also just added a gorgeous copper stitch marker set to the shop.  They were crafted by James of Fire and Hammer Forgeworks right here in the Comox Valley! The five closed stitch markers are made from recycled copper and come threaded on to a hammered copper stitch holder.

copper-stitch-markers-knitting-1

Aren’t they stunning?

copper-stitch-markers-knitting-2

While many of you have a passion for sewing (and obviously enjoy creating menswear), I don’t often hear talk of menswear knitting on the sewing blogs or Instagram accounts that I follow.  Do you enjoy both knitting and sewing?

I’ve really been enjoying knitting as sort of a ‘complimentary skill set’ to sewing…I wouldn’t say that knitting is a passion of mine but it certainly helps me to pursue what is a true passion for me: DIY, living simply, and the creation of a lovingly handmade wardrobe for Matt and myself.  We wear our knit toques daily and my freshly finished chunky wool sweater sits at my office chair so that it is always ready to warm me up.

hemmingway-windcheater-1

Knitted garments are a staple in our cold season wardrobe.  Take the toque above as an example.  I knit this one for Matt last Winter and have found, ever since I finished his Dintex anorak, that he has been wearing the two pieces as a single outfit.  If he is wearing his jacket I would bet anything that he is also wearing his toque!  I tend to wear sewn and knit pieces as permanent outfits as well.  Once I realise that a certain scarf and hat look nice with my winter coat, they are worn as one complete package for the whole season.

Since I love to make our garments and we wear knit sweaters, toques, gloves, and scarves all Fall, Winter and some of Spring, knitting has really become an essential skill for me!  Sewing began as a hobby but I have started to learn knitting as a life skill.

How about you?

In case you are curious, I posted about Matt’s knit toque last winter.  It was knit using the Erika Knight menswear pattern poster and three partial skeins of Vintage Wool.

copper-stitch-markers-knitting-9

So tell me: How do you view knitting?  Is it a passion, a complimentary skill or a hassle?

Shop all things wooly (don’t forget to use the discount code: WINTERKNITTING to receive 15% off our knitting supplies!) >

 


8 Comments

Call for Vintage Menswear Sewing Patterns!

sewing-patterns-for-men-vintage

Perhaps you’ve noticed how practical, well designed, and still relevant vintage menswear sewing patterns are – plus there are hundreds to choose from!  Whenever I receive an email asking for a particular menswear pattern that perhaps won’t fit into our Thread Theory line, my thoughts drift towards vintage sewing patterns.  I know that the requested design exists as a sewing pattern somewhere!

That is why I will be collecting a catalogue of vintage menswear sewing patterns to add to the Thread Theory shop.  Once the collection is large enough it will be a great way to find a pattern to suit all manner of menswear fit and styling criteria!

vintage-menswear-patterns-for-sewing

And I would for love you to help!  If you have a pile of old sewing patterns, have a look through them to see if there are any menswear designs that you don’t want anymore.  If so, email me at info@threadtheory.ca and there is a good chance I would happily buy them from you!

vintage-menswear-sewing-patterns

Since I am new to this vintage pattern collecting hobby, I figure it is probably best to put some parameters in place:

  1. I would prefer to buy menswear patterns in groups of 5 or more (it doesn’t have to be 5 of the same design or even the same company), this way it is more cost effective to pay for them to be shipped to me.
  2. The patterns should be uncut…but if you have a REALLY great design that has been cut to a common menswear size, I may still consider it so email me anyways!
  3. I hope to pay for groups of patterns as though they were ‘bulk’ or ‘wholesale’ so that I can offer them in our shop at a fair retail price for vintage patterns.  If you have a price in mind, don’t be shy to tell me!  If you have no idea what to charge, I am happy to make and offer (and give you examples of patterns on Ebay or elsewhere so that you know the price is fair).
  4. I will pay you for the patterns and the cost of shipping using Paypal.  Please use the cheapest shipping method!
  5. There are lots of reasons why I may say ‘no’ to your offer to sell your patterns.  Please don’t be offended if I do!  For instance, it might be too expensive for me to pay for the shipping from your location, or the design might not be something I think would suit the Thread Theory shop.

hard-to-find-sewing-patterns-for-men

I will be setting up a section for Vintage Menswear Patterns in our shop once I have amassed a large enough collection for you to peruse (if I am, in fact, able to find enough patterns).  These vintage pattern listings will be ‘one-offs’ so I will just snap a quick picture and write a very quick description.  I plan to add new listings as soon as a pattern arrives on my doorstep!

mens-sewing-patterns-old

What do you think of this idea?  Does the idea of a catalogue of vintage menswear patterns (all in one place) sound like a useful resource for you?  Have you worked with vintage menswear patterns before?  Do you find that the sizing differs as much as women’s vintage patterns or is it similar to modern day menswear sizing?

I look forward to seeing what we can find!

Thanks for your help 🙂


3 Comments

Fabric Sale!

fall-menswear-fabrics-14-of-16

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!

dintex-fabric

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!

morgans-sewing-projects-1

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.

morgans-sewing-projects-4

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.

thread-theory-menswear-supply-shop-29

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.


9 Comments

Thimbles of many sizes

sewing-tools-thread-theory-7

A well fitted thimble can make hand sewing much more comfortable.  Do you like to push the needle through your fabric with the tip of your finger as is done by most quilters or with the side of your finger as is commonly done by tailors?  There is no right or wrong way, just be sure to choose the thimble that matches your technique!

sewing-tools-thread-theory-1

We’ve added a selection of thimbles to our shop so that you can choose the style that suits you best.  We’ve also included multiple sizes to ensure that even male sewists with large fingers can find a thimble that fits.

These John James closed top thimbles, for example, come in size large, medium and small. I’ve measured the diameter at the base of each thimble and listed this on our website so that you can measure across the joint on your finger to compare.

sewing-tools-thread-theory-5

These thimbles feature an indented top and divots that make it easy to hold your needle in place as you push through thick fabric.

sewing-tools-thread-theory-6

We’ve also added to our open top thimble selection!  I personally prefer open top thimbles because they allow my finger to breath (I hate when the thimble slips around on a sweaty finger :P) and I can pull the thimble down on to my finger’s joint so it rests very securely.  I have pretty bony hands so there isn’t very much flesh on my finger tip to hold a thimble in place, thus, finding a snug fit on my joint is essential.  I also like that an open top allows me to use the tip of my finger to manipulate fabric.

sewing-tools-thread-theory-8

I only added two sizes of open thimble because we already have the beautiful brass Merchant & Mills thimble in our shop.  The Merchant & Mills thimble is actually a size small thimble (when comparing it to the two nickel plated thimbles that are size medium and large).

sewing-tools-thread-theory-9

These thimbles also feature nice divots to hold your needle in place when you push with the side of your finger.

sewing-tools-thread-theory-10

While I was sourcing thimbles I decided to find a few other tools hand sewing tools to assist in sewing thick or unusual fabrics often used for menswear.  First off, we have these small rubber discs that you can use to grip your needle when pulling it through leather or thick layers of denim or canvas.

sewing-tools-thread-theory-11

Each package comes with two discs to store in your hand sewing kit.

I’ve also added my favourite unusual John James sewing needles to our shop.  There are a selection of three extra sharp and strong leather needles that you can use to sew on leather buckles or elbow patches:

sewing-tools-thread-theory-40

And the most handy household repair kit.  You probably don’t have these needles in your sewing box!  They include curved mattress needles, a darning needle and two sharp leather needles.

sewing-tools-thread-theory-47

The mattress needles are especially handy for repairing upholstered furniture but I would also be interested to use them when hand stitching hard to reach areas (perhaps if you would like to repair a thick backpack or add a leather patch to a finished garment.  Use these curved needles whenever the fabric you are stitching can not be easily manipulated with a straight needle.

The last secret weapon to add to your sewing kit are these serious little thread clippers.

clover-thread-clipper-kuroha-2

They feature light and strong handles made from fibreglass reinforced resin and steel blades.

clover-thread-clipper-kuroha

Their handle-less design makes them very quick to grab and comfortable to use.  If you have never used this style of clipper before, you might find it takes a little bit to figure out the pinching technique since the way that you pinch the clippers closed effects the alignment of the blades.  Once you master the technique (you will have it figured out after a few snips!) you will choose these clippers over any other thread snips.

clover-thread-clipper-kuroha-3

Do you have any menswear hand sewing projects on the go right now?  I frequently sew patches and medals on to the uniforms of Matt’s firefighter co-workers so I really like to have a good quality and convenient hand sewing kit ready to go in my sewing room.