For the next few days I’ll be featuring Thread Theory. The Thread Theory studios are located on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia.
Thread Theory focuses mainly on menswear patterns (and have one women’s pattern), although in their online shop you can also find sewing supplies like tailor’s shears, beeswax and this beautiful wooden seam ripper.
Morgan and Matthew Meredith are the husband and wife team behind Thread Theory, and for today’s interview the lovely Morgan took the time to answer all my questions. Read the interview below (and look at all their pretty photos) and enter the giveaway at the end! Thread Theory is also graciously offering a coupon code for 25% off in their shop! Details at the end of the post.
The About page mentions that you (Morgan) are a sewing fanatic with a background in history and fashion design which certainly explains why you got into designing patterns. Why or how did it come about that you decided to focus mainly on menswear patterns?
Our focus on menswear evolved partly out of necessity. My enjoyment of sewing had led to an almost entirely me-made closet and Matt wished he had the same! I found it difficult to even get started on Matt’s wardrobe though because there was such a lack of menswear patterns available. Matt and I realized that anyone who wished to create menswear garments as we did would be feeling just as frustrated as we were! Aside from this practical reason for focusing on menswear, I also really enjoy the process of creating menswear garments – since there is so little variation in shape and fabric choices compared to women’s garments, attention to details such as topstitching is paramount. This really makes me slow down and enjoy the process of sewing the garment rather than just rushing to complete the project!
Can you describe a typical day at Thread Theory headquarters?
The Thread Theory studio is within our home so a typical day involves waking up and checking our emails and any other news with coffee in the morning. I usually try to respond to most emails before launching into any other work or else they are likely to pile up! Next, I pack orders and head out with our dog, Luki, to drop them off at the mailbox. In the afternoon I work on whatever project is most necessary – whether it be sewing samples, writing instructions, communicating with our graphic designer and printers or working on the blog. Whenever we have a new pattern or project to display, Matt and I head out to one of the gorgeous parks on Vancouver Island to have a photo shoot. During movie nights you will ALWAYS find me packing up patterns and assembling kits as I watch a movie – I’ve gotten so used to this that I feel awfully fidgety if I’m not doing something with my hands while sitting on the couch!
What was the first thing you ever sewed? How did it go?
I think my first projects must have been doll clothes when I was very young. I would often sit on my Mom or Grandma’s lap at the sewing machine and run the fabric through while they pressed the pedal. One of the very first projects that I sewed on my own (outside of home economics class) was a denim ‘cow girl’ skirt complete with a very voluminous multi-colored pastel cotton petticoat. It must have looked absolutely absurd and definitely would have been best relegated to the costume box but I wore it to school proudly…complete with a cowboy hat and boots! Eek!
Since this is a Canada Day inspired blog tour, I’d like to learn a little about your corner of Canada. I read that you live on Vancouver Island. Is there one place (a landmark, shop, restaurant, etc) where you live or in a town nearby that you always recommend to new visitors?
It is hard to limit myself to just one! The Pacific Northwest is full of absolutely breathtaking natural destinations. Matt and I love living so close to Strathcona Park – the oldest park in British Columbia. It is 250,000 hectares of wilderness that features many alpine hikes, beautiful camping locations, and gorgeous waterfalls. I would definitely recommend visitors to Vancouver Island head to Paradise Meadows. This is a lovely alpine meadow walk that is almost all on boardwalks. There are beautiful wildflowers in the late summer and lots of Whiskey Jacks that will happily perch on your head or hand if you have seeds to feed them!
Matthew’s photos are gorgeous and make me want to visit British Columbia btw. But is there any other place in Canada that you like to visit or that you have always dreamed of visiting?
A few years ago we drove across Canada to settle in Halifax for a year. If you had asked us this question before our journey, we would have told you that we dreamed of visiting the East Coast! We weren’t disappointed – it was absolutely amazing to travel the Cabot Trail, camp in PEI, and visit the fishing villages of Nova Scotia’s shoreline. Now that that dream has come to fruition, Matt and I would love to explore Northern B.C. and the Yukon.
Do you think that being Canadian influences your designs?
Most definitely! Our designs are all named after inspiring locations in the Pacific Northwest. Our Parkland Collection patterns are designed to be perfectly suited for a forest stroll and picnic in one of Vancouver Island’s gorgeous parks. Are Alpine Collection is named after various craggy peaks on the island and each garment is designed to be well suited for rugged uses such as climbing mountains or working outdoors.
What are your top 3 favourite sewing or creative resources? (books, websites, etc)
What is your #1 sewing tip or trick?
I really recommend using beeswax on your thread when handstitching. Until I learned this trick I was constantly frustrated by the messy snarl of thread that would foil my attempts at handstitching every time. The beeswax coats the thread and prevents it from knotting while also making it stronger. I created a blog post on how to sew a button featuring beeswax thread. Check it out if you are interested in how to make a thread shank!
Do you have any future plans for Thread Theory (shop or blog) that you would like to share? Any new pattern releases to look forward to?
We are currently working on the designs for our next menswear collection! It will be called Cityscape and will feature garments inspired by my favorite Canadian cities. We also have big plans to expand our selection of quality sewing tools, notions and kits – all with an emphasis on making for men of course!
Thread Theory is offering 25% off in their shop with the coupon code CANADATOUR. The coupon code is valid from June 8th to July 8th, 2015.
These bloggers will be sharing their versions of a Thread Theory pattern:
June 8th: Handmade Boy – June 9th: Rebel & Malice – June 10th: Sew Out of Control
Enter to win A Comox Trunk Kit and Pattern in the Rafflecopter below.
Giveaway closes June 11th at 12am EDT.
There are more prizes to be won! Giveaway and prize details for the Grand Prize and Second Prize can be found here. Sew up a pattern from one of the featured designers and you could win the Grand Prize!!
Ula writes for Lulu & Celeste