Who is Thread Theory Designs Inc.?
Thread Theory Designs is a husband and wife team: Morgan (that's me!) is the designer, sewer, and instruction writer and Matt (my hubby!) is the business man and photographer. We are an independent sewing pattern company that specializes in menswear. Our patterns are all about taking home-sewn menswear to the next level! We design menswear sewing patterns with a modern fit and classic styling that can be downloaded instantly from our website. We hope to develop a comprehensive selection of designs that can be used to create a sophisticated and comfortable home-sewn wardrobe - starting with the Newcastle Cardigan that was released on May 15th!
What made you decide to design men's patterns?
The idea for Thread Theory actually started out of necessity. I had been making my own clothes for quite some time and wanted to venture into making clothes for my husband, Matt, but I had a very difficult time finding patterns for anything other than a generic button up shirt! The majority of the patterns I found were very out-dated and required a lot of alterations to achieve the fit we were looking for. At the time, my husband and I were talking a lot about what we wanted our lives to look like career-wise, and we both realized that owning our own business was an ideal situation for the lifestyle we hope to achieve. I had admired independent sewing pattern companies such as Colette Patternsand Sewaholic Patterns for several years and had dreamed of being involved in the incredibly supportive online sewing community. So, putting two and two together, we decided to venture into the world of pattern making and fill a niche that has been empty for far too long!
Where do you find inspiration for your patterns? How influenced by your history degree are your designs?
While my history degree doesn't directly relate to the career I've chosen, my passion for research and my nostalgia for anything antique definitely influence my designs and my approach for operating a business! The inspiration for the Parkland Collection is Vancouver Island's wilderness parks. This may seem solely a modern source of inspiration, but my passion for the parks comes not only through use of them, but from an excellent history course I took on the development of BC's parkland and the way this parkland has shaped our society today. More directly related to my history degree, the collection I have created for my end-of-year school fashion show is inspired by 1940's British war-time values of "make do and mend". I am excited to work towards converting these designs into a line of women's patterns in the future! Conversely, my love of sewing greatly influenced my study of history as almost every essay I wrote throughout my degree focused on fashion in history or the history of home sewing as a career. I especially enjoyed researching women home sewers in pre-WW1 Germany and am certainly glad my sewing career does not require me to spend a year's wages on a sewing machine or spend twelve hours a day hand-stitching!
Where do you source your fabrics?
We are very lucky to have Gala Fabrics right downtown here in Victoria, BC! It is just a five minute walk from my fashion design school and stocks all sorts of high quality fabrics. They have an interesting selection of eco-friendly fibers including fabric made from milk! When we can't find menswear knits at Gala, we sometimes shop at Fabricland but we prefer to support the local independent fabric shop (especially since the staff are always excited to hear the news of my latest projects and to share sewing tips)! I've compiled a list of intriguing online fabric sources that stock fabrics that would suit each of our Parkland Collection designs. I have yet to test out online fabric purchasing because I love touching the fabric before I buy it, but there are some killer deals to be had! We wrote a blog post about styling our collection using online fabric stores here!
Do you have any tips for readers planning to sew the Newcastle cardigan?
I have several key tips for sewers embarking on our first pattern. Let's make a list!
1) Choose your fabric carefully as we have said in our Tips on Manly Knits blog post. Make sure you choose fabric based on what your sewing machine can handle; nothing too thick if your worried about your machine's lack of power or too loosely knit if you're worried about stretching!
2) Refer to our body measurements provided in the pattern instructions and measure any pattern pieces that you are worried about sizing for! For instance, our design has longer sleeves that are meant to reach the base of the thumb. If you would prefer shorter sleeves, compare the pattern measurement to your arm measurement and lengthen or shorten the pattern accordingly using the instructions we provide. We have included cut lines for where to do this :)
3) Plan your seam finishing technique before starting to sew; do you want to serge before finishing your seams, or do you want to zig-zag seams after sewing? Our instructions include lots of options to help you choose!
We have a copy of the Newcastle Cardigan pattern to give away to one lucky winner! For the chance to win leave a comment below by May 30th.
The winner of the pattern is: Congratulations!
Thread Theory's patterns are just awesome. I just finished sewing a shirt for my boyfriend and would love to sew some menswear again so this cardigan would be awesome. I'd love to win the pattern.