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

Category Archive: Organizations

The Waistcoat Club, Circa 1955

We may have the Tweed Cycling Club and The Chap, however there was a predecessor to all this foppishness; The Waistcoat Club, London 1955. From the knowledgeable media folks at British Pathe, one of the oldest media companies in the world, here is a video newsreel clip illustrating the secret world of bespoke fashion and waistcoats.

Posted: Organizations
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SF Tweed, Cyclist Club par Excellence!

Drat! We missed the last SF Tweed ride, however ‘tis never too early to prepare for 2012. We have a plethora of tweed fabrics at Britex Fabrics, ready to be sewn into wooly dapper attire…capes, Norfolk jackets, riding suits, smoking jackets (pipe optional)! According to SF Tweed, we are “a rare breed of cyclist — ladies and gents who refuse to endure anymore spandex! For us there is nothing better than a spin through our fair streets in the finest most dapper attire. As we are courteous, we do not look down on our more pedestrian fellows. SF Tweed will embrace all forms of Tweed Culture: from cycling to croquet outings to picnics — anywhere there is a spot of tea available. If you yourself are hosting an event where tweed would be welcome please let us know!” (photo from Boston Tweed Run, 2010)

Posted: Fabrics, Organizations
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Vintage History of Sewing Newsreel Clip


From the knowledgeable media folks at British Pathe, one of the oldest media companies in the world, here is a video newsreel clip illustrating history of sewing, from sewing with hair in the Stone Age, to electronic sewing machines…30 stitches a minute to 2,000! We love the shorts clad picnickers towards the end.

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Top Hat Creation – Circa 1951


The amazing folks at the British media company British Pathe (founded in 1902) present a preview of a video newsreel film on making top hats, circa 1951. The short clip depicts various steps in the hat-making process including laying out cloth until it is taut and the formation of forming a cylindrical shape. We love the depiction of craftsmanship, and the pride each milliner takes in their contribution to the finished top hat.

Posted: Organizations, Projects
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Free Online Corsetry Seminar – The V & A Museum


The Victoria and Albert Museum is the epitome of British refinement and decorum. Here, they present a free online educational seminar in corsetry, complete with photographs of corsets, bustles, and crinolines from their collection.
“No other garment in Western history has assumed such political, social, and sexual significance. What is it about the corset? A mere undergarment, designed to enhance the female figure, has become an icon of all that fascinates about the ambiguous sexual codes of the Victorian era. Was wearing corsets primarily about sexual empowerment or restrictive chastisement? Could the corset explain common female maladies of the Victorian era, from fainting fits to miscarriage? How great was the suffering, for how small a waist? Lucy Johnston, curator at the Fashion Department of The Victoria and Albert Museum, takes us through the history of the corset, from the ascension of Queen Victoria through the first decade of the twentieth century. Most of us are not aware of the many different phases, shapes and fabrics of the corset, as well as the technological innovation involved. Suzanne Lussier, also of the (V & A Museum ) Fashion Department, sees the corset through to contemporary fashion, to reveal how our obsession with the corset has persisted and evolved to incorporate modern sexual and aesthetic tastes.”

Posted: Museums, Organizations
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Craft Bar & Etsy Labs at Museum of Craft and Folk Art – Thursday 1/6/11


Craft Bar with Etsy Labs is back at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, 51 Yerba Buena Lane in SF! Join us on Thursday, January 6th from 6-9pm for an evening of crafting and socializing with three local artists. This month at Craft Bar you can learn to spiff up your wardrobe with a jewelry-themed evening, featuring a range of projects. Make a gorgeous felt bib necklace with local jewelry artist Katherine Coleman from KJC Designs or create your own coil wrapped wire ring with Kelly Ball from Realia. Also, local artist Nicole Royer will be teaching a workshop on how to upcycle old jeans into beautiful necklaces. Have enough gems in your jewelry box? Stop by for the perennial favorite, stitch and bitch area, with drop-in instruction in knitting and crocheting. Enjoy mouth watering cupcakes, and tasty spreads and jams from Stephanie Bushnell of Sweets La Petite. Trumer Pils provides refreshments, Britex Fabrics provides materials, and other local food and musicians often contribute to create an event overflowing with food, drink, and socializing. Don’t forget to take inspiration from the gallery and shop while you explore the creative process. Craft Bar is free with $5 admission to the Museum.

Posted: Classes, Events & Shows, Sewing & Craft Groups
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Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes Exhibition at the V & A


Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes Exhibition is currently showing at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Founded by Serge Pavlovich Diaghilev (1872-1929), called in turns a dictator, devil, charlatan, sorcerer, and charmer, he revolutionised early 20th-century arts and continues to influence cultural activity today. Many of the amazing Ballets Russes costumes are available for online viewing on the V & A website, and their blog. Here is the cover of Le Théatre showing Tamara Karsavina in costume as the Firebird (May 1911) with a fillip of a white feather bustle, and a black and white photo of Ballet Russes dancers in costumes for Le Train bleu, wearing costumes designed by Chanel (Sasha – 1924.)

Posted: Museums
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Elsa Schiaparelli and Jean Cocteau Collaborate


Paris is swell. Designer Elsa Schiaparelli worked in collaboration with avant-garde artist Jean Cocteau in 1937 to design a jacket for that year’s Autumn collection. The jacket was embroidered with a woman caressing the waist of the wearer, and long blonde glittering locks cascading down one sleeve, with the embroidering being executed by the couture embroidery house of Lesage. This stunning garment is made of linen, gilded metallic thread embroidery, beads, and paillettes. This is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Museums
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Giving Through Knitting


Kate from Knitty has compiled a handful of non-profit organizations that needs hand-knitted items, and the generous folks at InterweaveKnits have posted another gigantic list of non-profits. This is a great way to help others, work your way through your yarn stash, while further developing your mad knitting skills.

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Organizations
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To Dye For: A World Saturated in Color


To Dye For: A World Saturated in Color, July 31, 2010 – January 9, 2011, The de Young Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. To Dye For features over 50 textiles and costumes from the Fine Arts Museums’ comprehensive collection of textiles from Africa, Asia and the Americas. This exhibition showcases objects from diverse cultures and historical periods, including a tie-dyed mantle from the Wari-Nasca culture of pre-Hispanic Peru (500–900 A.D.), a paste-resist Mongolian felt rug from the 15th–17th century and a group of stitch-resist dyed 20th-century kerchiefs from the Dida people of the Ivory Coast. These historical pieces are contrasted with artworks from contemporary Bay Area artists. The exhibition highlights several recent acquisitions, including important gifts such as a pair of ikat-woven, early-20th-century women’s skirts from the Iban people of Sarawak, Malaysia and two exquisite hand-painted and mordant-dyed Indian trade cloths used as heirloom cloths by the Toraja peoples of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Posted: Classes, Events & Shows, Museums
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