Meet Britex Fabrics’ spankin’ new guest blogger…Wanett, of the blog Sown Brooklyn! She describes herself as a reader. Writer. Wife. Watcher. Mama. Maker. Eater. Be-er. Do-er. Book lover. Librarian. Sewcialist. Native New Yorker. Brooklynite for life. Nocturnal being who crafts everything from stories, clothing, PowerPoint presentations and blog posts in the wee hours of the morning with hot tea, lots (and LOTS) of snacks, one ear on the kiddies and one eye on the clock as the minutes tick by. She is our kind of gal!
Category Archive: Guest Blogger
It seems like tissue knits are everywhere lately, and with good reason, they’re amazing for summer layering. They make a nice light layer for cool evenings or, if you’re in Chicago like I am, all these cool days we’re having lately. Tissue knits can be a bit intimidating, they’re so thin, wispy, and roll like crazy, so I’m here to show you how I work with them.
I was lucky enough to be able to make two tees in this amazing Japanese tissue knit, the first I went with these classic tomato and cream stripes and in the second I did a bit of color-blocking with this amazing neon yellow and charcoal grey. These knits are so light and airy, I couldn’t believe it. Serious dream town. In this tutorial I’m using my Hemlock Tee pattern which I created just for these tissue knits. You can download the pattern for free here at Grainline Studios.
Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! I’m Laura Mae from Lilacs & Lace. It will probably come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of vintage patterns. I adore reproductions, which are generally a little more forgiving because of the added markings and updated instructions, free of damage and strange smells. But there is something wonderful about working with a vintage pattern that is decades old. Some have written notes or postmarks, and even contain newspaper clippings, or facing pieces cut from newsprint. I love to imagine what the original purchaser had in mind when she picked out her pattern!
I chose a beautiful lightweight navy wool for this mail order pattern from the late 1940s. A classic fabric for a classic silhouette!
If the idea of working with a vintage pattern intimidates you, here are a few hints. Click here to read more »
This dress is actually a remix of my favorite dress pattern, Made by Rae’s Washi Dress, and though as I sewed it I was calling it “Frankenwashi,” I came up with a prettier moniker now that it’s all done. Named after one of our favorite coffee shops and alluding to the rich and complex color of the fabric—I’m calling it the Ristretto Dress!
My favorite sewing challenge is to take a proven, great-fitting, well-written pattern and modify it into something new. I do it when I sew for my kids all the time, but haven’t ventured into doing it for myself too often yet.
I’m excited to join Britex Fabrics as a guest blogger starting this summer. As a San Francisco native, I’ve been shopping at Britex ever since middle school – even before I could sew – and I also had my West Coast book launch party there last December.
In addition to being a fashion designer, I also teach sewing, patternmaking, and draping classes in New York and beyond. I often run across students who are intimidated to sew with silk (and I don’t blame them!). In my inaugural post, I’m going to share some tips on working with silk as I walk you through the process of creating one of my dress designs – a lightweight draped cocoon dress that works great for hot New York summers, but that can also be paired with opaque tights when the temperature drops. Click here to read more »
When I discovered the beautiful and vintage-y modern plaid at Britex, I knew I had found the fabric for which I had been searching. I had in mind a short sleeve button-up shirt for my husband, but wanted something different than classic dress shirting. This fab plaid completely fit the bill! However, once I laid out the fabric and went to cut out my pattern, I realized I had a big challenge ahead of me. Plaid. Matching plaid is one issue; deciding in which direction the plaid should be arranged and the overall layout was the other. Should the plaid on the yoke be diagonal? If the yoke is on the straight grain, could the pockets be diagonal? What about the placket?? I was completely paralyzed by indecision for a while, but after looking at some ready-to-wear men’s tops, I opted to go for a straight-laced version with no diagonally arranged plaid pieces. Really working the 70s vibe of the fabric might look great, but I wanted to be sure my husband would actually wear the shirt!
Silk organza really is a miracle fabric, in my opinion. It is crisp, lightweight, and can perform so many different functions. First off, it makes truly beautiful garments, especially when embroidered. At the other end of the spectrum, it can make an excellent press cloth. Tear it into strips, and it can help to stabilize a zipper opening. I even substitute organza for fusible interfacing on facings. I could go on and on, but perhaps I should get back on point!
At our house, we’ve been exclusively using cloth napkins for a while now. I typically use quilting cotton for our “regular” napkins, so when I received the cotton and linen yardage from Britex, I almost felt guilty for using such incredible, beautiful fabric essentially for wiping dirty hands and mouths. But as I worked with the linen in particular, I came to the realization that I wasn’t making a throw-away, disposable item; well-made table linens, from high-quality fabrics are the type of item one might inherit. That thought made me especially happy since I chose the linen fabric to coordinate with a set of German breakfast dishes handed down to me from my grandmother. How fitting!
Napkins come in all shapes and sizes, for all occasions. For more “casual” napkins, I sew a narrow hem and little mitered corners. For formal, special occasion linen napkins, I use a wider hem and the traditional sewn mitered corner. This tutorial shows you how to make both! Click here to read more »
Hello, Kristin from skirt as top here again! I was really excited to see that Britex is now offering knit fabric online! For this project I picked out a super cool Japanese tissue knit with scribbles all over it. I thought it’d be a great fabric to turn into a simple t-shirt using my favorite J.Crew shirt as a launch point, with plenty of my own modifications to get the perfect fit. And because I want to share the love of my new favorite shirt, I thought I’d offer a free pattern along with the tutorial today!