Every once in a blue moon, when the stars align and Mercury is in retrograde, we sew for the men in our lives. This week, Jeff (husband of our social-media coordinator extraordinaire, Meredith) was the lucky recipient of two Thread Theory Strathcona Henleys. Bonnie made each in a very different fabric, and had two very different results!
Strathcona Henley Pattern
The Strathcona Henley is a slim-fitting wardrobe staple. It can be a crew-neck tee or a traditional Henley with a button placket, and includes both long- and short-sleeve variations. It’s the kind of casual shirt that is perfect for hiking or lounging, on its own or as a base layer.
Two Fabrics, Two Results
The first version Bonnie made was with a lightweight waffle-weave Robert Kaufman knit. It’s soft and stretchy, so it seemed like the perfect match for this pattern. We soon discovered, however, that it was a little too soft and stretchy! The fabric is 100% cotton, and the lack of spandex caused the shirt to stretch and stretch and stretch. Many knits have just a bit of spandex in them (3 to 6%), which helps them to spring back into shape after they’re stretched out. Because of the nature of this fabric, Bonnie had to take in the collar 5″ and the sleeve cuffs 2″. It just wouldn’t stop growing!
The second version she made was with this fantastic Avalana Jersey Melange in Blue. This fabric has a bit more heft than the waffle knit, and—more importantly—is a cotton/poly/Lycra blend. That means it kept its shape even after a full day of wear. Bonnie still shortened the sleeves about 1″, but otherwise made no alterations to the size-large pattern. Regardless of fabric choice, Bonnie does recommend interfacing one side of the collar piece to stabilize it while stitching and to reduce stretch.
Thoughts on the Strathcona Henley
Thread Theory’s Strathcona Henley is a wardrobe basic that is a great project for an advanced beginner. The placket can be a bit tricky, but as usual Thread Theory has clear instructions and plenty of advice on their blog. As you’ve probably gathered, the biggest consideration for this shirt is fabric choice. We’d suggest a knit with a least a little spandex, and as always check the finished garment measurements on the pattern envelope before picking your size!