Thread Theory

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


A good book and a sunny afternoon

sewing books

Nothing beats a good book in a shady spot on a hot summer afternoon!

Have you checked out the Literature section of our shop?  We have a couple of book shelves in the corner of my studio that we’ve filled with an eclectic selection of sewing and menswear related reading.  It’s all 15% off right now so it’s a great time to pick out a book from my shelves for a summer read!

menswear sewing books

Let me give you a chance to peruse through my bookshelf.  Click on any of the photographs within each collage (below) to view things like the table of contents for each volume in detail:

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This is the newest book on offer from Merchant & Mills.  It’s the only book on my shelves that isn’t unisex or menswear related…but we received so many requests for it from Canadian sewists who didn’t want to pay shipping from the UK that we decided to add it to our collection.  And I’m glad we did!  This book is chock full of inspiring photographs, creative sewing projects (which include prepared patterns), and lovely hand drawn illustrations.  All of the garments within this book are for women.


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The Merchant & Mills Sewing Book, on the other hand, is the best unisex introduction to sewing in existence (in my opinion!).  Even as a very experienced sewist I find it to be an entirely engrossing read.  I love how this book goes into such detail about sewing tools and how best to use them.  By the time you complete the projects within the book you will be equipped with the skills to tackle any sewing project you desire…plus, the wonderful motivational writing and beautiful styling within this book will have you itching to create!


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This is a book for people who would like to knit menswear.  It includes loads of designs ranging from classic to unique.  The yarn choices and photography are very modern and appealing which makes it far easier to choose a menswear knitting project than sifting through vintage patterns or Ravelry.  I like having a tidy collection of patterns within one book to cover all of my menswear bases.  When I showed Matt the photos he found them to be very appealing and asked me to knit quite a few of the garments.  I knitted the Funnel Neck sweater that you see pictured below for my Dad.  It was my very first time knitting a garment using a pattern and I was thrilled with how the sweater turned out!  I blogged about it here.

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Now lets move away from the project based books and sift through the fashion and history section of my bookshelves.  If you are at all interested in British military history, fine tailoring, or Savile Row, this book is a treasure trove of information and awe inspiring photos.  This elegant and massive (!) coffee table book covers the entire history of Gieves & Hawkes, a tailoring firm on Savile Row which is renowned for supplying the British Military.  Of all my collection of fashion books, this is the one with the most beautiful photographs.  The close ups of historic garment details are amazing (the trims!  the wools! the precision!).

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This book is also about Savile Row but from a broader perspective – it covers the entire history of bespoke tailoring.  While this book is extremely visually appealing, it is also packed full of well organized information.  It covers everything from the development of the suit to an overview of each well regarded tailoring firm.  There is even a concise section that explains what to expect when ordering a tailored suit.  By the time you’ve read this book, you will feel as though you have a solid understanding of what menswear tailoring is all about!

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Moving away from the coffee table books, lets have a look at a few books that are more reminiscent of the texts that were on my reading list in fashion school!  First, let me show you this comprehensive overview of menswear fashion design.  Within this book you will learn about the design process from many perspectives including interviews with famous menswear designers to case studies of classic menswear garments.

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When I was in fashion school I took a few courses on fashion illustration.  While illustration wasn’t my forte or primary interest, I just found it to be so much fun!  This text provides an overview of the works of all the most influential menswear fashion illustrators.  I would have loved to read this book while I was in school because I found it to be a little frustrating how focused the class and resources were on women’s fashion.

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This book really appeals to me as an indie pattern designer because it is all about indie menswear fashion!  A lot of the brands that are discussed within this book are major sources of inspiration here in the Thread Theory studio.  The book is less about runway fashion or tailoring and more about what people are actually buying and wearing on the streets.

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To continue our look at street fashion, let me show you this cute little book by street fashion photographer Guiseppe Santamaria.  It is a compilation of his menswear photographs taken in several major cities around the globe.  More than anything, perusing through street photography gets me excited to sew and design.  I love that this little resource gets me away from the computer screen (my usual source for street photography…blogs…Pinterest…forums) and allows me to feel inspired while resting my eyes on beautiful matte paper.

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Now, let’s end with the most outlandish volume on my shelf!  This large and glittery book is a compilation of the best from decades of the renowned menswear fashion magazine, Another Man.  The moment you crack open the cover on this book, be prepared to be bombarded by visual stimulation!  The scrap book style of this book allows you to peruse through it in no particular order so that you can soak in the colors, poetry, mini essays, and fashion editorials that fill every inch of this massive volume.  I love the cacophony formed by mashing together so many years of menswear fashion into one volume!


What are you reading this summer? Anything sewing or menswear related?  I’d love to hear your suggestions for new reads (novels too)!

Head to our shop for the 15% off Literature sale >


Happy Father’s Day!

There are only 2 hours left for you to receive 50% off of all our PDF patterns!

I hope your Father’s Day has been filled with loving Father/Daughter or Father/Son bonding time.

Father's Day Gift Sewing

Matt and his Dad sported matching Fairfield Button-ups today – Matt wore the plaid flannel one (his favorite) and Rick wore a gorgeous white linen Fairfield that Matt’s mom just finished sewing!  Rick will be wearing it to Matt’s brother’s wedding this July.  She sewed a band collar and added buttons to the sleeve plackets.  It’s the perfect cross between dressed-up and summer casual (to suit the tone of the wedding).    He’s holding the plane Matt gave him today (cute!).

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Happy Father’s Day!


It’s A Holiday Sale!

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Matt and I are moving Thread Theory and ourselves to a new studio and home this Sunday.  We’ve decided to enjoy settling in by giving ourselves a week-long staycation!  We will be turning off the computer (and deleting Instagram from my phone…eek) this evening at 5pm PST.  It will remain off until Monday morning, July 6th.  Needless to say, we won’t be answering emails or fulfilling your orders until we have turned the computer back on, so thank you for your patience!

In the meantime, I’ve created a 25% discount code to our shop so that you can celebrate with us!  Just remember, you’re order won’t be shipping until we get back, so don’t order any time sensitive birthday presents!  The discount code to enter upon checkout is: JOLLYHOLIDAY


Ever since we began developing ideas for Thread Theory in the early winter of 2012, we haven’t been away from updating the website, posting on the blog/social media or, most importantly, answering emails for more than 2 1/2 days!  Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t just been slaving behind the computer incessantly, we’ve certainly enjoyed some amazing camping trips, some great weddings and excellent family visits!  For instance, that’s us in the photos above enjoying my family’s sailboat just a month and a half ago.  We have just tailored our commitment to these vacations based on the availability of post offices to fulfill orders and plug-ins for our laptop.

It will be so nice to unplug and focus on other interests in our lives for a week!  We have big plans to build a fence, build a raised bed garden, have long afternoon naps, take Luki on some woodland walks, and generally just live an internet/screenless life.  I might even squeeze in a bit of sewing time (but only if it is completely unrelated to work!).


Well…this is it… I’ll be back to catch up on all of your blogs and emails in just over a week.  I hope that you enjoy the discount code to our shop and thank you for your patience with order fulfillment and email replies!

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The New Year’s Day Sale ends tomorrow!

New Year's Sale

Thank you for making our New Year’s Sale such a huge success!  Matt and I have been busily packing orders and responding to emails ever since Jan. 1st and we have been happily existing in a bubble of excitement about Thread Theory.  It’s been a very thrilling way to start the year!

I just wanted to write a quick note to let you know that the sale will be over tomorrow, January 7th at 5pm (PST).  Happy sewing!


Father’s Day Sale – FREE SHIPPING!

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In honour of Father’s Day (probably the biggest and most important holiday of the year for a menswear sewing pattern company, wouldn’t you say?) we have launched a FREE shipping sale!

To take part, simply head to our website and a sale box will pop up – all you need to do to access your coupon code is like us or follow us through one of our social media sites.  I believe it will let you do so even if you already follow us on all three things (Facebook, Twitter and our email newsletter).  Your code will be valid until Tuesday, June 3 which is the last day you will want to order supplies to make something for your Dad in time for Father’s Day (shipping takes 6-8 business days).

Just in time for this event, we have introduced several new products into our store – all of which you would normally be paying shipping for but won’t have to right now!

Let me introduce you to our Bag Making Supplies Kit:

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This kit includes all the speciality supplies needed to make a manly and hard wearing canvas bag for your Dad for Father’s Day.  There is enough canvas fabric included (1 metre/1.1 yards) to make a variety of bags – be it a shaving kit or a lap top case that your Dad would most prefer.

It also includes a heavy duty separable zipper, four Chicago Screws (like rivets but they don’t require speciality tools and are removable!), a garment tag, and best of all – our newest and most exciting product: Otter Wax!


Otter Wax is an all natural fabric wax made in Portland, Oregon.  It gives fabric the appearance of oilcloth so you can use it to make anything from an ‘oilcloth’ coat to a waxed shaving kit.  It provides a water resistant coating that strengthens the fabric and allows the project to gain that beautiful worn in and rugged look.  It’s also easier to apply than most waxes – all you have to do is rub it onto the fabric and then let the project sit and cure out of the sun for 24 hours.  I can’t wait to see the gorgeous coats and bags you make with it!  Remember the oilcloth coat that is the inspiration behind our Alpine Collection?  You can bet I’ll be making one of those using Otter Wax!


I’ve made a tutorial using the Bag Making Supplies Kit to create a boxy and roomy shaving kit.  If you’d like to see how to make one (and get some tips on applying Otter Wax) head over here.

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All the items in the Bag Making Supplies Kit are available for sale separately.  During our free shipping sale, you could order enough moss green Duck Canvas and some Otter Wax to make some really rugged Jedediah Pants.

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Or you could purchase some Chicago Screws and a zipper to experiment with bag making using your own choice of fabric.

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Whatever you choose to do, I hope that you will use these things to make the best ever gift for your Dad for Father’s Day!  There is no one more appreciative and proud of my DIY menswear projects than my Dad.  I hope yours is the same!


Thanks, Dad for all of your support and encouragement with Thread Theory!  You can anticipate a shaving bag amidst the selection of DIY things heading your way this Father’s Day :).


Road Trip! We’re heading state-side!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  We’re glad that you are taking advantage of our Valentine’s Day sale (its on for the whole weekend, enter VALENTINE upon checkout to receive 15% off of our tissue sewing patterns).

Today I have some big news that we’ve been very eager to tell you: We’re heading on a ROAD TRIP!!!


We’ve been invited to appear on Sew-It-All, the PBS TV show!  We are thrilled to have been invited onto such a wonderful sewing show and have been busily planning the project that we will be filming (it will include a free sewing pattern on the Sew-It-All website).  Of course, the Comox Valley (B.C., Canada), is not conveniently located next the the Golden (Colorado) studio so Matt and I (and Matt’s parents) decided to scrap quick and easy plans to fly and instead make the trip into an epic U.S. road trip!  We have our itinerary set for the way there and will be winging it on the way back.  We leave on April 16th and we plan to travel down to Portland and across to Golden and then head up to Yellowstone park on the way back.


What we really want to know is, can you meet up with us?  If you don’t live at one of our stopping points, have you been there, do you have any recommendations of where we should go, who we should meet, what we should see and do?  We would love to hear from you!  We are hoping to check out lots of sewing related stores and studios as well as enjoy the culture of each city we stop at (of course, especially if it is sewing or fashion related!).


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).


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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