Thread Theory

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

Behind the Scenes: Photo Tour of the Assembly Line



Aside from developing patterns, writing instructions, designing packaging, maintaining customer relations and marketing, have you ever wondered what occupies the time of an indie pattern company owner?  Here’s a look into some of the slightly more mundane but just as time consuming aspects of owning Thread Theory:
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We’re very lucky to have such hard working free labour in the form of supportive family members!  Thank you to my Mom and Dad, Nonnie and Grandpa, Matt’s Mum and Dad, and to Sonia (our graphic designer) for all the hours of packing patterns.  You made our ‘Stuffing Parties’ (as we like to call them) into real parties and we were thrilled you could help us celebrate our achievements at the same time.  Thanks as well to all our enthusiastic stockists!  As you can see, trips to the post office with stockist packets such as the one pictured above are quite momentous occasions!

When Matt and I were first researching the aspects of running an independent pattern company we never came across much information about what have lately been our most time consuming daily activities (customer service, packing patterns, sending and receiving shipments to name a few) and instead came across more information on less regular but of course very important aspects of running our business (such as branding, developing instruction booklets and of course, designing and drafting the patterns).

I must admit I never expected to become so well versed in the intricacies of international shipping and am thrilled that I have a constant source of wooden pallets to finally make use of all my DIY pallet project pins on Pinterest :P.

Are you curious about any details of running your own pattern company?  Would you like to see more photo tours? Is the reality, as displayed by our photos, close or very far off from what you imagined to be involved in a sewing pattern company?

20 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Photo Tour of the Assembly Line

  1. That was awesome to see – but please don’t tell me you have to fold the pattern paper too!!

    • No, we don’t, thank goodness! They are folded using machines at the tissue printing factory. When we received our first shipment of tissue patterns last summer we opened them up to see a snarled mess of tissue paper and we were horrified! Fortunately, it turned out that the top layer of tissue paper was simply used for packing and hidden underneath were 100’s of carefully folded tissue patterns. Whew!

  2. How lovely to see behind the scenes. I was very impressed with the service when I recently ordered my paper patterns. In fact, I’m yet to throw out the envelope, it’s so nicely stamped…
    It feels great to see the hands at work assembling the patterns. And I’m delighted that the working environment is more wine bar than sweat shop! Congratulations on a great company.

    • Thanks for your wonderful comment! We’re thrilled you like our shipping envelope because we hadn’t heard any feedback about it yet (aside from the ladies at the post office!) and are quite proud of how nice it looks. Yes, we treat our free labour well 😛

  3. Thanks for the “insider view” – I would definitely love to see more! I’ve been wondering about how indie pattern companies work, so this was an awesome post to read!

  4. Thanks for this post. It makes me so happy to think that the patterns I received yesterday have gone through so many helping hands on their way to me!

    • We’re glad that you appreciate that! We really hope that sewers feel that we are accessible and connected to our customers – we enjoy carefully packing each pattern and imagining the sewer opening it up while they excitedly begin their new project 🙂

  5. These photos are priceless! i think it is great to have such support.

    I was arguing with some tissue pattern paper yesterday and wondering who folds and puts these together. I guess this is as close a glimpse as I will see.

    • I agree, we are very fortunate to have such an enthusiastic family! You’ll probably be interested to know that the tissue itself is machine folded at the printing factory so our stuffing parties only consist of assembling the parts of each pattern (tag, instructions, tissue pattern and the envelope) and, thankfully, we don’t have to fold every single tissue piece!

  6. I love seeing these behind the scenes posts.

  7. Thanks for sharing. I would love to see more insight to the business of independent pattern design. How cute are you and your family!

  8. Thanks for sharing behind the scenes! I’d love to start my own little online shop of clothes that I sew but I have no idea where to start. I’ve researched and researched but still feel lost. Any information, especially about taxes, is appreciated! Congrats on your growing business!

    • Thanks for your comment. Good luck with your clothing shop! If you’d like, you are welcome to send us an email and we would be happy to answer any of your specific questions (Matt and Morgan: We really enjoy sharing the things we have learned over the last year and a half and would love to help you out.

  9. I would love more of these posts! It’s really charming and gives great insight. Thank you for sharing!

  10. It’s brilliant how your family support you! I’ve not tried your patterns yet but my husband has finally said he would like some pants! I’m in the UK and will be ordering soon. Looking at the photos I’m wondering which one of them patterns will soon be mine!!
    Keep up the good work!

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