Thread Theory

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


Spring Sewjo – Sew ALL the projects!

You guys have been sewing up a storm lately!  Here are a few of my favorite projects that you have sent me via email or I have come across on blogs this late Winter/early Spring.

Dopp Kit dIY

Krista emailed me with these wintery photos of her very classy canvas and leather Dopp Kit with silver Chicago Screw fasteners.  She made this kit using the tutorial that I created to go along with our Bag Making Supplies Kit.

Goldstream Peacoat in Grey Wool

I came across this elegant charcoal grey wool Goldstream Peacoat on the blog Tiny Needles.  Amelie sewed this coat for her dad for Christmas.  I love the look of the popped collar!

Goldstream with plaid

This Goldstream Peacoat, blogged at Louna le Chat, features the hood that we included in Variation 2.  It looks very capable of warding off the chilly seaside breeze.  The plaid lining is a really nice touch (I wish I could find such a nice plaid at my local fabric shop!).

Jutland Shorts with custom pockets

There have been a few Jutland Pants popping up lately – such as these ones which have been so wonderfully customized by Ben!  He emailed me with photos and explained some of the customizing: Obviously, he made them in to shorts, but less obviously, he created all manner of pockets to suit his preferences.  Check out the amazing welt pockets just above the cargo pockets!  The cargo pockets themselves have been redrafted as accordion pockets (I believe) and have been added to the shorts on an angle.

Strathcona and Jutland

Lisa, of Pattern and Branch, has been on a menswear kick of late – here is her cozy Strathcona Henley and the source of her sewing pride: These perfect Jutlands!  Check out her very detailed blog post on these trousers if you would like to feel inspired by the joy that sewing can add to someone’s life!Camas Blouse and Moss Skirt

I meant to share Helena’s Camas Blouse with your during our Camas Sew-Along but I don’t think I ever did!  I really love the sporty aesthetic of this outfit – I think the Camas pairs wonderfully with the Grainline Studio Moss Skirt!

Camas Blouse Floral

Lastly, this beautiful Camas Blouse featuring a Liberty print yoke was recently blogged about on Autant en emporte l’automne.  It really has me wishing for a Camas in white since I can see this blouse going with absolutely everything.  She has photographed the blouse worn two different ways; I really like how it looks tucked in to high-waisted trousers.


Thank you for sharing your Thread Theory projects with me!  As always, please send along photos of your finished makes to  – they really make my day 🙂




Harris Tweed Man’s Vest

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (25 of 26)

I recently met an inspiring couple who visited the open house that took place at The Spool and Thread Theory studio.  Jackie was eager to use the buttonhole feature on my trusty old Kenmore sewing machine because it creates lovely keyhole buttonholes.  She was almost finished creating a gorgeous classic wool vest for her husband, Malcolm.  I exclaimed over her fabric sourcing abilities and her welt pocket sewing skills after which she let me in on a little secret…

…she didn’t buy the fabric and she didn’t sew the welts!

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (1 of 26)

It turns out, she had found a large Harris Tweed vintage blazer in a local thrift shop and had re-purposed the blazer to create the vest.  Her mission was to create a vest that did not look ‘re-purposed’ or ‘recycled’.  She certainly achieved her goal!

She expressed an interest in spreading the idea of re-purposing garments in this manner and said she would love to connect with the sewing community and those interested in re-purposing menswear.  I eagerly asked her to send me some photos of her vest and a paragraph or two to share with you.  Thank you, Jackie, for sharing your inspiring project with us and for providing such detailed photos!

Without further ado, here’s Jackie:


Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (2 of 26)

I found this Harris Tweed man’s jacket in a thrift shop for $5.00. I had originally used it as a character in an Oliver Twist musical, and after the event I wanted to use the jacket to make a vest for my husband.

Using a McCall’s vest pattern, which I lengthened by 2” to fit the style I wanted, I deconstructed the jacket.

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (3 of 26)

Once I had pieces of the fabric I could lay them on the pattern so that the pockets were within the pattern piece. I left the interfacing in the front jacket pieces because it gave the tweed the support it needed to hold the shape.

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (12 of 26)

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (6 of 26)

Once the front vest pieces were cut out, remembering to keep the front pockets in line, the rest was a usual construction of a gentleman’s vest.

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (23 of 26)

The biggest investment was my thinking time as I planned how I could make this project work.

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (22 of 26)

I still have the back and sleeves of the jacket as pieces of tweed to use on other projects!


Now that we’ve had a chance to see the amazing potential of re-purposed menswear, here is a peek at the attention to detail that Jackie maintained while working on the vest.  The vintage blazer had a small hole near one of the pockets:

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (11 of 26)

She didn’t let this hole stop her from using the beautiful wool!  She trimmed away the interfacing slightly:

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (15 of 26)

And then she proceeded to felt the hole closed!

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (17 of 26)

And you wouldn’t even know it ever existed (the photo below is a touch blurry, but I can attest to the fact that the hole is entirely invisible when the vest is inspected in person):

Harris Tweed Repurposed Vest (18 of 26)


Thanks again, Jackie, for sharing your re-purposing project with us!  Seeing your process shots and, of course, the stunning vest itself, has me viewing vintage garments in a whole new way.  I’ve been known to turn a thrift store bedsheet into a button up shirt or two for Matt in the past but have never re-cut an existing menswear garment.

Do any of you re-purpose fabrics or garments?  Have you had much success with re-purposing menswear?




How It’s Made – Sewing Supplies

Matt’s a big fan of Reddit (an online ‘bullitin board’/ the front page of the internet) and usually checks out what’s new every morning.  He saves all the best posts and videos for me to see.  While they predominantly feature cute animals (he knows how to make me smile!), the GIF he shared with me today was less cuddly and a bit more informative:


Tip: If you are viewing this blog post in your email program you will likely need to click through to our blog in order to see the videos!


How glass head pins are made

In our shop: Merchant & Mills Glass Head Pins

That GIF sent me down a rabbit hole of “How It’s Made” style videos.  I searched for videos relevant to the tools and supplies that we carry in the Thread Theory shop.  I hope you find these as interesting as I did!


How needles & pins are made

In our shop: Merchant & Mills Easy Thread Sewing Needles


How Sheffield scissors are made

In our shop: Merchant & Mills Tailor’s Shears


How custom shoulder pads are made

In our shop: Tailor’s Wool Shoulder Pads


How fabric is made

In our shop: Canadian-made knit fabrics

How our sewing pattern envelopes and instruction booklets are made

In our shop: All of our patterns envelopes and instructions are printed by Hemlock, a carbon neutral printer in Burnaby, British Columbia.

How our tote bags are made

In our shop: The Tote Bag for Makers

The Prescott Group (in Halifax, Nova Scotia) runs the Atlantic Bag Company.  One of the skilled sewing machine operators who sews our bags talks about her work about halfway through this video:


Sneak Peeks of an Upcoming Pattern

I’m sitting here in front of the computer with glazed over eyes and a muddled brain after a week-long power session of writing instructions and drawing diagrams!  Here is a tantalizing glimpse at a few of my favorite diagrams.  I’m sure you can tell what our next pattern will be!

Burrito-Method Collar-Stand Tower-Placket

Yup, it’s the long-awaited button-up shirt!  The instruction booklet for our the Fairfield Button-up is now with our graphic designer and it will be headed to test sewers shortly.  Whew…what a relief to have a new menswear pattern near to completion at last!