Thread Theory

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


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Just launched: Two men’s jeans patterns

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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!

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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).

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

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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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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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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!

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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).

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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 >


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The Sayward Raglan sewing pattern is here!

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Let’s welcome the Sayward Raglan – an excellent addition to your spring or summer sewing plans!

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Our newest pattern is a casual and flattering raglan t-shirt with short and long sleeve variations.  We also included instructions and cutting layouts to walk you through the process of creating a color-blocked tee (à la the classic baseball tee).

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Raglan t-shirts have many benefits for both the sewist and the wearer.  From the wearer’s perspective, the raglan sleeves have been curved in just the right way to create the appearance of a strong chest.  Very flattering!

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From the sewist’s perspective, the process of attaching a raglan sleeve is a breeze in comparison to wrangling the curve of a classic t-shirt sleeve head.  Raglan sleeves eliminate the one tricky step in the t-shirt sewing process to result in a quick project that can be cut, fitted and sewn in the space of a single relaxing evening.

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Our interpretation of the raglan t-shirt features an easy fitting (but not boxy!) body and sleeves.  When compared to our slim-fitting Strathcona Henley, this t-shirt is far less figure hugging and thus will fit a broader range of body types.  It also features an extended size range compared to the Strathcona Henley – up to 4XL!

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If fitted is more your style, the instructions include easy steps to fit as you sew (so that you can create the slim sleeves and body that you desire on the go).

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The neckline on our raglan is a relaxed crew-neck.  It is not as tight as a classic crew-neck t-shirt making for a slightly more youthful/stylish look that works well with thick or thin necks (no one wants a tight crew neck choking them on a hot summer’s day!).

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I’ve sewn the first of our two main samples in a combination of heathered grey tencel and organic cotton french terry for the body paired with a white cotton interlock for the sleeves:

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Matt reports that the thick and soft end result makes for a very comfortable t-shirt and I have been surprised to see him wearing it on hot spring days!  He says it breaths nicely and he doesn’t overheat despite the cozy loft provided by the french terry loops.  I’m pleased with this result because the french terry is SO easy to sew – it is stable, does not curl and it behaves more or less like a cotton woven fabric.  It would be a great option for a beginner sewist to use.

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Jayden’s version is sewn with the same tencel and cotton french terry body paired with bamboo and cotton french terry sleeves and neck binding.  All the terry fabrics come from my favourite local sewing studio – The Spool Sewing Studio.

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I also sewed a solid version (no color-blocking) to show you that the raglan sleeves are not very noticable when no color-blocking is employed.  The end result can be worn as would any basic t-shirt!  This fabric is a cotton and spandex blend jersey in navy with tiny anchors.  I found it at my local Fabricland.

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If you are new to sewing knits, this is an excellent pattern for you to start with.  As always with our knit patterns I include instructions for sewing with a regular sewing machine or with a serger.  I instruct how to hem with a twin needle or a zig zag stitch.

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A sew-along will begin next Friday, May 18th.  You can easily have your first raglan tee finished in time for Father’s Day (or in time to clear your sewing queue for our next pattern release in June!!!!).

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I hope you like our newest pattern!  It has been one of our top request (second only to a button-up shirt) since we launched Thread Theory.  No wonder – it’s fun to sew and easy to wear!

Read more about the Sayward Raglan >

Share your Sayward on Instagram or Facebook using #saywardraglan


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Get to know the Belvedere Waistcoat

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The Belvedere Waistcoat PDF pattern was launched in our shop last night and now it’s time to delve in to the details so you can get to know our newest menswear design!

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The Belvedere is a classic fitted waistcoat with a moderately low neckline, angled hem, and long darts on both the front and back.  The waistcoat is fully lined and includes a back neckline facing for a high-end finish.

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There are two variations included with this pattern:

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Variation 1 (modelled by my Dad) features some really nice details such as three welt pockets and small side seam vents.  This version was created as a satisfying tailoring challenge.  There are tips and suggestions spread throughout the instruction booklet that encourage intermediate sewers to expand their skill set.

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Variation 2 (modelled by Matt’s Dad and also seen pictured on my Granddad), is a very minimalist take on a traditional waistcoat.

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It includes fewer buttons, no pockets, and no side seam vents.  This is an excellent project for a relative novice who would like to push themselves to learn a solid foundation of skills.  By the time you are finished sewing the Belvedere you will have learned how to stay stitch, under stitch, sew darts, line a garment, and add buttonholes!  You will be ready for all manner of menswear projects.

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I wanted to make this pattern suitable for both novice and intermediate sewists because it is rare to find a menswear piece that is so small, quick, and also satisfying to create.  It is the perfect canvas to practice basics or to take your time and add all sorts of beautiful details.  Also, a waistcoat, depending on fabric choice, can serve so many purposes!  So I wanted the one pattern to operate as a solid foundation for menswear sewists to use as a tried and true pattern.  I can imagine a new sewist trying out this pattern after sewing perhaps a couple of basic bags and pajama pants.  They can then come back to this pattern throughout their entire sewing career, each time increasing the attention to detail, the quality of the fabric they use, and the level of fit achieved.  This one pattern can be used to sew a casual layering piece, an elegant tweed classic, something dressy for your groomsmen, or the finishing touch for a three piece suit.

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I kept the length quite short and the details quite minimalist so that it is ready to wear with mid to high rise dress trousers and will compliment many outfit styles.  Since the rise of your trousers can vary greatly, I’ve included instructions on how to measure and lengthen the pattern pieces to suit any pair of pants.  A properly fitted waistcoat should cover the entire trouser waistband…this is not easy to accomplish with a store bought waistcoat  but it is exceptionally easy to do when you sew one yourself!

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While I talk about fit, you have probably noticed that the waistcoat back is completely devoid of a belt!  This minimalism is rarely found in off the rack waistcoats but is common when you order a custom waistcoat from a tailor.  You can use the curved centre back seam and long darts to perfectly fit the Belvedere to the person who will wear it.  There is no need for a ‘one size fits most’ cinching belt.  If you like the extra flare that a belt adds to a waistcoat, don’t worry!  I will be releasing a free pattern download quite soon so that you can choose one of two styles to add to your Belvedere.

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In fact, I will be releasing a whole menu of free ‘add-ons’ so you can customise the Belvedere to your heart’s content.  Please feel free to request a certain pocket or collar style!  These interesting details will be offered separately from the base pattern so that you only need to print the elements that you need.  I also wanted to avoid over-complicating the pattern and instruction booklet so that it would remain approachable for novice sewists!

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We will begin the Waistcoat Sew-along on May 19th and will roll out all sorts of posts on fitting to a variety of body types, altering the Belvedere to match your suit jacket, changing the shape of the hem, adding thoughtful personalized details, and, of course, the nitty gritty of completing the basic waistcoat sewing process.

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The sew-along will finish in time for Father’s Day gift giving!  Take it from Matt and I…your dad will be VERY honoured to receive a custom sewn waistcoat!

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I hope you will join us during our sew-along!  It will be very informative for both new and experienced sewists.  In the meantime, stay tuned for the release of our Belvedere Kit and all manner of tailoring supplies in the shop!

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Thank you to my Granddad, Dad, and Matt’s Dad for being such enthusiastic (and classy!) models.  All three of them looked exceptionally elegant in their Belvedere Waistcoats.

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And thanks, also, to the White Whale pub for accommodating our rowdy family photoshoot!

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Download the Belvedere (20% off May 2nd and 3rd only!) >


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Imminent Launch Day

I thought you might like to know that we have a new PDF pattern ready to launch next week!  The Belvedere Waistcoat will be here in time for Father’s Day projects and summer weddings!

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I’m working on some finishing touches today to prepare for a large selection of goodies we will be launching alongside this pattern.  So I’ll keep it short and sweet today.

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There will be a release day discount code for this pattern so make sure you are signed up to the newsletter or to this blog to ensure you will be informed of the code.


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Happy Birthday – we have a new pattern!

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The Lazo Trousers – our second pattern for women – is live in our shop!

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These trousers are designed to flatter an hourglass figure by hugging the curves while maintaining complete comfort.  They have a wide, shaped waistband from which the pants hang like a skirt.  There is no pressure across the hips or thighs due to the roomy pleats and tapered leg.

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There are two variations included within this pattern – one is full length and the other is a cropped trouser with wide cuffs and statement belt loops.  Of course, you can mix and match variations by adding belt looks to the full length version!

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This pattern, as many of you know, has been in the works for the last four years – in fact, the design itself pre-dates Thread Theory!  I developed these pants, along with the Camas Blouse, for my end of year fashion show during design school.  My goal for my fashion line was to create elegant garments that do not sacrifice comfort.  These trousers, in particular, were designed to combat a myriad of issues that I have with most women’s casual pants…the narrow waistband digs in to my lower tummy, there is never enough room for my bum, and I tend to feel a bit like a sausage stuffed in to its casing due to the tight fit across the hips and thighs.  I prefer to wear close fitting trousers so that I can balance them with loose fitting tops (so wide leg trousers aren’t an option in my daily casual wardrobe).  The Lazo Trousers were my answer to all of these complaints and criteria.

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Maybe they are the answer to your pant related complaints too!  When I posted photos of the trousers on my blog (which was very new at that time), I received such an enthusiastic response that I decided to develop a couple of women’s patterns to compliment our menswear line.

Our 4th birthday:

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Fast forward over four years later to Thread Theory’s 4th birthday, and the trousers are available at last!  We’ve launched them today to help us celebrate this anniversary and to thank you, our predominantly female community, for enthusiastically supporting our menswear supply shop and pattern line over the last four years.  THANK YOU!!!

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As another way to celebrate, Matt and I are giving back to an organisation that is close to our hearts.  50% of proceeds from each Lazo Trouser sale will be donated to Help Fill A Dream.  This is a Vancouver Island based organisation that assists children with life threatening conditions by fulfilling their dreams and by providing care and financial support for their families.  You can read more about their efforts and the dreams they have filled on their website.

This organisation means a lot to me because I was diagnosed with Leukaemia when I was a toddler.  Help Fill a Dream gave my family and I something to look forward to while I went through chemotherapy by promising me a trip to Disneyland.  As a young child, unable to comprehend what I was going through, the trip to Disneyland remains my only memory of the whole ordeal.  I can only wish that every child facing such health challenges could grow up healthy and look back on that period of their life with such fondness!

Behind the Scenes – Pattern Development:

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Now that you know the inside scoop on our birthday celebrations, here is a look behind the scenes during the Lazo Trousers development process:

As you can probably guess, based on the four year time frame required to complete this pattern, there were quite a few snags along the way.  First, I had to gain confidence in my fitting skills before even considering developing a pattern designed to fit the hip, crotch and waist curves of a woman’s figure!  Helping all of you with your menswear fitting challenges has, of course, given me a fairly diverse amount of experience.  I also took a women’s trouser fitting workshop two summers ago to compliment the fitting class that I attended during my design program.

The next challenge was the pattern testing process.  I sent the pattern to volunteers with a large variety of body shapes and sizes.  I also sewed up many samples to try on the women in my own life.  After this experience I was given a HUGE amount of feedback by my generous testers and fit models…it took me months to wade through it all! I then tweaked the pattern and pretty much re-wrote the instructions based on this wonderful feedback.  During this process I came to terms with a very important concept: One trouser pattern will never fit everyone…especially not this one!  These trousers are quite a unique style that were drafted to fit body type.  They are meant to flatter someone who has a large difference between their waist and hip measurements (i.e. an hourglass figure) and to fit someone with a fairly rounded bottom and flat stomach (their hip circumference is mostly distributed towards the back).  Even someone with the exact figure I just described will still need to fit this pattern to themselves because the human body is incredibly unique.  If you don’t have an hourglass figure but long for the Lazos in your wardrobe, go ahead and give them a try!  I bet, with a muslin, some fitting and tweaking of the style, you can sew yourself a pair of perfect trousers!  Just be prepared to do a little bit of extra work before achieving the results that you want.

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Don’t let my talk of fitting scare you off of sewing trousers!  Just think, store bought trousers are not fitted to your figure and you have probably been wearing these more or less successfully your whole life!  A few simple fit adjustments will produce trousers that are REALLY comfortable because they are tailored to your body.  I have included side seams on the Lazo waistband to make it easy to fit your unique waist to hip curve.  I have illustrated quite a few tips within the instruction booklet to help you fit to your lower back, bottom and crotch curve.  I will also be photographing some important fitting techniques on the blog in the coming weeks.

Let’s sew Lazos!

Ready to tackle a pair of trousers?  I will be posting a list of recommended fabrics tomorrow!  In the meantime, you can find the awesome buckles that I used for my favourite sample in our shop.

Grab a pair to use on your own Lazos! >

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Lastly, we’re hosting a fun Lazo Hack contest.  The purpose of the contest is to show off your creative manipulation of this pattern by sharing your tips, tutorials, sketches, and finished Lazo projects.  Submit photos or illustrations using #lazotrousers on Facebook or Instagram or email them to me at info@threadtheory.ca.  I will be handing out prizes at random until January 31st.  This means, the earlier you submit your images, the more chances you have at winning a prize!

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An upcoming post on recommended materials for the Lazo will feature more details about the contest and my own ideas to hack the pattern.

Download your Lazo Trouser Pattern now >


 

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Thanks again, from Matt and I, for your enthusiastic support of our menswear supply shop and for making the last four years so much fun!  Happy Birthday to Thread Theory 😀

P.S. Please comment below if you have any questions about fitting your figure.  I am preparing the fitting blog post and will launch it next Friday Dec. 23rd.  Now is the time to ask so that you can have your questions answered!