Thread Theory

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


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New patterns! Swim trunks, raglan tee and more

We have 15 new menswear sewing patterns available in our shop and I am VERY excited to introduce them to you!  As you probably already know, I keep a long list of every pattern suggestion that is sent to me in hopes that one day I will be able to provide all of the designs you long for.

Aside from a button-up shirt, a raglan t-shirt has always been the most requested pattern over the last 4 years.  While I certainly could have created a Thread Theory raglan tee, I was over the moon to find a fellow Canadian indie pattern answered my (and your) wishes by creating one themselves…and, fortunately, they did it very well!

Have you heard of Jalie patterns?  If you haven’t, trust me, you will want to know more about them.  Here is their perfect raglan tee:

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It is nicely fitted, the features the ideal crew neckline, and has three sleeve lengths to choose from.  Plus, Jalie patterns include sizes ranging from Boys Age 2 all the way to Men Size 22 (with a 50″ chest)!!!

Jalie patterns is run by a mother and daughter team from Quebec.  The company was founded over 30 years ago and has always specialised in activewear and knits.  Their dance costume sewing patterns were used by my mom to create ballet and gymnastics costumes for my sister and I when we were small.

While Jalie has always been on my radar it was only when I searched for a raglan sewing pattern (after receiving another customer request) that I realised they had quite a few excellent menswear patterns to choose from.  Their collection coordinates very nicely with our patterns – I like to think we each fill the gaps in the other company’s offerings.

Take this pair of swim trunks for example:

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I had begun the design process for a remarkably similar pair last winter…but Jalie beat me to it and I am very glad about that because their pair is perfect.  It features colour-blocked panels and the exact sort of lace-up waistband closure I had hoped to include in my design.  One of our fabric distributors carries high tech fabrics that would be very suitable for men’s swim trunks…should I add some of these fabrics to our shop or are swim trunk fabrics already easy for you to source?

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To continue with my list of “most-requested patterns,” here is the polo shirt that many of you have asked me for.  This polo includes some interesting details such as a back yoke and optional shoulder tabs so that you can mix and match features to create a wardrobe of unique shirts.

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While we already include a few t-shirt patterns in our shop (such as the Strathcona Tee), this Jalie t-shirt still caught my eye because it has a high v-neckline variation.  The fit looks to be the perfect compromise between our slim-fitting Strathcona Tee and the easy fitting Hot Patterns Tee.

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Lastly, I really wish I had this vest pattern when I sewed my Dad his insulated vest two years ago!  I heavily modified the Seamwork Denali Vest with the end goal of creating exactly the style you see above.  I will certainly be sewing this one up in the future.

And that is the last of our new Jalie offerings!  I hope they inspire you to get sewing menswear as much as they have inspired me.  Plus, you will notice, if you click through to our shop that their printed patterns are very affordable.  They are printed on regular paper (not tissue paper) and the instructions are printed right on the pattern sheet (no separate booklet).  Their size lines are very clear despite the fact that their size range is so massive (each of their patterns will fit a toddler, a teenager, and a large man!!!).  They look to be a pleasure to use.

Now let’s move on to the next pattern company now available in our shop – Burda Style!

I came across these patterns in my search for a men’s pop-over shirt design.  Like the Jalie designs above, a pop-over shirt has been requested by a number of you over the years.  I really like the options included in this pattern:

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There is a version with a minimalist built in placket and two other versions with a yoke.  The back of all three versions includes a breezy inverted box pleat.  Plus, you can choose to sew a proper collar or leave off the collar to create the classic band collar/partial placket combo.  I was pleased to see that the sleeves are complete with a proper tower placket.

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Of course, I couldn’t limit myself to only one pattern!  I found a few other gems to include.  The cargo pants pictured above include zippers below the knee (on version 2) so that you can zip off the lower leg to create capris.  I like the detailed options – including zippered cargo pockets and the option to add articulating knees.

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While on first glance the trousers above and also the trousers below might look a tad like our Jedediah Pants, upon close inspection there are some interesting differences.  Now that our store includes three slim legged trouser designs prospective menswear trouser sewists will be able to choose their favourite option.

As you are aware, our Jedediah Pants are flat fronted (meaning there is no pleat), include patch pockets and also have a jeans-style back yoke.  The design above includes a flat front like the Jeds but then the back features double darts (4 darts in total) and welt pockets.  The design photographed below includes a single pleat on the front, single back darts, and one welt pocket.  Which of these three trouser designs best suits your criteria?

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The third company that has been freshly added to our shop is Kwik Sew.  We have two very different garments from them!

The first pattern looks, on first glance, to be just another unisex fleecy zip up pattern but upon closer inspection it is a very thoughtful design!

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The men’s version and women’s version feature different cuts which I think is quite promising – the women’s version looks curvy and fitted while the men’s is straighter and boxier.  The interesting angled seamlines remind me of high-end micro-fleece jackets from adventure or sport companies like Patagonia, Columbia or even Lululemon.  Maybe the pattern could be used to create something like this?

The second Kwik Sew pattern is a pair of rugged coveralls:

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These have been designed for functionality – they were drafted to fit over a full outfit of clothing and feature all sorts of useful pockets.  There are even side seam slits included so that the wearer can reach in to his trouser pockets while still wearing the coveralls.

The last new company was added to the shop because they were my most inspiring and consistent source for menswear patterns before Matt and I developed the idea to create Thread Theory….

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Vogue Patterns!  They have a monopoly on suit suit patterns and I don’t mind that because their selection is lovely and their instructions are thorough.  In fact, it’s a bit of a relief that I don’t have to create a suit pattern any time soon. 😛  Unless you guys have a special request?

The three suits I selected cover a wide range of styles.  The first suit that you see photographed above features both a double and single breasted unlined suit jacket.  The front extends towards the back to create a side-back seam (the same sort of seam included in our Goldstream Peacoat design).

The suit below includes a fully lined jacket with a slim shawl collar.  It includes the option to create a contrast shawl collar which would look classy in satin or velvet.

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The trousers included in the pattern above are very interesting because they have two variations – the second of which includes a side seam band made out of the same contrast fabric as the shawl collar.  If you happen to sew for a man (or you are a man) who likes to stand out in a crowd, I think this design made with a bright and personalised contrast fabric could make for a very unique suit!

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I like the suit jacket included in Variation A of this last Vogue suit pattern.  It includes two buttons, a nice modern notched collar and it is partially interfaced and fully lined.

While I was ordering suits I decided to include one last pattern since I thought it covered all loungewear bases so nicely!

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I think the robe/housecoat included with this pattern is perfect – it has an elegant shawl collar, two very nice length options and big patch pockets.  The pyjama bottoms, from what I can tell by examining the envelope, have the potential to be flattering – it seems like the sit below the natural waist and they include the detail of a self fabric drawstring.  Both of these design features are a step up from your standard home-ec rectangular one-size-fits all PJ project!

And there you have it, our new range of menswear patterns have been fully introduced!  Every one of these patterns was added to our shop because it has either been requested by you or it includes design features that I think will be useful to the style-savvy menswear sewists that we all are.   I hope my research and selective shopping has introduced you to a new menswear pattern company or has allowed you to see a familiar menswear designer from a fresh perspective!

Head to our shop to peruse our complete pattern collection >


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Thimbles of many sizes

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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).

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

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.


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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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50% off Sale Announcement (!!!) and a great gift idea

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Stay home this weekend!  If you’re anything like us, you love cozying up with good food and a fire.  I certainly don’t relish the idea of racing out to the busy box stores for Black Friday sales!  Matt and I hope that you will enjoy the next few days at home with loved ones during the American Thanksgiving weekend so we’ve put all of our PDF patterns at half price!  50% off is the highest discount that we ever give.

The sale begins now and ends on Monday, Nov. 28th at 10pm (PST).  Start the weekend by printing off your new project in the comfort of your own home and enjoy the chance to stay cozied-up with your family and your sewing machine.


 

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Aside from this sale announcement, today I have wanted to show you a new locally crafted item that I just added to the shop!  This beautiful screen-printed gift box and tool tray was created by Comox Valley woodworker, Scott Bertram (he is half of the dynamic duo behind my favourite local sewing business – The Spool Sewing Studio).

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Some time ago, while my sewing friend, Nicole (who is Scott’s partner) and I were on a ferry ride to an indigo dying workshop on a nearby island, we dreamed up our ideal work station caddy.  We decided that we liked a simple container the best (no plastic compartments that don’t quite fit the tools, something easy to pick up and move around the work station, and something beautiful that can double as a gift box).  By the time we got home from our workshop, I was ready to place my order with her talented husband!

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And this is the result, available to all in my shop!  If a fussy sewing basket is not really your style, this minimalist tray might be the perfect alternative for you.

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Each tray is crafted from birch plywood which makes it nice and light (and reduces the shipping costs for you).  It has been designed to precisely fit our sewing patterns which makes it a lovely gift box to add to your sewing themed gift-giving plans.

Every order that includes one of these tool trays will be wrapped up as a beautiful gift (yay!  I love doing this as you will know if you follow me on Instagram).

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Once the gift has been given (to yourself or to a sewing friend :P), the box can be used to hold your scissors, pins, tape measure and other essential sewing tools.

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The screen print inside each box was designed by our graphic designer (and my sister in law), Sonia Bishop.  She modelled it after my beloved Merchant & Mills Tailor’s Shears.  Nicole printed it on the bottom of each box during construction.

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The boxes have been given a traditional hand rubbed finish of Danish Oil which sinks in to the wood to create a soft gleam, protect the wood, and enhance the natural beauty of the grain.  It will not chip, crack or peel.

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I hope you like our limited first edition!

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If these fill a nice little niche in our shop, I would like to offer more one-off batches of tool boxes as I have a variety of useful containers in mind.  Also, Scott has all sorts of construction details he would like to add to the next set.  What notions or tools do you struggle to store tidily?  For instance, is your pattern stash a mess? I would really like an attractive bobbin storage solution.  I keep my filled bobbins on a magnetic strip adhered to the underside of a shelf but I would like to store my empty bobbins tucked away in a wooden tray or dish.  Maybe soon 🙂

Check out the screen printed wooden boxes in our shop. >

And shop our 50% off PDF pattern sale!


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Buffalo Check Fairfield Shirt

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A couple of weeks ago my parents took Matt, my sister and I on a family holiday to Lund, on the Sunshine Coast (B.C.).  This is a couple of hours by ferry from where I live in the Comox Valley, Vancouver Island.  The trip was a joint birthday celebration for my parents who have birthdays in October and November…and it was highly anticipated by Matt and I who were REALLY looking forward to a weekend holiday!

In honour of my Dad’s birthday I sewed him a couple of new garments.  Today I’ll show you his lumber-jack inspired Buffalo Check brushed cotton Fairfield Button-up!

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My sister took these photos of my Dad when we reached the end of our Saturday hike.  We walked up to Manzanita Hut which is part of the Sunshine Coast Trail.  Based on our small one day hike and the larger four day hike my sister went on last spring, I would highly recommend the Sunshine Coast Trail if you are looking for a hiking adventure in B.C.!

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This Fairfield Button-up is sewn using the red and black buffalo check from our shop.  We only have a few more meters of this and it is sadly no longer offered by our fabric distributor!  We have quite a lot of the blue and white and black and white variations though!

I used the band collar from our free ‘Alternative Collar Styles’ download (you can find the link on the Fairfield Button-up page).  I love the casual vintage vibe that this style of collar lends to the shirt!  It is reminiscent of workwear from the 1930s.

Instead of buttons, I used rugged snaps (the same snaps that we include in our new Rain Jacket Hardware kits!).  My thinking was that my dad could wear the shirt open as a second layer over t-shirts if he wanted to.  The heavy snaps help to give the workshirt an appearance of outerwear.

Since I knew my dad would not be wearing the top snap closed, I covered the neckline seam with cotton twill tape so that it could peek out as a little bit of extra detail (you can just see it in the photo above).

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In terms of sizing – this one is simple: It is a straight size XL (Average Figures) with a centre back pleat!  I didn’t make any changes to the pattern to fit my dad.

I already know he will get lots of wear out of this shirt because every time I’ve seen him since our trip he has been wearing it (that’s why he is so much fun to sew for!).

Enough about sewing though…Here is the best of photos to please all of you dog lovers out there: Our pup, Luki, cooling off on the way up the mountain!

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He LOVES lying in puddles.  Can you tell?


 

In other news, did you receive our newsletter earlier this week announcing the launch of our Rain Jacket Hardware kits?  If not, you may want to subscribe so that you don’t miss a some big news items coming up in the next month. 😉

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For those of you who haven’t read about our new kits yet: I gathered our hardware kits together with Matt’s Dintex anorak in mind.  After your enthusiastic response to my post on his new jacket, I thought I would set out to find all of the hardware I could not easily source while sewing his jacket.  That way, you could make the same jacket…but even better!

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We’ve included my favourite anorak snaps (super rugged, super easy to install).

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You’ll also find some awesome reflective YKK zippers that are perfect for dark stormy nights.  The two short zippers are ‘extras’ to use for customising your jackets (you could ad d armpit vents as commonly found in ski jackets or all manner of zippered pockets).

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When purchasing the kit, you can choose between a zipper suited to the Closet Case Files Kelly Anorak or a longer zipper to use on the Hot Patterns Hemmingway Windcheater (which is now back in stock along with the previously sold out Workshirt and Breton Top).

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The toggles and drawstring have been sourced from Rose City Textiles.  A few of you mentioned this outdoor/technical fabric shop when I blogged and Instagram posted about Matt’s Hemmingway jacket.  It is a Portland-based shop that sells mostly to designers and manufacturers…and unfortunately, they are currently going out of business.  They are selling off their wares in large lots so, with wonderful help from staff member, Annette, over a long phone call, I was able to find matching toggles, cord ends, and reflective shock cord perfectly suited to high end outdoor gear!

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In addition to the full kits, I’ve added sets of toggles and cord ends to the shop.  Would you like me to list any of the other materials separately?  For instance, would you prefer to purchase the snaps kits on their own?  Or shock cord by the meter?  I have priced the full kit as the best deal…but not all of you will want the whole kit!  Just let me know what you would like listed individually and I will do so right away.

And, in other news before I sign off:


  • Pattern Review is hosting a Menswear Sewing Contest and we are the sponsor!  Enter for your chance to win a $100 or $50 shopping spree in our store!
  • As I mentioned before, get ready for some big news in the coming weeks (there are two things that I’m keeping secret for now!).  Sign up to receive our email newsletter to make sure you stay in the loop.
  • Did you miss out on your favorite color of waterproof Dintex?  Not to worry!  I’m holding a pre-sale right now.  Simply place your order right now and it will be shipped to you (along with any other goodies you order) as soon as it arrives at our studio.  The pre-sale ends next Tuesday, Nov. 22nd. 10am PST.


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A Wool Coat For Fall (and new Merchant & Mills tools!)

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I had the treat of receiving an email recently from a man named Yves, who is new to sewing.  Seeing as Matt and I began Thread Theory with the hope that we would encourage more men to sew, the, fact that Yves is male and a sewist is a thrill in itself.  Even more thrilling though was the fact that he included photos of his recent project using the Goldstream Peacoat pattern!

He did some simple modifications to the pattern and, in doing so, created a very different coat than the original design.  I just love the minimalism of this single breasted jacket!

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Yves was kind enough to do a bit of a write up for me so that I could share his modifications and styling choices on the blog.  Here is what he writes about his thought process while creating this coat:


“The fabric is a medium weight woollen with a houndstooth pattern.  For the lining I decided to go with paisley.

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Being a fall coat I tried to choose earthy tones that start to make their appearance this time of year.

I found the coat’s tones pair well with darker accessories, as you can see with the chocolate brown scarf. When I feel too brown I can switch it up with a deep burgundy scarf.

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The buttons are wooden buttons I salvaged from an old jacket. I had a nice selection to choose from at the store, but in the end wooden buttons seemed appropriate for the woodsy earthy theme that was was starting to come out through the coat.

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I love the style of the Goldstream Peacoat and already owned a few of them.  So I tried my hand at a couple modifications to try to get a different look.

  1. I shortened the bottom length so that is sits just around the crotch. This seems to give it a modern “sporty” look.
  2. I shortened the width of the front sides and brought them in 3″ each (on the Small pattern).
  3. I moved the buttons so they are centre aligned down the front of the coat.
  4. I trimmed the collar height 1/2″ off the top edge.  I like wearing the collar up and found this was a better length.  As well, since I shortened the width of the lapels, things seemed out of proportion when the collar was down (really wide collar and really thin lapels). So this change made things look a bit more proportional.

I also added 1/4″ top stitching along the center back, side seams and sleeve seams.”

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Thank you, Yves, for sharing your modifications and for taking the time to photograph your gorgeous finished project!  I hope this jacket receives many years of wear and even more compliments!  Good luck with your upcoming button-up shirt class.

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Two things get me excited to sew – viewing the amazing results of other people’s sewing efforts (as above) and testing out some new tools.

We just received a fresh shipment from the UK (the Merchant and Mills workshop in Rye to be specific) so there are plenty of new tools to show you today.

You’ll be glad to know that high demand items such as Tailor’s Beeswax, the Workbook, Toilet Pins, and Tailor’s Shears are now back in stock.

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In addition to this we have added a rugged oilskin tool roll (complete with the tools to match each fitted pocket):

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Another kit you will find in the shop is a comprehensive kit featuring Merchant & Mill’s most loved notions:

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The last kit I added to the shop is a selection of fine pins.  I’ve included thorough descriptions of each pin and its uses in the product description, so you might like to check that out to find out why entomology pins are an invaluable addition to the sewing tool box!

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Last, but not least, I selected two new scissors to add to our line up.  First, something for you left handed sewists:  Left Hand Tailor’s Shears!

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And secondly, some everyday scissors that strike me as the perfect balance between comfort and utility.  They are sturdy with their all steel construction but are just small enough to be very light.  The Merchant & Mills team suggests that you can use these scissors for fabric or paper (but don’t switch between both, of course).  I think they would be a nice choice for light quilting cottons or dress fabrics but I wouldn’t choose them for heavier fabrics.  I plan to use these as my household paper scissors – they will be great for cutting out patterns!

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I hope this post has been a nice dose of inspiration to prepare you for some weekend sewing projects.  Judging by how much fabric I have mailed out in the last week (the majority of the Dintex colors are either sold out or very close to sold out), there are some great sewing plans in the works!


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The Winter Fabric Collection is here (along with more Dintex!)

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The Thread Theory fabric shop is ready for cold weather!  Meet the cozy capsule collection of winter fabrics:

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These fabrics were chosen so that you can bundle up without feeling like a stuffed sausage.  They are light weight, breathable, extra soft and COZY!

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We’ve stocked this tiny collection with a total of 5 perfect layering fabrics.  Let’s start with outerwear and work our way inwards.

Outer Layer

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This is a wool blend outerwear fabric suited to wet and stormy West Coast weather!  It is actually a Dintex fabric just like the softshell fabric that you guys like so much (more on that fabric later).  The outer layer is a rich warm charcoal knit comprised of hard wearing acrylic and poly blended with wool.  The middle layer is waterproof, windproof and breathable Dintex, and the inner layer is a light weight fleece which is perfect built in insulation.  The end result is not very bulky but would make for an incredibly warm and classy Goldstream Peacoat or Newcastle Cardigan.

If you are like me and hate when lint and dog fur sticks to fabric, I would recommend lining your coat or sweater.  The cozy inner fleece layer tends to pick up bits and might stick to your sweater or shirt.  I think it is best suited to act as a warm layer of insulation rather than a smooth lining.

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Middle Layer

Working our way inwards, the next layer in our winter collection is a luxurious terrycloth sweatshirt knit!

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This warm oatmeal colored 100% cotton terry features a beautifully subtle herringbone design on both the right and wrong side.  Despite how cozy and appealing terry cloth is, I usually avoid it because I find the loose loops on the wrong side of the fabric to be quite annoying and prone to catching on nails or watches and jewellery.  That’s why this terry cloth really gets me excited!  The wrong side is even better than the right side – it doesn’t have loose loops and instead features herringbone ridges of deliciously soft fuzz.  The ridges feel somewhat like velour (VERY SOFT).  You can see the ridges on the top right in the photo collage above.

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This fabric is 300 gsm which means it is not very bulky and will be easy to sew on any machine.  It is an ideal fabric choice for the Newcastle Cardigan or the Finlayson Sweater.

I’ve also stocked the matching ribbing for your hem bands, cuffs and necklines (pictured on the bottom right in the photo collage above).  This ribbing would also pair nicely with the heathered almond bamboo/cotton jersey that we’ve carried in the shop for quite some time.


Base Layer

Now, speaking of bamboo/cotton jersey let’s talk about the base layer in this collection!  We’ve carried quite a few solid colors of bamboo/cotton jersey in our shop ever since we launched the Comox Trunks kit.  The Comox Trunks were designed for this hard wearing, beautifully soft work horse of a fabric.  Well, when I was in Vancouver attending the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals vendor market two weekends ago, I was excited to chat with one of our fabric distributors and find out that my favorite fabric is now available in Breton stripes!

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I’ve added classic navy and white as well as a more sedate heather grey and navy to this winter collection.

 

These fabrics are ideal for any garment that will sit closely against the skin because they breath wonderfully and are so amazingly soft.  They also withstand constant washing and drying like a champ!

I’m imagining these two stripes sewn up into our free Arrowsmith Undershirt pattern, trunks and, of course, classic Breton Tees (the Hot Patterns Weekender Breton Top will be back in stock in our shop soon!).

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Dintex Fabric

As you may have noticed, the winter capsule collection is particularly small.  The entire collection is comprised of only five pieces because I wanted to save room in the budget for a big order of a rainbow of Dintex colors!

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This softshell fabric has such beautiful color options!  I know we are a menswear supply shop…but who could resist that plum color?  I was really wanting to add olive to this collection but unfortunately, olive isn’t available at this time.  I hope it will be in the future!

I hope you enjoy my winter fabric choices.  Head on over to the supply shop to check them out in more detail. >