Thread Theory

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


Two years at Forgotten Pond Farm

This weekend marks the second anniversary that we’ve lived on our little farm! I think I can venture to say that, over the last winter, we’ve really settled into this new lifestyle. Watching the increasingly familiar signs of Spring emerging on the property truly makes me feel home. While the sense of unknown and feeling of discovery as each season progressed were very exciting during our first year on the property, it is so comfortable to be able to anticipate and feel in sync with the seasonal changes now that we’ve experienced our second year.

This winter was, as you might expect, a busy one for projects around the property seeing as we were so home-bound. I feel ever so fortunate that our winter of Covid isolation was this winter rather than the prior one – toddlerhood is so much more enjoyable for Matt and I than muddling through life with a newborn!

Knowing our property that much better allowed us to settle into routines and projects much more than the previous winter when the scale of every project and problem on a homestead felt a little too large and scary for us to tackle.

Whenever allowed, both sets of Noah’s grandparents have been included in our bubble, and, as always, they have been incredibly supportive and eager to take on childcare or projects around the property. We are so very lucky to have such a supportive family and, of course, when they were forced to socially distance from us at various points throughout the year, their support, love and companionship was sorely missed by all three of us.

My parents, who share ownership of the property with us and intend to live here once my mom has retired, have been full steam ahead with land clearing and milling. They are building a large workshop and will eventually move into the existing house (where we currently live) once we have built our new one. This winter we had arborists come to clear both building sites and my parents have since bought a mill to turn all of the fallen trees into beautiful lumber. They are so thrilled with this enormous project!

Our impending house build project has really begun to feel possible now that the land is cleared! You can see above that our build site will have lovely south exposure and a gorgeous view of my garden! We have spent quite a few sunny winter afternoons having campfires at the site and roasting hotdogs while we sit on stumps imagining them to be our future living room couch.

The site where my parents are building their shop is now cleared, has a gravel road, and is home to a temporary shop that they set up in a rented sea container. I can’t wait to see their build come together – it will hopefully be started this summer if their plans proceed smoothly. My dad plans to build a second story overtop the workshop which I will rent from him as the Thread Theory studio…this new studio space can’t come soon enough for us as we are bursting at the seams with inventory here in our house!

As you can see from the photo selection so far, chainsaws and tractors have figured hugely in our winter activities…I can’t say I ever imagined my life would revolve around these pieces of heavy machinery but, thanks to my dad’s enthusiasm for them, they have certainly shaped our property. The wood chipper, in particular, suits my plans perfectly as I’m adding to the fertility of the land by having my parents chip all the branches taken from the logs as they mill their lumber. The chips are then piled high around perennials and in the orchard to protect the tree roots from the chickens and retain moisture in the summer. The effects were very noticeable last summer and I can’t wait to see how lush everything becomes this year! My dad just added a backhoe attachment to his collection and I have already come up with a million landscaping plans for which it will be essential.

The first big project is digging a french drain across our ‘homestead area’ (the fenced portion of our land where I am developing the orchard, garden and livestock paddock) that leads from a seasonal rain catchment pond. For two winters now we’ve waded through a lake of slush and mud all winter long to get to our chicken coop. The seasonal pond paired with the french drain will hopefully allow the water to seep into our garden area and then excess can be sent down to the meadow and swamp at the lowest edge of our property.

While my parents have been occupied with power tools, I have frequently been in the kitchen preserving and cooking over the course of last Fall and Winter. Noah was a great help during the apple harvest and has since consumed more than his share of dehydrated apple rings, apple juice and apple sauce.

I was really thrilled with how our preserved homegrown veggies saw us through the winter. I didn’t get too crazy about eating only from the larder seeing as our local grocery shop and a nearby farm continue to sell a nice selection of local veggies all year round…but all the same, most of our meals feature at least once thing I grew and preserved! Our potatoes, garlic, frozen kale, collards, and swiss chard are still in plentiful supply.

Over the winter, as a creative pursuit and a way to feel connected to our new community, I’ve been developing a pizza dough recipe that I hope to sell at the farmer’s market this spring. I haven’t heard back from the market adjudicators yet but I sure hope they will allow me to rent a table! Here is my very rough and tumble website so far. Sonia (my sister-in-law and the talented graphic designer who creates our Thread Theory packaging) is working on a logo and packaging design for my pizza dough but, in the interim, the website gives you a bit of a temporary feel for what I will be selling. We’ve even bought an old van (named Jenny) that would allow me to bring a freezer of dough to the market! I might snazzy her up with a homemade paint job if I work up the courage.

Aside from all these activities, we’ve been building a fence for livestock (just chickens right now but we will hopefully add goats to this area one day), enjoying the wildlife around our property (loads of owls and frogs this Fall and Winter compared to the first winter we were here), setting up a brew-station for Matt (he likes to brew beer), painting parts of the house, and have just generally been having fun playing and exploring with Noah.

I am feeling so energized now that Spring is here! I can’t wait for the growing season! Thanks for following along on this adventure with us.


Here’s who to thank for a VERY busy pattern release schedule this year!

Please help me to welcome Adrianna to our team! Adrianna has recently joined us remotely to help me with pattern development and social media (read: to pick up my slack whenever I focus on parenting more than working!). She does an amazing job writing instructions and her illustrations blow mine right out of the water! I anticipate that our pattern release schedule will be greatly increased this year and I’m so excited about this!

You’ll be seeing Adrianna around Instagram and Facebook from now on as she takes over the running of those two accounts. Please make her feel welcome and say hi!

I’m really excited to have Adrianna working with me as it is the first time I’ve had a colleague who has all the same skill sets that I do. I’ve already been enjoying the increased sense of camaraderie as we trouble shoot instruction wording, discuss the details of pattern labelling, and the merits of various fabric choices. I feel very fortunate that someone with just the skills I needed had the courage and initiative to get in touch and offer her services. Thank you for sending that first email, Adrianna!

Here are a few questions I asked Adrianna recently in hopes of getting to know her better:

Can you tell us a little bit about your professional sewing-related background?

I have a BFA from the Academy of Art University in Fashion Design specializing in Menswear. Since graduating I have worked for a variety of clothing companies, from corporate mass production brands to small made to order clothing brands, specialized tailoring boutiques, and most importantly indie sewing pattern companies. I love the community that is involved with home sewing, and it is my passion to teach and share my skills with others and provide encouragement for people to learn how to create their own clothing and accessories.

Where do you live and what do you like about your community?

I live in Portland, OR, USA. The sewing (and craft community in general) is huge here which is what I love the most about this city. The street that I live on has a small fabric store, knitting shop, AND craft supply store, amongst several coffee shops, all which I can walk to in about 10 minutes. Portland is also big on community support and activism which is important to me. Though the media has portrayed Portland as…. interesting to say the least, I will attest that in my experience all the activism I have experienced and participated in has been very positive (such things the news likes to leave out as it isn’t as dramatic). I have witnessed many friends and other sewing community members come together to share their skills and make supplies – such as masks, quilts, clothing, and mending kits –  and meals to help one another, especially over the past year. 

How did your interest in sewing first develop?

Most of my family is relatively artsy in some way, so there was always access to art and craft supplies at my home. My grandmother, Mom, and Aunts had all contributed in teaching me how to sew, knit, and crochet. Sewing took the lead in my teens after I started making my own clothes and fell in love with the empowerment that gave me. I was, and still am to this day, a bit shy so I find it easiest to express my creativity through making clothing and accessories. In high school I started taking classes at a small boutique in Milwaukee, WI, USA, where I am from, and it inspired me to keep on going with it so I decided that was what I was going to study for a career. 

What aspects of designing and sewing menswear excite and interest you?

What I love most about sewing is how technical it can be. I have always been more of a technical person, so in regards to making clothes – fit, details, and construction techniques have always been what interests me the most. Traditional menswear tends to have more of a focus on these things which is why I gravitated towards it in college. From my menswear degree I have landed some very fun and rewarding jobs!

What project is on your sewing table right now?

I am currently in the middle of reworking some garments in my wardrobe! One of the things I have helped my community with over the past year is making something new out of what you have, whether that is mending an old garment that would have been thrown away, or taking apart a garment you have and making something new out of it. I recently made some Qualicum Bags out of repurposed denim jeans I had that didn’t fit any more and also turned one pair of jeans into a skirt. I am in the process of taking apart some dresses that I had bought because I liked the fabric, but the style didn’t really fit me, so I’m hoping to make some breezy tank tops or a pair of beach shorts out of them. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your sewing space?

I have had some very cramped and odd sewing set ups in the past so I am extremely happy to say that the house I live in currently has a converted, insulated, and spacious outdoor shed that my partner and I share for our artistic endeavors. Half the studio is set up for my sewing and the other half is filled with rock n roll instruments. I wish I had more helpful tips for organization, but it is something I feel like I am working on everyday. Most of my smaller tools I keep in a variety of mason jars so I can easily see them, and my fabric I have stored in vacuum sealed bags in many rope bowls, on a built in shelf unit. I have all of my patterns in labeled binders, but they currently are not necessarily in the correct binders. Like I said, something I work on daily! I have a senior cat named Oliver that I rescued almost 3 years ago that keeps me company some of the time, mostly when I am doing computer work. I have had to keep him away from the studio when I’m sewing as he is a typical cat that likes to plop on whatever fabric or paper is out. As far as tools, I have become dependent on my wacom tablet for all computer work. I also have a large standing desk that I use for sewing and computer work which has been a godsend for my back and shoulders!

What sewing-related patterns, projects or supplies are piquing your interest right now?

Due to being home all the time, I have found my hobby sewing has been focused on interior projects. I have made some throw blankets and pillows, new curtains for the studio, I have been experimenting with braided rugs and am in the process of collecting enough scraps to make the Closet Core pouf. I have also been building up the courage to re-upholster a loveseat that my dear cat scratched up.

Thanks for the detailed answers, Adrianna! It’s been lovely to get to know you better. Welcome to our team!