Thread Theory

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


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Get to know the Belvedere Waistcoat

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The Belvedere Waistcoat PDF pattern was launched in our shop last night and now it’s time to delve in to the details so you can get to know our newest menswear design!

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The Belvedere is a classic fitted waistcoat with a moderately low neckline, angled hem, and long darts on both the front and back.  The waistcoat is fully lined and includes a back neckline facing for a high-end finish.

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There are two variations included with this pattern:

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Variation 1 (modelled by my Dad) features some really nice details such as three welt pockets and small side seam vents.  This version was created as a satisfying tailoring challenge.  There are tips and suggestions spread throughout the instruction booklet that encourage intermediate sewers to expand their skill set.

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Variation 2 (modelled by Matt’s Dad and also seen pictured on my Granddad), is a very minimalist take on a traditional waistcoat.

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It includes fewer buttons, no pockets, and no side seam vents.  This is an excellent project for a relative novice who would like to push themselves to learn a solid foundation of skills.  By the time you are finished sewing the Belvedere you will have learned how to stay stitch, under stitch, sew darts, line a garment, and add buttonholes!  You will be ready for all manner of menswear projects.

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I wanted to make this pattern suitable for both novice and intermediate sewists because it is rare to find a menswear piece that is so small, quick, and also satisfying to create.  It is the perfect canvas to practice basics or to take your time and add all sorts of beautiful details.  Also, a waistcoat, depending on fabric choice, can serve so many purposes!  So I wanted the one pattern to operate as a solid foundation for menswear sewists to use as a tried and true pattern.  I can imagine a new sewist trying out this pattern after sewing perhaps a couple of basic bags and pajama pants.  They can then come back to this pattern throughout their entire sewing career, each time increasing the attention to detail, the quality of the fabric they use, and the level of fit achieved.  This one pattern can be used to sew a casual layering piece, an elegant tweed classic, something dressy for your groomsmen, or the finishing touch for a three piece suit.

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I kept the length quite short and the details quite minimalist so that it is ready to wear with mid to high rise dress trousers and will compliment many outfit styles.  Since the rise of your trousers can vary greatly, I’ve included instructions on how to measure and lengthen the pattern pieces to suit any pair of pants.  A properly fitted waistcoat should cover the entire trouser waistband…this is not easy to accomplish with a store bought waistcoat  but it is exceptionally easy to do when you sew one yourself!

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While I talk about fit, you have probably noticed that the waistcoat back is completely devoid of a belt!  This minimalism is rarely found in off the rack waistcoats but is common when you order a custom waistcoat from a tailor.  You can use the curved centre back seam and long darts to perfectly fit the Belvedere to the person who will wear it.  There is no need for a ‘one size fits most’ cinching belt.  If you like the extra flare that a belt adds to a waistcoat, don’t worry!  I will be releasing a free pattern download quite soon so that you can choose one of two styles to add to your Belvedere.

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In fact, I will be releasing a whole menu of free ‘add-ons’ so you can customise the Belvedere to your heart’s content.  Please feel free to request a certain pocket or collar style!  These interesting details will be offered separately from the base pattern so that you only need to print the elements that you need.  I also wanted to avoid over-complicating the pattern and instruction booklet so that it would remain approachable for novice sewists!

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We will begin the Waistcoat Sew-along on May 19th and will roll out all sorts of posts on fitting to a variety of body types, altering the Belvedere to match your suit jacket, changing the shape of the hem, adding thoughtful personalized details, and, of course, the nitty gritty of completing the basic waistcoat sewing process.

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The sew-along will finish in time for Father’s Day gift giving!  Take it from Matt and I…your dad will be VERY honoured to receive a custom sewn waistcoat!

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I hope you will join us during our sew-along!  It will be very informative for both new and experienced sewists.  In the meantime, stay tuned for the release of our Belvedere Kit and all manner of tailoring supplies in the shop!

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Thank you to my Granddad, Dad, and Matt’s Dad for being such enthusiastic (and classy!) models.  All three of them looked exceptionally elegant in their Belvedere Waistcoats.

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And thanks, also, to the White Whale pub for accommodating our rowdy family photoshoot!

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Download the Belvedere (20% off May 2nd and 3rd only!) >


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Imminent Launch Day

I thought you might like to know that we have a new PDF pattern ready to launch next week!  The Belvedere Waistcoat will be here in time for Father’s Day projects and summer weddings!

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I’m working on some finishing touches today to prepare for a large selection of goodies we will be launching alongside this pattern.  So I’ll keep it short and sweet today.

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There will be a release day discount code for this pattern so make sure you are signed up to the newsletter or to this blog to ensure you will be informed of the code.


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Happy Birthday – we have a new pattern!

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The Lazo Trousers – our second pattern for women – is live in our shop!

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These trousers are designed to flatter an hourglass figure by hugging the curves while maintaining complete comfort.  They have a wide, shaped waistband from which the pants hang like a skirt.  There is no pressure across the hips or thighs due to the roomy pleats and tapered leg.

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There are two variations included within this pattern – one is full length and the other is a cropped trouser with wide cuffs and statement belt loops.  Of course, you can mix and match variations by adding belt looks to the full length version!

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This pattern, as many of you know, has been in the works for the last four years – in fact, the design itself pre-dates Thread Theory!  I developed these pants, along with the Camas Blouse, for my end of year fashion show during design school.  My goal for my fashion line was to create elegant garments that do not sacrifice comfort.  These trousers, in particular, were designed to combat a myriad of issues that I have with most women’s casual pants…the narrow waistband digs in to my lower tummy, there is never enough room for my bum, and I tend to feel a bit like a sausage stuffed in to its casing due to the tight fit across the hips and thighs.  I prefer to wear close fitting trousers so that I can balance them with loose fitting tops (so wide leg trousers aren’t an option in my daily casual wardrobe).  The Lazo Trousers were my answer to all of these complaints and criteria.

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Maybe they are the answer to your pant related complaints too!  When I posted photos of the trousers on my blog (which was very new at that time), I received such an enthusiastic response that I decided to develop a couple of women’s patterns to compliment our menswear line.

Our 4th birthday:

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Fast forward over four years later to Thread Theory’s 4th birthday, and the trousers are available at last!  We’ve launched them today to help us celebrate this anniversary and to thank you, our predominantly female community, for enthusiastically supporting our menswear supply shop and pattern line over the last four years.  THANK YOU!!!

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As another way to celebrate, Matt and I are giving back to an organisation that is close to our hearts.  50% of proceeds from each Lazo Trouser sale will be donated to Help Fill A Dream.  This is a Vancouver Island based organisation that assists children with life threatening conditions by fulfilling their dreams and by providing care and financial support for their families.  You can read more about their efforts and the dreams they have filled on their website.

This organisation means a lot to me because I was diagnosed with Leukaemia when I was a toddler.  Help Fill a Dream gave my family and I something to look forward to while I went through chemotherapy by promising me a trip to Disneyland.  As a young child, unable to comprehend what I was going through, the trip to Disneyland remains my only memory of the whole ordeal.  I can only wish that every child facing such health challenges could grow up healthy and look back on that period of their life with such fondness!

Behind the Scenes – Pattern Development:

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Now that you know the inside scoop on our birthday celebrations, here is a look behind the scenes during the Lazo Trousers development process:

As you can probably guess, based on the four year time frame required to complete this pattern, there were quite a few snags along the way.  First, I had to gain confidence in my fitting skills before even considering developing a pattern designed to fit the hip, crotch and waist curves of a woman’s figure!  Helping all of you with your menswear fitting challenges has, of course, given me a fairly diverse amount of experience.  I also took a women’s trouser fitting workshop two summers ago to compliment the fitting class that I attended during my design program.

The next challenge was the pattern testing process.  I sent the pattern to volunteers with a large variety of body shapes and sizes.  I also sewed up many samples to try on the women in my own life.  After this experience I was given a HUGE amount of feedback by my generous testers and fit models…it took me months to wade through it all! I then tweaked the pattern and pretty much re-wrote the instructions based on this wonderful feedback.  During this process I came to terms with a very important concept: One trouser pattern will never fit everyone…especially not this one!  These trousers are quite a unique style that were drafted to fit body type.  They are meant to flatter someone who has a large difference between their waist and hip measurements (i.e. an hourglass figure) and to fit someone with a fairly rounded bottom and flat stomach (their hip circumference is mostly distributed towards the back).  Even someone with the exact figure I just described will still need to fit this pattern to themselves because the human body is incredibly unique.  If you don’t have an hourglass figure but long for the Lazos in your wardrobe, go ahead and give them a try!  I bet, with a muslin, some fitting and tweaking of the style, you can sew yourself a pair of perfect trousers!  Just be prepared to do a little bit of extra work before achieving the results that you want.

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Don’t let my talk of fitting scare you off of sewing trousers!  Just think, store bought trousers are not fitted to your figure and you have probably been wearing these more or less successfully your whole life!  A few simple fit adjustments will produce trousers that are REALLY comfortable because they are tailored to your body.  I have included side seams on the Lazo waistband to make it easy to fit your unique waist to hip curve.  I have illustrated quite a few tips within the instruction booklet to help you fit to your lower back, bottom and crotch curve.  I will also be photographing some important fitting techniques on the blog in the coming weeks.

Let’s sew Lazos!

Ready to tackle a pair of trousers?  I will be posting a list of recommended fabrics tomorrow!  In the meantime, you can find the awesome buckles that I used for my favourite sample in our shop.

Grab a pair to use on your own Lazos! >

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Lastly, we’re hosting a fun Lazo Hack contest.  The purpose of the contest is to show off your creative manipulation of this pattern by sharing your tips, tutorials, sketches, and finished Lazo projects.  Submit photos or illustrations using #lazotrousers on Facebook or Instagram or email them to me at info@threadtheory.ca.  I will be handing out prizes at random until January 31st.  This means, the earlier you submit your images, the more chances you have at winning a prize!

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An upcoming post on recommended materials for the Lazo will feature more details about the contest and my own ideas to hack the pattern.

Download your Lazo Trouser Pattern now >


 

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Thanks again, from Matt and I, for your enthusiastic support of our menswear supply shop and for making the last four years so much fun!  Happy Birthday to Thread Theory 😀

P.S. Please comment below if you have any questions about fitting your figure.  I am preparing the fitting blog post and will launch it next Friday Dec. 23rd.  Now is the time to ask so that you can have your questions answered!

 

 

 

 


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New Pattern: Meet the Fairfield Button-up Shirt

Introducing Fairfield Button-up

I’m really excited to share with you our brand new menswear pattern!

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The Fairfield Button-up Shirt is a classic menswear staple with a modern fit and a great selection of design details.  We haven’t cut any corners here – your finished project will be just as finely sewn as any shirt you find in a menswear shop!

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The Design:

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The Fairfield features a modern narrow collar complete with a collar stand.  This collar style is a great neutral design that looks neither excessively trendy or dated.

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The shirt includes a built-on button placket at center front.  Built-on plackets make for less bulky seam allowances to trim and for easier pattern matching when sewing with plaids and prints.

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We’ve included a nicely shaped pocket design to add to the left chest.

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To fit the back of the shirt you can choose between a small pleat for a little bit of wearing ease…

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…or you can sew the shaped darts to create a smart form-fitting shirt

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Both variations include a yoke and yoke facing so that all shoulder seams are enclosed.

The sleeves are moderately slim and feature a proper tower placket – something that is very hard to find on most shirt patterns and that I feel is an essential element of a menswear button-up!

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The sleeves also include the option for interior tabs that can be used to keep the rolled sleeves in place at the elbow.

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The cuffs feature a very slightly rounded corners for added interest.

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The shirt hem is curved just enough to allow the shirt to be worn both tucked in or untucked depending on the fabric choice (dressy or very casual).

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The Sizing:

Now that we’ve addressed all the design features, let’s talk about who this pattern we’ll fit!

We’ve expanded our size range to extend to 4XL.  You can see the complete size chart as the last product image on our website.

Our pattern includes two separate pattern files: One drafted for average figures and one for larger figures.  The size ranges overlap so that you can choose which proportions you would like to work with based on the wearer’s body measurements and the measurements of their favorite shirt.

The pattern drafted for larger figures accommodates a rounded stomach and/or wide waist measurement.

I’ve included a new detailed page within our instruction booklet that I will likely add to all of our patterns from now on – it explains which the most important measurements are and how to take them.

The Extras:

We have all sorts of extras lined up for this pattern!

First of all, we’ve created a new Quick Reference Guide to accompany the instruction booklet.  This is a one page set of brief instructions that you can have by your sewing machine once the Fairfield has become your tried and true button-up.  You won’t need the long booklet and illustrations any more; all that you’ll need are subtle reminders of the sewing process and seam allowances.  The Quick Reference Guide will provide those at a glance!

Secondly, we have free Add-on pattern pieces!  When I asked you which design features you wanted to add to your button-up shirt projects you enthusiastically responded with MANY ideas.  It was wonderful to have such a rich and varied checklist to work with while designing this pattern!

I didn’t want to add the huge array of design features to the base pattern because this would create an overwhelmingly large and complicated pattern and set of instructions.  Instead, I’ve created the base Fairfield pattern and have also created a great selection of free “Add Ons” that we will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for:

  • Some very trendy collar styles
  • A variety of cuff shapes
  • A few pocket choices
  • Short sleeves

These “Add Ons” will be added to our shop as free products (just like our Arrowsmith Undershirt pattern).  When you download them you receive the PDF pattern file and the instructions for these specific pattern pieces.

The Sew-Along:

We will be hosting a Fairfield Button-up Sew-along beginning May 16th!  If you follow along with the sew-along schedule you will have plenty of time to finish a button-up shirt as a gift for your dad this Father’s Day!  I will post more details about the sew-along schedule in a few days so that you can begin to prepare.  I’m looking forward to sewing with you again!

What about the Tissue Pattern?

As with most of our pattern releases, the Fairfield is only available as a PDF pattern right now.  We like to save up the proceeds from the PDF sales to pay for the printing costs of the tissue pattern.

As always, if you really want to start sewing the Fairfield but prefer to own a tissue pattern, you can purchase the PDF pattern for now and then have the full cost of the PDF refunded at the time of the Tissue Pattern launch.  To receive the refund, wait until Tissue Pattern launch day and email us with your PDF pattern attached or your PDF pattern order number.  In exchange we will send you a discount code to use towards your Tissue Pattern purchase.

Also in the Shop:

I’ve compiled all of my favorite shirt making tools, notions and fabrics and added them to our shop!

We have everything from delicious Hemp & Organic Cotton Shirting to a sewing gauge designed to make spacing button holes a snap.  Here’s a peek at what’s in store.  I will post about these items in more detail in a separate post so that you can get acquainted with them!

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Time to start sewing button-ups!  Head to our shop to check out the pattern and all of the shirtmaking supplies >

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Pattern Release on Monday!

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Big news:  The Fairfield Button-up Shirt PDF pattern will be released to the world this Monday, May 2nd!

Along with this new pattern there will be a comprehensive selection of shirt making tools, fabrics and notions added to our shop.  All of the resources necessary for your shirt making endeavors will be at your fingertips!

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The Fairfield Button-Up PDF will be 20% off for newsletter subscribers next week!  In case you are curious, the newsletter subscription isn’t the same thing as subscribing to our blog.  We only send out the occasional newsletter to let you know about new patterns, products or sale prices. Subscribe now to make sure the discount arrives in your inbox on launch day!


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New Pattern! Meet the Comox Trunks.

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The first pattern of our Alpine Collection is available today!  Head on over to our shop to order your Comox Trunks or our Comox Trunks Supplies kit. The tissue pattern is also available at many of our stockists (check to see if there is a retailer near you!).

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These trunks are a quick project that will help you learn a number of techniques for sewing knits.  After a couple hours of sewing (either at your domestic machine or your serger – instructions include options for both) you will have a very comfortable pair of form fitting trunks with all of the design features found in high-end boxer brands – no center back seam, short legs, a strong double layered in-seam gusset and a right exit fly (the front ‘cup’ area that allows for bathroom breaks without pulling your pants down!).

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The elastic waistband is quick and easy to sew onto the trunks and creates none of the extra bulk that fabric-covered elastic waistbands add beneath slim-fit pants (such as the Jedediah Pants).

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If you are new to sewing knits and are a little nervous about choosing the right fabrics or elastic for your Comox Trunk project, you have the option of buying the Comox Trunks Supplies Kit.  You can purchase it with the pattern or, if you have bought the pattern through one of our stockists or simply want to make second pair of trunks, you can also buy it on its own.

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The kit includes the same fabric and elastic that we used for our samples.  Our models commented that the trunks were especially soft and weightless – they said they felt like they hardly had anything on (I think they had a point lol).  The fabric is a thin bamboo/cotton stretch jersey in your choice of charcoal grey or burgundy.  The elastic is a black, pre-shrunk knitted elastic that is firm and strong but not itchy.

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Kit - red fabric - resizedWell, we hope you like our new pattern as much as we do!  It seems to me that many men HATE buying new underwear and tend to wear their most comfortable ones until they are rags.  There really isn’t an excuse for that any more, is there?  Now they can replace that perfect pair with another by sewing their own (or, if you are the significant other, you can do the honours and reap the rewards of a much more pleasant view when he’s dressing in the morning!).


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Another new pattern launches on Monday!

This week has been a whirlwind of Thread Theory excitement and activity after the Goldstream Peacoat tissue pattern launch and things won’t be slowing down soon (which is a good thing!).  This coming Monday, March 17th, we will be launching the first pattern designed to be part of our Alpine Collection.

 

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The Alpine Collection will be released throughout the coming year, one pattern at a time.  It will include patterns designed to create hard wearing garments suited to outdoor adventure.  We’re starting from the base layer up as you may have noticed in the sneak peek photo that we showed you a few weeks ago!:

 

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The newest pattern will be available as a PDF and tissue sewing pattern in using the same style of packaging that you loved from our Parkland Collection.  It will also be available as a complete kit which you will have an option to purchase either with or without the sewing pattern.

 

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As you can see from the photo above, the pattern itself will be available in a large range of sizes – size 24 to 36 are regular sizes and size 39 to 45 are graded with plus size proportions.  You can also see that the pattern will be only a ‘two needle’ difficulty level.  We hope that newer sewers will be encouraged to advance their skills by carefully following the thorough instructions (they even walk you through setting up your machine for the fabric required).

We are currently in the midst of creating a sew-along for this new pattern, so get your pattern and fabric as soon as it is available so that you can join us for a chance to win an awesome prize package (more on this next week!).

We’re looking forward to Monday, I hope you do too!