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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

Dizzy the Unicorn Visits Britex Fabrics


Dizzy bottom copyWe were astonished when Dizzy the Unicorn paid a visit to Britex! Dizzy’s namesake is the notorious dandy, Queens’ consultant, and Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass inhabitant, Benjamin Disraeli. Unfortunately, Britex Fabrics was plum out of plum-cake when they stopped by, and Dizzy neglected to bring any. Dizzy’s splendid attire was made by Mr. Silver, Beach Blanket Babylon’s Mad Hatter. We loved the wee rhinestone twinkle in Dizzy’s eye! Mr. Silver and Dizzy had spent a taxing day in downtown San Francisco, and informed us that “all the girls like unicorns.” Judging by the clamoring fans, that appears to be true! We’re pleased to report that Dizzy was clothed by Britex Fabrics!
The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown:
The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town.
Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum-cake and drummed them out of town.

Dizzy top copy

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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New Sewing Projects – Nikita

Nakita copyNikita emailed us photos from her latest sewing projects sewn of fabrics that she bought in Britex Fabrics’ online store.  She says, “Not too long ago I placed an online order for different fabrics; one was the silk/cotton guest blogger pick, and the others were the midweight spicy mustard cotton fabric, and the lightweight white double weave cotton knit.  Here are some photos of the finished clothes, thanks for stocking such lovely fabrics!”  We love the way Nikita worked with the large rose print in her silk blend top and skirt, developing a graceful flow of blossoms from her shoulders, traveling through the bodice, and continuing in the skirt…and the ruching on the tee-shirt adds a flattering fillip to the plain white knit top!

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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Halloween Contest Winner


Every year, for as long as any of us can recall, Britex has a staff Halloween costume contest that is off-the-wall. We invite our customers to be judges of creativity and sewing skill by casting their vote for best costume. This year, Natalie was the winner with her Magpie costume. Jeanette, as a Fairy Ice Queen, took second place.

Get ready to be amazed by the other contestants, which run the gamut from absolutely hilarious to awesomely witty. Join us next year and judge for yourself. Click here to read more »

Posted: Britex Fabric Store, By folks at Britex, Classes, Events & Shows, Contests, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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Get Ready For Winter – Rose Checked Child’s Blanket!

dsc_1037Karen from the sewing blog Fifty Dresses, made this adorable blanket for her old-fashioned wooden trundle bed, and a matching rick-rack trimmed doll’s blanket from rose and cream checked wool from Britex Fabrics. She says she was captivated by this “friendly jacquard-woven deer, set amongst the bold pink checks, with that subtle gold woolen thread traversing its expanse, seemed to be a blend of Tyrolean style, buffalo checks, and frontier whimsy!” FYI: this limited stock imported checked woolen fabric is available online and in our San Francisco store. It is on sale online at 20% off until October 31st.
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
” (Eugene Field)

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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Anise Jacket in Wool Tweed by Nicole


With the chill of Fall settling on the Bay Area, a new jacket was definitely in order.  With the classic double-breasted Anise pattern by Colette in mind, I selected this incredible Rose Madder and Plum Tweed Wool  fabric from Britex.  I loved the striking color and texture of the fabric and it seemed both modern and classic at the same time. Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing
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Tutorial: How to Sew a Dress with Attached Lining

With this project, I decided to venture into a different color palette and try out a fabric with some subtle jewel tones—brilliant blue, emerald green, and purple. I was mostly drawn to the metallic characteristics of this French floral novelty blend (I particularly love working with metallic brocades for my dress designs), but I knew this polyester, acetate, and metallic combo was going to be a challenge. I knew two things going into this. First, serging was a must. This fabric has an incredibly soft, wool-like hand to it—super luxurious feeling—but it also has a tendency to fray given its loose weave. Second, I would definitely need to line the dress for breathability, and also to keep the loose threads from snagging. Click here to read more »

Posted: Guest Blogger, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques, Tutorial
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Part 1: Retro Gala Dress Pattern Handling Tips

Our retro queen Guest Blogger Laura Mae of Lilacs & Lace has a fabulous new project in store for us. There are so many details to this gala outfit that we have decided to break down the process into many fabulous technique-rich posts. Part 1 offers tons of pattern handling tips. Part 2 is a thorough bound buttonholes walk-through. Part 3? You’ll just have to wait and see.

[Britex has generously provided the fabric and sewing supplies for a dress I will be wearing to a formal event in October.  I will be sharing some of the steps and construction techniques with you as I work on this project over the next couple of months. All materials were selected in-store.]


01 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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Opulent Men’s Dress Jackets – Jeff

opera jackets copyDr. Jeff is clearly a Renaissance man; he is a senior lecturer in anatomy and pathology at Australia’s The University of Adelaide, music graduate, opera aficionado, and designs and sews astonishing men’s formal dress jackets from unusual textiles. He bought an assortment of fabrics from Britex Fabrics during a visit to San Francisco, and tailored these jackets. He says, “The excitement of the opening night and the Baroque opera Divos, the castrati, inspires this collection of flamboyant and extravagant textile art and music installation. My art takes an ‘iconic’ item of male clothing (a suit jacket) and entertains the stereotype of masculine image, constructing jackets with opulent fabrics which are often entirely unsuitable for traditional tailoring techniques. I have to ‘audition’ my fabrics for the ‘roles’ they will play, before I can begin to cut and sew. The ‘roles’ are inspired by the personae and art of the extraordinary baroque opera divos, the castrati. Some jackets are extremely painful and difficult to make. Some fabrics are demanding and behave like impudent superstars. Some projects end in disaster with the fabric and concept unable to meet in the performance of the finished item! Whether an opening night or stage production, what we wear and how and why we choose our clothes is a dramatic statement on life’s stage. Our clothing is a personal, anthropological and political statement about how we wish to be known. Personal identity is constructed as we look, and are looked at, by each other. This is highly gendered in our society, and the rules and morals which underpin this glancing are not always clear cut.” You can see more of his work at Opera Night Couture.

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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Silk Crepe de Chine & 1,000+ Silk Pins – Wesley

black silk dress copyI was called onto the first floor a few weeks ago to see this amazing evening gown made of Britex Fabrics’ silk crepe de chine that Wesley designed and sewed. Both creative and intellectual, he is a mathematician, fashion designer, and sewist. We were much taken with the glittering bandolier of silk sewing pins. He said, “One night, while pinning the fabric pieces together, I dropped a box of 500 silk pins on the floor. That gave me the idea to incorporate the pins onto the dress, so I bought a couple more boxes of silk pins and attached over a thousand of them in parallel fashion onto the shoulder strap. This move created a sense of dangerous beauty– just what I needed. Nicknamed “midnight,” this mysterious dress is the final piece in my “Phases of the Day” couture collection. I designed it in the Greek style using my original pattern and created it from Gucci silk crepe de chine. The entire process took over 90 hours. This dress was custom made for a model”, however Wesley also does custom work. Online Solid and Sheer Silk fabric categories are on sale through Monday, September 30th -

Posted: Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Made by You
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Woodland Stroll Cape by Wanett

Hello Britex blog readers!!! I’m Wanett (or Nettie, if you prefer) and I blog at Sown Brooklyn from…Brooklyn!! After I stopped squealing and jumping around when the good peeps at Britex asked me to join their team, I zoned in on the project I wanted to start with. Almost immediately the word CAPE!! (yes, all caps with !!!!) came to mind.  I love this Shetland pony wool plaid with a touch of mock Harris tweed, all in shades of blue accented with chocolate brown from Britex Fabrics – perfect for Brooklyn fall strolls!
Posted: Fashion Tips, Guest Blogger, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Sewing
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