Thread Theory

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


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Pattern testing idea (call for testers now closed)

The pattern that I am currently developing is a pretty elaborate bag, which, obviously, is a departure from our usual focus on garments! While I have some unique and versatile garments planned for release after the bag pattern, I wanted something a little more straight forward as my first pattern project post baby. Our wallet patterns are always a big hit for birthday gifts and Christmas so I thought a proper unisex bag would complete the set!

As I am prone to do, I’ve allowed the bag to morph from basic to elaborate with variations to suit a wide range of sewists and very detailed instructions…I can’t help myself, I like to be thorough! So I’m now wondering if any of you are bag sewing aficionados who would be interested in helping me out with a test sewing project that is a bit different than normal:

Usually I send garment patterns to testers when the instruction booklet is more or less complete and has already been formatted by our graphic designer. The pattern itself has been made beautiful and branded by Matt. And all illustrations have been created by me. This time, since bag patterns are new to me, I was wondering if two or three sewists who have sewn bag patterns from more than one pattern company would be interested in sewing up the pattern while it is still very much a rough draft.

This would mean that you would work from written instructions with no illustrations. The pattern would include basic markings and labels but would not be ‘prettified.’ There are a LOT of pattern pieces to navigate. So you would need to be quite familiar with the general process of sewing a lined bag with many pockets! The main feedback I would be looking for is your opinion on the order of construction. Do you have a method that you prefer to mine for sewing straps? For inserting a zipper? For adding a lining? Does the level of detail I’ve included in the instructions help or is it overwhelming? Details such as typos and grammar can be left for the next phase of testing (unless you feel like pointing them out to me, which, of course, is welcome!).

After I receive this feedback I can make large alterations to the pattern and instructions without having to re-do illustrations or spend lots of time going back and forth making revisions with our graphic designer (much as I like the chance to chat with my sister in law, she has a baby too and time is precious!).

What do you think? Do you have bag making skills and techniques you would like to compare to the ones I’ve been developing? I’m excited to brainstorm with you!

The pattern will be ready for this stage of testing in two to three weeks (if baby Noah cooperates) so you would be sewing it late July and early to mid-August (with lots of flexibility as there is no especially strict deadline for you to complete the project).

Please comment below if this sounds like a fun project for you! And please mention approximately how many bags you’ve sewn because I’m really hoping to receive feedback from people who already have preferred bag-making techniques. Pattern testers will receive the finished pattern and a credit to our shop as a big thank you for your help!

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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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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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Just launched: Two men’s jeans patterns

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-12

I’m so excited to share with you not one, but two new patterns today!  We have been working over the last year to create the perfect men’s jeans pattern and wound up creating two designs with different fits: Meet the Quadra Jeans and Fulford Jeans!

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-1

Both patterns are available in size 28-50 which is a far bigger size range than our Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants include!

I’ll walk you through the Quadra Jeans first:  They are part of the Parkland Collection which means they are a casual wardrobe staple tending towards a modern, slim fit.

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-14

The Quadra Jeans feature a subtly tapered leg, a little extra room in the thighs, and a moderate low rise.

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-8

You can sew these jeans in denim with no stretch or up to 2% elastane for added flexibility.  They include all of the classic jeans details including a zipper fly, strengthening topstitching, flatfell inseams, rivets on high stress areas, and a jeans button.

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-6

I’ve included a unique feature, as far as jeans go to make fitting easier for the home sewist:  The waistband is cleverly sewn with a center back seam (as you would often see in men’s dress trousers).  This center back seam features regular 5/8″ seam allowances so if you are sewing for a man with a fluctuating waistline or are sewing the jeans as a surprise gift, they are easy to adjust larger or smaller even after they are fully constructed!  The seam is completely hidden beneath the center back belt loop so the waistband looks like it would on classic jeans.

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-10

The Quadras look great sewn in denim or other trouser weight materials.  I used Cone Mills denim with 1% elastane for our first sample and a cotton twill for our second sample:

Mens jeans sewing notions-1

You can see the taper of the leg well in the photo below.

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Now you are well acquainted with the Quadra Jeans, let’s have a look at the Fulford Jeans!

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-10

This is a classic straight leg design with just a slight curve at the hips (which can easily be removed if you would like to use selvage denim – I will go over this in the sew-along!)

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-4

They include a higher rise than the Quadras (just below the waist) and a roomier fit at the knees and calves in a manner reminiscent of vintage work jeans.

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-6

Just like the Quadras, they include all the details you would expect – lots of topstitching, a yoke, a coin pocket and plenty of bartacks.  They also include a zipper fly.

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When sewn in a brushed cotton they make a lovely casual trouser.

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-21

The Fulford fit was a bit unfamiliar to our younger model (my sewing friend’s obliging husband, Scott) as he is more used to the lower rise of the Quadras.  The Fulford rise, on the other hand, was exactly the height that Matt’s dad, Rick, is used to (who was photographed in the denim version of the Fulford Jeans).

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-23

Here you can see the roomier fit in the lower legs due to the straight cut:

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-28

Each pattern includes incredibly detailed instructions done using the same construction method as our Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants (so if you have sewn either of those patterns, you will find these a breeze!).  I’ve more than doubled the amount of diagrams included compared to the Jedediah Pants since I know that many of us are very visual sewists.

If you are more familiar with the construction method included in Closet Case jeans patterns or a different order of construction from a beloved vintage pattern (for instance), you will be relieved to know that our pattern pieces will work perfectly well with other construction methods – just sub in your favourite set of instructions instead of using ours.

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-29

That being said, I am very proud of the results our method produces and can’t wait to share the sew-along I’ve been working on with you!  We’ll be talking about fitting, I’ll share detailed photos of sewing the fly, and I can answer any questions you might have along the way…stay tuned for the start of the sew along in a couple of weeks (date tbd soon!).

In addition to our two new patterns, we’ve also dropped a myriad of high quality jeans-making notions and tools in the shop today!

Mens jeans sewing notions-11

First up, we have beautiful blank Kraft-tex labels to stitch onto your jeans waistband:

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-11

Kraft-tex washable paper is back in stock by the 1/2 m for your bag and wallet making projects and I’ve cut some of it into perfect jeans labels so you don’t need to purchase more than the tiny quantity needed to add to your jeans.  I love to leave the label blank as a way to catch people’s eye…these jeans don’t have a brand name!  You could also print on the label with waterproof ink.  Each label costs only $2 CAD so it is a very affordable way to add a special touch to your jeans project.

Mens jeans sewing notions-2

In addition to the Talon zippers we’ve stocked for many years, we now offer 7″ and 8″ Countess zippers in classic navy and brass.  The 7″ length is suitable for the Quadra Jeans sizes 26-38 while the 8″ is perfect for the Quadra Jeans sizes 40-50 and the Fulford Jeans sizes 26-38.

Mens jeans sewing notions-5

Prym rivet kits are now available in the shop.  I’ve tested out many hardware kits while developing these jeans patterns and this is the set with which I am 100% pleased.  The included tools are good quality and make installation very secure with only the addition of a hammer and firm table.  I love that the rivets include two “right sides” – a smooth gunmetal side and a dimpled copper side.

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The copper set looks stunning against dark denim!

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We also carry a silver set which features the gunmetal alternative as well.  Each set includes enough rivets for four pairs of jeans!

To pair with the Prym rivets, you will find two new jeans button kits available, also by Prym.

Mens jeans sewing notions-10

In the photo above you can see the silver button we’ve stocked in our shop for some time now.  In the middle is my favourite copper Prym button (measuring a classic 17mm).  On the right is the larger art deco Prym button (measuring 20mm) whose proportions are pleasing on heavy weight work jeans.  Both button sets include the necessary tools for installation and feature enough buttons to make many pairs of jeans.

Mens jeans sewing notions-1

Lastly, if you plan to sew multiple pairs of jeans or if hardware application really makes you nervous, you’ll be pleased to find some installation tools in the shop!  The Prym pliers work for everything from rivets to snaps (they’re great for applying those plastic snaps to baby clothes…speaking from experience here!) and the tripod is an excellent choice for those with decreased dexterity (it stabilises the tiny pieces for you leaving your hands well away from the hammer).

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-13

I hope you agree that our jeans patterns are filling a void in the world of menswear sewing and that you are excited to get sewing denim with me!

I’ll be sharing the details about the sew-along and also some of our wonderful test sewer’s versions on the blog shortly.

Choose your new jean pattern in our shop: Quadra Jeans or Fulford Jeans.


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Thank you for your help! (And here’s a discount code as way of thanks.)

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Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment on the last blog offering their sewing talents!  I’ve selected several test sewers who are busily working away on the new pattern right now.

Please don’t be discouraged if we didn’t select you to test this time!  We try to select a fresh variety of testers for each pattern so please apply next time if you are still interested!

To thank you for following the blog and for your enthusiasm each time I call for testers, here is a 15% off coupon code that you can use any time!  THANKSFORREADING  The code will never expire and will give you 15% off you entire order.  Head to our shop to use the code >

(In case you’re wondering, the above picture is of our cat, Jazzy, trying to commandeer the newly assembled crib as her own…don’t worry, we’ve since worked on some serious cat training and the crib now remains safely cat free!)


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(CLOSED) Call for Testers: Are you well versed in sewing bottoms?

Well, this is it!  Our next pattern is ready for test sewing!  Would you like to be involved?

This time we are looking for sewists who are well versed in sewing bottoms – be that dress trousers, jeans or any other style of pant.

Parkland Menswear Pattern Collection-14

Have you sewn the Jedediah or Jutland Pants?  Then you would be a perfect candidate!  Or perhaps you have tried out women’s pants such as any of the Closet Case Files jeans or some of the many amazing overall patterns that were launched in the last year.  If you’re interested in transferring your trouser sewing skills to menswear, then please apply!

Waxed-Jutlands-13

To apply, please comment on this blog post with a brief explanation of the following:

  1.  A summary of your bottoms/pants/trousers/jeans sewing experience.
  2. Your interest and experience in nicely photographing your finished tester project so that we can later share it on the blog (this isn’t necessary but is a great bonus for me!).
  3.  The size your male recipient usually fits so that I can be sure our new pattern is tested in a wide range of sizes.

Testers will be selected this Wednesday and you will have two weeks to sew our new pattern.

Thread Theory Eastwood Pajamas Sew-Along-35

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm!  Your help is essential in ensuring our patterns are easy to understand, have a consistent fit for all sizes, and aren’t riddled with typos.  I can’t wait to hear from you!


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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.

Father's Day sewing project sportswear 2

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!