Thread Theory

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


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Pattern Release on Monday!

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Big news:  The Fairfield Button-up Shirt PDF pattern will be released to the world this Monday, May 2nd!

Along with this new pattern there will be a comprehensive selection of shirt making tools, fabrics and notions added to our shop.  All of the resources necessary for your shirt making endeavors will be at your fingertips!

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The Fairfield Button-Up PDF will be 20% off for newsletter subscribers next week!  In case you are curious, the newsletter subscription isn’t the same thing as subscribing to our blog.  We only send out the occasional newsletter to let you know about new patterns, products or sale prices. Subscribe now to make sure the discount arrives in your inbox on launch day!

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50% off PDF Patterns!

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While Black Friday isn’t a worldwide phenomena, it has most certainly spread from the US into Canada in recent years.  If you are like me and don’t enjoy the masses of people or the frenzy of advertising that takes place on a day like today, you’ll probably be holing up inside your sewing room to enjoy the process of creating rather than consuming.  In case you run out of projects but don’t want to run to the store:  Our PDF patterns are 50% off for Black Friday, the weekend and Cyber Monday so you can download your next project without the need to leave your sewing machine!  Let the making begin!

This weekend I hope to get a start on Matt’s tailored Goldstream Peacoat – at long last – using our Tailoring Supplies Kit and some wonderful Pendleton wool.  Last weekend involved all sorts of making too; Matt’s brother and his fiancee (our talented graphic designer), Sonia, were visiting.  Sonia joined my Mom and I at a local Christmas craft fair called Stagnhare.  It was a lot of fun and very exhausting to chat with so many people about sewing!
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By the way, the screen printed bag you can see on the left hand side of the photo (that reads: Go ahead and create something exceptional) is a project that I just finished screen printing in time for the craft fair.  It will be available in our shop next week!

Sonia is an avid knitter so we agreed that she would teach me to knit while they visited if I taught her how to sew.  It was a great arrangement for me because my knitting lessons came with a whole team of ball-winders :P.Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-3Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-2Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-6

I’ve begun to knit the Funnel Neck Sweater from Erika Knight’s book, Men’s Knits: A New Direction.  Here’s an Instagram post that I made about this project recently so you can see part of the sweater design:

While this is a big project to tackle for my first serious knitting project (I’ve never properly followed a pattern before), I think it’s a good choice because it is something that I REALLY like and want to see finished.  I was hesitant to choose a smaller project that I was less excited about because I wouldn’t be as inclined to finish it!  I’m using the Maxi Wool from our shop for this project.  Sonia helped me choose slightly smaller needles since this wool is a little bit thicker than the pattern calls for.  I knitted a test square and it came out exactly the right size!

I didn’t get a photo of Sonia working on her sewing project unfortunately, but you can take my word for it that she did an excellent job!

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We grabbed one of the new Carry-All Bag Making Kits from our shop for her to work on.  She chose the “Ready for the Next Adventure” design and tackled the project on my industrial sewing machine.

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I know a speedy industrial machine probably isn’t the best suited for teaching new sewers but I thought it would be excellent practice for her because she hopes to learn how to sew on a Sailrite machine so that she can sew canvas and repair sails for their sailboat.  Working with heavy sails and a finicky but powerful machine is a whole different ballgame than sewing garments and working on a domestic sewing machine.  The industrial machine and the canvas bag project were a step in the right direction for her.

Have you ever taught someone to sew?  This was my first time and I really enjoyed it!  It felt very satisfying to provide Sonia with the skills to hem her own pants and dresses (she’s short like I am so I know just how empowering that can be!) and to start her on her way to sewing for her sailboat.  She was stoked with her new bag too, so that’s a bonus :).

 

Happy sewing!  I hope you enjoy the 50% off pattern sale!


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Last Day for the Inventory Clearout Sale

Inventory clearout

Just a quick note to let you know that I will be ending the big sale on the Parkland Collection tissue patterns as soon as our shipment of new printed patterns arrives (hopefully this afternoon!).  Thanks for all the enthusiasm over our biggest sale yet.  Our shelves are looking shockingly empty as they wait for the arrival of the Finlayson, Jutland and Camas tissue patterns.  I can’t wait to share photos of the huge pallets of printed patterns that will soon be sitting on our front lawn :).


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Inventory Clear Out Sale

Inventory clearout

Matt and I are anticipating the arrival of three new paper sewing patterns on our doorstep this week – we can’t wait to hold the tissue versions of the Finlayson Sweater, Jutland Pants and Camas Blouse in our hands at last!  In the meantime though, I’ve been looking around at our cramped little house/studio and have been wondering where pallet after pallet of cardboard boxes are going to fit.

So, to help clear some shelf space, we’ve put the entire selection of tissue Parkland Collection patterns on sale at a VERY discounted rate – they are currently 35% off making the tissue patterns almost as cheap to buy as the print at home PDFs!

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The Parkland Collection tissue patterns will be on sale until we’ve cleared enough shelf space for our new shipment of patterns.  Thanks for helping with the Spring cleaning!


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Valentine’s Day Treats

Today we have two treats for you:

1. All of our tissue patterns are 15% for the whole weekend, in case all the flowers and chocolates have got you feeling eager to engage in some Selfless Sewing! Enter “VALENTINE” at checkout to receive your discount (sale runs from now until midnight on February 16th).

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2. Hunky dudes, courtesy of what Morgan will forever describe as “the best photo shoot ever”. Can you guess what our next pattern is (or are you distracted by the chiselled muscles)?

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Enjoy!

 


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A Newcastle Cardigan for Women

This weekend, in celebration of the pouring rain and occasional thunder outside our studio window, we are having a Newcastle Cardigan Sale so that you can sew yourself or someone else something cozy as Fall approaches!

From now until midnight, September 22nd (PST) (while I am on my Sew-cation) you can buy the Newcastle Cardigan PDF sewing pattern at 20% off!  Simply enter the code RAIN at check out (using capslock).  Happy sewing!

Since Selfish Sewing Week is coming up, I sewed something yesterday that will ease me into this weekend’s much anticipated ‘selfish’ sew-cation.

This project is both, in essence, completely selfish and decidedly thoughtful…I sewed a Newcastle Cardigan for myself!  Its selfish because I used work time to sew something that I will wear and skipped over the list of several cardigans I’ve agreed to make for family members and investors (woops!) to make my version first.  It’s thoughtful because I can now wear a ‘stolen from the boyfriend’ style cardigan without actually stealing it…not that I’ve managed to steal Matt’s more than once or twice.  Every time I’m chilly and go to grab it, he’s already wearing it!

I love my green wool version.  It’s my absolute favorite colour and I treated myself to all my favorite features: military-esque brass buttons, huge patch pockets, extra long sleeves, leather details…the works!

I kept the fit really slouchy and exaggerated by cutting a size XS (way too big for me!) and then limiting my sizing adjustments to narrowing the shoulders and only slightly exaggerating the curve of the waist.  That way, the arms are still really wide and it is too long for me, making it the coziest of cozy sweaters to put over top of bulky layers for fall evening walks and to wear while sewing in my chilly sewing studio.

The rest of the adjustments I made were a bit of an experiment to see if I could eliminate the use of facings and also add a zipper.  As you can see, the zipper was a dismal failure and was quickly ripped out.  I think that a shawl collar, super slouchy fit, and stiff zipper could never co-inhabit the same sweater happily.  The zipper sat so stiffly that it pointed out, away from my chest at the top and looked really ridiculous.  Instead, I decided to treat my bound seam allowances as a built in facing by interfacing them, folding them over and adding button holes.  I added buttons on a slight asymmetrical angle to make the sweater fit slightly smaller in the chest and I kept the bottom of the sweater open to accommodate for my hips as I didn’t add width here (if you wanted to make a buttoned Newcastle for a female without many alterations to the pattern you would have to add width to the pattern pieces at the hips while likely taking away width at the waist to better fit the female form).

All my experimenting led to a sweater I really love but it certainly didn’t result in the no-facing, no buttons tutorial that I was planning to make!  It was really easy to eliminate the facing pieces though so I’ve included the tutorial photos Matt took just in case anyone is interested to see how I did it:

Resized-1You’ll need rulers (a curved on is preferable but you can always eyeball the curves if you don’t have one!), a pencil or marker, scissors and tape.

These are the pieces that I eliminated for my sweater: The Back Neck Facing, the Front Facing, and the Button Placket.

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I eliminated the Button Placket by extending the Cardigan Front by half the placket amount on each front because I was planning to add a zipper so I didn’t want the Cardigan Front to overlap.  As you can see, I added 1 5/8″ because I mistakenly thought I should add a seam allowance to the centre front…I forgot that there was already a seam allowance included to sew the Cardigan Front to the Front Placket!  So I really should have added a total of 1″

In the end, of course, all of this was irrelevant because I added buttons instead of a zipper after all and fudged things, trusting that the forgiving wool would hide that I was pulling and tugging things off grain by making the front overlap and button up asymmetrically!

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After adding width to the front of the cardigan I adjusted the neck curve so that it would extend to the new CF.  I tried to keep the old neckline and the new neckline as close to the same measurement as possible but I ended up needing to add a little length to the collar pattern pieces so that they would still reach the centre front of the cardigan.

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I also removed some width from the shoulders (I didn’t adjust the sleeve heads as I technically should have because, since this was all an experiment I again trusted that the forgiving wool would allow me to ease them into the new, bigger armholes).  Lastly, I exaggerated the curve of the waist to create a slightly less boxy fit:

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Of course, if you were to adjust the shoulder width and planned to use the yokes from Version 1 of the pattern, you would have to also remove width from these pieces:

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To create the patch pockets, I cut rectangles of wool 7 1/2″ tall X 6 1/2″ wide and sewed them to the Cardigan Front pieces with exposed raw edges (I like how the edges felt and look fluffy when this wool is washed and dried).  You could easily serge and turn under the edges if your fabric frays or you don’t like the look of the raw edges.  Instead of sewing all the way up to the top of the pocket outside edge, I stopped half way up and then folded over the loose flap and tacked it down with a decorative button.  This pocket, with the angled top opening is really comfortable to put my hands in!

Before sewing the shoulder seams together, I top-stitched on strips of leather in the same way the Shoulder Yoke is sewn on.  I also bound the CF because I was envisioning adding a zipper at a later point and wanted finished seam allowances.  If I had known I was going to be turning under approx. 1 1/2″ as a self-facing I would have interfaced this strip before adding the binding.

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To eliminate the Back Neck Facing I sewed the collar on, as per the directions (minus the facing piece) and then carefully graded the seam allowance before enclosing the allowance in an open piece of binding.  This creates visible stitching on the right side of the collar but it will be hidden when the collar is folded over:

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All the binding made for a very pretty garment, but really, in the end the sewing steps took just as long as using the facings would have and were much more fiddly (I guess it depends how comfortable your machine is with stitching woven binding onto thick and stretchy knit layers).  Both the facing and binding/self facing methods have their advantages and disadvantages and I am glad to have tried both for the Newcastle because I often worry that people will be a little put off by the idea of a cardigan with facings.  In the end, I like the facing method more as it creates a sturdier garment with less visible exterior stitching and less fighting with the tricky combination of woven and knit fabrics.

Would you consider converting the Newcastle Cardigan pattern into a women’s version?

Thanks for the fun photo shoot Matt!