Thread Theory

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


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We are home

6D1E74F2-6BFD-4269-A716-A61785854952We’ve moved, a very rough and ready version of our Thread Theory studio is up and running and we are back in business! Thank you for your patience while we moved. As our store banner explained, we were not shipping orders for a few days but now we are here, all orders that were placed during our move shipped out early this week.

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The moving process went smoothly thanks to the very enthusiastic help of our friends and family…they were pretty surprised that half of the massive moving truck was packed tightly with Thread Theory inventory and furniture! We almost moved double the volume we would have if we didn’t have a home based business.

We moved out, stayed at Matt’s parents house for a very relaxing 5 nights and then moved in to our new homestead.

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Matt’s Mom (wearing a modified Strathcona Henley) hanging with her grandson for 5 days – happy grandma and happy grandson!

My parents then generously stayed several nights to settle us in. They helped tackle some big garden maintenance that needed to be done before Spring sprung any farther than it already had.

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My mom cooked all our meals while she stayed with us giving me a chance to unpack. Thanks mom!

Meanwhile Matt doggedly set up the Thread Theory shelving, kept on top of customer emails, and arranged for a huge shipment of paper patterns to arrive (probably today!). I’ve been busy with Noah, of course, but have also started my veggie garden seeds during moments when Noah was hanging out with his grandparents (Matt’s family also came to visit a couple of nights once my parents left).

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This morning was our first morning on our own in the house. It feels lovely with all of the bright windows and Spring sunshine streaming in. The birds are chirping and we see a rabbit hopping through the meadows at least once a day (though I suppose that won’t continue once the poor rabbits realize our dog, Luki, is not fond of them!)

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Once our paper patterns arrive we will chug away at packing orders for our stockists (if you are a retail store and are reading this post, please expect a newsletter announcing we are ready for your order very soon). Once their orders have shipped off the following tissue patterns will be added to our shop at long last: The Belvedere Waistcoat, The Sayward Raglan, The Eastwood Pajamas, The Quadra Jeans and the Fulford Jeans. The Comox Trunks and Fairfield Button-up will also be restocked. Needless to say, we will be inviting many of our enthusiastic friends and family back to the homestead for a pattern packing party (will they still be enthusiastic by this point? I think we owe a lot of friends and family some help on future moves or life changes!).

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Aside from the excitement of launching seven tissue patterns at once, I’m just bubbling with zest for life in our new home right now. I’m so happy to be surrounded by forests and meadows, to watch spring flowers emerging, and to start my veggie garden. I love that my daily walk with Noah and Luki takes me past horses, sheep and even a ‘wonky donkey’ (named after the character in one of Noah’s most hilarious books…search Wonky Donkey on YouTube, you won’t regret it!).

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Matt is thrilled with the view from the Thread Theory studio as we have placed it in the second story of our house and it overlooks a good chunk of the homestead. When he’s not working he is out with his chainsaw and fixing up the property. The project he is most thrilled with is setting up his workshop. It looks like it will need a new roof this summer and has required major clearing out due to most of the cupboards being filled with rat droppings and rot…yuck!

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We won’t have any glamorous photos of the Thread Theory studio to share with you for a while since, as I said before, it’s just roughly set up while we focus on actually working in it and maintaining the property. Next winter we will do lots of work inside the house and at that point I hope to paint the studio and set it up beautifully. Do you have any recommendations of studio tour blog posts? I’d love to start assembling ideas!

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Well, I better get back outside to get more seeds planted! It’s good to be back on the blog! See you next Friday and have a lovely weekend.

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New direction for the blog…and I’m really excited for it!

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Noah turned 4 months old on the 19th! Matt and I are beginning to settle into a bit of a routine that allows us to keep Thread Theory operating smoothly while we still focus the majority of our time on little Noah and his entertaining determination to master the next skill (right now he is very determined to sit up).  Matt packs orders and replies to emails first thing in the morning while I play with Noah and formulate a couple small goals and plans for the day. After lunch we generally head to the forest or around the neighbourhood to walk our pup and I try to fit in my goals between nursing sessions while Matt plays with Noah mid afternoon.

When Noah is a month or two older I plan to make my goals a little larger (i.e. writing pattern instructions!) but right now, all I am able to accomplish for Thread Theory is the occasional sewing related customer service email, social media, and adding the occasional product or blog post to our website. I’m ok with that! That’s why I worked so hard to launch 4 patterns over the last year!

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Actually, of late, most of my time when I’m able to sneak away during a nap or when Matt is with Noah has been devoted to packing our house and studio! After 2.5 years in our current home and 6 years living in the Comox Valley we will be moving 1 1/2 hours drive south to Yellow Point in mid March! We have been searching for our ideal property on which to live the life we dream for some time now. Those of you who listened to the Seamwork Radio podcast that I was featured on a couple of years ago might remember the dominant theme: living a simple life where we are connected to our daily activities through making…and for Matt and I that frequently extends beyond sewing! Our new home will feature the forest, meadows, homestead and community that we want to immerse ourselves in. I can’t wait to set up the Thread Theory studio, raise some chickens (there’s a coop already on the property!) and start my garden.

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I’ll certainly share lots of photos and stories about our new home and mini-farm once we have moved, in the meantime, this brings me to the main purpose of this blog post:

In the plentiful quiet and still time while I sit and nurse Noah at night I have been brainstorming how to reorganize Thread Theory avenues of communication to better suit life with a baby and our new routines in Yellow Point. Right now I communicate with all of you through the blog, our newsletter, Instagram, Facebook, and the Thread Theory Sewing Community. There is a lot of overlap here which I find repetitive and time consuming to create and I worry it is repetitive and dull for you to read! I also feel disconnected from you because fostering children last year and having a baby recently has cut in to my sewing time. I no longer share many personal projects or anecdotes on the blog…and I miss that (and the resulting conversation in the comments)!

So here is my plan to both simplify and reinvigorate my connection with everyone who follows the story of our menswear pattern company:

First, the blog, which existed long before we ever launched a pattern, will go back to its roots as a platform for stories about my sewing projects (using Thread Theory patterns or otherwise). I used to post about things going on in our life as well. Back when I wrote the blog more prosaically, most of what was going on in my life had to do with the thrill of developing a new business. Now that Thread Theory has grown up and become so stable, I’ve filled my life with many other passions in addition to our little company. Most of these are related to homesteading and generally involve making (while wearing handmade) so I think you might relate and enjoy my stories. In short: If you follow the blog you will read about projects and our life as the family behind Thread Theory patterns. The blog will no longer be the place to read about pattern releases, product launches or sales.

Which brings me to our newsletter. To stay up to date on Thread Theory patterns and sales, subscribe to this (enter your e-mail at the bottom of our homepage)! It will arrive in your email inbox. It is already and will continue to be the very best way to be the first to hear about pattern launches. Traditionally, though, I’ve shared in-depth examinations of our new patterns on the blog…these detailed posts will move to the newsletter instead so you can gain an understanding of our new patterns even if you don’t follow the blog.

Sew-alongs will be posted directly to our Thread Theory website instead of on the blog. I’ll announce sew-alongs through the newsletter and social media. This means sew-alongs will no longer be on the blog.

Instagram will continue to be my main form of social media as it is a great way to find your Thread Theory projects and share them with Thread Theory followers. Don’t expect videos or ‘stories’ from me on Instagram anytime soon…I’m too shy for that! I love sharing your projects and my photos on the main feed though. I’ll probably continue to share an image from each new blog post on Instagram too since I know many of you click through to read intriguing  blog posts instead of following the blog via email or a blog feed.

Lastly, while I don’t personally use Facebook, I know that MANY of you do (but don’t use Instagram). With that in mind I will continue to push all Instagram posts to our Facebook page so you can stay nicely in the loop. If you want to share your projects or read what other people have to say about our patterns, the best place for Facebook users to go is our Thread Theory Sewing Community. That group has become so large, active and vibrant! I don’t always answer questions in a timely manner in that group though as I consider it a platform for Thread Theory sewists to interact candidly without interference from me. The best way to contact me with questions and comments will always be by email at info@threadtheory.ca!

So, to sum things up:

– Matt and I are so excited for our move to our dream homestead. Follow the personal side of Thread Theory, which will involve sewing and homesteading  through the blog.

– Stay up to date with our pattern company developments and sales via our newsletter.

– Join sew-alongs through the newsletter rather than the blog.

– See snippets of personal life, our company developments, and your amazing projects on Instagram and Facebook.

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Does this reformatting work for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback as I don’t want to reformat in a way that displeases most! Mostly, I’d like to make sure: As blog followers, does my plan to bring back my personal, prose style posts and move business news to the newsletter appeal to you?


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New Patterns! By Laela Jeyne and 5 Out Of 4

Our PDF pattern inventory just grew by leaps and bounds!  We are thrilled to now stock Laela Jeyne menswear patterns and 5 Out Of 4 menswear patterns in our shop.  These two indie sewing pattern companies have designed some stellar menswear pieces in addition to their large collections of garments for women and children.  Upon viewing their creative and well thought out designs, you will see why we think they so nicely compliment our own patterns.

Let’s have a look at the new designs (or head straight to the shop to check out our full PDF collection comprised of designs by eight (!) different indie pattern companies):

From Laela Jeyne, we have three PDF patterns which she has named Dapper by Laela Jeyne.  All three patterns could be sewn up to make a complete outfit (or a closet full of outfits if you employed the many variations included for each design!

emmett t-shirt

First off, we have the Emmett T-shirt.  This is a versatile pattern featuring a polo, Henley and crew neckline.  There are two sleeve length options.  The pattern includes instructions for fitting this design (including grading between sizes.  It is available in sizes XS-3XL.  Laela Jeyne patterns include a great feature: You only need to print the size that you want to use.

reed trousers

Next up, we have the Reed Trousers.  These are classic chino pants with roomy thighs, a straight fit, slit side pockets and optional welt pockets.  They are a great alternative to our Jedediah Pants – both garments feature a chino-style fit and look similar from the front but you can choose between darts and welt pockets (the Reed Trousers) or a yoke and patch pockets (the Jedediah Pants) depending on your preference.

william vest

Lastly, we have the William Vest which is a perfect layering piece over the Emmett T-shirt.  The William Vest can be sewn as a simple vest or you can add all manner of details including a snap off hood with a gusset, shoulder and back yokes, snap flap, welt pockets and breast pockets.

Now we’ve had a look at the Dapper collection by Laela Jeyne, let’s check out the new patterns by 5 Out Of 4.  I was eager to add 5 Out Of 4 patterns to our shop because they have a very large size range and include a huge amount of variations with each design.

redwood fleece vest

5 Out of 4 have made a great vest design too – theirs features colorblocking options, a zippered chest pocket with an optional flap, zippered hand pockets and a fully finished interior.  This pattern is drafted for sizes XXS-5XL.

sierra fleece pullover

The Sierra Fleece Pullover is a stand out pattern for me – I love the color blocking options – you can use contrast fabric for the shoulders and part of the sleeves to create a very nice effect (check out the other images in the shop to see this look).  You can sew the whole design without yokes and with one piece sleeves (pictured on the left), or you can sew the two piece sleeves with one fabric to match the shoulder yoke (pictured on the right).  So many possibilities based on your fabric and color combos to create a variety of looks with one pattern!  This pattern ranges from XXS-3XL.

halftime hoodie

The Halftime Hoodie is a nice quick project.  Sew a sweater with or without a hood, choose between two kangaroo pocket sizes and sew short or tall cuffs (with the option for thumbholes once again).  This pattern includes sizes XXS-5XL.

rocky tee

The Rocky Tee is a versatile basic – sew it as a v-neck or crew-neck with a variety of sleeve lengths and finishes (you could even choose thumbhole cuffs if you like).  This pattern extends from XXS-5XL.

woven boxersWe’ve received a lot of requests for woven boxer shorts over the years but we haven’t made a pattern for this style – because this great option by 5 Out of 4 already exists!  These shorts have been well thought out – they don’t have a centre back seam and instead feature three back panels that create a roomier and more comfortable fit at the back.  You can sew an optional buttonhole fly and the seams are nicely flatfelled.  These are hard-wearing and will produce a very professionally finished pair of boxers!

The last pattern by 5 Out of 4 is a great one – swim trunks with a million high-end details!

swim trunks

These trunks feature a mesh liner, faux fly, optional drawstring, optional side pockets and optional cargo pockets.  Mix and match these details for a quick or more hefty project.

Welcome to the Thread Theory shop Laela Jeyne and 5 Out of 4!  We are so glad you are designing menswear!

 


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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope your final days of 2018 have been restful, peaceful and were full of time to sew!  We are so grateful for the many sewists who sew their Christmas gifts using Thread Theory patterns and for the enthusiastic support that you show for our little business all year long!  Thank you!

This year has been filled with many highlights for both Thread Theory and Matt and I in our personal life.

We’ve launched four menswear patterns:

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From left to right: Quadra Jeans, Sayward Raglan, Eastwood Pajamas, Fulford Jeans

Our baby, Noah, was born:

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And we’ve had the privilege to see our patterns sewn into many absolutely stunning garments!

Thread Theory Pattern makes

From left to right:

  1. Finlayson Sweater sewn by Jocelyn Buggie for her brother’s Christmas gift and shared on the Thread Theory Sewing Community Facebook page.
  2. Another Finlayson sewn by Kayla Kissane for her uncle as a Christmas gift and shared on the Facebook community page.
  3. A paisley Fairfield Button-up sewn by James Nacy and shared on the Facebook page – he altered the collar to become a large 70’s style one to suit his fabric choice.
  4. A Goldstream Peacoat sewn by Léa Provost for her father’s Christmas gift and shared via email.

Matt and I are so excited for the coming year.  We have a nice collection of patterns already drafted so that I can delve into instruction writing once little Noah and I have settled into a routine (we are getting close…as you can probably tell because I’ve actually managed to write a couple of blog posts lately!).  Since last year’s wallet patterns were such a success, the first pattern on my list to write instructions for is a bag.  Instead of a quick bag making project (as our wallets are), this is an involved project which is a lot of fun to sew!  I look forward to sharing the MANY features with you when the pattern is ready!

The rest of the waiting patterns are garments…but I won’t give away any hints about those yet 😀

Happy New Year!


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New Merchant & Mills Sewing Patterns: Women’s Workwear and Bags

We often receive requests to make patterns for menswear inspired women’s fashion – especially workwear (modelled after our Jutland Pants).  While the idea really appeals to me, I haven’t embarked on this project yet since there are still so many gaps to fill in the world of menswear sewing patterns.  Thus, I was thrilled when Merchant & Mills released their recent batch of patterns – all of their latest designs are based on historic men’s workwear but they are cut and sized for women!

We now stock my favourite of the patterns in our shop so our Canadian and US customers need not pay for shipping from Great Britain.  Have a look at these hard wearing designs:

Merchant and Mills Victor Apron

This is the Victor Apron which is a practical (and trendy) full coverage design.  It includes a large pocket and a separate pocket meant to hold scissors.  I can imagine this working well for gardening, in the workshop, for a shop owner (I’d like to keep my scissors handy when packing your orders…I always misplace them!).  Of course, this full coverage design would be lovely in the kitchen too!

Merchant and Mills TN31 Parka

Next we have the TN31 Parka.  It is a relaxed take on the classic fishtail parka.  I love that it uses ribbing for the neckline – this adds a really sporty touch that would be soft against the skin.  It also leaves the neck free of bulk so you can bundle up with a scarf.  It includes both side seam pockets and angled welt pockets which look perfectly placed to keep your hands warm.

Merchant and Mills Ottoline Jacket

The rest of the women’s workwear is designed for denim (but would work well in other woven fabrics too, of course!).  Their jean jacket, called The Ottoline, is described by Merchant & Mills as a boxy workwear jacket but I think it manages to look quite elegant due to the cuff design and the dark denim they chose for their sample.

Merchant and Mills Herione Jeans

The Heroine Jeans are straight legged roomy jeans with a high waist and a large hem turn-up.  They would be great paired with a selvage denim because you could show off the coloured selvage at the hem.

Merchant and Mills Francine

The Francine is a versatile design that can be sewn as a blouse or dress.  It is inspired by the fishermen of Brittany with its yoked collar.

In addition to the women’s workwear, we’ve also added two more of the Merchant & Mills bag designs to the shop – the Costermonger:

Costermonger Bag Pattern

And the Field Belt:

Field Bag Pattern

In addition to the paper pattern, you can buy the kit for each bag which includes high end notions necessary to make each bag.

Merchant and Mills Bag Kits

Here is a sample of the components – including gorgeous leather strapping.

Costermonger Kit Contents

Have you sewn any of these Merchant & Mills designs?  Which ones inspire you?

Head to the shop to check out our Merchant & Mills offerings.


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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!

Homestead Fair 1

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.

Homestead Fair 2

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.

Homestead Fair 3

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!

Noah (12)

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.

Noah (11)

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!