Well, after all my hints on Instagram, the blog and Facebook over the last couple of weeks, it’s finally time for me to put it all out in the open. We’re heading in a new direction with Thread Theory and we’re doing this in a big way!
Let me introduce you to the Thread Theory Menswear Supply Shop – launching Sunday Nov. 1st (only two sleeps left….eeek!!!).
The Menswear Supply Shop is our way of bringing menswear to the forefront of maker’s minds. We have created a curated online shop featuring project kits, sewing tools, fabrics, tailoring materials, knitting supplies and literature perfectly suited to menswear making. You will be able to peruse our shop by scrolling through the following categories: Sewing, Tailoring, Knitting and Literature (with more categories coming in the future…are you interested in Leather-work for instance?).
I have been researching and buying like a maniac and am really excited about the well-rounded selection of tools, fabrics, yarns, patterns, books and notions that have resulted from my shopping spree. Many of the items have been chosen to work with our patterns specifically (I can’t wait to show you the kits we’ve created!). Other items – such as many of the books – have been selected to promote an appreciation of menswear in general. I hope more people will be excited to launch into menswear projects if they are inspired by the function and fashion of modern menswear first!
Matt and I are pleased that we have been able to compile this project in time for the busiest making season – our shop is ready to assist you while you embark on all of the menswear gifts that you have planned! As part of the launch of the supply shop, we will be releasing gift cards this Sunday so that you can leave it up to the recipient to choose their project if you prefer!
Make sure to sign up for our email newsletter before Sunday morning in order to receive a discount code that will be sent to newsletter recipients only! You can sign up here.
Now that you know what to expect this coming Sunday morning, here is the story about how and why Matt and I decided to take Thread Theory in this direction. Let’s start at the very beginning:
Way back in 2013 (not really that long ago but it sure feels like it!) when the only item in our shop was a very early rendition of the Newcastle Cardigan PDF, Matt and I sat on the little patio behind the duplex that we shared with my sister and her boyfriend. The sun was shining but Matt and I didn’t really notice it. I had just finished a year of fashion design school and had no desire to begin a career in the hectic ready-to-wear fashion industry. Matt was taking a few random courses at the local university and was between jobs. We had recently found out that we would shortly have nowhere to live because my sister and her boyfriend were parting ways and Matt and I couldn’t afford the rent at our duplex without their contribution. Thread Theory was such a new baby at that point – each PDF pattern sale was a cause for immense celebration. Long story short, we were at loose ends with too many choices for the future and too much change occurring all at once. At times like this, when we are overwhelmed by the present, Matt and I like to daydream about the distant future. So we sat on our patio in the sun and came up with this daydream: Somewhere, many years from that moment, we were both self-employed and working from home, far removed from the concept of ‘climbing the career ladder’ that seemed to paralyze the both of us with uncertainty. In this daydream we were running a business that encapsulated the DIY lifestyle that we longed for. The business we ran provided makers with all of the equipment that we always struggled to find for our projects. It incorporated both of our interests and provided us with all the equipment needed for the various projects we hoped to embark on.
This daydream felt like a silly one given our current situation that seemed to require the immediate acquisition of both jobs and housing. Enormous changes have taken place since that daydreaming session on the patio and we have, for the last couple of years, managed to keep a roof over us (thankfully!), put our noses to the grindstone and pressed onwards with the development of Thread Theory as a niche menswear sewing pattern company. It has been hugely rewarding and fulfilling. At times I can’t imagine doing anything else! I work on Thread Theory full time these days (and have done so for almost two years now) and Matt works on Thread Theory in his ‘spare’ time away from his other jobs. He still dreams of being fully self employed (a dream that is coming very close to reality these days!). Up until about six or seven months ago, I maintained the opinion that Thread Theory would remain a menswear sewing pattern company indefinitely and I would launch a new business whenever I needed to expand into new projects.
This situation changed not long ago when we were partly through the development of the much anticipated Lazo Trousers (our yet-to-be-released second pattern for women). As many of you can probably guess, we ran into many stumbling blocks with this pattern and have also been delayed in the development of a menswear pattern that has been in the works for several months. Our pattern maker is exceptionally busy and successful these days working on several different aspects of her career. I am also extremely busy due to the increasing time I spend on other aspects of our business such as customer service and shipping as Thread Theory grows. As a result of our two busy schedules pattern development had ground to a snails pace and each change we made to a pattern felt like an enormous mountain that would take months to climb. Clearly, our system needed changing! And this is where the generousity of our patternmaker comes in…at a course that I took with her this summer she suggested (as she has before) that I should take over pattern drafting myself. This concept overwhelmed me because I was already so busy with other aspects of the business but she insisted that it would be more efficient in the long run. She graciously offered to train me in her computer system – an offer that I could NOT refuse because Sabine is, in my opinion, exceptionally skilled at drafting, exceptionally highly trained and, to my knowledge, is the only pattern maker in North America that works with Grafis (which I consider to be the best and most accurate pattern drafting software). How could I refuse such an opportunity??? To put this in perspective – imagine if you were ordering a suit from the best establishment on Savile Row and the head tailor approached you and insisted that he would put his other projects aside and personally train you until the you had become a head tailor on Savile Row yourself. You get the idea…
I am in the very VERY early days of my training on Grafis. Sabine will be helping us to finish the Lazo Trousers and the partially completed menswear pattern as her schedule allows and she will be making it a priority to train me until I am confident in Grafis. She has even suggested that we work on an actual Thread Theory pattern while she trains me so that I have something to add to our pattern collection as soon as the training is finished!
I don’t want to rush myself in this process – Matt and I agreed that it would be beneficial for no one to hurry through training and begin launching patterns before I was fully confident in computer-based pattern design (in school I learned paper pattern drafting so this is a whole new ball-game). We decided to come up with an alternative plan for Thread Theory so our shop would not become stagnant during my training.
Which brings us full circle to that daydream on the sunny patio in 2013! We pulled out some contact lists and product brainstorming notes that I had created over the last couple of years and jumped headlong into the job of turning a menswear supply shop from a dream into a reality!
So thank you for your patience while you wait for the release of the Lazo Trousers and future menswear patterns. Don’t worry, they are coming! We just don’t want to launch any designs until we are completely satisfied that they are accurate, approachable and flattering.
And we hope you are as excited for the launch of our supply shop this Sunday as we are! If you have any menswear tools, notions, patterns, books or fabrics that you think would be a great addition to our shop, we would love for your recommendations! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.