Thread Theory

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


In the Studio: Fabric Shopping

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Last weekend my friend Nicole and I went fabric shopping at our local Fabricland.  I picked up fabric for the upcoming Finlayson sew-along and Nicole flew around the shop systematically picking out an entire wardrobe worth of fabric – I was so impressed!  My style of fabric shopping consists of confidently striding in through the fabric store’s front door only to slow to an overwhelmed shuffle once I reach the first display of fabrics.  I then walk around for way too long running my fingers over all the fabrics until I have successfully forgotten what I had come in to buy.  At that point, I find myself at the cutting table with completely random (but gorgeous!) bolts of fabric.  Nicole evidently has a lot to teach me!  Check out all the fabric she purchased to create a work wardrobe for her new job in a physiotherapy office over on her blog!

Here we are very natural and un-posed as we considered the lining selection. Decisions, decisions!

Fabric Shopping edited

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In the Wild: Amy’s Finlayson (and a give-away!)

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We’re thrilled with the enthusiastic response we’ve received about our newest pattern, the Finlayson!  I know fall might seem a long way off here in the Northern Hemisphere but this you will have plenty of time to find the perfect fabric and sew a few sweaters before the weather even begins to change :).  And for those in the Southern Hemisphere, hopefully this new sweater will be a nice addition to your mid-winter wardrobe and I’m sure will pair perfectly with a nice cup of cocoa!

For today’s In the Wild post, I’d like to show off Amy’s Finlayson hoodie.  She was one of our very helpful test sewers who contributed greatly to some of the finishing options and thoughtful details now included in the pattern (she came up with the method for applying the twill tape to the kangaroo pocket!).  She just launched a blog post complete with a give-away last night.  Head on over to her blog to see some great Finlayson photos, hear her review of the pattern, and enter to win a Finlayson pattern of your own!

Amy's hoodie


We have a new pattern! The Finlayson Sweater


Right from the start, it was clear to us that the Alpine Collection (which features comfortable and relaxed active-wear which is hard wearing and suited for all manner of adventures) needed a hoodie as one of it’s base garments.  A hoodie is indispensable for hiking, working and simply living in!  Let me introduce to you the Finlayson Sweater – that perfect, easy-to-wear hoodie and sweater that doesn’t sacrifice style!

Hoodies and pull over sweaters can’t be beat for comfort and coziness – I’m sure we can all agree on that!  However, they often lack style and end up making Matt and I feel a bit slobby when we wear them.  Not so with the Finlayson Sweater! The squared neckline elevates this sweater beyond pure utilitarianism and is very flattering to all face shapes.Finlayson7

We’ve included two variations – both with the same cozy, boxy sweater shape.  You can choose between a shawl collar version with an optional decorative neckline facing…Finlayson3

Or a hooded version complete with a roomy lined hood and the classic kangaroo front pocket…Finlayson11

Both options feature hard-wearing cuff and hem bands as well as professional finishing techniques such as the application of twill tape along the neckline opening.Finlayson2

This pattern will work well in almost all light to medium weight knits and fleeces as long as they have just a little bit of stretch.  In fact, we’ve made choosing your fabric easy: We’ve included two cuff pattern pieces – one suited to ribbing or materials with a moderate amount of stretch (such as the sweater knits from Girl Charlee that we used for our samples) and one that is longer and easier to sew onto the sleeve even with the most stable of knits or fleeces.  If the fabric looks cozy and you want to spend the Fall and Winter with it wrapped around you, it will work for this sweater!  (I’d recommend steering clear of fabrics that are super thick though because they will result in a lot of bulky layers to sew through at the collar.)Finlayson10

This is a very quick and easy project and is suited to novice sewers who are branching into sewing with knits.  The instructions include finishing tips for both a regular sewing machine and a serger.  You can choose to whip one up quickly by following just the base instructions or you can take a bit more time to create a professionally finished sweater by including the optional decorative facing and twill tape finishes.

The Finlayson is available as a PDF pattern right now which includes a Print at Home file as well as a Print Shop file.  We’ll be offering this as a tissue pattern in the future but plan to release several of our upcoming patterns as PDFs first before sending them to the printer all at once.  If you plan to buy the tissue pattern in the future but can’t wait to get started on the Finlayson, no problem!  When we release the tissue pattern in the future, you will have one week to email us ( with your PDF order number and will will give you a special discount code for the tissue pattern so that you will end up receiving the PDF for free!Finlayson1

I hope you like our new pattern!  I have already sewn a huge pile of them (Matt’s closet is overflowing with sweaters!) and I look forward to seeing you do the same!  You have lots of time to sew yourself a Finlayson before the weather starts to change.

After my success with my feminine Jedediah Pants, I’m thinking of creating a sew-along for this sweater so that I can have a Finlayson of my own (perhaps in a Girl Charlee French Terry or this gorgeous organic cotton Thermal from Organic Cotton Plus).   Would you be interested in a sew-along?


Shorts On the Line – Menswear Inspired


I made myself some Jeds!  What better excuse than Shorts On the Line to make my dream of Jeds for women a reality? If you have been hankering to make some shorts or have already done so in the last year, head on over to the Shorts on the Line Sew-Along on Kollabora to join in!  There are some awesome prizes up for grabs and there is a tonne of great shorts-sewing inspiration already posted.Shortsontheline1

My Jedediah shorts are super comfy.  I made them in our smallest size (Size 30) which was too big for me at the waist but fits quite well when worn lower on the hips.  I love this classic, casual chino style – it is perfect to pair with feminine blouses if I want to be dressy or (probably more realistically) to wear with a t-shirt or button-up when I’m working on the garden or riding my bike!

I used an organic cotton twill for this pair which was left over from a pair of Jedediah pants that I made for Matt…so we could match if we wanted to (but we don’t want to :P)!  I shortened the pocket bags because when I went to hem my shorts, they were hanging out well below the hem.  As much as I loved their french seams and pretty floral fabric, I couldn’t bear to display them to the world!

I made a bit of a Jedediah production line and sewed some Jedediah pants at the same time that I sewed my shorts.  It really didn’t take too much longer to sew two pairs instead of one!Jedsforme2

I LOVE the fabric I used for these.  It is a stretch cotton sateen with all sorts of flowers, birds and even butterflies printed on it.  It is pretty light weight and quite cool to wear in the summer heat.  Because it was stretchy I made two small pleats in the pants front (positioned half way between the fly and each pocket) before attaching the waistband and then cut off the excess waistband once one side was attached to the pants.  This resulted in a much snugger (and probably much better) fit than the shorts version and they sit where I would normally wear my jeans or pants – not too high waisted but not low on the hips.Jedsforme5 Jedsforme3

I took a little bit of width off of the knee area so they wouldn’t look so baggy (probably only about an inch) and shortened the hem considerably.  I left off the back pockets on both the shorts and the pants to create a bit more of a feminine and maybe dressy look.  I like the fit that the back yoke created but I didn’t get any pictures of the back view without my hands in my pockets.  Unfortunately, my hands are creating drag lines in both of these photos but you’ll have to trust me that they aren’t there when my hands aren’t in my pockets!Jedsforme4

My favorite part of these Jeds is the cuffed hem I created.  I serged the raw edge, turned approximately 3″ to the inside, stitched it in place and then folded the new hem upwards to create a small 1″ cuff with no wrong side visible.Jedsforme

Well, there you have it!  Two menswear pieces never even intended for a man and proudly worn by me!  Thanks, Carla, Rachael and Kollabora for the excuse to spend some time sewing for myself!

This post is part of the Shorts on the Line sewalong.  Shorts on the Line 2014 is sponsored by: Britex FabricsHawthorne Threadsmiss matatabi, and Soak Wash.  Hosted by imagine gnatssmall + friendly, and Kollabora.