Thread Theory

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


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Our Annual Black Friday Sale and an inspiring project from Texas

50% off PDF patterns

As you might remember, every year on Black Friday we encourage you to stay home and sew with a 50% off sale on all Thread Theory PDF patterns – well this year is no exception!

Pop by the PDF section of our online shop this Friday Nov. 23rd to download your discounted patterns and dig in to a weekend of sewing projects!  This is an excellent time to tackle Christmas sewing plans (our quick wallet patterns or the Finlayson Sweater make great gifts) or immerse yourself in large and satisfying project (perhaps the Goldstream Peacoat or our jeans patterns?).

Aside from announcing our annual sale, I want to share with you an email I recently received that helped to strengthen my passion for DIY menswear fashion.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Yohannah of the Homestead Craft Village in Texas.  She was inquiring about becoming a wholesaler of our patterns since she is a weaving and spinning instructor who hopes to use the Goldstream Peacoat pattern in a future class.  While it is always lovely to hear of another DIYmenswear class in the works, what really caught my attention is the format of the class and the story she told me about her students.  Matt and I love to learn about homesteading skills (we’re pretty passionate about everything from cheesemaking to knifemaking…and of course sewing fits in with this theme too!), so the idea of a homesteading village where traditional skills are shared really took our fancy.  Their websites make me want to hop on a plane and head to Texas for a weekend goat keeping class!

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The format of Yohannah’s weaving class has successfully engaged a group of teenage boys and taught them many traditional skills.  I love that they get to experience both the weaving of the textile and the transformation of the textile into a garment that they will wear for many years.  As Yohannah explained, “I currently have a group of high school boys that have been taking classes for a few years. Last year they made wool fabric to make themselves black and red buffalo check jackets. This year they have made a charcoal grey wool fabric that I fulled for them and now we are making them pea coats. I got your pattern and LOVE it!!! (They wove material to make a shirt and they’re talking about making pants next year…).”

After hearing about this, I was intrigued and of course had to see photos!  Yohannah kindly sent me these images which were part of a display at their annual Homestead Fair.

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Those shirts look like they could have been purchased from high end wool workwear companies such as Filson or Pendleton!  They did such an amazing job weaving their fabric and look justifiably proud.

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I hope the boys will be just as pleased with their Goldstream Peacoat project and that their passion for textiles continues into adulthood.  Way to go, Yohannah and the Homestead Craft Village team for encouraging boys to work with textiles and for helping them to create projects that they are proud to wear!

Do you have any similarly inspiring stories of boys and men becoming engaged in textiles and sewing through education?  Or maybe you are or know of a self taught male sewist?  I’d love to hear of men who sew or otherwise work with textiles – please comment on this post with your story!  One of my main reasons for starting a menswear specific sewing pattern company was to encourage men to sew for themselves…and yet so few of our current customers are men.  Let’s hear from more men who create their own clothing – I know you are out there and are very talented and passionate!

 

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Welcome Baby Noah!

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I wasn’t sure I should post this on here but since I have so many family members following this blog, I have been receiving many enquiries as to whether I would introduce our new baby in a blog post!  I won’t be posting about him very often online (this blog is supposed to be about menswear sewing after all), but here is one of what I’m sure will be the occasional exception!  This is Noah, our baby boy, who arrived on October 19th.  He’s filled Matt and I with endless love!  We have been pleased to be surrounded by helpful and loving family who obviously feel the same way that we do about our little baby.

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To honour all the love our family has already given to Noah, this post is sort of a ‘handmade where’s Waldo’…can you spot the lovingly handmade items in each of these photos? As sort of a game I will refrain from telling you about the items within this post but will add a comment with the answers so you can check them out once you’ve had a chance to guess!

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As you can imagine, we are fairly busy with our new baby right now but Matt has been a super-dad so far and has been managing to feed me (while I feed Noah) and provide all of the customer service for Thread Theory.  If you have sent us an email lately or made an order that required shipping, it is likely Matt who you have been in touch with.  I’m grabbing the occasional 10 minutes of Thread Theory time here and there but am more or less on maternity leave at the moment (our jeans sew-along posts were pre-scheduled…don’t worry, I wasn’t sewing jeans while in the hospital!).  I hope to phase back in to accomplishing more Thread Theory work over the next couple of months as I am very excited to dive into the instructions for our next pattern.  The pattern is sitting on my shelf all drafted and ready to go and is proving to be a great incentive to get back to work once Noah and I have found our rhythm.

Until then, I look forward to connecting with you via the occasional blog post!  Happy sewing!


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Men’s Jeans Sew-Along: Finishing Details

Today we will finish our jeans!  These are the most satisfying steps of the whole sewing process: We will add the belt loops, add the optional tag and hem the legs.

Let’s start with the belt loops.

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With the wrong side facing you, finish the right side of the long belt loop strip using your choice of a serger or a zig zag stitch.

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Fold the long raw edge towards the center of the belt loop and press.

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Fold the finished edge over the raw edge so that the belt loop is pressed in thirds.

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From the right side of the belt loop, topstitch along either edge.  Be sure to catch all three layers of fabric.  I usually topstitch just a little less that 1/4″ in from the folded edge (rather than edgestitching) to ensure I’ve caught the serged edge.

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Cut the belt loop strip into five equal lengths.

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Place the belt loops as per the diagram in the instruction booklet.  They should be extending above the waistband with right sides together.  They are positioned as follows: 2 are on the front of the jeans about 1/2″ from the front pockets (so there is enough room to add a rivet to the front pocket later), 1 is at center back, and 2 are about 1.5″ back from the side seams.
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Stitch the belt loops in place in line with the waistband topstitching.

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Fold the belt loops down and curl under the raw end of the loop 1/2″.  Stitch across the bottom of the belt loop with topstitching thread.  Stitch across the top of the belt loop with topstitching thread – line up this stitching with the waistband topstitching.

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And now are belt loops are finished!

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Before we hem the jeans, it’s a good idea to try them on the recipient to check for the perfect length.  Make sure they are wearing their favorite shoes.  You can also compare the length to their favorite storebought jeans if you are trying to keep the jeans sewing project as a surprise gift!  Make any small length adjustments as necessary by trimming a little off the hem or by sewing with a slightly smaller hem allowance.

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Press the hem up – the Quadra jeans need to be pressed up 3/4″ and the Fulford Jeans need to be pressed up 1/2″.

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Press up once more to enclose the raw edge (again 3/4″ for the Quadra Jeans and 1/2″ for the Fulford Jeans).

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From the right side of the jeans, edgestitch around the hem.  Give the hems a nice press to finish them off.

And now we can apply our rivets!

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Add rivets to all of the front pockets – the two front pockets and the coin pocket.  Use the manufacturer’s directions.  Here I am using the Prym rivets that we stock in the shop with the included tool.  Since jean rivets are quite a ways from the fabric edge, I simply use a cutting board instead of folding over the other half of the rivet application tool.  I still use the purple holder and the top half of the tool for the right side of the rivet as this helps me to hold it securely in place and prevents me from squishing the shaped metal.

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Aren’t you amazed how professional these little details have made your project look?  If you really want to pull out all the stops, you can add one last detail to your jeans: a leather or Kraft-tex (washable paper) label to the back of the waistband.

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Cut a label measuring 3″ X 2 1.2″ and position it about 3 1/2″ to the right of the center back belt loop.  Edgestitch around it using topstithcing thread.

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I love the cheeky statement this blank label makes…”Look, I made this myself…there’s no brand!”

We’re now done our Quadra or Fulford Jeans!  Way to go!  You might like to give them a wash before they are worn to give them that soft, worn in look (new jeans can look a bit too pressed and stiff).

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Congratulations on finishing such a big project!  Thanks for sewing along with me.