Thread Theory

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


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Spring Sewing Inspiration – Planning a project?

Are you planning a sewing project right now?  I’ve compiled a few different sources of great inspiration if you are planning to sew up a spring Newcastle Cardigan or Goldstream Peacoat.

I find spring is the best season of inspiration for me (as it is for many, I am sure, since it is a season of renewal and fresh starts).  The sun has come out here and there over the last week and there are daffodils just about to bloom under the cherry tree in our front yard!  Yet…as I speak I am currently huddled up inside with a cup of coffee instead of out rowing this morning (my Mom and I are on a dragon boat team) because it is rainy and windy today!  Needless to say, spring can be difficult season to dress for.

I think the Goldstream Peacoat and Newcastle Cardigan are excellent designs to manipulate into spring layering pieces so that the men wearing them are prepared for sudden rainstorms and to shed layers when the some comes out.  Here is a post full of proof of this and inspiration for you!

A couple days ago, MainlyDad (who happens to be sewing the Jedediah Pants at the moment) kindly sent me a link to an excellent article with MANY photos and an excellent write-up explaining why a shawl collar cardigan is the “essential spring layering piece” – if you are planning to sew a Newcastle Cardigan, this article will have you more than sufficiently inspired!  Just take a look at some of these gorgeous examples:

sncardi(Images sourced from: http://www.fashionbeans.com/2014/essential-spring-layering-piece-the-shawl-neck-cardigan/)

I really like how the cardigans have been styled as both middle layers and top layers and are displayed as both casual and dressy.

I’ve compiled some of your cardigans on our new Thread Theory Pinterest boards.  Have a look to see how the sewing community styles the shawl collar sweater!

The Goldstream Peacoat can also by sewn for spring by using a lighter wool or alternative fabric choice.  Have you seen these Spring-ready Goldstreams popping up around the sewing community?  This denim version is a really interesting and unique spin on a peacoat:

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And a light colour wool makes this a great early spring peacoat – nice and warm but not at all dark and wintery in appearance:

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Here are some sources of styling inspiration for you if you are planning to sew up a Goldstream in the near future:

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It is quite common to see shorter peacoats like the one above as spring attire.  It would be easy to achieve this look using the Goldstream Peacoat simply by slashing and overlapping the main body, facing and lining pattern pieces along the “Lengthen and Shorten Here” line.

And here are two gorgeous bits of additional proof that a spring peacoat really doesn’t need to be made in wool:

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Now lets finish off this inspiration post with the Strathcona Henley and my absolute favourite version I have seen yet!  Check out Brittany’s wonderfully relaxed henley:

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Brittany opens her blog post: “I love a man in a Henley.  Seriously, aren’t they sexy? Am I all alone in this?” Nope, you certainly aren’t alone!  I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

Are you inspired now?  Do you have some more sources of inspiration for Spring menswear to add to the conversation?  If so, comment with a link below!


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Newcastle Cardigan fabric choices – Robert Kaufman

Have you heard of Robert Kaufman Fabrics?  Chances are, if you spend quite a bit of time in a fabric store (as it seems we all do), then you have seen these fabrics advertised quite regularly.  Kona Cotton, for instance, is a Robert Kaufman fabric well loved in the quilting world but also sometimes used for fashion sewing.

A few months ago, we were contacted by the company because they hoped to use the Newcastle Cardigan pattern to display their fabrics at manufacturing shows (Robert Kaufman specializes in both manufacturing and quilting fabrics).  Here is the result!

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Their sample sewers used Monatuk Twill in Charcoal and Shetland Flannel in Ocean.  The result is very classy.  I love how they used the contrast flannel for the under collar!  I don’t think that either fabric has any stretch to it (they are both wovens with a 100% cotton content) so it is more of a spring jacket rather than a cardigan.  It looks wonderful on a mannequin and would likely provide a nice slim fit on a man with narrow shoulders if it were sized up slightly (since the Newcastle Cardigan is a pattern designed for knits and requires stretch across the shoulders and in the slim-fit arms).

Have you tried sewing the Newcastle Cardigan in a woven material?  If you’re interested in checking out some of Robert Kaufman’s beautiful linen/rayon blends or their flannels and quilting cottons, head on over to shop at one of our newest stockist’s online store: Fabricworm!  I particularly like this linen/rayon blend.


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What everyone else has been sewing:

This morning I’ve been busily linking away so that I can show you some of the great things currently happening around the world that involve our sewing patterns.  It’s so rewarding to see what our patterns have inspired.  Matt and I may not have time for an in depth sew-along for every single pattern (though, we do have more planned, don’t worry!), or to sew up the millions of different cardigan’s, pants and henleys I have swirling around in my head, but that is okay because there are many other people out there who are doing exactly those things!

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If you are a Spanish speaker then you really are in luck – our Spanish stockist, Telaria, is mid-way through a thorough and easy-to-follow sew-along for the Newcastle Cardigan pattern!  Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you might want to make use of Google Translate and have a look at all the hard work Miren has put into documenting her Newcastle Cardigan sewing process.  We are thrilled that she has taken this large project up and love how her cardigan turned out.

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Once you’ve had a look at the Telaria “Just for Men” sew-along, make sure to add your Newcastle to the Flickr group that Miren has set up!  If you enter your photo by March 17th you will be entered in the draw for a chance to win one of three awesomely manly prizes (including manly fabric, a Japanese menswear pattern book and even some of our patterns).  Even though you missed the beginning of the Newcastle Cardigan portion of the sew along, you still have time to get ready for the third segment of the “Just for Men” series.  The Strathcona Henley sew-along will begin on March 3rd.  If you are nervous about sewing with knits, this will be an invaluable resource for you!

The next thing I want to share with you is a brand new blog called Tinker, Tailor, Sewster…Spy? created by a male sewer based out of Brisbane, Australia.  He began his blog to document his Jedediah Pant sewing process and also has plans in the works to sew up the rest of our Parkland Collection.  He is a very careful and thorough sewer who seems to have an endless pool or patience to pull from.  His most recent blog post details his decision to scrap his original plan to use bright blue top stitching (pictured below) and instead switch to gray.  This means he will be redoing the back pockets that he embroidered, blogged about and even filmed!

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I really admire his commitment to making the perfect garment.  After all, why put all that effort into sewing if you are only going to produce something that you aren’t really happy with?  To me, this is one of the most rewarding parts of sewing menswear.  Since menswear is dictated by details and fit, imperfection in either of these areas will stand out very obviously in a finished garment.  While it might be incredibly frustrating mid-sewing process to re-do top stitching over and over again or to make multiple mock-ups, the result is something that is very easy to feel proud about!

You would never guess that the author of Tinker, Tailor, Sewster…Spy?  is new to blogging – his posts are full of information, inspiration, lots of photos and videos.  Head on over to comment, follow his blog and encourage him in his new blogging endeavor.  It is great to see another male sewer join the sewing and blogging community!  Good luck to him on his quest for the perfect Jedediah Pants!

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Last but certainly not lease in today’s parade is a new project from the most prolific Thread Theory customer: Huff Makes Stuff.  I can’t believe how many Jeds and Straths Jen has whipped up over the last few months!  Her goal is to create a new outfit for her husband and herself each month for 12 months.  She has already completed four outfits for her husband which include four Jedediah Short and Pant variations and four Strathcona Henley, Sweater and T-shirt variations.  I love how her husband’s taste for colour and print is displayed in each outfit and I especially love how all of these garments display how versatile these two patterns are.  Each outfit looks well planned and stylish and must make Darron’s wardrobe very easy to pick from each morning!

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The latest outfit is wonderfully summery and bright and makes a nice Australian contrast to the dark mid-winter renditions of the patterns that I always sew.  She has mixed and matched the Strathcona variations to create a short sleeve henley without buttons.  She is toying with the idea of adding buttons to the placket but I think she should leave them off because I love how casual and cool it looks – perfect for a day at the beach or on the backyard patio!  She has paired this orange henley with awesomely out-there postage stamp Jedediah Shorts.  Her husband is fearless when it comes to prints (Matt has something to learn from him – he even steers clear of stripes!).  She made the legs slightly less tapered and did not cuff this version of the shorts.  Check out all of her outfits (both those sewn for her husband and those she’s sewn for herself) to see how rewarding an organized outfit-oriented approach to sewing can be!

Do you have any menswear projects, blog posts or tutorials to share with us?  We would love to feature them on the blog!  Send us an email at info@threadtheory.ca to let us know what you have been working on.


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Goldstream Peacoat: Our Pattern Tester’s Versions

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We have for you, today, the gorgeous results of some of the Goldstream Peacoat pattern testers! The test sewers for this pattern had to put in a lot of work: not only did they have to sew quite a large project, they also had to provide a detailed review for us (and answer all of my emails!).  I am very pleased to finally be able to display all their hard work and stunning results.  These skilled and thorough testers were working on this project back in November and December so they have been very patient waiting for their grand reveal!

Since both variations of the Goldstream that I have made (see my father-in law’s here and Matt’s here) have been black and my mom is currently working on a black one for my Dad while my Grandma and I sew a black coat for my Grandad, I am glad that our test sewers were a little more adventurous in their fabric choices so you can see the variety of styles that the pattern can create.

Nicole’s coat, pictured above, is sewn in a chocolate brown wool melton with beautiful leather buttons.  She mixed and matched elements from both variations of the pattern to create the exact look that she wanted: a hood, flapped patch pockets and sleeve tabs.  Her colour choices and the fabric she placed behind her custom garment tag (see her blog post for all the interior photos!) led to a peacoat with a lovely earthy vibe, perfect for walking through a colourful fall forest.

Thea’s peacoat is a classic black version using the design details from Variation 1 but the classic fit (skipping the slimming dart) of Variation 2.  The length of the coat looks great with the jeans and shoes her stylish model, Andy is wearing (and the background is beautiful!).  Check out all of Thea’s photos and commentary over on her blog.

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The third version I have to show you today was sewn by the author of one of my favourite blogs, The Sew Convert.  I love how she always takes such crystal clear photos of her garments so that I can examine every detail.  Her post on the peacoat is no exception and is worth checking out.  The wool she chose is a really elegant and rich looking Italian wool melton coating from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I love the look that it gave the peacoat – to me it looks very English and so I was thrilled to read that it will be heading to England to keep her husband warm and dry during a work/school trip this coming year!

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Thank you test sewers (both those pictured in this post and those not pictured) for all of your invaluable advice and support!  We hope you are resting up and are eager to volunteer for the next pattern!

The PDF version of  the peacoat has been flying off the ‘shelf’ (so to speak) so I imagine we will be seeing some of your versions popping up amid all the other projects on the sewing corner of the internet soon.  Have you bought your peacoat fabric yet?  What have you chosen?


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This Friday: Our Official Paper Pattern Launch Day!

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As of 8:00am (PST) Friday, January 10th you will be able to head over to our pattern store and buy Thread Theory paper sewing patterns!  You will also be able to visit our Stockist page to see if there is an online or brick and mortar store near you that carries our paper patterns.  If there isn’t, be sure to drop a hint or two at your local fabric store and tell them to send us an email (info@threadtheory.ca) to set up a wholesale account.

To get you excited for our launch day, here is an indepth photo tour of our (we think!) beautifully designed envelopes and instructions.

The envelopes are not your traditional top entry narrow paper envelope that has a tendency to rip the first time you try to stuff all your tissue pieces back into it.  Instead, they are sturdy folders made out of recycled chip board with scored folding panels that will easily accommodate your less than tidily folded tissue each and every time you use and then put away a Thread Theory pattern.

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We have numbered each of our designs based on the order they were released as PDF patterns.  They happen, by the way, to fit perfectly in the average 12 bottle beer box and perch upright in such a way that it is easy to sort through each number.  I might have to do a ‘beer box to pattern storage’ upcycle tutorial in the near future!

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Each pattern includes two circles: the first displays the available sizes, while the second is a difficulty scale of five needles.  We came up with a five point scale because there is so much grey area between the standard beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.  With a five needle scale beginners might feel brave enough to attempt something with two needles and thus advance their skills while intermediates might do the same with a four needle pattern.

The envelope includes an elegant string closure with a bit of bling in the form of brass eyelets:

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And each pattern is sorted into the collection it belongs to, complete with a graphic logo!

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On the back of the envelope you can find all the usual information in an easy to read format:

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The sizing charts are really simple and clear – I think our designer did an excellent job using black bars and spacing to the full advantage!

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When you open up your pattern envelope you will be greeted by atmospheric tree silhouettes (to suit the theme of our Parkland Collection) and a beautiful embroidered garment tag.

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The inside of the envelope has an inventory of our other patterns such as you might find in the back of a paperback novel.

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The pattern you have chosen is highlighted in black.  Also notice the awesome needle pattern that covers all the interior surfaces of the envelope!

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The instruction booklet is a 6X9″ staple bound paper booklet with a cover page that we hope will get you pumped to start sewing:

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The paper we chose is 100% recycled but is a nice clear white so that all the illustrations and text are very easy to see and read.

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Inside the booklet you will find a version of the photos you see all over our blog and website to give you an idea of what your final garment will look like.  We stuck to black and white and bumped up the contrast so that your fabric and design choices are not influenced by the fabrics and colours we chose.  When you see the pattern in the fabric store you will be seeing only the technical illustration on the front cover so that your mind is completely free to imagine all the different fabric and styling possibilities!

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We made sure to include lots of information on each page so that you are not forever flipping pages and sewing without a sense of steps and processes ahead of you.  Our designer used the needle from our logo to highlight sewing tips.  The booklet easily lays flat and open on the page that you need so that you can leave it by your sewing machine while you sew to refer to as much as you need (but without taking up very much space!).  Here is a taste of the straightforward layout of our instruction booklet:

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We hope that you will love our printed patterns as much as we do!  Mark your calendars and head on over to our pattern store at 8:00am (PST) this Friday!


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A Newcastle Jacket

Happy New Year everyone!  Matt and I are really looking forward to 2014.  To get ready for the coming year we have cleaned off our erasable marker calendar and filled it with new dates and goals for Thread Theory.  I’ve cleaned out my sewing studio as well so it is ready for new projects.

I even went fabric shopping with my mom to re-fill my cleaned and surprisingly empty fabric closet.  Fabricland notified us both of their annual New Year sale which takes place on January 1st and consists of the whole store being AT LEAST 50% OFF!!!!  As soon as we were notified we started carefully laying out our plans.  Fabric shopping with my mom is no laughing matter, indeed it is a carefully planned tactical operation designed to yield maximum results – complete with a Dec. 30th reconnaissance mission and a stream-lined 30 minute raid of the fabric store right as the doors opened at 10am.

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Our motive was to get in and get out before the crowds so as to have enough time and energy to still enjoy our holiday away from frenzied shopping madness.  We were very successful and the Fabricland employees had a laugh at our organization level.  My mom was in charge of the master cutting list and was the first to the cutting table despite the store being absolutely packed with shoppers.  We piled the table high with our fabrics and I headed off with our notions list.  Despite the huge amount of fabric we were buying, we somehow also made it to the checkout first!  The line up quickly grew behind us but my mom clicked open her trunk from the till and we were out the door with enough time to spare in our 30 minute slot to carefully check over our receipts.

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Our careful planning led to a total of zero impulse purchases, a great pile of co-coordinating fabrics ready for pattern samples throughout the next year, and one treat for myself in the form of super bright and summery kimono fabric for a summer dress!  Mission accomplished!

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In other sewing news, my mother-in-law, Sue, has just sent me photos of a Christmas project she has been working on.  She adapted the Newcastle Cardigan pattern to become a woven and lined jacket which she sewed in a beautiful plaid wool.  She amazed Matt and I with her sewing skills.  Her only other sewing project since high school has been to skilfully sew this pair of Jedediah Pants.

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She is intimidated by nothing and with one project under her belt went right on to drafting a full lining and perfectly matching the plaid – two projects that would instil fear in many sewer’s hearts I am sure!  Her jacket turned out really well but unfortunately didn’t quite fit it’s recipient.  I guess that is one of the dangers of guessing someone’s measurements and not being able to try on the garment during the sewing process.  I hope, with a small adjustment or two such as shortening the sleeves, the cardigan might nicely fit Sue herself!

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In order to make the knit cardigan pattern work with a woven fabric (with absolutely no stretch) Sue chose a size larger than the recipient would likely need (she guessed he was between sizes).  She also used smaller seam allowances in some areas to provide a little extra room in the shoulders and the waist.  I think she did an excellent job and that the Newcastle makes a very cozy and elegant plaid wool jacket!  If you want to try sewing the Newcastle with a woven I would highly recommend making a woven mock-up first as the pattern is designed for stretch fabrics and is quite close fitting in areas such as the shoulders, the biceps and the waist/trunk.  Seeing how nice Sue’s looks really makes me want to give it a try!

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Finished Garment Eye Candy!

First of all, thank you everyone for your overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to our call for peacoat test sewers!  We have selected our group of test sewers after a lot of deliberation.  It was so difficult to choose from all the detailed emails and comments we received!  Even if we didn’t select you this time, that didn’t mean you won’t have a chance to test sew in the future as we added everyone how applied to our test sewing mailing list!

Now, moving forward, did you notice the changes we made to the photos on our website this week?  Check them out! We added a new version of the Strathcona Henley and decided to feature the beautiful Jedediah Pants that my mother-in-law sewed up.

It was my dad’s birthday last weekend so I sewed him a Strathcona Henley as per his request.  This time, I chose a beautifully soft cotton knit with hardly any ribbing and a fairly stable jersey for the placket.  The sewing process was so much easier than it was with the heavily ribbed knit I had used for Matt’s henley because both my serger and sewing machine decided they agreed with my fabric choice!  We’ve updated the website photos to show my dad skillfully modelling his new shirt.  He’s become quite a pro; we quickly walked to the park and he matter-of-factly began to strike poses…even though there were kids and parents watching at the play ground!  Who would of thought my dad would be our easiest model!

While we were on a roll we also photographed the cardigan that my Mom had sewn my dad when we were in the pattern testing phase with the Newcastle Cardigan last spring.  Even though the cardigan has been worn by everyone from my school’s fashion show model to my grandpa when he’s visiting and chilly the cardigan has never been properly photographed.  My mom did an excellent job on it using a heavy (and thus difficult to handle) sweatshirt fleece and gorgeous leather details.  She even added leather elbow patches which make the cardigan look so sophisticated!  My dad loves wearing it when he walks their dog, Jake, now that it is getting pretty cold in the evenings.  As you can see, it looks really nice on him!

Last but not least, I have another excellent version of the Newcastle to show you.  Diana sewed this version and included a couple top stitching and fit modifications.  She added a strip of fabric at the side seam to increase the width of the body and I think that the extra seam lines create a really nice structured look.  The fabric and buttons she chose are just perfect and the tag she stitched in using a contrast thread makes the cardigan look like it has just been purchased from a high end menswear boutique!   Great job Diana and thanks for sharing your photos with us!

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I hope everyone had a fun Halloween!  Matt and I are really excited that it is now November…we have a lot of big things planned for Thread Theory this month!  


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Sue’s Spectacular Jeds!

My mother-in-law, Sue, has been quietly working away on her own version of the Jedediah Pants and blew us out of the water when her husband, Rick, arrived for Thanksgiving dinner in the absolutely spectacular results! She used a high-end cotton twill from Gala Fabrics in Victoria, BC and carefully applied all the lessons that she learned by following our sew-along. We took a few photos that day of Rick wearing the finished version, and Sue graciously sent in some of her own as well as a review so that we could show you her very successful return to the sewing world after a several decade hiatus! Without further ado, here is what she wrote to us:

Hi Morgan and Matt,

I just wanted to send a note to let you know about my experience with sewing the Jedediah pants. I noticed a few people who commented on your blog about being a bit afraid to take on what seems to be a more difficult project, and I thought my experience might help sway them to give it a try.

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I have not sewn an article of clothing since I made my high school graduation dress in the 1970s… Don’t bother doing the math, suffice it to say that was a long time ago! I never took any formal sewing training, but was just taught by my mom and through my own experimentation. Your enthusiasm for sewing and designing has been infectious and has inspired me to pick it up again, and it was the sew-a-long that gave me the confidence to get started back again. One would think that pants would be a tough project to wet your feet with, but in reality, with the well fitting pattern, great instructions, the video for the fly installation, the feedback from the sewers, and the ability to write in and ask questions, it was amazingly simple.

I wasn’t able to start the pants until well after the sew-a-long was finished but that had it’s benefits, as I was able to read all the instructions, comments and feedback before even cutting out my material and was therefore able to incorporate the suggestions that others had made. I actually started out to make shorts, but when I laid the pattern out, I had so much material left, I thought why not see if I had enough for pants, and sure enough I did. I know you made the comment that the allowances were generous to allow for pattern matching, and this worked to my benefit, as I had no pattern.

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I used Katie’s method of sewing the back patch pockets to eliminate the raw edge inside, and I added my own touch by interfacing the pocket to give it a little more strength. I sewed the inseam before the side seam, as this made more sense to me. I’m glad I did this, as I had a little trouble with the flat felled seams. The material I used was an organic twill and it really wanted to fray, so folding it over and sewing with the smaller seam allowance was a little fiddley. If I had done the leg seams in the reverse order, I would have had to do “fake flat felled seams” as you had suggested when I wrote in. They would have looked the same, but I would know they were fake. Also, I didn’t use seam binding as I thought it would become too bulky (and because I was too lazy), but I am still happy with the finish of the pants. If I made them again, I might be tempted to bind just the inner waistband as I like the finished look of the ones I’ve seen.

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I found the pattern pieces really fit together well. The only markings that didn’t make sense to me were on the ends of the waistband, but then I figured, as long as I had enough room for a seam at each end of the waistband, there wasn’t a problem, and it all went together well. The fly went in without a hitch, just by following step by step, the video and written instructions. The most difficult part of the pants was the buttonhole. I did several test buttonholes that came out beautifully of course, and then the real one was not so good. I think it was because of the bulk of the waistband seam, that my auto buttonholer on my old machine couldn’t hold the material firm enough to keep it correctly aligned. I will do as you suggested and use a hook closure, and hubby always wears a belt, so no one will be the wiser.

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The pants seemed to sew up quite quickly (even though it took me about a month overall as I was only able to pick them up for little bits at a time) and I was able to break the project easily into manageable pieces. I am really pleased (and hubby is too) with the overall result, and I must say that this is the first article of clothing that I have ever sewn that looks store bought, and fits extremely well. I will most certainly be testing out more of your patterns in the future, and I think the men in my life will be quite happy about that!

– Sue

Congratulations, Sue, on an excellently finished garment! We look forward to seeing your versions of the rest of our patterns!

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And the winner is…

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Congratulations to deadlycraft who was randomly chosen from the 40 (wow, 40!!!!) amazing comments left on our Goldstream Peacoat contest post throughout the week.  We hope you enjoy sewing up our peacoat pattern once it has been released!

Thank you, everyone, SO MUCH for providing us with such a wealth of information!  I have many happy hours of sewing related research ahead of me.  I especially took note of the tailoring books a few of you mentioned.  And, I agree with the many of you who mentioned Peter Lappin’s amazing blog…it is a huge wealth of menswear sewing information and inspiration!

Now that the contest is over, have a look at what all your comments created: The official Encyclopedia Peacoatica!  I hope everyone will find it helpful once they embark on their big peacoat sewing project!  It will be a permanent fixture in our blog sidebar along with our Jedediah Sew-Along and the other pages we have created.

Since a post isn’t a proper post without some inspiring pictures, here are a couple great projects we’ve seen around the sewing corner of the internet lately:

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Lilly’s polished looking navy Newcastle Cardigan…I just love it, I think this is my favorite version I have seen yet!

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Huff’s awesome red Jeds. I love that she calls them that! We call the Strathcona Henley Strath…so here is Huff’s Strath and Jeds outfit. She is planning to make twelve entire outfits for her husband. Wow, what an undertaking!

Also, Nichola, over at Handmaker’s Factory, is hosting a giveaway of the Jedediah Pants and Shorts sewing pattern.  If anyone hasn’t purchased it yet, now is your chance to enter to win the pattern.  Comment on her blog post before Friday October 18th for your chance to win.


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Quarterly Report: Now that we have three patterns launched…

Wardrobe builder image-01-01 Thank you, everyone, for all the enthusiasm and support over the last few weeks.  Now that we have three patterns launched and only the Goldstream Peacoat left to tackle in the Parkland Casual Menswear Collection (a BIG project!), we are looking forward to our next collection and our many plans for Thread Theory. Here is a bit of an overview of where we are sitting with Thread Theory right now seeing as we have completed our first quarter of sales and are well into our second – the Newcastle Cardigan was launched May 15th.  I can’t believe how much has been accomplished since then! We have been absolutely in awe of the Jedediah pants that have been popping up on Kollabora for the Jedediah Sew-Along contest – good luck to everyone who is  entering!  I am glad that the winner will be chosen based on public voting because I could never choose my favorite…I’ve been ‘hearting’ them all (head on over to ‘heart’ your favorite before September 16th!).

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We have also been receiving a large selection of requests from websites and brick and mortar stores all over the world who would like to become stockists.  As you may have noticed on the blog and website, we currently have two web-based stores stocking our PDF patterns: Stitch 56 based out of Australia, and Pattern Review from the United States.  Most stockists would, of course, prefer to sell printed versions of our patterns so, while we are still accepting stockists for our PDF patterns if they have a system put in place for selling digital downloads, we are busily gathering a list of stockists who would like to open wholesale accounts for printed patterns…

And I guess that leads me to the next activity that we have been working on in the Thread Theory studio:  we are currently in the process of putting our first three patterns into print!  The process has gone very smoothly so far and we are so excited for the moment when we will have our gorgeously designed envelopes in our hands (expect a thorough photo shoot of the moment…this is something that has to be thoroughly recorded for the Thread Theory yearbook :P). We are working with Sonia Bishop, a talented graphic designer who just so happens to date Matt’s brother, Mike.  It has been fun to keep it in the family – because of this, we even got to hold a ‘business meeting’ on the back of Mike’s sailboat as we dried off after a dip in the ocean, complete with sunshine and beers in hand!  Now THAT is a reason I like owning my own business!  Apart from the benefits of working with someone we enjoy hanging out with, Sonia has a ton of enthusiasm for the image we want to create with our packaging and I have no doubt that you will all love what she comes up with! Edited-23 We are also beginning to work with a very admirable printing company based out of Vancouver who operates so efficiently that they are officially carbon neutral.  We love the range of recycled papers that they have to offer and their sales team has really taken the effort to understand what we are envisioning for the pattern packaging and have offered some really interesting options that I think will make the packaging really work for the sewer.  I hope I am right in imagining that no one wants another crinkled and ripped envelope to add to their already chaotic pattern boxes or shelves – I think we have figured out a way to make our packaging super sturdy and easy to re-use so that our patterns will become staples to be used many times!

In blogging news, I want to show off Maider’s really well sewn version of the Newcastle Cardigan.  She made the cardigan for her boyfriend’s birthday and when he opened up his present, he thought that it was store bought!  I can see why, she did a great job of finishing the insides and the wine coloured fabric that she chose works really nicely with the design.

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Beautifully finished interior!

I like that she included the shoulder details but kept them in self fabric instead of using a contrast.  This created a really subtle detail which was a perfect spot to highlight her VERY straight top-stitching!

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Look at that perfect top-stitching!

Also, thank you to Laura of Behind the Hedgerow for including Thread Theory in her list of her “Top 10 Autumn Selfish Sewing Patterns”…even if menswear garments wouldn’t really be selfish sewing for her!  We are flattered to be mentioned in her list of amazing pattern companies and I couldn’t agree more with her choice of Victory Pattern’s Roxanne pattern – I have been meaning to make up that pattern for ages because I LOVE that collar.  Sown Brooklyn’s version is pretty much the TOP item on my list of things that get me inspired to sew at the moment.

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Sown Brooklyn’s absolutely gorgeous version of Victory Pattern’s Roxanne.

Are you curious about what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ at Thread Theory?  I always love reading Tasia’s monthly reports over at Sewaholic patterns and probably wouldn’t have had the courage to start my own pattern company without her very matter of fact and wonderfully open reports on her own experience.  I hope that we are fairly transparent over here in the menswear corner of the indie pattern company world and would love to answer any questions you ever have about us!