Thread Theory

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


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What I’ve Been Making Lately

I think it’s high time for an update on what I’ve been working on outside the realm of Thread Theory lately!  I’ve been a bit quiet on this front for the last year because Matt and I were foster parents from August until the end of this June…this took up every ounce of energy we had and so we pared our lives down to Thread Theory and caring for the children exclusively.  Fostering also required that we keep our family life very private for the confidentiality of the children, hence why I haven’t mentioned this phase of our lives on the blog yet.

Now that the children have moved on to more permanent situations, we are delving into making things in a big way!  The biggest project I have in the works is this:

Thread Theory Baby Announcement-3

Our baby boy, due on October 10th!

Thus, my sewing projects in the last couple of weeks have been much smaller and cuter than what you might usually see on my sewing table.

Thread Theory Baby Announcement-1

Perhaps you recognise some of these fabrics from our shop in the past…what a great way to use up off cuts!  The patterns I’ve used for this cute little wardrobe are as follows:

Booties: Twig & Tale Animal Baby Shoes.  I highly recommend this pattern, it was so much fun to sew and the instructions were impeccably detailed.

Pants: Sew 4 Bub Grow With Me Pants. A free pattern!

Hats: How Does She? Knot Hard At All Hat.  An easy tutorial.

Scratch Mittens: 5 Little Monsters No Scratch Baby Mittens.  Another great tutorial.

Thread Theory Baby Announcement-2

Menswear sewing will recommence shortly since Matt really needs a new pair of shorts this summer.  I also hope to finish a fresh Goldstream Peacoat for him to wear this winter.  I’ve been sewing it very slowly and photographing the steps as I go to create a Goldstream Sew-along to launch this fall.

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July Sewing Inspiration: Your Fairfield and Jed projects

Fairfield and Jedediah

An exceptionally elegant Fairfield and Jedediah combo made by Sarah for her husband to wear to their wedding.  Both of their outfits were handmade by the couple – they even made their shoes together!

I’ve been mailing out a particularly large number of Fairfield Button-up Shirt patterns lately (and their PDF counterparts are selling in greater numbers than usual too)…after a peruse of the latest Fairfield projects on Instagram, I can see that many of you have wasted no time getting to work!  Here are some of the most summery Fairfield’s you have all been making:

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I like this monochrome take on a tropical short sleeve button-up made by Suzie.

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And again, with the monochrome theme, this delicate floral Fairfield looks very versatile.  It was sewn by Lise.

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For a wonderful beachy-vibe, this pineapple print Fairfield, sewn by Alicia, is perfect!

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Meg’s take on the Fairifield in a romantic floral is perfect for her and her husband’s date night.

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Lastly, to fully embrace the balmy weather we’ve been having, this stunning hibiscus printed Fairfield by Angie is the epitome of summer!

Each summer, our Jedediah pants, or more specifically their shorts variation, crops up increasingly on social media.  Here are some of the versions that have caught my eye!

Jedediah Shorts 1

Matt could really use a pair of Jedediah Shorts in this versatile blue- grey – he’s wearing his lime green ones daily right now!  Nina sewed this pair for her husband and included my favourite detail from this pattern – the binding along the side seam.

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Rumana made a slightly longer pair of Jed Shorts for her partner – I really like this flattering length and have seen a few pairs cut to just below knee lately.  Also, note her lovely binding in the photo below:

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Stephanie’s take on the Jedediah Shorts, above, are a little shorter than the pattern calls for and in fact, are similar in length to the pair that I made for Matt years ago…he wore those ones to pieces!  This length is ideal for incredibly hot summer days.

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This rich wine colored pair of Jedediah Shorts is one of four pairs of Jeds that Katie made for her husband!

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Another person to sew multiple pairs, Natalie really perfected the finishing details such as the elegant waistband clasps and fun pocket prints.  Two of her versions are above and below:

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To bookend this post with another wedding image, Jen made a dressy pair of wool Jedediah Pants for her partner, Nick.  She slimmed down the legs a bit to suit this more formal style.  She really nailed it!

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Whether you are sewing a menswear outfit for a summer wedding or a trip to the beach, the classic lines of the Fairfield and the hybrid nature of the Jedediah Pants design mean you really only need one button-up and one trouser pattern for summer!


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We’re celebrating Father’s Day with new patterns!

Father's Day 2018

Happy Father’s Day!  If you live in North America, Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 17th.

Toby K Patterns Fehr Trade Thread Theory menswear

We’re celebrating by increasing our pattern offering once again – this time, we’ve collaborated with indie designers Fehr Trade and Toby K Patterns to make their menswear designs available in our shop!

Toby K Patterns Thread Theory menswear

Even if you don’t have time to sew for Dad before the big day, I think it would be lovely to take him out for a coffee or beer (depending on his preference!) and dream up his perfect custom garment together.

Father's Day sewing project sportswear

Does he cycle?  Fehr Trade patterns would be an excellent fit for him – you could sew him the perfect cycling jersey, running top, or long underwear with just the right pockets and fit that he requires.

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Or perhaps he needs something cozy but stylish?

Father's Day sewing project sweater collars

Toby K Patterns have shared three of their stylish sweater designs with our shop.  Each of their patterns include seemingly endless possibilities for customisation.  Their sweater designs all include the option for cosy thumbhole cuffs and you can mix and match pocket styles.

Father's Day sewing project sweater

If you would prefer to gift something finished for Dad, you still have time for a little bit of sewing!  Check out this quick beanie pattern which is a great scrap buster:

Father's Day sewing project hat

We have more indie pattern company collaborations lined up for the future.  I hope you are enjoying this new wealth of choice in our shop!  The above photos are just a sampling of the new designs – be sure to check out the others by scrolling through all of our PDF offerings!

Menswear sewing patterns pdf

Thank you, to the always friendly and always collaborative indie pattern community for happily adding your menswear designs to the Thread Theory pattern library.  Let’s keep this growing!


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Look who has joined us! New PDF Patterns

New Era of Menswear

People often tell us that they are thrilled to have stumbled upon our shop because their choices are so limited for menswear sewing patterns and we have worked hard to rectify this.  While this is true in comparison to the proliferation of gorgeous, trendy women’s styles available, we feel that the indie sewing community has done an excellent job of beginning to fill the menswear void along with us.  Menswear sewing patterns are no longer few and far between – let’s celebrate this!

COLLABORATION IS KEY

In order to foster a sense of community and to bring menswear to the forefront of the online sewing world, we’ve decided to attempt to gather all the excellent menswear PDF patterns together and make them available in one, easy-to-find place: Our Thread Theory website.  Most of these well-designed menswear patterns have been created by companies who usually focus on women’s fashion.  By joining us and sharing their patterns in our shop, we hope they will be easier for you (the menswear sewists) to peruse and compare all in one place and all in one similar format.

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So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the first designs to join our Thread Theory patterns in the PDF shop!

New PDF pattern companies - Technical Illustrations

 

As you can see, these designs would make a great capsule wardrobe for summer – choose your tee, your preferred over shirt, your casual pants, shorts, and swim shorts to sew everything you need for a summer vacation!

All of these patterns offer something you will not be able to find in our Thread Theory range – whether this be larger sizes or unique style lines (since we focus on basics).

New PDF pattern companies - Mimi G

Many of these patterns are from SewSew Def Magazine which is a collaboration between blogging powerhouses Mimi G Style and Norris Danta Ford.  They kindly featured our Finlayson Sweater in an early issue of the magazine so we are thrilled to be able to work with these designers in a new way by offering their patterns in our shop!  You’ll find six PDF patterns on offer in our shop – I can’t quite pick a favourite as I’m torn between the innovative seaming on their Wooster Cargo Shorts and my love for the namesake of their Gosling Button-up Shirt. 😉

New PDF pattern companies - Wolf and Tree and True Bias

The two other designers I’m proud to feature in our shop are The Wolf and the Tree and True Bias.

The Wolf and the Tree offer a very inclusive t-shirt pattern which is available in two separate size ranges – Regular (S-XL) and Big and Tall (XLT-4XLT).  This versatile tee features crew and v-neck options as well as instructions to finish with hems or bands.

 

True Bias is the designer who created the iconic women’s Hudson Pants, of course!  We now carry Kelli’s men’s version which fills a big hole in our available designs – no menswear pattern shop would be complete without the most comfortable of lounge wear!

Based on the enthusiastic response we’ve received from other pattern companies, you should be able to anticipate the introduction of a large variety of other PDF patterns to our shop over the coming weeks and months.  Thank you for sharing your favourite menswear patterns when I requested feedback in a previous blog post – we’ve found some real gems based on your comments!

And thank you, to our inaugural designers, for your enthusiasm and support as we work towards our goal of pushing menswear to the forefront of the sewing world.  We’re so glad to have you on board!

Shop our PDF catalogue >


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Sayward Raglan Sew-along: Parade

This is the day I look forward to every time I create a sew-along: The parade of your finished garments!

Sayward Raglan Knitting Monk

Aiden’s version of the Sayward Raglan really excited me when it popped up in my Instagram feed…you wouldn’t know it from looking at the finished garment but it has actually been constructed using old upcycled t-shirts gifted to him by one of his brothers!  You could do the same easily (and very affordably!) – just grab two old t-shirts from your closet or the thrift store and cut around any holes or tired screen prints when you place your pieces.  Choose t-shirts larger than your preferred size to ensure you have lots of fabric to work with.  Depending on how you place your pieces, you may even be able to avoid stitching the main hem!

Sayward Raglan Rachel

Rachel was one of our test sewers – she stitched up a long sleeve variation of the Sayward for her husband.  The body is French Terry and the sleeves and neck band are jersey.  She was stash busting when she chose her fabrics which caused her to use two different fabric weights.  I was pleased to see that this worked out very nicely!

Sayward Raglan Amy

Amy sewed this yellow jersey Sayward (which she blogged here) while pattern testing and her husband obligingly modelled.  As you can see, when the Sayward is sewn in a solid color, the raglan seamlines are not necessarily very noticeable and it presents as a very classic looking t-shirt – great for layering!

Sayward Raglan Tracy Feldmann

Another of our testers, Tracy, sewed tees for both her husband and her son in a drapey polyester blend knit and a 100% cotton knit respectively.  I found this comparison of fabric types was very useful to help fine tune my description of recommended fabrics in the instruction booklet.  She was not satisfied with how the neckline drags and drapes on her husband’s shirt but liked how it worked for her son – I think this is all down to the drape of the fabric…men’s tees fit best when the fabric does not drape heavily against the body.  Regardless, I think both tees look excellent and very wearable!  Thanks for your feedback and for emailing this photo, Tracy!

 

Sayward Raglan Amber

Amber tested our pattern from the perspective of a novice sewist (and very talented knitter! You can view here work here.) and I was thrilled to have her feedback on stitching the neckline.  She found the neckline stretched out when she applied the binding and gave excellent feedback about how I might elaborate within the instructions to avoid this confusion for a novice…so you can thank Amber for the clarity of the instructions on the final pattern!  I believe she had plans to remove her stretched neckline and reattach it using her new sewing skills.  Don’t worry if your neckline doesn’t turn out the way you like on your first try – it is fixable and you will find every attempt at stretching your binding without stretching the body of the shirt will become easier and more successful!  You may also find that a small amount of undesired stretching settles itself after the first trip through the wash.

Sayward Raglan Cassie

Last but not least, Cassie sewed this bold floral raglan for her husband and emailed us this photo – his measurements were several inches smaller than our smallest size so the resulting fit is looser than our intended fit – so this is an excellent example of how forgiving knit garments can be, especially with raglan sleeves!  Even though the shirt is technically ‘too large’ for her husband, the fact that there are no shoulder seams or armscye extending too far down the shoulder results in a shirt that looks as though it fits intentionally loose.  Her husband suits a larger neckline too (it looks modern and trendy)!  I think raglans would be a great option to sew as a surprise gift (one which you can’t measure the recipient beforehand) because the raglan seams result in a garment that will appear to fit a broad size range.


 

Thank you to everyone who tested our Sayward Raglan and to those of you who have shared your finished projects!  I look forward to seeing many more Saywards as we near Father’s Day.  #saywardraglan


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The Sayward Raglan sewing pattern is here!

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Let’s welcome the Sayward Raglan – an excellent addition to your spring or summer sewing plans!

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Our newest pattern is a casual and flattering raglan t-shirt with short and long sleeve variations.  We also included instructions and cutting layouts to walk you through the process of creating a color-blocked tee (à la the classic baseball tee).

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Raglan t-shirts have many benefits for both the sewist and the wearer.  From the wearer’s perspective, the raglan sleeves have been curved in just the right way to create the appearance of a strong chest.  Very flattering!

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From the sewist’s perspective, the process of attaching a raglan sleeve is a breeze in comparison to wrangling the curve of a classic t-shirt sleeve head.  Raglan sleeves eliminate the one tricky step in the t-shirt sewing process to result in a quick project that can be cut, fitted and sewn in the space of a single relaxing evening.

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Our interpretation of the raglan t-shirt features an easy fitting (but not boxy!) body and sleeves.  When compared to our slim-fitting Strathcona Henley, this t-shirt is far less figure hugging and thus will fit a broader range of body types.  It also features an extended size range compared to the Strathcona Henley – up to 4XL!

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If fitted is more your style, the instructions include easy steps to fit as you sew (so that you can create the slim sleeves and body that you desire on the go).

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The neckline on our raglan is a relaxed crew-neck.  It is not as tight as a classic crew-neck t-shirt making for a slightly more youthful/stylish look that works well with thick or thin necks (no one wants a tight crew neck choking them on a hot summer’s day!).

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I’ve sewn the first of our two main samples in a combination of heathered grey tencel and organic cotton french terry for the body paired with a white cotton interlock for the sleeves:

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Matt reports that the thick and soft end result makes for a very comfortable t-shirt and I have been surprised to see him wearing it on hot spring days!  He says it breaths nicely and he doesn’t overheat despite the cozy loft provided by the french terry loops.  I’m pleased with this result because the french terry is SO easy to sew – it is stable, does not curl and it behaves more or less like a cotton woven fabric.  It would be a great option for a beginner sewist to use.

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Jayden’s version is sewn with the same tencel and cotton french terry body paired with bamboo and cotton french terry sleeves and neck binding.  All the terry fabrics come from my favourite local sewing studio – The Spool Sewing Studio.

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I also sewed a solid version (no color-blocking) to show you that the raglan sleeves are not very noticable when no color-blocking is employed.  The end result can be worn as would any basic t-shirt!  This fabric is a cotton and spandex blend jersey in navy with tiny anchors.  I found it at my local Fabricland.

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If you are new to sewing knits, this is an excellent pattern for you to start with.  As always with our knit patterns I include instructions for sewing with a regular sewing machine or with a serger.  I instruct how to hem with a twin needle or a zig zag stitch.

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A sew-along will begin next Friday, May 18th.  You can easily have your first raglan tee finished in time for Father’s Day (or in time to clear your sewing queue for our next pattern release in June!!!!).

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I hope you like our newest pattern!  It has been one of our top request (second only to a button-up shirt) since we launched Thread Theory.  No wonder – it’s fun to sew and easy to wear!

Read more about the Sayward Raglan >

Share your Sayward on Instagram or Facebook using #saywardraglan


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Searching for menswear sewing patterns

West Coast forest

First off, thank you for the huge response to last week’s call for pattern testers!  Our five testers have been chosen (this was very difficult since there were so many outstanding and enthusiastic candidates) and they are busily sewing away as we speak.

To thank you all for your continued interest in the Thread Theory blog and, especially, for your enthusiasm each time we call for volunteers to test, here is a $5 discount code that can be used on anything in our shop.  If you have found the perfect fabric but don’t want to wait around for our patterns to go on sale, this $5 coupon will be just the ticket to get you sewing faster.  Enter INVOLVED upon checkout and your order will be $5 cheaper! 🙂  There is no expiry on this code.

Now, moving on to new business, I have a pressing question to ask you: Do you know and love any PDF menswear patterns created by other indie pattern designers?  We’ve been scouring the internet to find every menswear PDF pattern out there since we are endeavouring to collaborate on a very exciting upcoming project.  We don’t want to leave anyone out!  Comment below with the any menswear sewing patterns (and the name of the company that created them) so that Matt and I can send these talented designers an email to make acquaintances!

Matt and Morgan camping

Thanks for helping us to foster a sense of community in the online world of menswear sewing.  We’re really hope you’ll help us meet some new (to us) colleagues!