Thread Theory

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


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Jedediah Pants and Sewing Room Make-over

This week we’ve made lots of progress on two fronts: the Jedediah Pants are graded and the first sample using the final pattern is complete!  AND Matt and I finally completed the sewing room makeover that I’ve been day dreaming about!

First, I’ll show you the room make over as this was completed earlier in the week (and, as you can see from the ‘before’ photos, was a necessary preparatory step to complete the Jedediah pants).

The obligatory BEFORE and AFTER shots:

Over the course of the last two weeks of my fashion design program my sewing space became a dumping grounds for anything to do with my end of year fashion line.  I started to do all my sewing at school (on a fairly ancient industrial machine) rather than using my nice new machine simply because there was so little room to work.

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The view from my sewing chair – much nicer than looking at a wall!

Once school finished up, the first thing on my to do list was to unearth my sewing supplies and make the half-room into a more use-able space.  As you might be able to tell from the photos, my roommate kindly agreed to switch sides of the room with me so that I could have room to turn my machine perpendicular from the wall.  This was the single most important change to the sewing room as it instantly made me feel less cramped and claustrophobic at my machine.   While sewing the Jedediah Pants after this change being in the ‘open air’ instead of crammed against the wall made it easier for me to focus and stay patient while sewing.

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The handy new-to-me fabric storage shelf alongside my Diana dress form (my grandparents found my dress form advertised for sale in their antique car club newsletter – what a find!)

I also bought a small book shelf (the tall and skinny white one pictured) for $10 off of Craigslist to hold my fabric, Burda Style and Threads magazines and the rest of my sewing library.  When I bought the shelf it was covered in crayon marks and sticky hand prints but these cleaned up considerably with the help of a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  I like that the shelf gives me storage space but is small enough that my fabric has no choice but to stay folded and in order.

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My super sharp scissors hanging from the hook Matt installed for this exact purpose.

For my birthday I got some amazing new sewing treasures which I have yet to share.  Firstly, my parents gave me the most amazing scissors I’ve ever laid my hands on.  It is actually quite scary grading seam allowances with them because they are so sharp and smooth I am sure I wouldn’t notice if I cut into several extra layers of the garment by accident!

Also, my mother in father in-law have offered to make me custom sewing shelving (exciting!!!) since they knew I had my eye on the Ikea Expedit shelves.  I’m really thrilled about this as I am hoping to design cubbies that will fit my serger and domestic machine (the Ikea Expedit cubbies are too small to do this).  I also think it might be neat to have the top surface of the shelving as a multi-purpose area.  It could have a removable ironing surface on it, a desk surface and also be able to hold another unit on top of it if I want to expand on the shelving in the future.  I’m going to wait to come up with my final design for Rick and Sue as Matt and I will be moving the Thread Theory studio shortly and I want to make sure the unit fits in the new space.

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My massive thread organizers made by my Dad – they’re actually starting to fill up!

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The quilted pin cushion that my husband’s Grandma, a very skilled quilter, made for me. It’s filled with glass beads so it’s nice and heavy and stays in place on my sewing machine’s thread holder.

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In the background of this photo is the Thread Theory bulletin board I made to keep To Do Lists organized and to keep Matt and I inspired and on track.

With my sewing room now in a usable (and inspiring!) state, I jumped into sewing up the freshly graded Jedediah Pants in a size 30, the smallest size we are offering.  The pants are a slim-fit chino inspired trouser with big slash pockets on the front and easy-to-sew patch pockets on the rear.  After sewing up the full length option I am really excited to try making shorts as I think the leg width in the upper leg area will be really conducive to creating comfortable but stylish slightly above the knee shorts.

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The fit is on the smaller side for these pants, similar to what sewers have noticed for sizing with the Newcastle Cardigan (an athletic sizing chart).  For instance, Matt usually prefers a store bought pant in size 29 but often settles for a 30 due to lack of availability in smaller sizes.  The size 30 of the Jedediah pant fit him perfectly on the waist and were an inch too long in leg length.

I’m currently finalizing the sewing instructions and will be sending out the pattern to test sewers within the next week (FINALLY!).  We are so excited to make the Jedediah Pants available for sale as Matt and I think that his pants pattern is the perfect modern fitting base for endless menswear pants variations.  Simply changing the lower leg width could create everything from skinny jeans to a wider casual trouser.  I can imagine these sewn up in everything from denim to a dressy wool blend and am looking forward to sourcing some bright summer cotton twills for shorts.  My Dad suggested I try adding metal rivets to a heavier duty pair of Jedediah pants for a really professional finish – a detail I am eager to try out after using them on the leather purse I made for my line.  They are so easy to tap in with a hammer and have a big effect on overall appearance and strength.

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Fashion Show!

 

I must admit I am still struggling to come off the high that accompanied last Saturday’s end of year fashion show, and, based on the endless recaps I’ve been hearing, so are my classmates!

The fashion show went so smoothly and professionally.  The whole day I kept gazing around and finding myself surprised by just how ‘real’ a student show could seem.  There was a huge (approx 150 ft.) carpeted runway, there were gorgeously long-legged models swanning around, there was a press pit (where Matt got to set up his tri-pod, much to his delight!), and there was a big audience of about 350 to 400 people.  I would say those are all the ingredients for a great show – plus some new designers with a shocking range of design styles of course!

There are a ton of pictures on Facebook and I have added a gallery of Terrance Lam’s photos (the Pacific Design Academy’s photographer) to Thread Theory’s facebook page.  In this post are the photos Matt took on his Pentax ME film camera.  He had a blast in the pit with his little camera while professional set-ups hovered over either of his shoulders.  I think the results are quite nice if you are a fan of the aesthetic colour film creates.

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The first years (missing Kaitlind though…we couldn’t find her!)

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Me…this was how excited I looked the entire day. It was exhausting!

My models were absolutely amazing.  Everyone showed up just when they said they would and they were all so encouraging to me!  My sister, Kayleen, did an absolutely amazing job of make-up and hair and also of modelling (she’s the one in the brown linen dress).  She was on her feet backstage all day chugging away styling model after model while I flitted around excitedly (doing nothing especially productive) and then, just before the show, she whipped into her own outfit and rocked the runway!

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Each student made an information board highlighting their collection.  I took the opportunity to do a bit of plugging for Thread Theory and offered rack cards with our website on them and featured my Dad’s Newcastle cardigan (pleasantly worn in by now…with dog hair and all!) on a mannequin beside the board.  By the end of the night the stock of rack cards was greatly depleted!

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A huge bouquet of flowers from my supportive parents.

I was so proud of how my collection presented on the runway as I found it very difficult to see it as a whole before the big day.  I’m sure most sewers will relate to the frustrating inability to see beyond messy back-tacks or an imperfect button-hole to the final garment when you are done a project…if you ever have the opportunity all you need to do to solve this problem is find a beautifully made-up model, some bright lights and an audience and before you know it you will see your garment as simply a pleasing flash of colour and flowing fabric! 🙂

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Now that the show and school are both over, I am working with my lovely co-workers, Heather and Rhonda, at the Heather Company sewing studio several days of the week and the rest of my time, I am pleased to be able to say, is Thread Theory time!  The Jedediah Pants were just graded into their multi-sized format yesterday so I will be sewing up the first pair of size 30s on holiday Monday in an effort to finalize the instruction package before sending it out to test sewers.

To those who celebrate it, have a wonderful Canada Day long weekend!