Thread Theory

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


Leave a comment

Bring on winter sweater fabrics!

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-20-4

Cozy mid-weight merinos and ever-so-soft hemp and recycled polyester fleece have arrived in our shop!  They are absolutely ideal for cold weather Finlayson Sweaters, Newcastle Cardigans.

This summer Matt tested out our mid-weight merino sweater knit in the Yukon and northern British Columbia while on a road trip with his uncle.

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-20-2

I couldn’t resist sharing a few of his stunning photos to get you in the mood for chilly sweater weather!

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-20-5

He wore a (sewn by me) wool Strathcona Henley layered over a superfine merino base layer (not sewn by me, but could have been using the superfine merino that we carry in the shop) and topped things off with this (sewn by me) Merino double knit Finlayson Sweater:

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-20-3

Paired with his (sewn by me) Dintex Hemingway Windcheater and a (knit by me) toque he stayed warm and also mobile during frigid early morning walks.  This merino double knit has a black nylon backing which makes it slip easily over woolly long sleeve layers and prevents one from feeling uncomfortably ‘bundled up’.

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-20

We have three merino double knit colorways in the shop right now: Two gorgeously saturated options and one more sedate charcoal grey.  The newest merino double knit is a stunning Nova Red which contains just a hint of warm orange.  We also have restocked Moroccan and Charcoal in the shop which were in huge demand last winter:

 

In addition to these merino blends, you will also find another option within our growing collection of sustainable and rugged hemp knits!  This time, in keeping with our sweater theme, I’ve added three colorways of hemp and recycled polyester fleece.

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-11

This fleece could not be more ideal for the Finlayson Sweater or a classic zip-up hoodie!  The wrong side features an ultra soft brushed nap while the right side is attractively heathered.

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-15

This hemp fleece is available in Lake blue, elegant dark Charcoal, and a very gentle Forest green.

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-18

I will be cutting in to one of these before the end of the month to sew a birthday Finlayson Sweater for my Dad.  I know he’ll be reading this blog post but don’t worry, I already spoiled the surprise by asking him if he would like a Finlayson Sweater a couple of months ago!  If I sew for someone else, I like to be certain that they actually want or need the finish garment in their wardrobe.  He said he would love Variation 1!

Speaking of being certain and confident in regards to your sewing plans, I’ve added Swatch Kits to our shop so that you can feel our fabrics and perhaps show them to the intended recipient of your hard work before committing to buying yardage!

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-1

The swatch kits cost $5 CAD and come with a coupon to give you $5 off of your next Thread Theory order so that your kit will be fully reimbursed.  You can choose any three fabrics and I will pack them up along with our sewing themed coaster and a little note card.

If you’ve been wanting to sprinkle water on our waterproof Dintex fabric, have wondered how our canvas feels, or been unable to choose between interlock and jersey t-shirt knits, the swatch kit is for you!

I’ll leave you with my favourite shot from Matt’s trip up north:

Thread Theory Sewing Supplies-20-6

Have a good weekend!

Peruse the winter fabrics >

Order your swatch kit>

Advertisements


10 Comments

Dintex and Merino – Fabrics and your Projects

Merino wool and Dintex fabric-4-2

Do you subscribe to our email newsletter?  If so, you will have been notified about the launch of our Fall Fabric Collection last Monday!  We have Dintex (waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric) and superfine Merino fabrics back in stock…and have some bold new colors!

I’ve compiled some inspiration today from my own sewing projects and from some of the amazing projects that have been shared on Instagram and blogs since we launched our Dintex fabric last year.  But first, have a quick look at the new colors!

Merino wool and Dintex fabric-1

You will now find this classic red Dintex in our shop along with a very sporty Green Apple:

Merino wool and Dintex fabric-6

I could imagine both these colors sewn into the bright high-tech ski jackets hanging at my local ski & board shop!  Or, perhaps, they could be paired with a less sporty pattern (a glamorous full skirted trench coat perhaps) and a floral umbrella for an entirely different look.

Since a few of you have been enquiring about the mesh ‘wrong side’ of this fabric, I took a close up shot of the mesh backing so you can see that it doesn’t need to be lined.  The mesh is soft and hard wearing and is similar to what you would see on the inside of high tech sportwear (especially outer ‘shells’)…

Merino wool and Dintex fabric-4

If you wanted to line your Dintex garment though, the possibilities are only limited by the style that you are trying to achieve!  It would pair nicely with microfleece as a warm and sporty outer layer or you could dress it up with acetate lining or tartan flannel.

Aside from these two new colors we have a large range of more sedate choices as well as some gorgeous stormy blues and tropical teals!

The superfine 100% merino wool that you can also find in our Fall Fabric collection is the perfect base layer to wear beneath a Dintex rain jacket.  It is incredibly versatile – it can be used for classic long johns (by lengthening the Comox Trunks pattern) or it can be sewn in to an elegant dress!  We have restocked it in Moroccan blue and charcoal grey but I couldn’t resist adding this third color to the collection – a GORGEOUS Nova Red that features just a hint of orange:

Merino wool and Dintex fabric-11

Isn’t that beautifully rich?  The fabric gleams and it is incredibly soft against the skin.

Now that you’ve seen the new color choices, imagine them paired with these projects that you and I have sewn throughout the last year:

Merino wool and Dintex fabric-1-2

This superfine merino top in Moroccan blue was sewn by me (for myself) but is modelled here by my sister’s beautiful friend, Sylvia.  We were headed for a beach walk so I couldn’t pass up the perfect opportunity to dress Sylvia up and allow my talented photographer sister to take some shots!

Merino wool and Dintex fabric-5-2

This top was sewn using a BurdaStyle pattern from the magazine but the same pattern can also be found online as a PDF.  I love this rendition of the top because I can wear it as a warm layer while hiking or skiing or I can add a statement necklace and a skirt to dress up (sometimes on the same day!)!  I’ve washed, tumble dried and worn this steadily for a full year now with no signs of wear.  I anticipate that this merino shirt will be in my closet for many years to come.

You might remember one of my other sewing projects from last winter – Matt’s Dintex jacket:

hemmingway-windcheater-1

You can read all about this on the blog.  Matt wore this jacket as a shell over a down mid-layer throughout the last snowy winter.  We’ve machine washed and then hung to dry this jacket mid winter because Matt can often be found doing grubby things like carting fire wood or bush-wacking so the front got a bit muddy.  After washing it we sprayed it with a water repellent finish to freshen up the DWR that the fabric manufacturer applied.  He continued to wear the jacket throughout the spring with a sweater underneath and this summer has been wearing it over a t-shirt since it is breathable and thus comfortable in hot weather.  I really need to make myself a similar jacket since I am quite jealous of how it allows him to be ready for anything!

hemmingway-windcheater-25

And now, the best part…your projects!

Here are two adorable Dintex jackets made by Nicole of The Spool Sewing Studio (@thespoolsewingstudio) for herself and her daughter:

15624151_1091310654324508_6671037616118300672_n

Nicole always does a great job of using up her fabric scraps by sewing a coordinating outfit for her daughter…so cute and no waste!  Her jacket is the Kelly Anorak by Cloest Case Patterns and her daughter’s is the Oliver and S School Days Jacket.

And another gorgeous Kelly Anorak, this time in Navy Dintex, sewn by @newribina and shared on Instagram:17818549_1248444198610671_3114182173880483840_n

She used the hardware kit that we stock in our shop!  I love how she used the reflective zipper (that we include for pockets or ‘pit zips’) as a chest pocket.  The drawstring at the waist is also reflective so the wearer of this beautiful jacket is safe walking or riding at night.

18011791_1664111983898709_3323941285626118144_n

Jen (@_jennicholson_) sewed this Hemingway Windcheater for her partner.  The charcoal grey Dintex that she chose pairs very nicely with the gunmetal snaps.

18095786_283481832107615_5522834820280877056_n

Lastly, a third Kelly Anorak, this time sewn by Fiona of the blog Stitch and Finish.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fiona has written some very helpful details about working with Dintex, seam tape (for waterproofing seams) and about a few modifications she made to tailor her jacket to cycling.  Her end result looks SO pro!

I’ve sorted our new Fall fabrics into their own section in our shop so you can see them all at once.  I thought that might make it easier to pair your outerlayer Dintex with a coordinating merino base layer.

I would really love to share some photos of the projects you guys have made with our merino wool over the last year but it isn’t nearly as easy to search as #dintex is!  I know I have seen some great ones but I can’t seem to find them now.  Can you point me in the right direction (to your blog or Instagram posts)?


19 Comments

Let’s talk about Thread

Recycled Plastic Fabric from Thread International-3

Today I want to share an inspiring fabric manufacturer with you.

Not too long ago, a thoughtful menswear sewist, Tyrion, emailed me to let me know that he saw a Canadian-made documentary called RiverBlue in honor of World Water Day (March 22nd).  This documentary follows international river conservationist, Mark Angelo as he investigates the fashion industry and it’s devastating effect on rivers.

Thread International recycled plastic fabric

The documentary put Tyrion on to an intriguing fabric company that seems to very successfully be manufacturing textiles within the US using recycled plastic bottles: Thread International.  Unlike many manufacturers that are similarly using recycled plastics, Thread International has aimed to create a transparent circular supply chain.  Their website contains all sorts of accessible information about the impact of their company at each stage of the manufacturing process – from collecting the bottles in Haiti to weaving and knitting the fabric in the US.

Recycled Plastic Fabric from Thread International-9

Their fabrics have been used by big brands like Timberland and Kenneth Cole, but, most intriguingly for me, all of their fabrics are still available directly through their website by the meter with all of the relevant information listed for the home sewist!  Before we go any further and you start to worry that I’m advertising for Thread International, let’s confirm here that I’m not affiliated with them in any way and will not profit from writing this blog post…I was just curious about their fabrics and thought that you might be too!

I am always partial to natural fibers but I do not want to restrict myself and our Thread Theory customers to natural fibres if there are more sustainable and responsible options available. With that in mind, I delved in to the literature available on the Thread website.  Thread International has posted their 2016 impact report in the full.  I was interested to read that a Life Cycle Analysis was done on the canvas that they created in collaboration with Timberland.  This canvas is 50% cotton (new, not reclaimed) and 50% recycled plastic.  Thread International reports that:

It takes approximately 400 gallons of water to produce the
cotton that goes into 1 square yard of 50:50. It takes only 12 gallons of water to
produce the rPET-based thread and the final 1 square yard of 50:50 product.

This means that:

This means that 398 gallons of water are saved for every yard of Ground
to Good™ 50/50 Canvas when compared to the 100% conventional cotton
canvas it is replacing.

Thread International clearly reports that this is the major advantage of their recycled plastic thread.  The emissions emitted during manufacturing the recycled plastic yard is only 6% less than manufacturing cotton yarn.  The main advantages of this recycled polyester yarn is the massive reduction of water use and also the removal of plastic from landfills.

Other factors to consider, in my opinion, are the way that this fabric wears and also, it’s impact on the environment when the consumer/wearer is finished with the fabric.  Thread International mentions in their report that they follow a “circular economy” approach which means that the brands who use their fabric can inform their customers the following: Threads will take back the garment/product when it is worn out and will recycle it to create new fabric.  This is an admirable initiative in my opinion but it includes a lot of points where the chain can easily be broken.  A customer who buys a product may not be very engaged or informed about the product or might not remember, once it has worn out, about the offer to recycle the item by sending it back to Thread headquarters!  If the item were simply thrown out I suspect that the fabric would not degrade readily the way that 100% cotton or other natural fibres would.  The Circular Economy approach is immensely admirable but it will certainly take a lot of work to create that mental shift in consumers!

Recycled Plastic Fabric from Thread International-2

Anyhow, after all of that reading and thinking, I decided to order the Swatch Box of fabric samples to have a look at them myself.  I really love the way that they feel and the textures achieved!  The only fabric that is entirely composed of recycled plastic is their 12.5 oz/sq yard canvas and I am surprised by how nice it feels.  When fingering through all of the samples it does not readily stand out from the blended fabrics.

Recycled Plastic Fabric from Thread International-10

The blended fabrics, on the other hand, mostly consist of recycled plastic and recycled cotton.  Only one of the fabrics (from what I can tell) includes new cotton (not reclaimed).  I have not come across much info on their website about the process of reclaiming cotton…if you notice that section, can you show me where to find it?  I am curious to know more about the efficiency of recycling this fibre.

Recycled Plastic Fabric from Thread International-8

At this point, I do not think it would make financial sense for me to order Thread International fabric for the Thread Theory shop since I would not be able to receive a very large wholesale discount (I order pretty small quantities compared to Timberland lol) and it can be pricey to bring large shipments over the border.  But, seeing as they are located in the United States and send worldwide, many of you can affordably order smaller quantities of fabrics through them directly!

Recycled Plastic Fabric from Thread International-4

I am really lucky that my favourite fabric supplier based out of Vancouver, B.C. carries a lovely line of sustainable natural fibres and also an intriguing selection of recycled plastic fabrics.  I have not yet ordered fabrics with recycled plastic content for our shop because I know many of us sewists have a firm preference for natural fibres!  What do you think, would a recycled plastic micro-fleece, for example, be a useful addition to our shop or are you firm in your devotion to hemp, linen, cotton and bamboo?

My current personal preference when choosing fabrics to sew is to purchase a fabric that falls in to one of these categories:

  1. The most sustainable natural fibres such as hemp and linen.
  2. Not as sustainable but very hard wearing and comfortable natural fibres such as bamboo blends.
  3. Practical and hard wearing technical materials featuring recycled content such as fleece.
  4. And lastly, non-recycled man-made materials that serve a specific function well (and will do so for MANY years) such as waterproof materials like Dintex.

I really hope that you will weigh in on this topic!  Let’s hear your opinions on fabric manufacturing!


1 Comment

Summer 2017 Fabrics (plus re-stocked best sellers!)

Have you checked our fabric selection lately?  It’s grown quite a bit!  I’ve added an earthy new summer collection and some season-less staple fabrics.  I’ve also restocked three all time bestseller fabrics since many of you let me know that you had missed out when they were last in our store.

Summer fabrics for men-40-2

Remember this gorgeous saturated Hemp and Organic Cotton Cotton knit in Deep Teal?  It was part of our Spring 2017 capsule collection and sold out within a couple of days.  I made my Dad a Strathcona T-shirt featuring the Brown colorway and I am currently making myself a teal Weekender Breton Top (sorry, I just had to use a couple meters for myself!  Don’t worry, I stocked plenty extra for you to use too.).  Since I love this fabric so much I’ve also added a third color to our collection, but more on that in a moment!

Also freshly restocked are two Hemp and Organic Cotton shirtings from our Summer 2016 collection!

Summer fabrics for men-40-3

This was the fabric used for our Fairfield Button-up sample:

Fairfield Buttonup-22

I re-purchased both the striped and solid blue since this was the color that everyone loved most!

Summer fabrics for men-40-5

And now let’s have a look at our new Summer 2017 fabrics:  They feature sustainable fibres and earthy colors inspired by the evergreen forest and wind-whipped lake that Matt and I enjoy each summer at our favourite camping spot.

Let’s begin with the deep blue of the lake…I’ve been dying to show you this gorgeous 100% linen in navy!

Summer fabrics for men-19

It is 5.9 oz/sq yard making it a great medium weight with enough heft and opacity to create a perfect menswear button-up or a gorgeous tunic.

Summer fabrics for men-12

If you guys love this linen as much as I do I hope to increase our color range since I really enjoy carrying such a sustainable fibre in our shop.  Some of the other intriguing colors available include natural, olive, red, and plum.

And now, the pebble grey of the gravel beaches:

Summer fabrics for men-30

One of our fabric suppliers has recently added a new line of 100% cotton jerseys which I am over the moon about…I have looked for heathered 100% cotton jerseys for some time now since this is Matt’s favorite sort of t-shirt fabric.  There is no spandex so it can be dried at high heat without worry of degrading.  I’ve added this beautiful heathered grey to our summer collection and look forward to adding a really nice heathered blue as well as a selection of matching ribbing in the future.

Summer fabrics for men-31

Next up, we have a new color option (reminiscent of salal bushes and ferns) for our hemp and organic cotton trouser canvas:

Summer fabrics for men-33

This canteen green looks a tad more saturated in photos than it does in indoor light so I think it would be perfect treated as a neutral and sewn into Jedediah Pants to pair with brightly colored t-shirts (or perhaps a more sedate heather grey t-shirt from the 100% cotton jersey!).

Summer fabrics for men-37

I wish you could feel this canvas in person but I think the photo above should give you an idea of how gorgeous it is: It is tightly woven with a very slight nubbly texture (due to the hemp).  It will make for excellent hard wearing trousers.

While we are looking at hemp fabrics, here is the new third color option for our Hemp and Organic Cotton Jersey – it is Stone Grey.

Summer fabrics for men-39

This elegant warm grey would look very smart as a t-shirt paired with extra deep indigo denim.

If you like the idea of hemp and organic cotton blends but prefer a bit more stretch, I’ve added two fabrics featuring a new blend of fibres to the shop: 53% Hemp, 44% Organic Cotton and 3% Spandex! It features a finer texture and more elasticity than the version without any spandex but it does not drape or stretch quite as much as the Bamboo, Organic Cotton and Spandex blend that we also have in our collection.  With the Hemp/Cotton blend on one end of the spectrum (lots of texture, loosely knit, not stretchy) and the Bamboo/Cotton/Spandex blend on the other (smooth, tightly knit, very stretchy), these two new fabrics fall right in the middle.

Summer fabrics for men-24

This olive has always been my favorite color.  I think it would make a beautiful Camas Blouse with richly embroidered yokes.

This fabric also comes in the same stone grey color as the Hemp/Cotton blend without spandex.  Compare this photo below to the stone grey fabric above and you can see what I mean about the finer texture of the Hemp/Cotton featuring spandex:

Summer fabrics for men-26

So there you have it, the earthy summer collection!  But there are still more fabrics to show you since I have added a few new color options to the staple fabrics that we stock in our shop (and restock each time they sell out, unlike our seasonal collections):

As I always say, the Bamboo, Organic Cotton and Spandex jersey that we have had in our shop for a number of is hands down my favorite fabric.  We currently carry it in burgundy, charcoal, forest green, almond, olive, navy and white stripe, and navy and grey stripe.  I thought it was time to add some true basics since it is the perfect choice for everything from t-shirts to leggings:

We now have black (a true pure black that is darker than it appears in this photo):

Summer fabrics for men-50

And classic navy:

Summer fabrics for men-46

These two will certainly be my only choice for leggings from now on!

And, to finish on a very colorful note, I’ve added two new paisely acetate linings based on a lovely customer’s request!  Here we have a stunning purple:

Summer fabrics for men-2

And a very elegant navy:

Summer fabrics for men-10

Both these linings would make a gorgeous addition to the inside of a Goldstream Peacoat or the back of a Belvedere Waistcoat!

As always, I love receiving requests!  If you are looking for a particular fabric or would like to see one of our fabrics in a different colour, please let me know by commenting or emailing me at info@threadtheory.ca

Have a look at our new fabrics in detail >

 


1 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

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.


4 Comments

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!

thread-theory-sewing-indie-month-7-of-7

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:

lazo-trousers-17

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:

pattern-info-lt

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.

lazo-trousers-9 lazo-trousers-12

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:

fabric-drape

 

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?).

1920s-women-jodhpurs

(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

lazo-trousers-15

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

camasblouse-1

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:

blackbird-fabrics-tencel-light

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.

blackbird-fabrics-tencel-twill

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.

studio-tour-and-gift-boxes-19

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!

lazo-hack-contest

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.