{Interview with} Thread Theory and Newcastle Cardigan Giveaway

House of Pinheiro: I’m super excited about  the launch of your 1st ever pattern, the Newcastle Cardigan. Tell us a little about the idea behind how the business idea started and who is behind all the hard work.

Thread Theory: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. 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!
I signed up for the Fashion Design program at the Pacific Design Academy in Victoria, BC, and Matt took a 4 week “Start your own business” crash course. I create the designs, co-ordinate resources, write the pattern instructions, and do weekly blog posts and social media updates. Sabine, of Suncoast Customs, professionally drafts the patterns (she does an amazing job!), while Matt takes care of all the administrative aspects: Website maintenance/design, bookkeeping, photography, modelling, sewing machine repair, etc. We work well as a team because he really enjoys doing all the things that I find a little tedious, which leaves me with more time for designing, communicating with the online sewing world, and sewing! After a lot of hard work and careful planning, we have come up with our first line of designs, a (we think) gorgeous website, a blog that I post to every Friday, and patterns being drafted and tested! 

House of Pinheiro: Can you give us an insight into a typical day in the Thread Theory Studio?

Thread Theory:It is not so much a “studio” as it is a converted bedroom, although we have big dreams for the studio we hope to one day have! Our day in the “studio” begins when we get home from work and school; we cook dinner together and always seem to find ourselves brainstorming Thread Theory ideas. Before we know it, we’ve set aside all evening plans and are full swing into editing instructions or planning the next blog post! On the weekends, I enjoy sewing up the various stages of mock-ups and sample garments in ludicrous (and cheap!) fabrics. Our latest sample, for the Jedediah Pants, was sewn up in a $3/meter acid green fleece bedecked with cheesy cell phone acronyms (lol!). 

We look forward to when our typical day in the studio involves getting up in the morning, putting the coffee on the percolator, and walking to our backyard above-the-workshop office space! This is a long way off, seeing as we don’t even own a home yet, but we can dream! We would love Thread Theory to become our full time passion, but in the meantime, we are happy to moonlight it!

House of Pinheiro: What can people expect from your patterns and what’s on the horizon that you can share with us.

Thread Theory:Our patterns are all about taking home-sewn menswear to the next level. We strive to design clothes that look modern, fit well, and are easy to sew. 

Our plan for the future is to release two collections a year, with four patterns in each collection. The first, Parkland, is just starting its release phase, which we’re incredibly excited about! The next collection, Cityscapes, is scheduled for early 2014. This collection will have more of a polished and styled vibe than our outdoor inspired Parkland collection. We would love to create the go-to website for anything menswear related! We are hoping to partner with menswear bloggers, fabric vendors, and other menswear resources. We are toying with the idea of launching video tutorials (if I can get over my stage-fright!) and look forward to hosting sew-alongs as well! During school this year, I have been designing a collection of 1940’s inspired women’s clothing and am contemplating turning these into patterns as well if people show an interest. Most importantly, we want to provide a strong foundation of menswear sewing patterns and look forward to being able to provide them in print as well as PDF format. x Matt and Morgan x

House of Pinheiro: Thank you so much for this lovely interview and for giving away a newcastle cardigan pattern to 2  lucky readers. The pattern is available for purchase now!

Ps: Helpful tips for men knits.

Giveaway Housekeeping:

Tell me if you have any experience on sewing for man, or what fabric you would choose… say hello. 
Leave a comment until May 20 Midnight GMT & Like Thread Theory Facebook page 

Open to all HOP readers (International) 
  • I haven’t really ever sewn for a man, just mending for my husband. This cardigan is a great pattern!

  • I have only sewn or knitted small gifts, I have thought of the colette pattern but not sure. The Newcastle cardi is just lovely and I know it would be loved, if I don’t win this goes to the top of my to do list I would like to make it for a christmas present.

  • I have only sewn or knitted small gifts, I have thought of the colette pattern but not sure. The Newcastle cardi is just lovely and I know it would be loved, if I don’t win this goes to the top of my to do list I would like to make it for a christmas present.

  • Hi Rachel! I’ve never sewn for a man but would love to have a go this pattern looks ideal!

  • Hello Rachel, I have sewn waistcoats and shirts, I would love to give this pattern a go. And if any of you see a good hunting vest pattern, I am all ears.

  • Hei! I have sewn for my dad and boyfriend.. And mainly summer cloths.. simple pants and loose fitted shirts from cotton and linen.. As mentioned above, there are few good patterns for men.. so I have tried to make my own patterns, but usually it has been a nightmare to sew… Once I used some really old Burdastyle pants pattern for a more sophisticated look, but all these changes I had to make… uhh..

    But this cardigan is great!

  • I’m yet to sew for a man properly unless you count a sock-bag and a cushion lol! But I’ve been telling my boyfriend for years I will make him an item of clothing one day and this pattern looks like something he would wear so I would love to give it a go!

  • I have no experience sewing for men (apart from mending, blurgh)- but I’d like to! And finally, some great patterns that aren’t just shirts!!

  • Oh how exciting! We are so fed up with the large company’s menswear patterns, we have put together a collection of menswear patterns from the 1950’s through to now, just to get a decent range of styles. We have enough blokes learning to sew to make this worthwhile. This of course means that heaps of them are dated in their shape and it takes time and skill to correct that. All of which is nowhere near as fab as having a copany putting out fab modern patterns for men!!! Yeeha!
    Me, I love making menswear, you’ve seen my recent obsessions with making shirts for MrC, and I am eyeing a peacoat pattern I just got with him in mind too… 🙂

  • I’m so excited about this new company! I’ve tried finding modern menswear, and sewed a hoodie and two shirts from the german company farbenmix. I’d love to give the newcastle cardigan a try!

  • I’ve also liked them on facebook, but I’m not sure if this means an extra entry. If it doesn’t sorry for messiing up the comments!

  • Heh, have never sewn for a man, but I know mine would like me to – he hates clothes-shopping as much as I do! The cardi pattern looks brilliant 🙂

  • I’ve just started cutting out a shirt for my other half, nothing like being ambitious for a first project for him…… Thanks – this cardigan pattern is lovely.

  • Sam

    I spotted this pattern recently and showed it to my husband, who loves it! I’ll definitely be making him one.

    The only other experience of sewing for men I have is making silk waistcoats for a friends wedding. It will be nice to try something else!

  • Sam

    I spotted this cardigan a while back and showed it to my husband, who loved it and wants me to make him one. It’s the first time he’s ever shown interest in me sewing for him, other than doing alterations/mending.

    Previously I’ve only sewn mens clothing in the form of 6 silk waistcoats for a wedding. It will be nice to try something a bit more casual.

  • This is such a cool jacket and one I think my boyfriend will love, so I’d love to be in with a chance of winning please! I pretty much owe my sewing to my boyfriend, as 3yrs ago he bought me a sewing machine, a load of notions and a dress form for Xmas. He spent a fortune to make me happy and I STILL haven’t sewn him anything to show my gratitude. So I think that’s well overdue now!

    • same here… he bought everything and I have only made him some bad fitted pjs ( ooops)

  • I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this pattern to come out! It’s definitely something my boyfriend would wear! I’ve never made anything for him before (even though a shirt was promised long ago!) This looks like a pattern I would actually be excited to start though!

  • I am planning to sew for husbandio but so far have bought only one pattern (a button up shirt – who knew!!!?) and haven’t started yet. This would be a far more stylish debut! For bonus points, I am also from Newcastle (UK) so I really must make this!

  • I’d love to sew something for my boyfriend, especially since he has been so patient with my sewing machine whirring over his Top Gear episodes, stray thread left behind on the ironing board and rediscovering my forgotten pins with his bare foot. I’ve never gotten around to it because the patterns out there are quite boring. This looks like it will be a perfect all-weather garment for London. Can you believe it back to 12C?! After that glorious bank holiday weekend.

  • melani (hippolicious@hotmail.com)

    What a great pattern!! I’d love to sew the cardigan in a nice knit for my dad …
    Thanks for the chance …

  • I do quite a bit of sewing for my husband. He loves the whimsical ski shirts that I make for him. Would love to have a chance at the pattern. I love the updated look to menswear. I think a piece of wool knit would be fabulous in this pattern.

  • I have absolutely no experience sewing for men, besides a bathrobe for my boyfriend and hemming his jeans!! Haha, but his birthday is this summer and my goal is to make him at least one hand made article of clothing as part of his present, and this pattern is PERFECT, I’m still intimidated by button up shirts, but this seems doable for me. I plan on sewing the pattern in a really light dark grey sweater fabric, since he works at an air conditioned building through the summer and he has to have his tattoos on his arms covered up, I think this will look perfect over a plain white v-neck t-shirt in the summer!! BTW totally buying this if I don’t win it! 😉

  • I plan on sewing this for my boyfriend in a really light sweater knit, probably in gray, he’s not into crazy colors. I have zero experience sewing for men, besides a bathrobe and hemming his pants… haha

  • I have zero experience sewing for a man (unless you count resizing an existing shirt), but I would LOVE to win this pattern for my guy!

  • I’ve never sewn for my husband other than mending. I would like to in the future as he has broad shoulders that make fitting difficult sometimes.

  • i’m very excited about this pattern company! i’ve started sewing some button-ups for my husband, and he’s definitely caught the “custom fit” bug. (i also sew for the mini-man in my life, my 4 yr old son.) there is such a lack of good patterns out there with modern details, so i look forward to all these patterns!

  • I’ve sewn the typical button up shirt for my husband and some pajama pants. I’m so excited to see a menswear pattern company popping up, one with serious potential! I am 1000% sure they are going to be very well received in our sewing community. Congrats to them!!! Please count me in the drawing 🙂

  • LK

    I made my dad’s tie when he was best man for his best friend, but I’d like to do more for him and my boyfriend. What a classy pattern!

  • I’ve sewn Halloween costumes for my husband before, but nothing complicated or that would be worn everday. He absolutely LOVES sweaters and he would (of course) want it made in black, maybe with gray contrasts. He loves black lol.

  • OHHH YESSSS!! I was just lurking on these the other day, thinking about maybe sewing some stuff for Landon. He’s on the fence about the Newcastle cardigan – it’s not really his style; he doesn’t like button-up sweaters nor shawl collars, but he really liked the samples on the website and seems open to trying it out. He’s REALLY into that Strathcona Henley, though – especially since he’s been bugging me to make him henleys. I’ll probably be snapping that up as soon as it becomes available. As far as my experience goes with sewing men’s clothing, I’ve made two button-down shirts. I’d definitely like to branch out, though 🙂

  • I’ve sewn very casual things, like shorts, and small accessories, like zip bags for devices. That’s all! I’m happy to see a new pattern company with a focus on menswear–there’s really a big gap in the market there. I have a little brother (8 years old) who has an interest in sewing, so I hope that Thread Theory and other men’s pattern companies (it there are any) will eventually provide some encouragement for him in the future. Now, to find a small sewing machine that is not in girly colors…

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  • I’ve not sewn any menswear yet, but I’ve just shown this cardi to my hubby and he loves it. I’d love to give it a go, it’s nice to have a choice of something a little more fashionable! I’d love to be in with a chance of winning 🙂

  • The Newcastle cardi looks great! I’d love to make this for my brother – it’s just his style and his birthday is coming up. Great timing! I’ve never really sewn for men before, just a few alterations and knitted hats, but these patterns are totally on trend so I’m keen to branch out.

    This is the first time I’ve entered a giveaway, so fingers crossed… 🙂

  • The Newcastle cardi looks great! I’d love to make this for my brother – it’s definitely his style and his birthday is coming up soon. Great timing! I’ve never really sewn for men before – just alterations to RTW and knitted hats. But these patterns are totally on trend and are making me want to branch out.

    This is the first time I’ve entered a giveaway, so fingers crossed… 🙂

  • I have sewn T-shirts, boilersuit/mechanics overalls and shirts for my hubby and everything (hats, trousers, shorts, PJ’s, shirts etc) for my little boys. The major companies are RUBBISH for boys or men. Ottobre is fantastic for boys. Kwik Sew does a few bits, but mostly the selection for men is terrible. VERY uninspiring. Have a vintage Rugby shirt and a modern button-down shirt in the pattern stash waiting to be made… but clothes for growing boys are quicker (and need replacing faster because they keep growing… so the shirts for hubby are not getting any closer to the top of the pile!)

  • Thanks for spotlighting a bold new venture! A lot of us have men that we haven’t sewn for – as yet! I am planning on making a wool tweed jacket for my husband this year, but unfortunately online sewing challenges keep getting in the way and it is pushed to the back of the projects pile! But I will do it. Thanks for organising this generous giveaway.

  • Ro

    I’ve only sewn a Negroni shirt for my boyfriend as a Christmas gift last year, and he loved it.

    It would be awesome to try this one out, now that winter is arriving to Buenos Aires 🙂

    I think Thread Theory is an amazing project, and wish them all the best. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • I sew for my boyfriend sometimes, mostly button down shirts. They take forever and have so many finicky parts so really a labour of love! The Newcastle cardigan looks really nice, would suit his style and looks easier to sew than a button down!

  • I’ve sewn some button up collared shirts but my husband would definitely like more things. 🙂
    Also, I liked them on fb, not sure if it just one entry. 🙂

  • I’ve sewn a few button up collared shirts for my man but he would love some new things! Also followed on fb.

  • I’ve done quite a bit of sewing for my husband, mostly trousers for either work or mucking around the yard. I’ve also made quite a few items for my sons, but they’re both under 11 so they’re not so challenging.

  • I’ve only made one Hawaiian style shirt for my dad & hemmed some pants. Not much out there for guys and some of the options are truly horrible or very boring. Glad to see an indie pattern company focus on the guys for once. This pattern that actually makes me want to sew guy clothes rather than just think I probably should to balance out what I make for myself!

  • The very very best of luck for your new venture, It seems like there is a definite gap in the market for you to fill. zora

  • It is so amazingly awesome to see some patterns for men from the indies. Love it!

  • About a year ago, I was planning to make a waistcoat for my boyfriend (he looks so good in them). When I got the fabric home and looked at it in better light, I decided that maybe dark red and shiny wasn’t quite the right fabric choice. I gave up before I even started!

    Anyway, I haven’t seen many men’s patterns I would be happy to sew from. So many of them are just huge, boxy bowling shirts. It’s really great to see a fashionable men’s pattern like this one.

  • Thanks for the giveaway! I’ve sewn T-shirts for my husband but that’s about it. I’m keen to expand my sewing-for-men repertoire

  • I’ve never made anything for Luke, but I would like to change that! 🙂

  • I’ve never sewn anything for my man! I’m not sure if I ever will or not. I’m a bit stingy, Me ME MEEE!

  • How cool! That’s such a lovely cardigan! The only thing I’ve ever made for my husband is a pair of pretty lousy pajama pants– he deserves much more than that!

  • I have never made anything for my hubby, he is always scared I am going to make us matching outfits!

  • I only just finished a Colette Negroni for my boyfriend and he’s been wearing it almost constantly! So, I think I should make more and this design is really nice, I think he would really like it. So, fingers crossed and I also liked the page on facebook. 🙂

  • I just finished the first Negroni by Colette Patterns for my boyfriend and he loves it, he’s wearing it constantly. So I should really make more, but I have a hard time finding nice patterns for men. So this would be great, plus I think this is his style exactly. Fingers crossed and I liked the facebook page as well!

  • I am so excited for the release of the rest of the patterns! My partner is very particular when it comes to his clothing, so I have not made anything for him yet. However, I have altered several pairs of pants to be more fitted through the calves because he thinks a straight cut looks like bell bottoms on him.

  • I have made a linen tunic/shirt for my husband. Find him to be very particular about what he does and doesn’t like. This one didn’t have a collar and he’s not sure about it (I also put one sleeve on back to front but that’s not what bothers him!). Think he will like a Newcastle Cardi though! I’ve also been hoping to find a nehru style hign collar waistcoat to make him too. maudmade (at) outlook (dot) com

  • I make most of my hubby’s clothes as well as mine- we both havent shopped for a long time! Shorts are probably the quickest thing to make but I also make shirts and one cardigan to date, which he loves and demands more of! The Newcastle pattern would be perfect!

  • I would love to have a go at making the cardigan. I make mostly all of my husband’s clothes- neither of us have shopped for at least 2 years! It’s great to finally find a pattern company just for men.