Thread Theory | Camas Blouse

I’m sure you are all familiar with Thread Theory by now. Even though they have a clear menswear focus, they decided to throw us ladies a bone and put out a women’s blouse pattern! Since my name is in the tester pool, Morgan and Matt asked for some willing participants to sew up the Camas Blouse (from the finished pattern, I did not test it prior to release) and post about it. My hand shot up pretty quickly, as this is undoubtedly a pattern I would have purchased anyway. You all know I love a good button-up, and I’ve always had a weakness for the “V-necked with little gathers” variety.

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This blouse is designed for knit fabrics, and I used a rayon jersey I picked up from fabric.com on their black Friday sale (pretty sure it sold out). I had this blouse in mind when I ordered it, so I was super pleased that it was the exact weight and drape that I wanted. That doesn’t usually happen! Then I searched my scraps for a coordinating contrast fabric, and came up with leftovers from a recently made (though not yet blogged…) dress. It’s actually not a perfect match, but the floral has so many shades of blue that it just kinda goes together. The blouse is loose fitting, so it wasn’t a problem to mix a woven fabric in for the yoke pieces.

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I picked a size 8 based on my bust measurement, then graded out at the waist and hip by 1/4″ (1″ all around). I was in between the 8 and 10 for my waist and hip, so I wanted to make sure it didn’t end up too clingy. The sizing was perfect, and I’m very pleased with the fit!

Aside from size adjustments, I made a few tweaks to the pattern.

  • Added 1″ in length to the hem—I’m high waisted, but also tall-ish, so I just tacked on length instead of splitting it at the “shorten/lengthen” line.
  • In the back—I took 1″ off the bottom of the yoke, and added the inch to the top of the back piece. Visually, I prefer a narrow yoke, and since I was using a woven for the yoke, I wanted to make sure I didn’t end up with it being too tight across the back.
  • Neckline—I raised the neckline by 1″. I have a high bust and quite often run into the problem of unintentionally plunging necklines.

Altering the neckline was a little tricky to do since I had to make sure the neckband and blouse front would match around the V-neck curve. Since I was only raising it by an inch I didn’t alter the yoke piece any, just changed the angle from the yoke seam and down. If I were to raise it any further, I’d have to start the adjustment higher.

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Construction was pretty much a breeze, until I got to the button placket, which was very tedious. I suppose it was the wide (5/8″) SA’s that made things tricky. Trying to sew opposing curves between the button placket and blouse front with a wide SA is just a frustrating (and often inaccurate) experience. I did make sure to stay stitch and clip the most extreme curves, but next time around I’ll narrow the SA to begin with. Because the finished placket is so narrow, you have to aggressively trim down and grade the SA’s anyways.

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I do like how the inner placket isn’t turned under, but simply left as is, more like a facing. Then, instead of top stitching the placket, I stitched in the ditch at the placket seam line, catching the facing. When I finished the inner edge of the placket on my serger (before stitching it down), i trimmed off about 1/4″ to keep the facing nice and narrow.

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Lastly, this pattern suggests interfacing the yoke pieces as well as both outer and inner placket. I skipped interfacing the yoke pieces since I was using a woven, and I skipped interfacing the inner placket to keep the placket from becoming too stiff. So, all I bothered to fuse was the outer button placket piece. This worked out just fine for my fabric, but you’ll want to evaluate how much interfacing to use based on your own fabric choices.

I did make functioning buttonholes, even though they are totally unnecessary, as the blouse slips easily over my head. Fortunately my otherwise unremarkable sewing machine does not put up a fuss when it’s time to make buttonholes, even in knit fabrics!

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Overall, I am truly, honestly in love with this pattern. It was fun to construct a knit blouse that ends up both comfortable and a little more dressed up than your average tee. I know this will quickly become a staple in my wardrobe!

lisa g.

*This pattern was a freebie in exchange for a blog post*

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jedediah pants by Thread Theory

if you haven’t heard of the new pattern company Thread Theory, you’re in for a treat! or at least the men in your life are. as i sew more and more of my family’s wardrobe, that means my husband, nathan, occasionally gets a new piece to add to his closet. after sewing a few shirts earlier this year, it was time to start making some pants. the state of available menswear patterns is pretty uninspiring to say the least. clearly there is a gap in the market waiting to be filled, and Thread Theory patterns is posed to be one of the first in line to fill that gap. they have an up-to-date take on classic looks and i am very excited to see where they are headed.

pardon the rumpled appearance, these have already been worn several times and gone through the wash. what can i say… he likes his new shorts!

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i’ve been following Thread Theory for a short while, and when i saw their newest pattern offering, the jedediah pants, the release couldn’t come soon enough! my husband is on the smaller end of menswear sizes and pants, in particular, are almost always too big and way too long. i immediately begged offered to be on the list of pattern testers, and when the call went out i jumped at the chance. since i’ve done a lot of pants and shorts lately, i can knock them out relatively quickly. of course i’m accustomed to not following pattern directions, so forcing myself to actually read every step was a huge challenge for me. however, for the sake of pattern testing, i figured i should!

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the jedediah pants are a casual pant with a dressy edge. they have a flat front, slash pockets, back patch pockets, and back yoke. the great thing about this pattern in particular is the fact that they have included instructions for things like flat-felling seams, bar tacking points that need reinforcement, and even french seaming the pocket bags (p.s. i have a tutorial on that if you need a visual). they also include the pocket facing pieces and the fly shield. it is a fold-over fly facing, but since every other detail is there, i won’t complain.

for this pair i used a medium-heavy cotton twill and went with a shorts length. i love the cuffed variation the pattern offers, but my fabric was a bit bulky so i ended up hemming them to knee length. if you’re not into the tapered leg it would be super easy to change it up, depending on what look your guy prefers.

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as far as the fit goes, nathan typically wears a 30 in RTW so that is what i cut. as i was sewing them up, i thought i should check for sure what his measurements actually are, and lo and behold his waist is closer to 32″. afraid they would end up too small, i sewed the side seams at 3/8″ as well as the back seam. this left him plenty of room, but now the waistband i cut was too small. i had more fabric, but instead of cutting a new waistband (heaven forbid i waste fabric!), i simply pieced it right under the button closure where it won’t be visible. lesson: actually measure your guy’s waist. i believe these are sized a little slimmer than your typical RTW, but the pattern does include finished measurements to help get a proper fit.

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since this is the first pair of pants i’ve sewn for my husband, this will definitely be my go-to for a casual pant or shorts. the fit is great, and it’s nice to see him in clothes that do fit instead of drowning his frame. the only downside is that once you’ve been bitten by the custom fit bug, you just can’t go back! he’s already requested more. 🙂 if you’ve thought of making pants for your guy, there will also be a sew-a-long over on the Thread Theory blog beginning august 15th to help you through the process. however if you’re impatient and want to get started sooner, the included directions are very thorough, even if you’ve never sewn pants before. seriously. they left nothing out!

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so what do you think… tempted to sew a pair for your guy?

—lisa g.