Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thread Theory Strathcona Tee

Wow, it's been a while, huh? I feel like I've been doing a ton of sewing, but it's all been projects that aren't quite ready for the big reveal - DragonCon outfits and selfless sewing. Today though, I can finally share the Thread Theory Strathcona Tee I made my husband for his birthday.

I know you might be thinking, "Really, Emily, a basic tee shirt is your big gift? This is a BIRTHDAY we're talking about here." I know, I hear ya, but Brian isn't much for birthdays, so it's usually pretty low key. Plus, I made him a preeettttttyyyyyy awesome cake:

It's a Reese's Cup Icebox Cake, and oh man is it delicious. Seriously, go make it right now.

Okay, so now that you've had some cake, back to the sewing. I LOVED this pattern. I bought the pdf and it was a totally reasonable number of pages and easy to put together. The front and back are full size pattern pieces, so you cut everything out in a single layer -  my preferred way to cut out knits. And it has 5/8" seam allowances, which is perfect for a knits newbie like me. I treated the shirt like a woven and sewed the seams on my machine with a narrow zigziag and finished them with my serger. Basically the Strathcona is the Renfrew for men and I can't recommend it enough.

At first I cut a straight Small after comparing the pattern pieces to some of his favorite shirts, figuring it might end up a little big but I could take it in. I ended up with a Small in the shoulders and an Extra-Small in the torso. I also cut off about 2" from the sleeves, but to be fair, the instructions do warn you that the sleeves are intentionally on the long side. Brian is about 6'0", if that's helpful.

It's not perfect, but I'm getting better with knits (Remember this? Haha!). I'm particularly proud of the collar - it lies flat and I finally figured out all the tricks to get my machine and twin needle to play nice.

Brian raved about the fit and said it was the most comfortable shirt he owns. I was so touched when he chose to wear it immediately, for a celebratory night out with a couple of friends and then offered to pose for blog pictures. This is sure to be a TNT, which is fantastic because I'm growing increasingly uncomfortable with buying cheap imported RTW as I learn more about how workers abroad are treated.

My one and only complaint is that the pattern called for 1.4 yards, but I made this in a little less than 1 yard. I'm not too broken up about it, because it's a great excuse to finally try making a pair of knickers. Probably this free pattern from Zo to get my feet wet? I've been really inspired by all the beautiful swimsuits popping up in feed, so I think this will be a great first step to making my own bikini.

But that's definitely a dream for next summer. For now, there's only 32 days until DragonCon and I have to finish my costumes!


  1. You did a great job on this t-shirt, and I can see why your husband is so proud of it! I'm glad you reviewed this pattern, because I just haven't seen very many blogs or reviews featuring it. I've made one test version so far, but with much less, er, wearable results than you had! I agree with you though--this is a really great pattern that will provide a host of easy, wearable shirts (once I get better at knits, anyway). And that cake is AMAZING. =)

  2. Love your tee! And I'm thrilled that your husband wore it out right away - that is certainly the best type of review there is :). Happy sewing!