Sunday, August 11, 2013


I haven't been inspired by many women's apparel patterns lately (except for one that's taking forever to arrive by mail), but luckily for the main man in my life, Thread Theory just launched a refreshingly modern pattern line for dude clothes. We all know that the commercial patterns currently available for men are abysmal and laughable at best (check out all 8 of Butterick's studly options here), so I think Thread Theory jumped into the market at the perfect time. The young husband-wife duo (aww) behind Thread Theory create casual menswear with a slim, modern cut. So, no elastic-waist pajama pants or scrubs? Believe it.

The Jedediah Pants are chino-style trousers with front slash pockets, a back yoke and back patch pockets. I bought the pattern on the day of its release at the end of July and immediately prepared the PDF and made a muslin. I bought legit fabric for it last Sunday and have already made two pairs of shorts for Corey, who before now only had one pair of ugly (sorry) dusty green cut-offs. 

Knowing that Thread Theory was a new pattern company, I'll admit I was a little wary going into the process because I didn't know what to expect of the drafting, presentation and instruction style. But DANG, they're seriously good. All of it. Even Lisa G says so, and I always trust her eagle-eye analysis of whether a pattern is well-drafted or wonky. I thought the pattern was well-marked and sewed together beautifully, and the instructions were incredibly thorough and well-illustrated. I am nothing but chuffed with the final result. 

I was impressed with the attention to detail incorporated in the pattern instructions. They tell you how to sew flat-felled seams, how to French seam the pocket bags, how to apply bias binding to the seams of the shorts, and where to add bar tacks and other methods for seam durability. Sewing the zip fly was a cinch, and seemed faster than other fly-front methods I've used. For the pants version, they even show you how to steam and stretch some of the seams for a better fit around the curves of the legs. Not like I get it, but it sounds SMART. 

Naturally, being me, I just serged and top-stitched the seams instead of flat-felling. There's an option for rolling up the cuff but I simply sewed a 1" hem at the length he wanted. I also left off the back pocket stitching design. 

For the pocket lining of both pairs of shorts, I used a scrap of floral silk cotton from my stash. I think it's his favorite part. This man loves vintage floral prints, can you tell?

(Green Oxford shirt not made by me -- but ethically sourced and sold through Everlane, a great company that's working to bring more transparency to the fashion industry.)

The two pairs of shorts I made are slightly different sizes. Corey has long ostrich legs (sorry) and is super thin. His ideal store-bought trouser size is a 29" waist, but since you can't find that very often, he has typically worn a 30" waist and dealt with the slightly baggy fit. I decided to sew the size 30 in the Jedediah pattern-- the smallest size -- and then I took in the waistband a bit more. They fit snugly when he stands -- actually hitting at the "proper" (though rare) height for waistbands. They look good for this reason, but the fabric is a cotton twill with no give at all, so he says they strain and ride up uncomfortably when he sits down. I think it's fair to say that the Jedediah pants run a little smaller than RTW sizing for that reason. I also think it's fair to say that a muslin isn't worth much unless you actually try to move around and sit in it. My bad.

For the second version of the Jedediah, I used a tobacco-colored twill that has a slightly looser weave and an eensy bit more give. I still made the size 30, but cut the edges a bit more generously and sewed the side seams, inseams and "seat seam" (Thread Theory's less cringe-worthy term for crotch seam) with a 3/8" seam allowance instead of 5/8". That seemed to add more ease and he says they're more comfortable all around even if they look a little puffy.

I think I've made it clear that I highly recommend this pattern if you're looking to sew some bottoms for your favorite guy's bottom -- or your own! Fellas, are you out there? a/s/l? ;)

The pattern is only available as a PDF for now. Morgan, the designer and seamster behind Thread Theory, will be leading a sew-along of the shorts version of the Jedediah pattern on their blog beginning August 15th -- soon! Obviously I didn't have patience to wait for it, but I have a feeling it will be clear, thorough and well-photographed for those who'd like to follow along.

Alright, the end. I have to attend to the mosquito attack I endured when we first tried to take these photos outside in our gross overgrown background. Wanna know how many bites I got on my legs and arms in, like, a six minute span? FORTY FOUR. That's no joke. I think tomorrow I'm going to wake up as a mosquito myself, geez.

So who else has been #sewingfordudes lately?