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

Category Archive: Projects

Knit a Sweater for Ken®!

We heard that Peter sewer extraordinaire from MalePattenBoldness has a weakness for the ever iconic Ken® doll by Mattel. Here are some swingin’ free knit patterns fromClothes for Fashion Model Dolls (Hilda, 1963) for that handsome all-American dude, courtesy of the fabulous folks at VintageKnitting. We are particularly enamored of this bulky turtleneck pullover sweater, and would love to see it made up in a hip-tastic heathered charcoal grey yarn.

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, 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.

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
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Sew Sportif Norfolk Jackets for Fall!


There is hardly anything better to do with the hot lazy days of summer than to make an icy pitcher of mint tea or tangy lemonade, learn new sewing techniques, experiment with patterns, and make autumn duds. We forecast the recurrence of fabulously dapper casual clothing; the suave vintage-inspired Norfolk jacket is perfect for chilly days spent drinking hot chocolate while strolling through fall foliage. Kass at ReconstructingHistory has published patterns and directions for men’s Norfolk jackets and women’s Norfolk jackets, including embellishment suggestions, historical notes and period tailoring. We are planning on making our own sportif Norfolk jacket from coffee brown and cream wool tweed, lined with brown and cream geometrically patterned silk, and fastened with woven brown leather buttons….with all fabrics and buttons are available at Britex Fabrics!

Posted: Fabrics, Projects, Sewing
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Très Cute Measuring Tape Pouch!


The ever clever Jodie from VintageRicRac made this zippy little pouch out of spare tape measures, a scrap of cotton and a zipper..and then posted instructions on how to make one ourselves. It would make a dandy pencil, knitting needle or luncheon utensil case! (Perhaps you could even make a matching bag to carry your sandwiches)

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Chiffon Dancing Skirt Pattern


Elaine from the SelfishSeamstress made up this classically simple ballet skirt pattern for grown-ups: a simple and elegant ballet skirt with no frou-frou! It is practically tailored. This floaty skirt only needs about a 1 1/2 yards of polyester georgette or polyester chiffon, and about 2 1/2 yards of narrow grosgrain ribbon. This skirt would be lovely in this Italian lemony floral silk chiffon…perhaps with a charcoal leotard and leggings.

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Free Drivers Cap Pattern


Ashley from BandyCanyon created a pattern and tutorial for this spiffy drivers cap on her blog and on SewingCrafts! Make it out of a scrap of suiting or vintage fabric for a swank retro look. This is perfect for summer; just tilt this chapeau to one side, take a long draw of your sweetened iced coffee, and hunker on down for an afternoon of doing absolutely nothing.

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Japanese Twill Shirt for Father’s Day!


Are you looking for a handsome fathers’ day gift for that special guy in your life? This downloadable men’s shirt pattern from the folks at BurdaStyle sews up into a shirt that would be stylin’ on any bloke. Make it up in this beautiful deep tea green and milk chocolate brown, Japanese cotton twill fabric for a shirt that could be dressed up with a dapper bow tie and vest, or down with a pair of favorite worn jeans!

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Free 1873 Paletot Pattern


The folks at Ladies Treasury and Tudor Links have reproduced a slew of free patterns to ensure that we never are forced to gad about unfrivolously. The patterns are reproduced from original period patterns and from cutting diagrams found in English, French and American publications of the 19th and early 20th centuries. This one is for a vintage 1873 women’s beribboned paletot. We adore the dramatically wide cuffs and excessive rows of cording. This would be a lovely fall jacket in black wool melton with black velveteen trim, and perfect to wear while feeding bread crumbs to ducks in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

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Make a Kindle Case of Wool Felt!


When I was three, my favorite book was “I Can Fly”; “I can squirm, like a worm” I’d gleefully hiss as I flailed about on the Persian rug. Now I snuggle up with books by Agatha Christie and Paul Monette… lounging rather than flailing. Reading’s charms have not dissipated, even if books have taken a leap into the future. Laura from Brooklyn and the blog TheLittleHouseInTheCity made a pleasingly simple case of wool felt for a Kindle (or any portable electronic reader). We love the colorful contrasting thread and vintage looking pinked edges! Of course, Britex Fabrics is fortunate to carry a plethora of gorgeous heathered and plain wool felt fabric in their San Francisco store! http://thelittlehouseinthecity.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-make-diy-felt-kindle-case.html

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Free Skirt Tutorial from BurdaStyle


Britex Fabrics is pleased as punch to be able to work with BurdaStyle and their Project of The Week tutorial – a summery two-tier skirt. BurdaStyle made it up with 2 ¼ yards of 45” wide silk; we love the vivid peony pink and chartreuse combination of this silk charmeuse from Britex.

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