Thread Theory

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


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Eastwood Pajama Parade

A few of you who sewed along with me have submitted your finished Eastwood Pajamas for today’s parade…and there is a definite theme going on: Linen and shorts for summer!

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Nick sewed these striped linen pajamas with cotton cording.  What a perfect color match he managed with that cording!  He reports (by email) that next time he sews with this style of linen he will try out french seams since the linen frays so much.  This would be a lovely way to finish the inseams and side seams when sewing with very light weight fabrics.  Heavier fabrics could benefit from bound seam allowances if you have the patience!

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Liz sewed this pair of white linen Eastwood shorts for her husband and reports that her son is now waiting for her to sew some for him!  It looks like she did a lovely job of that fly topstitching.

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Lastly, Susanne was able to use up a small scrap of Dr. Who fabric that she treasured to make her son some tardis boxers!  They used only 34″ of a narrow 45″ fabric that she found on Spoonflower.  She reports that she made a size medium and cut a 6″ inseam plus hem allowance.

These three busy sewists will be receiving our upcoming pattern release for free as a thank you for sewing along with me these last couple of weeks!  I’m finishing up the instructions today and will hopefully submit them to our graphic designer (my sister-in-law) this evening.  I’m really excited for this pattern…actually, it is two patterns that we will be releasing at once (but that’s the only hint I’ll give).

 

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Eastwood Pajamas – Inspiration

Cotton Eastwood Pajamas

Click on any of the inspiration photos to be taken to our Eastwood Pajamas Pinterest board.

Well!  It turns out that the Eastwood Pajamas were something that you guys REALLY want to sew!  Thank you for the wonderful launch week and your enthusiastic response to our new pattern!  I know a classic pair of pajama pants are hardly groundbreaking or unique so I find it very heartwarming that so many of you have contacted me to tell me that you are pleased to use our take on a pajamas pattern in particular.  People have told me they know they will like the fit, they know the project will be thoroughly instructed, and they know the end result will be a very wearable style.

As per usual, I hope the pattern will live up to these expectations! I will be working, over the coming weeks, to provide all of the extra support and inspiration that makes an indie sewing pattern special by hosting a sew-along for the Eastwoods.  Will you join us?

Plaid eastwood inspiration

While the official sew-along will start next Friday, August 3rd, so that you have time to get and assemble your pattern and materials, let’s ramp things up by sharing inspiration and discussing fabric choices today.

Eastwood Pajamas matching set

When I designed the Eastwoods I had classic cosy flannel PJs in mind.  I imagined them worn in front a crackling fire on a chilly December evening…perhaps paired with a white Arrowsmith Undershirt (our free pattern) or, for more coverage, a french terry Sayward Raglan, or a waffle knit Strathcona Henley.

Summer Eastwood Pajamas

While flannel is an obviously comfortable and also nicely affordable/readily available fabric choice, many of our test sewers chose fabrics more suitable for summer!  The Eastwoods are splendid in a quilting cotton, a light shirting, or in a luxurious linen or hemp.  You could even shorten them to capri or short length to make summer loungers (I’ll discuss alterations like this in the first sew-along post)!

Fabric choices for the eastwood pajamas

Test sewers are always a creative bunch and I was thrilled to see the variety of fabric choices and styles they achieved when they tested out the Eastwoods!

Lisa Eastwood Pajamas

Lisa was hoping to sew a pair in linen but her fabric didn’t arrive in time so she used a black Pima cotton that she had on hand and a contrast fabric for the inseam pocket bags and back patch pocket.  Her children chose the contrast fabric from her stash…I can imagine this approach (a nice neutral solid and a fun contrast chosen by his kids) would make a great personalised Father’s Day, birthday or Christmas gift!

Ruth Eastwood Pajamas

Ruth used a wonderful red, white and black plaid flannel for the pair she constructed for her husband.  She hasn’t yet hemmed them in the photos above and said she would size up next time.  After receiving her and other test sewer’s valuable feedback we altered the sizing to include a bit more ease.  A fitted pajama pant looks lovely but the priority really needs to be for the pants to provide the utmost in comfort.  I think we achieved that balance with our revised fit!

Sarah Eastwood Pajamas

Sarah’s pair is modelled by her son and is constructed in a crisp black and white pinstripe.

Tracy Eastwood Pajamas

Tracy sewed her husband summer PJs in a lightweight cotton and linen blend.  That coral is such a fresh, cheery colour!  Perfect for summer lounging on the back deck.

Amber Eastwood Pajamas

Amber sewed her partner this gorgeous pair in a novelty monkey print flannel (cute!) with a deep red drawstring.  Here is what she had to say about her experience on Instagram: “This was my first time sewing pants and I’m quite pleased with how they turned out. I opted for the most difficult variation so I could learn the skills that will transfer to making regular pants. These have side pockets, back patch pockets, functional button fly, elastic waist, and drawstring. A lot of features to tackle for a novice sewer but definitely worth it!”

Ready to tackle this project as well?  Next Friday we’ll have a detailed look at the variations, discuss elastic choices, and talk about fit and style alterations you could make.  If you spend some time perfecting the process now, you will be ready to knock out all manner of PJS this Fall as the weather cools and Christmas draws near!

Download the Eastwood Pajamas to get started >


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New Thread Theory pattern: The Eastwood Pajamas!

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Ready to choose your own adventure?  I can’t help but think of that style of paperback summer-read when looking at the Eastwood Pajama instructions.

The Eastwood Pajamas are, at first glance, a basic pair of pajama bottoms…you’ll probably find a comfortably well worn pair of something similar in most men’s closets.  Dig a little deeper and you’ll see that this pattern has been carefully constructed to offer a number of choices to suit your skill level or sewing mood.  Choose between many details or almost none and you will still wind up with a cosy pair of bottoms with a nice modern fit (not too baggy but loose enough to be completely comfortable.

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Within the variations, you will find the option to create a button fly (with a functioning button), a mock fly (to provide the visual interest of a fly without the risk of exposing oneself), or to skip the fly altogether.  The instructions walk you through inseam pockets but will also provide the opportunity to add a single back patch pocket if you’d like to try sewing one of these.  You can add strengthening top stitching or you can skip these details to create a quick birthday or Christmas gift.  Really, the choice of how detailed you’d like to get with these pajamas is all yours!

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Most light to medium weight woven materials will work for these pajamas.  The two samples you see modelled by Matt and his brother are made from linen (olive green) and brushed cotton (buffalo check).  Novelty flannels, quilting cotton or shirtings are all great choices too!

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The waistband is elasticated with the option to include a functional drawstring or leave it out.  The instructions include a few methods for adding the elastic to your waistband so you can experiment with which way you like most.

As usual, this pattern is only available as a PDF right now…we hope to print it soon but would like to hear your opinion on the matter.  You may have noticed we haven’t been re-printing some of our sold out patterns lately.  The Newcastle Cardigan and the Comox Trunks are out of stock and the Strathcona Henley is getting somewhat close to selling out.  Currently the Belvedere Waistcoat and Sayward Raglan have not yet had their chance at the print shop.

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We’ve noticed sales of printed patterns have decreased in proportion to digital patterns in the last year and have also noticed some of the other indie sewing pattern companies have put more of an emphasis on digital patterns.  I’m curious to hear your thoughts on printed patterns – is it worth reprinting our older designs again?  Or should we leave them as PDF only and focus our funds and energy on printing our newer designs faster?    Are you happy working from PDF patterns (more affordable and easier for us to offer at discounted sale prices) or do more costly printed patterns still take precedence when you’re budgeting for sewing supplies?  Do you wish our new patterns were released as PDF and printed patterns simultaneously? Or do you like that we offer the digital file immediately and then print when any kinks have been worked out and funds have been raised (and, of course, offer a discount code to pdf customers so they can purchase the tissue pattern minus the cost of the PDF that they already bought)?

It’s time to weigh in!

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And it’s time to head off on a summer sewing adventure!  Download the Eastwood Pajamas today so you’re ready with a cozy pair or two by the time the first chill of Fall arrives.


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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.

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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!

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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 >