Thread Theory

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

Call for pattern testers! (Closed: 21/03/17)



Update 21/03/17: Thank you for such an enthusiastic response to this call for testers!  The testers have all been selected now (from hundreds of responses!) and I look forward to hearing their feedback.  The details that you sent in your blog comments and emails were extremely helpful to me.  I can’t wait to share the finished pattern with you!

Yes, we have a new pattern coming this Spring!  The third draft of the instructions will be sent off to our graphic designer this afternoon so I am ready to hear your feedback.

I haven’t been keeping our upcoming pattern a secret from you and have mentioned it several times on the blog.

Usually I strive to keep upcoming designs a secret simply for the fun of it!  Many other pattern companies do this and I think it adds a sense of fun and excitement to impending pattern releases for both the pattern designer and the eager sewists.  The menswear patterns I am trying to develop for Thread Theory are a bit different though; our patterns are predominantly classic designs that can be used as building blocks for any men’s wardrobe.  I don’t try to create garment designs that are innovative or unique, instead, my main goal is to create a comprehensive collection of well fitting staples that use quality construction techniques.


So…if I think about my aims, it seems a bit silly to keep my designs a secret!  Instead, I could be sharing them with all of you as I create the pattern to receive as much feedback as possible!  When I did this with our Fairfield Button-up pattern I was beyond thrilled with the feedback that you guys generously gave me.  I tallied up all of your blog comments and was surprised to discover that many of you preferred the option for darts on a men’s shirt pattern.  This is not a common feature on most menswear shirts where I live and so I likely would have left the pleated back as the only option…thanks to your feedback, Variation 2 of the Fairfield featuring back darts was born and has since been a favourite style for Matt and for many of you!

Belvedere Waistcoat line drawings

Our impending spring pattern release is a classic men’s waistcoat pattern.  This is an important garment to add to our pattern line for several reasons:  It is a key layering piece for formal outfits (and I think the more men need to realise how comfortable and versatile a vest is for both casual and formal outfits!).  It is an approachable and very satisfying ‘first piece of menswear’ for novice sewists.  It is quick and profitable to sew – you can create a whole bridal party worth of vests with only a small investment of time and fabric.  It is an excellent introduction to tailoring before you launch into larger projects such as a suit jacket or coat.

waistcoasts for weddings

Waistcoats + Summer Weddings = ideal combo.  Photos from this Pinterest board.

With those characteristics in mind, I’ve designed our waistcoat pattern to include two variations – one for novice sewists and one for sewists who would like to try their hand at more involved techniques.

I am looking for test sewers to try out my pattern and instructions that fall in to both those categories.  Please comment on this post or email me at if you match either of these categories:

  1. You are fairly new to sewing and have not sewn a lined garment before.  You are opinionated about menswear styles and would like to give me feedback on both the instructions (are they intimidating, easy to understand, too detailed, not detailed enough?) and the style of the vest.
  2. You are experienced sewing waistcoats.  You have tried at least one waistcoat sewing pattern in the past and are willing to give me your opinion on the construction techniques that I have used.  You would be willing to have a look at some of the resources I have been referring to as I write the instructions and discuss the nitty gritty of order of construction, understitching, the size of the lining in relation to the main garment and that sort of thing.  I am looking for some very particular feedback that I will discuss with you over email!

I value tester feedback highly and appreciate that it takes a lot of time and effort on your part!  Please, only volunteer if this is something that you enjoy doing and would like to spend time chatting with me over the next three to four weeks!  There is no need to have a blog or any form of social media and you do not need to sew a presentable final garment if you do not want to (but I would prefer if you follow all of the steps, from understitching to adding buttons, even if it is just in scrap fabric).

Waistcoats for casual wear

Waistcoats – useful for all seasons and styles!  Photos from this Pinterest board.

If you don’t want to test sew but still have an opinion about waistcoats (be it construction or styling), comment on this post!  Here are some thoughts to get you started:

  1. Have or would you sew a vest?
  2. How many pockets do you like? None, 2, 3, 4?
  3. How many buttons do you like?
  4. Do you prefer vests with a back panel made from lining fabric or from the main wool fabric?
  5. A vest worn without a suit jacket…yay or nay?
  6. What do you call them: Waistcoats or vests?


57 thoughts on “Call for pattern testers! (Closed: 21/03/17)

  1. Pingback: Behind the Scenes: 2017 recap and looking forward | Thread Theory

  2. 1) no but have kept my eyes open for a similar pattern
    2) 3, with the upper pocket tilted or angeled, don’t know the proper wording but hopefully you understand what I am trying to describe
    3) 4?
    4) lining, if mainly used under a jacket else main fabric
    5) sure
    6) wouldn’t know, not a native speaker

    would love to test the pattern, qualify for category no 1, although may be a bit more experiensed than described

  3. 1. Never have but am planning too. My little brother just asked me to make him one for a wedding in Jan 2018.
    2. Welt pockets give me the heebeegeebees I would probably just put the one in.
    3. Depends on the person I am dressing and the fabric.
    4. Lining
    5. Yay!
    6. Both

    Little worried about fitting over protruding guts. Will there be fitting options like in your shirt?

  4. 1. Yes, one.
    2. I’m not sure I’d ever rely on them them to put things in, so it’s just stylistic or how much I want to sew welt pockets! Probably visually prefer two (lower) or one (breast) actually, or four if I want to sew pockets! Three looks a bit weird to me, but then again I’m not known as a style guru, so what do I know…
    3. Five or six? But non-functional things are a pet peeve, so I’d probably leave the traditional “extra” bottom one off!
    4. Usually lining fabric, unless I was specifically planning to wear it as outerwear, but I might go for cotton or something then rather than wool all the way round. All-wool sounds a bit too warm!
    5. Yeah, why not?
    6. Waistcoats. Vests are underwear that grandads wear (and schoolboys are forced to wear) when it’s cold.

    General comments? Only I suppose that patterns without a sturdy enough self-fabric “collar yoke” (if that’s the right term) around the back can be structurally problematic if you use a lightweight silk or something for the back/lining.

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