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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-Needlecraft

Free Vintage Transfer of a Tipsy Bird

Floresita gives us this vintage embroidery transfer of a wee tipsy bird dozing in a brandy sniffer, with their pal peering solicitously (or maybe enviously?) over the edge. A trio of linen bar towels with these adorable birdies embroidered on them would be a perfect gift for the distiller or winemaker in your family!

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Designer Wool Felt is now at Britex’s Online Store!

Yea! Britex Fabrics now sells wool felt in our online store! Designers and craft-persons find our beautiful 3mm (1/8”) thick 100% wool felt a joy to work with. This pressed craft wool felt is durable and water repellent, with lovely rich vibrant heathered and non-heathered colors. This wool felt is perfect for craft and sewing projects including laptop and electronic device cases, potholders, coasters, floor mats, and soft toys. It is made in the USA, sold by the yard and 24” wide. We particularly like wool felt for Kindle, iPod, laptop and other electronic device cases….perhaps a heathered charcoal grey case with a cream-colored laptop case with embroidered gossiping squirrels (vintage transfer embroidery courtesy of Abigail)!

Posted: Fabrics, Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
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Free Art Deco Monogram Patterns


We love monogram and font aficionados! Why not get a head start on hand-sewing holiday gifts? Embroider initials or a secret message on a beloved’s shirt cuffs, or personalize a set of luxurious new towels with Art Deco monograms. We adore the retro chopstick-inspired font on page 13, and the rose adorned letters on page 35! Monogrammes is a collection of charming monograms published by Cartier-Bresson in 1915. This pattern, along with a plethora of other free needlework instructions, is also available at The Antique Pattern Library.

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Embroider a Platypus for Spring!


A wee flat-tailed platypus (courtesy of über talented craftster Andrea of Badbirds) has been spreading stories about Britex; rumors of corozo nut buttons, Chantilly lace, sportif elastic. Is spring and rebirth in the air?

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Granny’s Delight Mini Quilt


This quilted wall-hanging takes two cotton prints, one doily and a smidgen of old-fashioned memories. If I was going to sew one up, I would reminisce about my great-grandmother, including a tiny floral purple print and a tiny floral grey print, the embroidered outline of a birdcage with two budgies and the embroidered outline of an old-fashioned cast iron skillet. This sweet vintage-looking pattern is brought to us courtesy of Etsy’s How-Tuesday, and Whip Up Mini Quilts by Kathreen Ricketson!

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects, Quilting
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Free Vintage Embroidery Transfers of Housekeeping Cats!


Meow meow…….if I’m going to mop, sweep, polish, mend, and iron I’m going to do so with vigorous verve! Vicki from PatternBee brings you these free iron-on vintage embroidery transfers of housekeeping, bushy-tailed kitty-cats. These industrious kittens would be super-cute embroidered on tea towels, and a set of them would make a charming Mother’s Day gift!

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Free Cross-Stitch Pattern of a Double-Decker Bus


Spring is coming, we are redecorating, and have become besotted with this free cross-stitch pattern of an English double-decker bus! It would be smashing as the front of a loveseat pillow, and backed with vibrant red suede or linen. Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.
Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to have known
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say hello
On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
The little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mac
In the pouring rain…
Very strange.”

(By J. Lennon, P. McCartney)

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Free Child’s Apron Pattern Plus a Perky Squirrel


This free pattern for a child’s be-pocketed apron from Vicki at PatternBee is ideal for keeping wee chefs neat and tidy! All it takes is ½ yard of fabric and some bias tape. Embroidered vintage critters on each pocket make this apron perfection, and Rectangle has just the collection of free vintage embroidery transfers to spiff things up! I’m partial to this perky squirrel. As a bonus, here is a tutorial from Jaden and her 4 year old son, Andrew on baking no-knead bread.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects, Sewing
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Make a Hand-Sewn Fabric Valentine Card & Envelope


Jennifer at SewMamaSew made this delicious tutorial for a hand-sewn fabric Valentine’s day card and envelope! All you need is an exterior fabric and a complimentary lining fabric, interfacing, embroidery floss, pretty buttons to seal it shut….and love. We adore the hand-stitched details, and are eager to embroider sweet stanzas to tantalize our secret friends!

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Free Vintage Cross-Stitch Patterns from the Netherlands


After all the quickly sewn holiday gewgaws that I’ve been making, I feel the need for continuity…for a long project that will fill my nights and whose beauty will unfold slowly. Lilian discovered these vintage cross-stitch patterns in her aunt’s attic, and then digitized, archived, and published the collection online at Gancedo.eu. Here is Winter from the Four Seasons collection; two thoughtful birds perched together on a wire, wings tight against their chilly chests and trees barren of leaves. I’m also fond of the Months of the Year collection, with the playful couple ice skating, planting their garden, flower plucking, grape stomping and more. These are perfect projects to while away the remainder of the winter and the spring! Aida cloth is available on Britex Fabrics’ 4th floor, and needles and floss is available on our 3rd floor.

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