Hello Britex readers, I’m Kristin from skirt as top and I’m so thrilled to be here today! I have wanted to sew a cape for my 4 year old daughter for about a year now, and partnering with Britex Fabrics was the perfect opportunity for me to sew a soon-to-be-released cape pattern by Oliver + S with some truly wonderful wool.
I chose this peacock blue midweight wool for a playful twist, since my daughter is only four years old and I always aim to make her clothing both beautiful and fun. Sewing with this gorgeous wool was a dream, and in person it almost shines. My husband even remarked on how nice it looked – it’s a level above the fabrics I typically sew with and the fabric quality is apparent at first glance!
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We’re always excited when someone emails us the results of creating from Britex Fabrics’ fabrics; this is a dress sewn from gorgeous herringbone Alpaca (made in USA.) Karen of the blog Fifty Dresses: Sewing classic fashions from mid-century patterns, made this elegantly swank frock from the vintage pattern Vogue 9353 (c. 1957.) We love the yoke and sleeve design, and how Karen utilized fabric scraps for her bound buttonholes. She said, “Even though I did not have “plaids” to match, I needed to pay close attention to the rows in the herringbone weave, so that none of them were crooked. This is where Clover two-pronged pins (recommended by Susan Khalje in The Couture Dress class) came in handy and helped me keep those rows lined up evenly.” The vibrant Kelly green leather gloves and scarf provide a chic accent!
Local designer, Janet has a taste for glamour, and it shows in the elegantly austere caplets & evening bags she creates. She says, “I’ve been visiting Britex since I was a young girl and have dreamt of designing with their incredible fabrics. This year I was able to produce my new endeavor–hand-sewn silk mini capes with scarves, scarves and cultured pearl bags and belts. Britex has supplied all the fabrics and notions primarily online. I couldn’t have done this collection without Avery’s help not only shipping to my various seamstress, but also with advice. I’m planning on expanding this into a larger collection and possibly offer it wholesale. Each time I visit Britex online or in the store I become overwhelmed with the beautiful fabrics and like an addict want to buy them all! My creativity explodes on the first floor where the silks are located—just ask James, the sales associate! My collection is made entirely in San Francisco and I owe credit to my pearl weaver, Atelier & my seamstress, Kika.” Sigh!
Nicole from the Bay area blog, Nicole At Home made a charming peplumed blouse from this vintage-look floral imported Britex Fabrics’ stretch silk. She says, “During my recent visit to Britex I purchased a beautiful stretch silk floral fabric, the most expensive piece of fabric I’ve ever purchased (but so worth it!). I only got a small amount, with some kind of sleeveless shell in mind. After making the Minna blouse by Salme patterns, their Peplum blouse caught my eye.” We love the effort that Nicole made with the fit, from decreasing the flounce of the peplum, to deepening the arm scythe, to decreasing the darts.
Heather in her fabulous design
Heather Habig is an expert in her field, which is why we invited her to participate in December’s BF Contributor. She lives in San Francisco, is launching a clothing line in 2013 and offers custom design services. The black & white wool double knit was a perfect choice for her pattern. After seeing her classic-but-bold, perfectly fitted jacket, we had a few questions for Heather. Here’s what she had to tell us:
1. Why did you choose the black and white double knit for your project? What did you love about the fabric? What did you learn about the fabric?
I’m always drawn to fabric and prints that are high-contrast, especially in black and white, and when I saw this fabric I was really excited. The fact that it’s wool and a double knit sounded like fun to work with, and I knew I could get a great-fitting garment out of it.
When I made the pattern for the jacket, and I kept the silhouette relatively simple because of the bold pattern. As I was working with it, I was surprised by how much it was shrinking under the steam iron. I might recommend to someone else using this fabric to buy an extra 1/4 to 1/3 yard – to account for shrink as well as matching the stripes. Click here to read more »
Our favorite Bay area Persian clothing designer, Nima Shiraz is now clothing Hollywood actresses! The November 2012 issue of LA Fashion magazine features Shahs of Sunset’s Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, in a delicious lacy custom couture gown constructed from Britex Fabrics’ materials. Delving inside the glossy pages, there is a humongous editorial spread inside of GG wearing five more Nima Shiraz gowns made from Britex materials, and interviews with GG and Nima. We love it when local designers are featured in high fashion magazines, and Nima’s sensuous and glamorous frocks are irresistible! (Photographer: Barry Druxman, Make up: Sara Dashty; Hair: Lorenzo Diaz)
Here is another marvelous collaboration between Britex Fabrics and one of our customers; Leslie from the 3rd floor helped the dapper and distinguished Michelangelo freshen up his matador costume with several hundred of our Swarovski Elements crystals to make it blindingly sparkly. Michelangelo says, “As promised, here are some photos of the finished Matador Costume. I could not have done it without your assistance! Thank YOU for being such an important part of making this costume come to life! It is truly a ‘Suit of Lights’!” We think the glorious bling lends it a very special San Francisco traje de luces touch!
The average winter snowfall for Wichita, Kansas is 14.5”, and thanks to Britex Fabrics’ German woven leather buttons and his vintage coat, Ben is now prepared. He said, “I finally got my coat back and it’s looking sharp! Thanks again for those buttons. Just wanted to thank you guys for a speedy delivery and I love your great selection! Getting my vintage shearling coat fixed with those hard to find leather buttons you have. Thanks, and happy holidays!” Aw…you’re looking sharp, and we love you too Ben.
We’re so fortunate to have such talented and sweet-natured tailors in San Francisco! Carlos is from Scissors & Cloth; they build couture collared dress shirts, each hand-draped, hand-cut and handcrafted through various classic and modern shirt-making techniques. My goal is to provide exceptional customer service through one on one appointments in my downtown, underground shirt-making workshop. Each client is personally hand-draped with muslin to find that perfect fit. Once the fabric is smoothed over all shapes of the upper torso, all seams are then drawn in using chalk, including the yoke, neckhole, armhole, side seams and hem. This gives me an accurate pattern to work from. The muslin is then transferred over to paper and the patternmaking process begins. I build as many samples that I need to until the client is happy with the fit. Once the fit is deemed perfect, I go to work on the final piece. Patterns are then filed away for future use.
Britex Fabrics and Scissors & Cloth collaborated over a length of classic black and white houndstooth wool fabric to come up with this warm and spiffy shirt. Contributing designer Carlos says, “I chose to work with a wool hounds-tooth because of its sheer classic beauty. However, any fabrics with patterns can be more time consuming to work with. As far as working with patterns goes, I typically cut each piece one at time, even if there are multiples of the same pattern. Take the yoke for instance, I start by placing my yoke pattern on one piece of fabric, trace around it, then cut out the piece. I then take that cut piece and lay that down on more fabric while matching up all the patterns on the fabric to the first yoke. If done precisely, the first yoke blends into the fabric pattern so beautifully that you cannot tell that there are two pieces. This can be very time consuming but your guaranteed identical pattern pieces, which makes the end product that much nicer. Another issue I came across were raw edges that were fraying. To better deal with this, any time I cut a pattern piece, I always ran a 1/4 stitch line around my fabric pattern pieces so that the fraying would not run over my 3/8″ seam allowance. “
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We’d like to introduce the toasty Mister Frank. The Alpine-influenced Frank is created by local milliner, Deanne Gibbons. This style is a warm cozy sewn hat with button down, ear flaps for cold weather. The lining fabrics were purchased at Britex, the yellow is wide weave silk/wool blend and the orange is a silk with a herringbone pattern, the brown face fabric is a woven Angora.