Thread Theory

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


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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.

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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!

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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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Searching for menswear sewing patterns

West Coast forest

First off, thank you for the huge response to last week’s call for pattern testers!  Our five testers have been chosen (this was very difficult since there were so many outstanding and enthusiastic candidates) and they are busily sewing away as we speak.

To thank you all for your continued interest in the Thread Theory blog and, especially, for your enthusiasm each time we call for volunteers to test, here is a $5 discount code that can be used on anything in our shop.  If you have found the perfect fabric but don’t want to wait around for our patterns to go on sale, this $5 coupon will be just the ticket to get you sewing faster.  Enter INVOLVED upon checkout and your order will be $5 cheaper! 🙂  There is no expiry on this code.

Now, moving on to new business, I have a pressing question to ask you: Do you know and love any PDF menswear patterns created by other indie pattern designers?  We’ve been scouring the internet to find every menswear PDF pattern out there since we are endeavouring to collaborate on a very exciting upcoming project.  We don’t want to leave anyone out!  Comment below with the any menswear sewing patterns (and the name of the company that created them) so that Matt and I can send these talented designers an email to make acquaintances!

Matt and Morgan camping

Thanks for helping us to foster a sense of community in the online world of menswear sewing.  We’re really hope you’ll help us meet some new (to us) colleagues!


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Call for testers! – Closed April 27/18

It’s that time again!  We have a pattern ready for test sewers – would you like to join the team?

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This time around we are looking for 5 test sewers who can complete the project in one week.  This might sound like a short deadline but don’t worry, it is realistic for the amount of sewing time needed for this quick wardrobe staple!

Please comment below to volunteer if you match one (or more) of the following criteria:

  1. You will be sewing for someone who is likely at one or the other end of our newly expanded size range (XS-4XL).  You are willing to thoroughly use our body and garment measurement charts and comment on our sizing and fit.
  2. You are brand new to sewing knits and can give your opinion on the approach-ability of the instruction booklet from this perspective.
  3. You are extremely detail oriented and can give excellent feedback on grammatical errors, the clarity of the instructions, and the clarity of the diagrams within the instruction booklet.

What do you think?  Is test sewing right up your alley?


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Goldstream Peacoat: Our Pattern Tester’s Versions

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We have for you, today, the gorgeous results of some of the Goldstream Peacoat pattern testers! The test sewers for this pattern had to put in a lot of work: not only did they have to sew quite a large project, they also had to provide a detailed review for us (and answer all of my emails!).  I am very pleased to finally be able to display all their hard work and stunning results.  These skilled and thorough testers were working on this project back in November and December so they have been very patient waiting for their grand reveal!

Since both variations of the Goldstream that I have made (see my father-in law’s here and Matt’s here) have been black and my mom is currently working on a black one for my Dad while my Grandma and I sew a black coat for my Grandad, I am glad that our test sewers were a little more adventurous in their fabric choices so you can see the variety of styles that the pattern can create.

Nicole’s coat, pictured above, is sewn in a chocolate brown wool melton with beautiful leather buttons.  She mixed and matched elements from both variations of the pattern to create the exact look that she wanted: a hood, flapped patch pockets and sleeve tabs.  Her colour choices and the fabric she placed behind her custom garment tag (see her blog post for all the interior photos!) led to a peacoat with a lovely earthy vibe, perfect for walking through a colourful fall forest.

Thea’s peacoat is a classic black version using the design details from Variation 1 but the classic fit (skipping the slimming dart) of Variation 2.  The length of the coat looks great with the jeans and shoes her stylish model, Andy is wearing (and the background is beautiful!).  Check out all of Thea’s photos and commentary over on her blog.

Thea's peacoat

The third version I have to show you today was sewn by the author of one of my favourite blogs, The Sew Convert.  I love how she always takes such crystal clear photos of her garments so that I can examine every detail.  Her post on the peacoat is no exception and is worth checking out.  The wool she chose is a really elegant and rich looking Italian wool melton coating from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I love the look that it gave the peacoat – to me it looks very English and so I was thrilled to read that it will be heading to England to keep her husband warm and dry during a work/school trip this coming year!

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Thank you test sewers (both those pictured in this post and those not pictured) for all of your invaluable advice and support!  We hope you are resting up and are eager to volunteer for the next pattern!

The PDF version of  the peacoat has been flying off the ‘shelf’ (so to speak) so I imagine we will be seeing some of your versions popping up amid all the other projects on the sewing corner of the internet soon.  Have you bought your peacoat fabric yet?  What have you chosen?


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Finished Garment Eye Candy!

First of all, thank you everyone for your overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to our call for peacoat test sewers!  We have selected our group of test sewers after a lot of deliberation.  It was so difficult to choose from all the detailed emails and comments we received!  Even if we didn’t select you this time, that didn’t mean you won’t have a chance to test sew in the future as we added everyone how applied to our test sewing mailing list!

Now, moving forward, did you notice the changes we made to the photos on our website this week?  Check them out! We added a new version of the Strathcona Henley and decided to feature the beautiful Jedediah Pants that my mother-in-law sewed up.

It was my dad’s birthday last weekend so I sewed him a Strathcona Henley as per his request.  This time, I chose a beautifully soft cotton knit with hardly any ribbing and a fairly stable jersey for the placket.  The sewing process was so much easier than it was with the heavily ribbed knit I had used for Matt’s henley because both my serger and sewing machine decided they agreed with my fabric choice!  We’ve updated the website photos to show my dad skillfully modelling his new shirt.  He’s become quite a pro; we quickly walked to the park and he matter-of-factly began to strike poses…even though there were kids and parents watching at the play ground!  Who would of thought my dad would be our easiest model!

While we were on a roll we also photographed the cardigan that my Mom had sewn my dad when we were in the pattern testing phase with the Newcastle Cardigan last spring.  Even though the cardigan has been worn by everyone from my school’s fashion show model to my grandpa when he’s visiting and chilly the cardigan has never been properly photographed.  My mom did an excellent job on it using a heavy (and thus difficult to handle) sweatshirt fleece and gorgeous leather details.  She even added leather elbow patches which make the cardigan look so sophisticated!  My dad loves wearing it when he walks their dog, Jake, now that it is getting pretty cold in the evenings.  As you can see, it looks really nice on him!

Last but not least, I have another excellent version of the Newcastle to show you.  Diana sewed this version and included a couple top stitching and fit modifications.  She added a strip of fabric at the side seam to increase the width of the body and I think that the extra seam lines create a really nice structured look.  The fabric and buttons she chose are just perfect and the tag she stitched in using a contrast thread makes the cardigan look like it has just been purchased from a high end menswear boutique!   Great job Diana and thanks for sharing your photos with us!

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diana's newcastle

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween!  Matt and I are really excited that it is now November…we have a lot of big things planned for Thread Theory this month!  


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Calling all Peacoat Test Sewers!

Matt gave you a sneak peak of my big peacoat project earlier this week and now, here is the full gallery of photos that resulted from a quick photo shoot with his dad, Rick!

This is the final size medium sample of the Goldstream Peacoat pattern which is now being graded by Sabine over at Suncoast Custom while I work away on the instructions.

As you can see, the pea coat pattern will include an attractive (I think!) combination of classic and modern (read: easy to sew) details.  We’ve included epaulets and sleeve tabs as well as traditional top-stitched pointed lapels but we’ve forgone the tricky welt pockets to instead include unconventional but very easy to sew patch pockets with optional flaps.  The pattern includes a hood which is sewn as a completely separate piece from the coat so as not to complicate the classic pea-coat shape.  During really awful weather the hood can be buttoned to the hidden under-collar buttons so the wearer can stay completely dry and warm.  There  is a center back seam as well as optional front darts (which were not used for the version pictured here) so that the fit of the body is very easy to adjust.  If the darts are sewn in, the fit is very slim and modern (perfect for all the tall slim men who have been loving the fit of our Newcastle Cardigan!) but if they are left un-sewn the fit is as photographed here – a nicely fitted classic peacoat.

Now that things are drawing to a close with the production of the pea coat pattern (finally! You have all been so patient with us while we tackled this huge pattern project!) we are ready to assemble a list of pea coat test sewers.

For each of our other pattern releases we simply sent an email out to our existing test sewing group.  All these people have volunteered to be added to the list either through our website or blog and have been so enthusiastic and helpful each time we require test sewers.  For this pattern, though, we would like to accept new volunteers to add to our existing group in hopes of finding three test sewers with as much coat sewing and general tailoring experience as possible.

If you would like to be added to our test-sewing list for this particular project, comment on this blog post (and we will email you to ask for details on your sewing experience), or skip that step and email us directly (info@threadtheory.ca) with either a small write-up detailing your experience or links to online records of relevant projects (be it a blog post, a flickr pool or facebook photos etc.).  Keep in mind that this is quite a big test sewing project and will need to be completed in a time frame of approximately three weeks from when we send you the pattern.  As we expect to send the pattern out to testers within the next two weeks, this means that you will need to devote a good portion of time to sewing the coat this November.  Any test sewers who are already on our mailing list need not re-volunteer as we will send out our usual email once the pattern is ready to send out and you can volunteer for the project at that point!

Thanks for volunteering!


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Newcastle Cardigan Variations

Farrell-10This week we have three different Newcastle Cardigans to present for your viewing pleasure…

#1: The nautically styled Size Large sample very appropriately modeled by a sailor – my dad!  Doesn’t it look cozy?

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This was sewn up in a very thick man-made fleece with  a right side that gives the look of a faux knit sweater.  It was difficult to make the placket look crisp and flat with such an overwhelmingly thick material but it should settle a little once it’s been washed a few times.

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My dad likes flipping up the collar to protect the back of his neck from the cold ocean breeze – very effective and stylish!  You can see in this picture that I top-stitched the side and sleeve seam allowances down to keep the thick seams from looking too bulky.

#2: The next cardigan on display is the finished result of my first test sewer, my grandmother (Nonnie).  She did an absolutely amazing job of precisely testing that seams matched and that the instructions were logically sequenced.  The result of all her effort is an absolutely gorgeous and sporty version sewn in size XS.  Photos on a model will be coming soon!

She used the mesh backed micro fleece to it’s full advantage by displaying the orange mesh as a contrast under collar.  She also made toggles which look so professional and, when paired with her precise sewing, really make the cardigan look high-end.

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The mesh backing on the fabric made interfacing the cardigan plackets and facings impossible but the fabric was stiff enough and her ironing was so careful that the finished garment still appears impeccably crisp.  If this sweater had a tag on it I would expect to see it hanging on the rack of a high end outdoor sports store!  Thank you so much, Nonnie, for creating this unique and well sewn version of the Newcastle!

#3: The last cardigan is one you’ve glimpsed before when modeled by my Granddad.  It’s now been photographed on the same hanger as the XS cardigan so that it is easier to compare the difference fabric and notion choices make.  This is the size Medium sewn in a cotton knit with a touch of acrylic and stretch suiting as the contrast.  These fabric choices result in a classic cardigan with more of a ‘knitted sweater’ appearance as opposed to the sportswear look that fleece and micro fleece lend themselves to.Wall Shoot-5 Wall Shoot-6 Wall Shoot-7 Wall Shoot-8

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the second test sewer’s cardigan next week – a size large sewn using fleece with leather as contrast.  This version is really on-trend – she even added dapper leather elbow patches!