Thread Theory

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


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Just launched: Two men’s jeans patterns

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I’m so excited to share with you not one, but two new patterns today!  We have been working over the last year to create the perfect men’s jeans pattern and wound up creating two designs with different fits: Meet the Quadra Jeans and Fulford Jeans!

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Both patterns are available in size 28-50 which is a far bigger size range than our Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants include!

I’ll walk you through the Quadra Jeans first:  They are part of the Parkland Collection which means they are a casual wardrobe staple tending towards a modern, slim fit.

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The Quadra Jeans feature a subtly tapered leg, a little extra room in the thighs, and a moderate low rise.

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You can sew these jeans in denim with no stretch or up to 2% elastane for added flexibility.  They include all of the classic jeans details including a zipper fly, strengthening topstitching, flatfell inseams, rivets on high stress areas, and a jeans button.

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I’ve included a unique feature, as far as jeans go to make fitting easier for the home sewist:  The waistband is cleverly sewn with a center back seam (as you would often see in men’s dress trousers).  This center back seam features regular 5/8″ seam allowances so if you are sewing for a man with a fluctuating waistline or are sewing the jeans as a surprise gift, they are easy to adjust larger or smaller even after they are fully constructed!  The seam is completely hidden beneath the center back belt loop so the waistband looks like it would on classic jeans.

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The Quadras look great sewn in denim or other trouser weight materials.  I used Cone Mills denim with 1% elastane for our first sample and a cotton twill for our second sample:

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You can see the taper of the leg well in the photo below.

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Now you are well acquainted with the Quadra Jeans, let’s have a look at the Fulford Jeans!

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This is a classic straight leg design with just a slight curve at the hips (which can easily be removed if you would like to use selvage denim – I will go over this in the sew-along!)

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They include a higher rise than the Quadras (just below the waist) and a roomier fit at the knees and calves in a manner reminiscent of vintage work jeans.

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Just like the Quadras, they include all the details you would expect – lots of topstitching, a yoke, a coin pocket and plenty of bartacks.  They also include a zipper fly.

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When sewn in a brushed cotton they make a lovely casual trouser.

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The Fulford fit was a bit unfamiliar to our younger model (my sewing friend’s obliging husband, Scott) as he is more used to the lower rise of the Quadras.  The Fulford rise, on the other hand, was exactly the height that Matt’s dad, Rick, is used to (who was photographed in the denim version of the Fulford Jeans).

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Here you can see the roomier fit in the lower legs due to the straight cut:

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Each pattern includes incredibly detailed instructions done using the same construction method as our Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants (so if you have sewn either of those patterns, you will find these a breeze!).  I’ve more than doubled the amount of diagrams included compared to the Jedediah Pants since I know that many of us are very visual sewists.

If you are more familiar with the construction method included in Closet Case jeans patterns or a different order of construction from a beloved vintage pattern (for instance), you will be relieved to know that our pattern pieces will work perfectly well with other construction methods – just sub in your favourite set of instructions instead of using ours.

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That being said, I am very proud of the results our method produces and can’t wait to share the sew-along I’ve been working on with you!  We’ll be talking about fitting, I’ll share detailed photos of sewing the fly, and I can answer any questions you might have along the way…stay tuned for the start of the sew along in a couple of weeks (date tbd soon!).

In addition to our two new patterns, we’ve also dropped a myriad of high quality jeans-making notions and tools in the shop today!

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First up, we have beautiful blank Kraft-tex labels to stitch onto your jeans waistband:

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Kraft-tex washable paper is back in stock by the 1/2 m for your bag and wallet making projects and I’ve cut some of it into perfect jeans labels so you don’t need to purchase more than the tiny quantity needed to add to your jeans.  I love to leave the label blank as a way to catch people’s eye…these jeans don’t have a brand name!  You could also print on the label with waterproof ink.  Each label costs only $2 CAD so it is a very affordable way to add a special touch to your jeans project.

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In addition to the Talon zippers we’ve stocked for many years, we now offer 7″ and 8″ Countess zippers in classic navy and brass.  The 7″ length is suitable for the Quadra Jeans sizes 26-38 while the 8″ is perfect for the Quadra Jeans sizes 40-50 and the Fulford Jeans sizes 26-38.

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Prym rivet kits are now available in the shop.  I’ve tested out many hardware kits while developing these jeans patterns and this is the set with which I am 100% pleased.  The included tools are good quality and make installation very secure with only the addition of a hammer and firm table.  I love that the rivets include two “right sides” – a smooth gunmetal side and a dimpled copper side.

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The copper set looks stunning against dark denim!

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We also carry a silver set which features the gunmetal alternative as well.  Each set includes enough rivets for four pairs of jeans!

To pair with the Prym rivets, you will find two new jeans button kits available, also by Prym.

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In the photo above you can see the silver button we’ve stocked in our shop for some time now.  In the middle is my favourite copper Prym button (measuring a classic 17mm).  On the right is the larger art deco Prym button (measuring 20mm) whose proportions are pleasing on heavy weight work jeans.  Both button sets include the necessary tools for installation and feature enough buttons to make many pairs of jeans.

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Lastly, if you plan to sew multiple pairs of jeans or if hardware application really makes you nervous, you’ll be pleased to find some installation tools in the shop!  The Prym pliers work for everything from rivets to snaps (they’re great for applying those plastic snaps to baby clothes…speaking from experience here!) and the tripod is an excellent choice for those with decreased dexterity (it stabilises the tiny pieces for you leaving your hands well away from the hammer).

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I hope you agree that our jeans patterns are filling a void in the world of menswear sewing and that you are excited to get sewing denim with me!

I’ll be sharing the details about the sew-along and also some of our wonderful test sewer’s versions on the blog shortly.

Choose your new jean pattern in our shop: Quadra Jeans or Fulford Jeans.

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Knitting for baby (our yarns and knitting haberdashery are on sale!)

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With the weather rapidly changing here and only 2.5 weeks until our baby is due to arrive, I’ve been a bit more sedentary than I’m used to and have been looking for activities that don’t involve bending over and crawling around on my hands and knees cutting out fabric.  So, the bigger my belly gets, the more I’ve found myself more inclined to knit rather than sew!

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I thought you might like to join me in some Fall knitting so I’ve created a discount code to give you and additional 25% off the entire knitting section of our shop! The sale lats 3 days only: Enter KNITTHISFALL upon checkout to receive your discount!

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To get you excited to try your hand at knitting, let me walk you through my knitting projects and also through the menswear-oriented knitting supplies that we currently have in the shop.

Keep in mind, I’m a complete novice when it comes to knitting (hence my propensity towards patterns that let me sew up the seams and don’t include many details!).  So please don’t look too closely at my projects, I’m just proud that they are warm and usable!  Above is a cosy sleep sack that I made to fit in baby Noah’s bassinet.  It was knit using the Erika Knight Vintage Wool (aran weight) from our shop and is so dense and soft!  I used a vintage pattern that looks like it was from the 1970s.

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These roomy dungarees (perfect for cloth diapering I think!) were also knit from 3 skeins of Erika Knight Vintage Wool.  I knit as per the (free!) pattern but then finished them with snaps along the inseams so they are easier to take off for diaper changes.  They are knit in the 6 month size.  I also made that cute little chipmunk toque from the British Blue yarn we used to carry in the shop (we’re sold out now!).  It was a really fun project that I managed in just a couple of short evenings.

The bunny was a sewing project using the gorgeous stuffed animal sewing pattern created by Willowyn Textile Art.  Her website is well worth a peruse (or follow her on Instagram for loads of inspiring images!).  I love the vintage style and it was an excellent use of fabric scraps!

If baby knitting is not your style, have a look at the menswear knitting patterns that we have in our shop:

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We carry a whole book of beautiful sweaters and accessories.  While these designs are made by Erika Knight (like our wool) they do not all call for her yarn and instead feature yarns from many different readily available companies.

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One of my first knitting projects several years ago was this sweater from the book.

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I went off pattern and swapped the wool for the slightly chunkier Maxi Wool (super-chunky weight) that we stock in the shop.  The sweater turned out larger than I expected as a result so, although it was intended for Matt, it ended up perfectly fitting my dad!

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He still wears the sweater very frequently each winter when at work on the computer as he finds it keeps him toasty warm.

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I really love how it looks on him and I am especially pleased to notice that it still looks just the same as the photo below (it doesn’t stretch out):

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We currently have the whole bottom row of colours available (I used the Storm colour second from the right for my dad’s sweater):

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If you are looking for knitting patterns specifically suited to the wool in our shop, we have a poster format pattern collection that includes everything from a toque to a sweater:

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These are all quite simple knitting projects that are very approachable even for an inexperienced knitter like me (I still don’t know how to knit in the round…despite watching many Youtube videos!).

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I used the Vintage Wool (the same weight I used for the baby projects) to knit Matt a toque a few years ago.  It’s a versatile weight for sweater and hat projects.

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The longevity of this toque is even more surprising to me than my dad’s sweater!  I had read that you can expect a knit toque to keep it’s shape nicely for one season of wear but Matt has been wearing this one since 2016 as his only toque each winter and it still looks just as pictured.

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We have a slightly more limited selection of vintage yarn left but there is still plenty enough for hat projects.  We currently have the red/fuschia, black, and the two centre greys (darker, lighter) on the bottom row.  The only colour we have a large quantity of (enough for a sweater) is the black:

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Aside from Erika Knight yarns and patterns, our knitting haberdashery and sale also includes locally crafted copper stitch markers threaded on a beautiful shawl pin…

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The ever-popular expanding sewing gauge

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…and some relevant Merchant & Mills tools.

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Do you knit or is it a skill you’d like to learn?  Email me at info@threadtheory.ca if you have any questions about the yarn quantity you need, the yarn a certain Erika Knight pattern calls for or if you just want to chat about trying out knitting for the first time from the perspective of a sewist!

Enjoy 25% off with the code KNITTHISFALL until Monday, 5pm PST!  Head to the knitting haberdashery >


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Comox Trunks Saxx Hack Idea (i.e. how to add a hammock pouch)

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Recently, Whitney Decker posted some great photos of her husband’s customised Comox Trunks to the Thread Theory Sewing Community Facebook group.  I was thrilled to see the fit she achieved as well as her detailed shots of the hammock pieces that she added to the front of the trunks.

Whitney Decker Comox Trunks

These hammock pieces are similar to what you might find in Saxx Underwear which are a brand renowned for their ability to keep everything in it’s proper place.

I asked Whitney if she might like to create a tutorial for the Thread Theory blog since I have received many requests for this alteration over the years…well, it turns out she had already gone to all the work of creating both a video tutorial and a photographed tutorial of both the Saxx hack and all her other fit alterations!  She posted these tutorials on the Phee Fabrics blog.

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Her video is very in-depth so I recommend watching this first and then cementing the knowledge you have gained by reading her tutorial next.  The video is of course useful because it details the Saxx hack but it would also be great to watch just to familiarise yourself with how the strangely shaped Comox Trunks pieces fit together.  If you are unclear on how to add length to the legs, how to change the width of the gusset or all manner of other alterations…don’t worry, her video covers them all!

 

Whitney even switches out the elastic waistband and replaces it with a comfortable Supplex waistband.  Supplex is a performance stretch fabric that is available at Phee Fabrics (the company which Whitney created her video and blog post for).  I hadn’t come across this fabric company before but I’m glad I have now!  They look like an excellent source for performance knits and underwear/swimwear fabrics.  Their blog features tutorials for almost every indie underwear pattern I’ve ever come across!

Whitney’s pattern hack uses a free pattern piece offered by another indie pattern company with a men’s underwear pattern: The Boxerwear Boxer Briefs by Stitch Upon A Time.  This pattern is similar in fit to the Comox Trunks with a few key differences: The pouch is one piece and shaped with a dart, there is a centre back seam, I believe the legs are finished with binding or a band, and the legs are quite a bit longer.  It’s wonderful that there is beginning to be enough variety available that you can pick and choose menswear patterns to perfectly suit the style and fit you are looking for!  Here’s a photo of the Boxerwear design followed by the Comox Trunks so you can compare the many differences and pick the pattern that suits your needs best:

Stitch Upon A Time Boxerwear

From what Whitney tells me, it sounds like the free Saxx-style hammock pattern piece is available through the Stitch Upon a Time Facebook group (please correct me if I’m wrong as I haven’t joined the group!).  I think it would be fairly straightforward to come up with your own hammock pattern piece by tracing the curve of the Comox Trunks front pouch and then drawing a straight line for the hammock edge.

Amy Lawson Comox Trunks

Amy Lawson did something similar and posted to our Facebook Group too.  Has anyone else tried this hack?

Have a look at the Comox Trunks pattern >


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Thank you for your help! (And here’s a discount code as way of thanks.)

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Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment on the last blog offering their sewing talents!  I’ve selected several test sewers who are busily working away on the new pattern right now.

Please don’t be discouraged if we didn’t select you to test this time!  We try to select a fresh variety of testers for each pattern so please apply next time if you are still interested!

To thank you for following the blog and for your enthusiasm each time I call for testers, here is a 15% off coupon code that you can use any time!  THANKSFORREADING  The code will never expire and will give you 15% off you entire order.  Head to our shop to use the code >

(In case you’re wondering, the above picture is of our cat, Jazzy, trying to commandeer the newly assembled crib as her own…don’t worry, we’ve since worked on some serious cat training and the crib now remains safely cat free!)