Thread Theory

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


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Carmanah Sweater – our new pattern has landed!

Meet the newest pattern in our menswear line – the Carmanah Sweater!

This sweater pattern is part of our menswear Alpine Collection which means that it is designed as hardwearing activewear.

As such, it includes details reminiscient of high end adventurewear: Notice the twill tape seam finish, the chin guard, reinforced grommets, a well-shaped three piece lined hood, and lots of topstitching.

This pattern was designed to be a very versatile one that can be sewn up over and over to create a whole wardrobe of comfortable sweaters fit for many occasions.

There are a myriad of variations and an excellent array of color-blocking options so that each sweater you sew will look unique.

Instead of creating ‘Variation 1′ and Variation 2’ as per usual, we’ve created five mix and match sections.

Choose between a full zipper or a quarter zipper. Sew a collar or a hood. Add a kangaroo pocket or leave it off. Sew your sweater with one fabric or select contrast yokes and a pocket.

One of the great joys of sewing is the ability to choose your own fabric and style. This pattern is quite flexible – as long as your knit has at least 10% stretch and a medium weight, you can choose anything from cozy jogging fleece to a sporty ribbed knit to elegant boiled wool!

Indeed, with the right fabric and zipper choice your Carmanah could even look quite dressy (think soft boiled merino with a fine antique brass zipper with leather pull tab).

Two cuff pattern pieces are included so that you can use self fabric or a contrast rib knit depending on the stretch and bulk of your main fabric. The instructions include details on how to avoid ripples when installing your zipper. In fact, the instructions are very thorough so if you are new to working with knits, this sweater might be a great project to tackle after your first t-shirt. The more involved details are reminiscient of a woven jacket project and there are tips on how to set up your machine and handle your materials so that you do not need to struggle with stretch.

When I designed this sweater I imagined it would complement our very popular Finlayson Sweater pattern. Just like the Finlayson Sweater, its boxy shape makes it simple to fit and thus easy to sew as a gift (it’s possible to just guess the size or have a sneaky peek at the recipient’s closet).

It’s mix-and-match design allows sewists to cater the garment exactly to the recipient’s tastes – do they want a high-tech wicking hoodie to wear as a mid-layer while hiking? No problem! Do they want a ‘slightly more dressy than a crew-neck’ quarter-zip sweater to wear to the office or to Christmas dinner? Check! Just like the Finlayson, the high-end finishing details make it both a wardrobe basic and something that can be uniquely customized to suit the wearer’s personality.

Add a funky hood lining fabric and choose an interesting patterned or colored twill tape to add personality within the sweater. Finally, again like the Finlayson, this knit sweater is just involved enough to be an interesting and rewarding sewing project but still much simpler than sewing, say, a button-up shirt or jeans. It’s a nice in-between project to tackle when you don’t want to get overwhelmed by tailoring but still want to get creative with the details.

The size range for this pattern is: XS-4XL (36 1/4″-50″ Chest). 5/8″ seam allowances are included within the pattern.

We will be launching this pattern as a paper pattern during our next pattern re-print. If you order the PDF now but prefer the tissue pattern when it is available, please feel free to take advantage of our usual offer: Email us when the paper pattern is released and we will discount the cost of the PDF from your order – this way you get the format you prefer but, in the meantime, you can get sewing!

You could even sew the Carmanah Sweater this weekend! It is 20% off until Friday September 25th to celebrate it’s arrival to the shop. Happy sewing!


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Sweater Weather

Here’s a sneak peek at our upcoming pattern! The first full sample of the garment came hot off the machine last night and Matt has been snuggled up in it to combat the snowy weather ever since!

I know these pictures aren’t all that sneaky but I’ll at least refrain from posting full shots of the garment until the pattern release.

Right now I am focussed on walking the fine line between ‘fun to sew’ and ‘high end finishes’. This sample was sewn using a lot of twill tape to finish the interior of the garment. The next sample will use a lining to accomplish the same effect. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each approach (indeed, listing them has been keeping me up at night more than my baby currently is!).

What camp are you in? Linings or seam finishes?