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Information and tutorials for folks interested in antique Italian lacework, nouveau fashion, sewing techniques and much much more!

Tutorial: All-in-One Hong Kong Finish + Underlining

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Even made with such lovely and soft fabric as this wool/silk tweed, a slim fit skirt such as the Charlotte by By Hand London really begs to be lined.  Adding a layer of smooth and slippery fabric makes a wool skirt more comfortable to wear (especially with tights) and extends the life of the garment. Sewing a lining is fairly simple, however, there’s another technique that serves the same purpose: underlining.  Since I’ll be showing exclusively images of the inside of this garment for this tutorial, I wanted to remind you of what it looks like on the outside (you can find many more at Nicole at Home):

Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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Tutorial: Drafting a kick pleat for the Charlotte Skirt

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I was so thrilled to receive this gorgeous wool/silk tweed from Britex to sew my own version of the Charlotte Skirt from By Hand London. The Charlotte  is a lovely high waisted, slim fitting pencil skirt, with a below-knee length.  It’s a great shape for work, but with all the walking and stairs I have to do around campus, it’s a tad narrow around the legs.  In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to draft a simple kick pleat, which would work for any skirt or dress with a back seam and I’ve written the instructions to coordinate with a special underlining method that will be posted soon. Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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The Comfy/Classy Myrtle Dress in Stretch Silk

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For an extra-special version of the lovely Myrtle dress by Colette Patterns, I used the most incredible stretch silk from Britex (unfortunately no longer available).  I washed and dried the fabric (on gentle and low heat) and it looks just as good as it did when before pre-washing.  The stretch is significant and the fabric has an easy-to-sew texture and weight.  It’s a gorgeous fabric and was a pleasure to sew. Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Tutorial: sewing picot elastic

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I’ve been sewing a lot of silk underwear lately; I’m positively addicted. There is something thoroughly satisfying about making something that is beautiful, useful and a quick sew. And it might even be cost effective, considering how little fabric is needed. In this post, I’ll show how to sew the picot edging and straps to make camisole and panties. For my matching set, I used this sophisticated tiny Houndstooth stretch silk charmeuse, with hot pink picot elastic and matching 1/2″ lingerie strap elastic. For the patterns, I used the Clara camisole and Grace panties from Ohhh Lulu. Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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Tutorial + Free Pattern! Cowl Neck Top

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Remember my cowl neck top from last week?  I finally finished drafting, grading and writing up the instructions for the pattern, and here it is, free (and in multiple sizes!).  In this post, I’m going to walk through the steps for sewing this very simple top, but please contact me if you have any questions (nicole[at]nicoleathome.com).

Cowl Neck Top pattern and instructions.  (For best results when printing, download the file to your computer, then open in “Preview” or “Adobe Reader“.)

Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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Cowl Neck Top in Sheer Viscose

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When scanning my syllabus at the start of the pattern making course I took last semester, I was most excited about learning how to draft cowl neck tops.  When we finally got to it toward the end of the course, I was surprised how simple they actually were!  Using a basic bodice sloper, it’s just a matter of lowering the neckline and slash and spreading to create fullness.  The self-facing in the front keeps it pretty no matter how the cowl falls!  Clearly, putting my new knowledge to use was in the forefront of my mind when I had the opportunity to use one of the fabrics from the Novelty category at Britex. This unusual ruby and black sheer viscose fabric seemed like a fun and modern choice for a fairly classic cowl shape. Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing
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Self-drafted Outfit in Khaki & Silk

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Here, fellow sewists, is the culmination of my semester-long pattern making class!  Throughout the semester, we did a few guided full-scale garments (such as my button-down shirt and an unblogged bias-cut skirt), but this assignment was to draft a garment of our own design, then sew it in fashion fabric.  We were allowed to make our final project in our own measurements, and being the pragmatic that I am, I designed a fairly basic work-appropriate outfit.  Perhaps I should have made something a little more exciting, but this way, I’ll get a lot of use out of my hard work!   Both fabrics are from Britex, and I selected them for just such an outfit.   Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing
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Sewing Indie Month: An SBCC and Britex outfit

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Despite popular belief, it really isn’t that bad being short.  At 5’1″, I’ve got step stools all around the house and I can manage just fine, thank you very much.  My biggest beef with being petite is that non-petite clothing just doesn’t fit.  It’s one of the main reasons I sew my own clothing: with some small adjustments, I can shorten bodices, rises, sleeves, and pants to suit my size.  You can imagine my excitement, then, a few months ago, when I did a search for “petite Indie sewing patterns” and stumbled upon Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick!  So when given the chance to participate in Sewing Indie Month with Britex, I immediately knew I wanted to make a whole outfit from SBCC.  What fun! Click here to read more »

Posted: Contests, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing
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Colorblocked Chloe in Stretch Velveteen by Nicole

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It’s only fitting (though coincidental!) that it’s the start of Sewing Indie Month and the garment I’ve sewn up is from the incredible indie company, Victory Patterns!  Here, I’ve interpreted their Chloe dress, a 60s inspired fitted sheath, in colorblock with lovely stretch grey and plum velveteen.  While velveteen isn’t the easiest fabric to work with (I’ll give some tips to make it easier in this post), it gives an unexpected and (in my opinion!) fabulous twist to this dress.

 

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  Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Knits: 3 Tips for Easier Sewing by Nicole

When the opportunity came up to work with some of the beautiful Britex knits AND use a pattern from one of the independent patternmakers newly affiliated with Britex, I jumped on it. Not only did I already have my eye on this dotted viscose/lycra blend fabric, but I had the perfect pattern in mind, too: the Renfrew cowl neck from Sewaholic.  I’ve made the top a few times, but love the fit and shape so much, that I was excited to sew it up again in this lovely, drapey fabric.

IMG_0587 Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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