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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

Top-Stitching Hints


We love the extra verve that judicious use of top-stitching adds to garments. A line (or two) of top-stitching can empathize the tailored angles of a jacket collar lapel, add decorative contrast with a coordinating thread color, or spiff up the pockets of a cowboy shirt. Carolyn of TheDiaryofaSewingFanatic gives us instructions and hints on top-stitching, including advice on needle type, the importance of consistent stitching line direction, and the top-secret scotch tape stitching guide method!

Posted: Sewing Techniques
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Vintage Valentine Apron Pattern


This circa 1945 vintage apron pattern from the gal at Tipnut is just the thing! We’ll wear while baking Valentine’s day sweets for our sweetie, and love the heart-shaped bib and the flowering heart appliqués. No one can resist the delicious sight of a dedicated and be-aproned chef removing hot home-made Linzer cookies from the oven!

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Sew Dandy-esque Pocket Squares of Britex Silks


Spiff up, stand out and sew a drawer full of one-of-a-kind pocket squares with Britex Fabrics’ amazing world-renowned selection of imported silks. I hear from dandified sources that pocket squares are this season’s accessory for our dedicated follower of fashion. According to Aaron Britt of SFGate, there are several sartorial guidelines to wearing this dapper devise, including the admonition not to match your tie to your pocket square. Lord Whimsy has graciously supplied PDFs of 13 pocket square folds, from the Winged Puff to the Cagney. I can barely compete with Lord Whimsy’s splendid prose, so won’t: “A slightly pedantic note for the acolyte: The occasion or setting will often recommend a particular knot or pocket square fold. (Festive? Sober? Rascally?) ….Trial and error in these matters can be good fun, but over time, one will gain a sense of what works best, and a personal repertoire will take shape.”

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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A Documentary on Neapolitan Tailoring Traditions – Kid Dandy


Kid Dandy, an Italian creative group, are in the process of finishing up a documentary on Neapolitan tailoring traditions. Here is a 5 minute trailer for their stunning documentary. This film is a must to watch for anyone who is enamored with the craft of traditional fine tailoring, hand-stitching, hand-made button-holes…..and the luscious beauty of Naples, Italy. I love watching the beautifully suited Claudio Attolini as he talks about the process of tailoring while making gracefully articulate hand gestures that mimic hand-stitching.

Posted: Classes, Events & Shows, Sewing Techniques
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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!

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
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Create a Top Hat for your Fashion Doll


We are top hat crazy! The talented Lori has created a detailed tutorial for making silk top hats for 16? collectible fashion dolls. These stunningly chic silk top hats could coordinate with your doll’s riding habit, or perhaps be the perfect accessory for a dashing Marlene Dietrich ensemble a la Morocco. And I love the snippet of veiling! All supplies can be purchased at Britex Fabrics.

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Men’s Shirt Sew-Along with Male Pattern Boldness


Peter at MalePatternBoldness has been busy! He is running a Men’s Shirt Sew-Along on his blog beginning on Tuesday, February 1st. Here is a chance to sew along with other folks, while learning how to meet the fitting and sewing challenges in making men’s bespoke shirts. Peter also is one of the featured sewers on BurdaStyle, with a shirt that he made using a vintage 1939 men’s pattern. This vintage-styled shirt has a removable collar and collar stand that fits over the band (which is sewn onto the shirt), and the top closes with a shirt stud. And as we all know, M. Du Jour adores detachable collars for the wonderfully practical and delightfully fussy accessory that they are!

Posted: Projects, Sewing, Sewing Techniques
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Make Shoe Wings!


We all want spring to arrive sooner rather than later, and I’m pinning all my warm weather wishes upon these winged shoes! Artemisthephoenix posted this tutorial on making glorious wings for your shoes. The wings fasten through the shoe laces and eyelets, and she made them in sparkly gold lame. They are so simple to make that it would be fabulous to have a pair for every pair of lace-up shoes in your wardrobe. Can you imagine an entire BART train full of winged commuters?

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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)

Posted: Hand-Needlecraft, Projects
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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.

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