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

Category Archive: Hand-Made with Britex Materials

Costumes of Yesteryears + 2014 Contest Details

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Photograph by Kristin Demoro

We cannot count the number of shockingly awesome costumes in past years’ contests. This pair for example, bacon & egg, still has us chuckling because, yes, the egg is standing on slender slices of butter and was soon to be a mom. A few years ago this same duo did a rice & potato number. See below for complete contest details and how you can win a $100 Britex gift certificate. Click here to read more »

Posted: Britex Announcements & Sales, Britex Fabric Store, By folks at Britex, Contests
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Make Your Own Fabulous Mask

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We just couldn’t help it. A photo shoot was surely bound to happen since we just haven’t been able to keep our hands off the samples Natalie made for the Mask-Making workshop this Saturday. Natalie is the manager and buyer for the Notions Department, and is also an avid seamstress, specializing in hand-crafted reproductions of historical costumes and accessories ranging from the Renaissance to the Roaring ‘20s. For several years we’ve all had the pleasure of seeing her amazing costumes—often winning the annual Costume Contest—but learning from her is a rare opportunity. Follow her sewing adventures on her blog Frolicking Frocks, and of course, join us on 10/25! Click here to read more »

Posted: Britex Announcements & Sales, By folks at Britex, Classes, Events & Shows, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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Wine Connoisseur Quilt – Benilde

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Benilde emailed Britex when she ran out of wine bottle quilting cotton in the middle of sewing a quilt for her husband, who is an oenophilist. Fortunately, we’d just gotten a shipment and were able to send her some post haste! Benilde wrote, “I wanted to make this for him since I found this material on our trip to San Francisco and wanted to make a memory for us. It was an easy quilt to make and I’m so glad I was able to finish it thanks to you. Thank you again for sending me the material I need!” The wine connoisseur fabric collection is available on Britex Fabrics’ 2nd floor, via email at service@britexfabrics.com, or by phone at 415-392-2910.

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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Tutorial: Portside Duffle + Blanket in True Designer Wool

As the leaves begin to change color and Autumn evenings become shorter and more crisp, I have been longing to head out to the local beaches and forests for picnics.  I know many people might think of a picnic as something to enjoy in the heat of summer with lemonade and watermelon, but my favorite sort of picnic is of the fall variety – sitting on a windswept beach or amid crunchy burnt orange leaves at the park with a blanket wrapped cozily around me and a cup of hot apple cider in my hand.


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With that image of an ideal picnic hovering in my mind, I was very excited for the chance to turn this lovely Etro Olive & Pumpkin Plaid Wool, into a Fall picnic set!  This Italian wool is a unique mix of colors that are cheery individually (teal blue, bright orange!) while still decidedly autumnal over all.  It is a large weave and it is quite light but strong – perfect for a blanket, and, with interfacing, as a bag! Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Tutorial
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Wool Coat with Knitted Sleeves and Collar

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My favorite season is fall, and favorites to make are jackets and coats, so I am excited to unveil my first coat project in at least six months.

I had a lot of fun with this one!

I started with two yards of a striking navy and turquoise coating (90% wool and 10% poly) from Britex. (You might want to note that Britex is having a 30% off sale beginning on Oct 13th, both online and in store.)

I love the interplay of navy with turquoise, and this fabric has the look of a handwoven. It also has a wonderful selvedge that I was determined to feature.

I wanted a lined coat, so I used a teal colored Bemberg lining. Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Hand-Needlecraft, Projects, Sewing
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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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Britex Fabrics’ Twinsies!

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It is another case of Britex Fabrics twinsies! Dina, Britex Fabrics’ manager, and Barbara from the first floor must have called one another before work to coordinate their clothing du jour. Barbara is wearing one of her own signature handsewn silk jackets and Dina is wearing a black and blue cocktail frock. We think their color scheme is reminiscent of peacock tails!

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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Dramatic Shawl for Stevie Nicks – Robin

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A long time customer at Britex Fabrics, Robin emailed us with photos and a scrupulously detailed description of a scrumptious garment that she made inspired by and for Stevie Nicks! Robin says it best:

“Less than a month before the deadline I saw in Rolling Stone that Stevie Nicks was holding a contest to design a shawl for her to wear in promotions for her upcoming tour. It was like a zing through the heart by cupid’s sartorial bow! I love Stevie Nicks, her songs, her aesthetic, and her longevity as a Troubadourian singer-songwriter. If you like it, vote here!

Click here to read more »

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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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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Elegent Silk Chiffon Summer Dress – Anne

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We are enchanted with everything about this photo that was sent to us by Britex online shopper, Anne…the sweet smiles, the love, everyone’s elegant style, the summery roses, Anne’s incredible blooming chapeau, and the sophisticated silk frock.  Laura Dyson in Chicago used Vintage Women’s Day Advance pattern 8440 (circa 1957) and a silk chiffon border print from Britex Fabrics when concocting this wondrous creation for Anne’s family wedding occasion. Pictured is Anne, her husband Mike, and their daughter, Emily. Anne also says, “A friend (and dress admirer) here has been to Britex in SF, when I mentioned Britex as the source of that fabulous find she raved about “4 floors of things you need and really knowledgeable people who work there”. I only knew that part :)”

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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